Monday, 20 July 2009

Quiet week thank goodness

I was trying to think what we have actually done this week and couldn't really think of very much. Quite nice really! Especially after the 1000 miles of tearing around the Northern Counties of England. Our friend the Swedish plumber who had borrowed our car while we were away drove us home from the airport, I think he was ever so sad to let us have our car back, he had thoroughly enjoyed having the use of it, especially since his car was so sick. He told us what a smashing vehicle it was and so surprised that for a truck it drove like a car and when we got the car back it was gleaming, he had obviously looked after the car well.

As I suspected our garden was full of weeds and the peas...... I have never seen so many peas all at once in my life. It took two days of weeding to find the vegetables again and ages to pick all the peas that were ready and there are still loads more to come. It is lovely though to go to the garden and pick the veg for the evening meal and today we dug up our first potatoes which we ate with our young friend Marvin. Marvin comes on a regular basis and we have a great time of chatting, eating and laughing talking about faith and life and generally just chilling - isn't that just what church should be? One thing we realised though is that if it is hard work coming back to a largish garden plot after two weeks in July then there is not really much chance of getting away in the summer months if we are to take farming the land properly seriously. What we do and how we go about life will be governed by the seasons and the community in which we live, that doesn't mean we will let the land govern us but if we want to get the best out of it we have to work to the rhythm of the land we live in, we have to work with the land not against it. At least Latvia is blessed with short seasons and until we start getting into animal work then we can at least get most of the winter off.

We have pretty much decided now on a New Holland tractor and we are looking at getting a couple of large poly tunnels which means we can get the new season off to an early start next year. So we will be avoiding trips anywhere come early Spring of next year. One of the criteria that Ian had for a tractor besides being small was that it should have a cab and initially that was because it can get pretty cold here in winter and if he was going out in it then some form of cab with heating was going to be a necessity but a trip onto the land the other day brought home another reason for needing a cab and that is to keep the horse flies off. We had driven onto the land trying to think where we would site the poly tunnel and I was just about to get out of the car and stand on the sill of the car to get a better view when I realised that we were in a cloud of horse flies and some of those things were huge. Horse flies are horrid and they bite, each year I spend quite a bit of time with swollen hands or arms where I have been bitten by one of the little dears. I react badly to anything that bites and horse flies are particularly bad. Ian doesn't react quite so bad but a cloud of them will not be fun when mowing the long grass, you can just imagine the swerves as he fends off the beasts.

This week has been a confusing one as regards the IMF and its relations to Latvia. They have so far refused to lend any more money and according to the Latvian Prime Minister it is because the IMF have introduced tougher restrictions on the borrowing to those already agreed but confusingly the IMF have stated that they do not want the cuts to impact the vulnerable and social care an issue they wish to clarify before handing out more money. The IMF have also stated that they do not dictate to Latvia or tell them what to do - strange when the power relations are such that if they do not like what is being done they can withhold funding and there is no escaping that vulnerable people are being affected by the cuts - how else can the Latvian Government save money? What is even more confusing are the different agendas of the EU compared to the IMF as the EU have already handed over what they agreed to Latvia. This might be an indication that we are still in a position where the powers that be have no idea of the best way forward. I love what it says in Genesis 1:2 in The Message

First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

I think we have an abyss at the moment and a soup of nothingness in people's minds for sure - no ideas, no clues, nothing. God's Spirit is brooding over this mess and it feels like it is close to something momentous happening, such a fundamental shift in the Heavenlies is coming that nothing will ever be the same again, will we notice here on Earth - who knows! I do know that we should expect to see the new shoots of something happening here on Earth but it might take time for them to be noticed by everyone. It is an exciting time to be in.

It is 175 years since the Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to Transportation - their crime? Forming a trade union! There was a time in the 1980's when you almost think that it should be declared a crime once again, the Unions had become such a dirty word, a byword for men stuck in the past and making life difficult for those who wanted prosperity in the land. Unions though have had many positive things to contribute to the way we are today, if it wasn't for Trade Unions we wouldn't have holidays (vacations), we wouldn't have the right to have sick leave and the list goes on. Some managers would rather that was still the case and they moan and complain about the costs to industry but who is the industry serving? People or Money? I remember the heroism of the Tolpuddle Martyrs from my history lessons and I for one am glad of the sacrifice they made in order to stand up against the tyranny of power that deprived the poor of a decent days wages, unfortunately there is still much tyranny around today. We do well to remember that these men who started a movement that stood up to the powerful were simply rural labourers with a song of freedom in their hearts. Let's stand in these days with songs of freedom in our hearts and not be afraid. Let's look to our creative God for fresh ideas of how he wants this world organised. Let's be the little people who make a difference.

Sorry no pictures this week, I was too busy weeding the garden or avoiding the heavy rain showers. Some friends or ours had to dig channels to ease a rapidly overflowing lake before it got to some cabins and we had a mini lake on our land again, the first time since the meltwater from the snow created a lovely one.


  1. "Some friends or ours had to dig channels to ease a rapidly overflowing lake"
    did you mean some friends "of"?

  2. This is getting to be a regular thing you catching me out on my spelling or grammar. Must thank your English teacher!!!!!


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