Sunday, 30 September 2012

Church with a Difference

This Sunday morning, we had a church service with the Christain Motorcycle Association, along with the regular parishoners.  It was great to see the church so full.  The organ music was replaced with guitar, and the hymns were more modern, rock 'n roll versions: Jesus is Lord! Majesty and In Christ Alone. 

About 60 or so motorcyclists arrived on their bikes, wearing leather, tatoos and several with white crosses on the back of their black leather jackets.  In his opening statement, the leader of the group said that sometimes people have trouble accepting him, because of his "rough appearance" (tatoos, leather, beard, long grey hair).  He looks like he may have been in many a tough spot in his past life.  Then he said, "if people give me a hard time, I say, Jesus accepts me as I am.  Why can't you?"

Gathering outside church before the service.  They had travelled from across the Midlands, Berkshire, Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside to be here.

Many had slogans stitched onto their jackets: "Jesus is Lord", "Be an Organ Donor; Give your Heart to Jesus", "These ARE my church clothes" and "WWJD" which stands for "What would Jesus Do?"

 Here I am with two bikers.  Never thought I'd be saying that.  Rubbing shoulders with guys who had been the "bad boys" of their generation. The fellow on my right had spent time in prison, and he was the one giving the sermon, who fully credits God with turning his life around.  "God is good," he kept saying.

 One of the bikers who had travelled from Northwich (about 40-50 miles).  Lots of tatoos.  In the past, lots of attitude as well I would imagine.

 It was very touching to hear the testimonials of these bikers, who had once been the original "hard cases" but were now disciples in the modern sense.  They go to motorcycle events, passing out coffee and teas, talking to people and sharing the Gospel to any who are willing to listen.  Sometimes they just do the listening and let God do the rest.

They hand out Biker's Bibles for free to anyone who wants one.  It is the New Testiment and true life testimonials of people who have been about as low as they could be before discovering Christ.  One young man admitteed he took the Bible just to use the pages as cigarette paper for making his own handrolled cigs.  Then he read one of the prayers and decided he would "come along" and check out this Christain group, so unlike anything he had ever thought of as "church".  Is he a convert?  Not yet, but he is certainly welcome.  Time will tell what path he choses.

Close-ups of my outfit:

 Bangles I wore with the green dress.

My animal print scarf.  I think  it looks a bit like python.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

World of Polka Dots

Honestly, I don't know where the last couple of weeks have gone.  I seemed to have slipped into a hole called "I'll-do-it-sometime-soon".  Except of course, the soon is a pretty elastic term!

 I discovered that I had some nice navy polka dot items in my wardrobe that I had forgotten about, so I decided to fix the skirt and wear it to church one Sunday.  I adore these polka dot shoes, but they are quite tight, so I only wear them for limited periods at a time.  It doesn't show up too well, but one of the bangles is polka dot too.

 I'm waiting for my capuccino on one of the outside patio tables at a lovely farm shop not far from home, where we often go after church.  There was a swarm of wasps all making camp in a bowl of sugar cubes on the table, making quite a nuisance of themselves.  I moved the bowl, only to find that the wasps then buzzed around even more threateningly, as they were looking for their sugar treat!  When they discover where it had gone (only the next table over) they lost interest in me.

This lovely cafe used to sell a huge slice of brownie with whipped cream, dusting of icing sugar and a sliced strawberry, all for £1.29. Unfortunately, they've wised up that that was way too cheap, and I don't even remember seeing it on the menu anymore.  What do they say?  Good while it lasted!

This is almost the same outfit, adding a polka dot jacket and dress and a black sheer hat to the same shoes when we were at a wedding earlier in the summer. They did a lovely job of decorating the lych gate with flowers.  (How I love weddings!)

 I also got these lovely strappy sandals for only £6 at New Look.  I didn't plan on buying them, as I don't really have anything in the coral shade.  It would have been better if they had just done the shoe in beige patent, but hey...they ARE comfortable and cute, and when you see such a bargain, you have to buy them.  It's the law.

Does anyone else discover they have hidden treasures lurking in their wardrobes?  Things you haven't been wearing because it needed fixing, or in the case of my polka dot shoes, they were just in an old suitcase.  Isn't it nice when an archelogical dig of the wardrobe yields something?

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Ludlow in Summer

                    We went down to Ludlow the other day, enjoying another train journey, although this time I managed not to fall flat on my face on the platform.   It was one of those rare beautiful late summer days, and we decided that a stroll around Ludlow's interesting little shops would be just the thing to do on Gorgeous Husband's day off.

We had morning coffee in this lovely little cafe, which was new since the last time we had been to Ludlow.  It was tiny and delightful, and they served my cappuccino with amaretto crumbs on top, instead of chocolate or cinnamon. Delicious!  It was a very old building, with a small fireplace, and exposed beams on the ceiling.  I think it used to be someone's living room at one time. 

                        Isn't this window seat delightful from the interior of the cafe? 
                                      How I would love to have one in my home!

 The view from outside.  Gorgeous flowers, and a tiny table and chairs outside on the miniscule patio.
Wish I could have such a fantastic blooming garden.  Most likely you have to take care of it for it to look like this.

              My bangles.  Photo a bit blurred, as I was taking it myself and stretching my arm out.

 This is a detail of the necklace.  I'm not sure it is supposed to be a necklace, as it is quite large.  I think it's one of those things you hang up somewhere.  I added it to the fish necklace I already had, and I like the effect, although it may not be everyone's cup of tea.

This lovely shop was across from the cafe.  It had lots of contemporary crafts, and I was particularly taken with the knitted outfit by Alison Dupernex, hanging on the front door.  I know Alison from years ago, when I was arranging art exhibits of British crafts.  I met her at a Contemporary Craft Fair in Hereford and she very kindly let me take home a cardigan without paying for it, on the understanding that I would send her a cheque for it in the mail later.  It was all pastel ice-cream coloured stripes, and I wore it to death.  This is her website:  (I hope I've done the link right.)

If you are interested in history, King Henry VIII's older brother, Prince Arthur used to live in Ludlow Castle with his bride, Catherine of Aragon.  Arthur died before becoming king, so the crown went to Henry -- as well as the widow!  She was the first of his 6 wives.  Ludlow Castle is genteely crumbling at the present, but still impressive looking, and a great tourist attraction for the town.

Details of the outfit:
Mustard coloured jacket, cream skirt, bangles, and necklace: charity shops
Striped tee shirt: New Look
Shoes: fake snakeskin sandals, charity shop