Here is what has made me smile today. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, our sixteen year old grandson Amias was chosen to be one of the front bench speakers in the House of Commons Youth Parliament. This is a real achievement as there are hundreds of YMPs from all over England, Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland, and only around 20 were chosen for the front bench. He was sent on a residential weekend in London last month, to prepare for it, and they were each given the role of 'For', 'Against' or 'Summation' for one of the five subjects to be debated about. The topics were voted for by young people all over the country. I am not sure whether they had any choice about which they were given, but Amias was to give the summarization speech at the end of the debate on LGBT rights.
Well the Youth Parliament sat today. It was the ninth time it has taken place in the House of Commons, and was led wonderfully by Mr Speaker (John Bercow) himself. So as it was shown on Live Parliament TV, you can guess how I have spent most of my day. We can only get that station via Chris's computer, so we made ourselves comfortable in his study, and prepared for a day of watching. As it happened, the LGBT Rights, was the first debate, so we didn't have to wait too long to hear Amias. We could see him for most of the time, because he was seated centrally so he was behind most of the speakers.
His speech itself was clear, passionate and well presented. It earned him a standing ovation and some genuine, good remarks from Mr Speaker. We are very proud grandparents!
If anyone is interested in hearing him you can click on THIS link. It should take you to his 'moment of glory'. I tried it out on my sister this afternoon and it worked for her. The recording starts a few seconds before Amias is introduced, and lasts for about four minutes.
Well that is the excitement for this week.
The other happy event was when, on Wednesday, we were finally able to pick up our 'new' car. It has taken several months to sort out the paper-work to complete this deal. It isn't new at all, and is, in fact, only three years younger than our other one, but it has 90,000 on the clock compared with the 300,000 on ours, and has had one careful owner, so it is a lot tidier and more reliable than our overworked old lady. I am not one of those folk who can jump in any car and drive it, so Chris has taken me out a few times in daylight, while I get used to a very different feeling clutch and gears, and he drove me when I had to go out after dark. But I know I will soon get used to it. I need to, as I do most of the driving! And it is a nice dark navy blue. I was so fed up with having a silver car. There are so many of them out here. It will be a while before I remember to look for a blue one in the supermarket carparks though.
I mentioned last week that I should have been at a coffee morning last Friday but was unable to attend because my hospital appointment was brought forward. But I sent some items over to my friends house. Unfortunately the event was less successful than usual because so many folk were unable to attend due to ill health and other reasons. I guess it is that time of year when change-of-season colds are rife etc. So there were not enough people to man the stalls properly, nor as many visitors. But some of my little bits were sold, and I took the rest to my sewing group on Wednesday and sold the rest. Putting together money raised from pre-sales of our jam and pickles, and the cards the Jasmine makes, plus the money taken on the day, we did raise around 300€ for our church funds, plus around 30€ for my chosen charity Greenfields Africa, who always get a cut from any money that I make. So in the end it was quite a good result. I also made some sweet little hearts with a Bible text on them and some tiny roses, but I forgot to take a photo of one before I sold them all!
Back in the summer you may remember that I bought a huge jar of jelly beans to put in the favour boxes I made for our son's wedding. This left me with the jar which is really rather nice, and I had an idea of how to use it to raise some more funds. So I lined it with white tissue paper and filled it with bags of sweets and nuts and other Christmas treats. Then I decorated the side with reindeers, trees, snowflakes and icicles cut from vinyl, using my silhouette cameo machine.
I added a large shiny snowflake on the lid.
Then I printed out a treasure map that I found on the internet, and covered it with a 9x8 grid. I am asking everyone to pay 1€ to write their name on a square, so if I sell all the squares I will have 72€. I have sold 50 so far, and I am sure I can sell a few more after church on Sunday. (I can't show the map because it has people's names and phone numbers all over it!). Then on the 1st December I will use a random number generator to find out where the treasure is buried and someone will go home with a nice jar of Christmas treats. It has raised far more than it would have done if I had tried to just sell it as a jar of sweets, so I do have a good idea occasionally!
And that is really all I have for this week. I have started a good book which means I won't get much else done until I have finished reading it, and I have also started knitting a jacket for me, with wool that I bought in Hobbycraft when I over in UK. It is a long time since I did any knitting and I said I wouldn't make any more adult size garments as they are too heavy on the needles for my shoulders. But this is chunky yarn but very light, and so far so good. I will take a photo of my progress next week.
Here is a picture that I took last night of our little cat Luna. She is a skinny, independent little campo-cat, (what in UK we call a 'moggy'), who, in the summer, only comes in for food. Now it is cooler she sometimes curls up on a chair in the evenings, but she is not a great one for fuss and cuddles. She was late coming in for her food last night and I was standing over her waiting for her to finish eating before I shut her in the kitchen and went to bed. As I was standing there I was struck by the perfect symmetry of her markings. I don't often get quite that view of her, but she really does match side to side, so I took a photo of her without her realising.
So now I will leave you with another photo of my butterfly that I showed last week. We have had some nice sunny mornings, and she has been back to visit my bougainvillea most days. Again I failed to get a photo of her with her wings wide open, but I liked the sharpness of the butterfly against the unfocused leaves in this one, and the blue sky behind it is lovely, so I am sharing it anyway!
And now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking your world, and I'll see you all next week.