People Know Best…Right?

People know best…right?

Recently there was a march in London – 670,000 people walked the streets of London – showing they wanted a new vote on Brexit. Nearly seven-hundred-thousand people. Surely, that many people can’t be wrong, can they?

On 23rd June, 2016, 17,410,742 people in the UK, voted to leave – so surely they couldn’t all be wrong – could they? And yet over sixteen million voted to remain in Europe. Which is also rather a lot of people. So who was right? Who had the best interests of the country at heart? Surely, when millions of people vote for something, it shows what is right – doesn’t it?

Yet, as the above example shows, clearly millions of people can vote for something that is wrong, because in the Europe vote, both sides cannot be right, which means millions of people have voted for the wrong thing. Which shows, I think, that we cannot always trust what other people think to be right. Something which has the support of the masses, is not necessarily correct. Sometimes, people are wrong. Sometimes, millions of people are wrong. (Which is a slightly scary thought when you live in a democracy – because populations can vote for the wrong thing.)

If we look at the arts, we can see more examples of what the masses think. I know of many singers, musicians, artists, who will probably never be famous, but not because they weren’t ‘good enough’. Were the Spice Girls the best singers at the height of their fame? Are the acts that win X Factor the best entertainers?

Look at the book reviews on Amazon. Some modern books have thousands of reviews. Other, great books, do not. The Phantom of the Opera has only a few hundred reviews, even though everyone has heard of it – but not many people read it. Sometimes, the number of reviews say more about the amount of time the author spends on social media, and less about the quality of the book. {Small plug here – if you have read one of my books, please scribble a review on Amazon. Even if you didn’t like it! Only 1% of people who read my books bother to put a review on Amazon, and it’s how some people choose books.}

I was thinking about this recently, as I was asked to preach at a nearby church. It’s tiny, with a tiny congregation of mainly elderly people. The service was very traditional, and several members took part, some of them with major health issues (the lady leading the service pulled her oxygen tank around with her) and I gave the talk. It was not a professional product. And yet, it was a service where I felt the worship was very real, the love of God was very evident, these were people who were sincere in their faith.

In comparison, there is a study-guide which is popular at the moment in churches. The author is a well-known American pastor, who leads a huge church. He is an engaging speaker, I imagine his church has beautiful music and up-to-date IT, and a wonderful building. But would you feel God there? Certainly the study seems to be made up of popular sound-bites and clever phrases, the sort of thing that people like to repeat because it makes them feel better about how they’re living. But there isn’t much in-depth Bible study, there isn’t much that encourages you to come in awe to the presence of God and understand more about who he is. It seems, in my opinion, rather glib.

So why does a seemingly superficial church have thousands of members and a sincere group of Christians remain tiny? Perhaps because God wants it that way. Perhaps he wants to bless those faithful Christians, and for them to have a safe place, where things don’t change, and they can worship him. Sometimes Christian churches can feel like scalp-hunters, they judge the value of something by how many people are in the building. I don’t think God does. Sometimes, people don’t know best. Sometimes the most popular is not the best. Sometimes we need to look to God, and make choices based on what our hearts tell us, not simply follow the crowd. Because sometimes, the crowd is wrong.

Thank you for reading. Hope you make some good choices this week. I’ll write again next week – I want to tell you about an author who refused to accept that “what everyone thinks is best” (which perhaps was a mistake).
Take care,
Love, Anne x

Anne E. Thompson has written several novels. They are available from bookshops and Amazon.
You can follow her blog at:
anneethompson.com
Why not sign up to follow today?

Diary of a Lunch Club

As you know (if you follow my blog) I help with a senior’s lunch every week, and as we only have two cooks, I have to cook on alternate weeks. There are usually some disasters (not always my fault). I thought I’d write a diary for you this week. I can’t include photos of the other workers, as most are ‘vulnerable adults’ (or else shy!)

When I was at school, one of our lessons – Food and Nutrition – involved writing a time-plan each week. We had to start at the end (serve dinner) and work backwards, working out timings. It wasn’t a favourite activity, but I still do it today whenever I’m planning an event or big meal. To be honest, I really hate cooking dinners, but don’t tell anyone that, because it seems to be one of the main things I have to do.

In case you ever are called upon to cook lunch for 40 people, here is the diary, complete with quantities, which you might find helpful. The main thing to remember is that although cooking times are the same whatever the quantity, heating times are longer. So, for example, mashed potatoes need to be boiled for twenty minutes (unchanged whether one or fifty) but heating a big saucepan of 5kg of potatoes will take at least 30 minutes before it begins to boil, and peeling them will take another 30 minutes. Here is the diary for this week:

Roast Gammon followed by Ginger Sponge and custard.
Quantities for 40 people.

Wednesday: Shopping.
I try to arrive at the supermarket early, so there are plenty of easy parking spaces that will allow access to the boot of the car, because my bags will be heavy. I am fairly rubbish at parking, even in an empty car park, so this is bit of a stressful event.

I enter the supermarket at 8:45. Realise I have left all my shopping bags in the boot, so go back for them. Reenter supermarket at 8:50.

Buy everything on list (see end of blog). Pay, and remember to put receipt safely in purse (this is another very difficult thing – which causes Husband some stress when yet again, I have lost it).

When home, transfer things to fridge and freezer, and try to remember where they are so I don’t leave them there on Friday (it happens).

Thursday: Cook puddings.

I use my super-efficient Kenwood Chef mixer, which is the one piece of kitchen equipment I could not manage without. I make the sponges in two lots, each batch making 4 loaf-tin cakes (which are then easy to transport in a container). Being very old, I work in pounds and ounces.

Put dog outside (she mutters about this) and wipe all surfaces to avoid cross-contaminations with allergens (I use nuts in my kitchen). Tie back hair, put on apron, wash hands. (Because although this is my kitchen, I am cooking for the public, so need to raise the hygiene levels a little.)

Put 1lb butter and 1lb caster sugar into bowl and mix on high speed. Add 8 eggs, one at a time, cracking into a cup first to ensure no shell/bad eggs. Beat very hard. Add 1lb self-raising flour and 28g ginger, mix, stir, mix. Put into 4 lined loaf tins, bake on 170º for about 35 minutes. While cooking, make the next lot.

I set an alarm on the phone, but got it wrong, so they almost burnt. This happens more often than you might think.

Put on cooling racks until cold, then pack into air-tight containers. Cut off the end of one sponge and ate it (to test it wasn’t too burnt. Plus they smelt really nice, and I was hungry). Put into car so I don’t forget to take them tomorrow (this also happens fairly often).

Thursday afternoon: H phones to let me know that the boiler at church has broken, so there won’t be any hot water. Super. The plumber/engineer is coming to mend the boiler in a couple of weeks. Double super.

Friday: Visit washroom 23 times and pray a lot – which is normal for someone who gets anxious about leaving the house. Mainly pray that I won’t poison anyone. Leave home 8:30am.
Remember to take: My hat, sausages and 6 gammons and milk and butter from the fridge. Puddings. Sweetcorn from freezer. Food bags. Church keys. Marker pen (to write date on any new sauces that we open)

9:00 arrive, unload, put freezer stuff in freezer.
Say hello to D and R, the ‘advance team’ who arrive. They are busy, returning the tablecloths from last week, which have been washed and ironed, setting up the tables and chairs. They also chat about growing up in the 1950s and make me laugh. D has brought his meat-slicer, which means I won’t have to hack the gammons into pieces when they’re cooked. He isn’t meant to, in fact, I’m not sure he’s meant to be there at all as he has a major heart operation next week; but I am hugely grateful.

We have a checklist for when we arrive, so I start to go through it: I wipe surfaces and bleach sinks. The church kitchen is used by a variety of groups during the week, so we assume the worst and clean everything. I fling all the tea-towels into the laundry pile (because although they look clean, someone might have blown their nose on one). I turn on the dishwasher and water heater, preheat the ovens to 180℃. I throw away old sauces (check dates) and put dates on new sauces. Then I clean the microwave, check fridge temp etc.

Get out 6 saucepans (because the saucepan cupboard is under the sink, and when S arrives I don’t want to keep asking her to move). Plates and jugs and dishes are put in hot cupboard, switched on, temperature set to 65º.

D puts out ‘sign-up’ sheet for next week, so we’ll know roughly how many dinners to cook.

I start to peel potatoes. We have coloured chopping boards, to avoid cross-contamination, so they are cut on the brown one. S arrives, and starts to peel the carrots. We only have one sharp knife, which she uses. (S comes every week to help us. She suffers from autism, so likes to do the same jobs, in the same place, with the same equipment each week; and any changes need to be discussed in advance. She also works very hard, and we miss her when she’s away.) We cut the carrots into sticks, because they go further than when cut into rounds (don’t ask me why).

I prepare the cauliflower.

9:45 Rinse meat, boil, wrap in foil.

10: 05 Put the potatoes onto the stove to boil (2 saucepans)
S grates the cheese.

10:15 T&H arrive, and set up the cafe in the front of the church. People begin to arrive for coffee. I can hear lots of laughing and chatting (loud chatting).

10:30 Meat into ovens.

At some point F arrives and washes his hands and says hello. F helps to set the tables with bowls, glasses and jugs of water. F also has ‘special needs’, but he takes more care over the setting of the tables than anyone else would. He is also in charge of the music, and has a preference for marching bands. The rest of the cooking is done to the sound of military music.

10:34 Tins of oil into oven to heat.
10:35 Strain potatoes, shake flour and salt and pepper over them, shake, put into tins of hot oil, into oven.
S puts the custard into jugs, covers with cling film, leaves ready to be microwaved. S then goes for a coffee break.

10:50 Water on hob for cauliflower.
S appears in the kitchen, to tell me the lights aren’t working in the washroom. I investigate, and find there is no electricity anywhere, and all the ovens are off. Not sure what to do, then electricity comes back on. Carry on cooking.
11:00 Put carrots onto hob. Salt all pans. Turn potatoes and move them around the ovens, because some ovens work better than others. Ovens seem a bit cool.

I check the ovens, and realise that although the electricity is back on, the ovens have set themselves to ‘automatic timer’ and are not working. I cannot remember how to override the automatic setting and spend 5 minutes pressing random buttons. Eventually they come back to life. I shove the dials to the hottest setting and swear a little.

I start to make the cheese sauce. T appears in the kitchen and begins to explain, in great detail, what is wrong with the boiler. I am not terribly interested at this point, and find it difficult to remain polite, especially as he is standing between me and the fridge and I need the milk.

11:10 Cauliflower into boiling water.
11:30 Sausages in oven (sausages are an alternative for people who don’t like gammon).
Prepare peas in microwave (because we have one person who will only eat peas). I also use the meat thermometer to check temperatures. The gammons are over 75º, which means they’re cooked. Phew.
11:30 D cuts the meat. I remember to check carrots. The cauliflower is cooked, so I strain it, and pour over the sauce. More people are arriving in the kitchen, washing up and chatting. I mostly ignore them (otherwise I will make a mistake).
11:32 Sweetcorn into boiling water.
11:35 Check/turn/move the roast potatoes again.
11:45 Make gravy. I’m not sure that anyone actually eats gravy. C arrives, and says that the person who always used to like gravy, even when there’s a sauce, died a year ago. I decide the baseline stipulation for people we cater for needs to be that they are not dead, so I only make one jug of gravy.

I move all the food to the hot-trolley, which keeps it warm while people come and sit down and grace is said. There are bowls on the tables, and everyone puts in £3:50 (which I have to remember to take home and give to Husband with the receipts from shopping).

I put the puddings into ovens (switched off) to warm slightly. I microwave the custard.

I serve the meals onto plates, the servers take them to the people sitting at the tables. I serve 35 dinners, plus 3 people ask for an extra dinner to take home for someone who is housebound/ill.

All the leftovers are put on the serving hatch, and people take them home in empty containers to eat in the week.

Rev.P gives a short talk while I put the puddings into bowls.

The servers collect all the dirty plates and serve the puddings.

The washing-up team start to clean up, L takes home the tablecloths to wash.

I take off my apron and drive Mum to her house, then go home.

I feed the cats and ducks, and give the cauliflower leaves to the chickens, then go inside for a sandwich. Am knackered.

Shopping List:
For 40 People

3 large cauliflowers (or 2 1/2 kg broccoli)
4kg carrots
10kg potatoes
6x750g gammon joints
1 packet sausages

4 pints milk
8oz butter (plus 2lb for puddings)
450g cheese
onion gravy mix
oil
tin foil
napkins
dettox spray
2kg bag sweetcorn
small plain flour

Custard 7x400g (the large tins) or ice cream
2lb butter
2lb SR flour
grd ginger
16 eggs
2lb golden caster sugar
tinned fruit (as an alternative)

*****

Thanks for reading. Hope you have a good week with no disasters.

 

Anne E. Thompson has written several novels. They are available from bookshops and Amazon.
You can follow her blog at:
anneethompson.com
Why not sign up to follow today?

We All Need Encouragement (Even Authors)

When I began to publish my books – which is more scary than you might think, because writing is very private, and letting other people read your stories is the opposite – my family were brilliant. There was a lot of finance to sort out, and Husband helped with that! But my children and mum were also brilliant, encouraging me to go ahead and publish my work – and they still are today.

In 2017, I published JOANNA. I wanted to explore what it meant to think like a psychopath, and how it would feel for her family. My son helped me by making a short video, and he composed the soundtrack. I think it’s brilliant – what do you think?

An exciting, easy read novel (without any nasty bits!) You can buy a copy here:

UK Amazon link

Here’s what other people have said about JOANNA:

“Not a genre I would usually choose, but I loved it.”

I read it on holiday, my sister read it too, we both really enjoyed it”

“A great read when you want to escape for a little while.”

“Really interesting way of looking at what it would be like to have a psychopath in the family. And I liked the happy ending!”

“Joanna is such a complex character, the story really made me stop and think. I loved it, am looking forward to reading your next book.”

Have you read a copy? It’s available in bookshops, but here is the Amazon link in case you prefer to read on a Kindle. (It would make a great Christmas gift too…)

UK Amazon link

I hope you have some encouragements this week.

Thanks for reading.
Take care,
Love, Anne x

Imagine if…

Before you read this week’s blog – a quick update on last week. The lighthouse took a week to recover, and then, when I replaced the battery, the light flickered into life and began to turn. Brilliant!

With regard to the chick’s gender – not so brilliant. It’s still too early to be sure, but yesterday, one of the chicks which I was sure was a hen, was trying to crow. It is possible the five of the six chicks are cockerels. Ah.

Imagine if…

When you were young, did you ever pretend things? Did you ever dress up and pretend to be something else? I did – whenever I could.

For example, I remember visiting Aunty Daphne once, my mum’s cousin, and she lived in this big old house, which had stables in the garden, and big flagstones on the ground. The adults spent hours (literally, hours) talking, and I used the time to play in the garden. In my mind, those disused stables were full of horses, and I ran around, bringing them hay, curtseying to the master of the house, dancing in the moonlight (even though in reality it was a sunny afternoon). I became a different person.

As an author, people sometimes ask me where I get the ideas for my novels, but this has never been a problem. Even when I was very young, my mind was always full of the “what if?” question. “What if I was lost on the moors?” What if a monster landed in the garden?” What if I didn’t really live here, and was simply hiding under the bed?” I spent a lot of time on that last one, and would spend hours reading books under the bed, not hearing my mother when she called to me, sneaking down to the kitchen – desperately trying to not be seen – and stealing slices of bread and apples, which I would scurry back upstairs with and eat under the bed; all the time lost in this ‘other world’ where I was an orphan, sheltering in the house to survive. I didn’t ‘pretend’ to be other characters, I sort of ‘became’ them. I think it annoyed my brother and sister intensely, and I am a bit surprised my parents never sought psychological help for me.

As a teenager, I tried to use this game of ‘becoming a character’ to act. I joined the amateur dramatics group in the nearest town, and tried to ‘become’ the characters in a play. However, I found I didn’t especially like following a script, being what someone else has imagined, so although it was an excellent experience (I found my husband there) I didn’t continue.

I have a million books in my head, waiting to be written. Each one begins with the “what if?” question. What if a foreign government crashed all the infrastructure in England – how would I cope? What if I became aware of a smuggling gang using the lane beside the house to exchange goods? What if I was a teenager, and the boy I fell in love with had a horrible accident and lost his legs? What would it feel like to have dementia, and be slowly losing my mind?

Stephen King said that reading books about ‘nasty things’ is the way we prepare our minds for when disaster strikes, like dipping our toe into something. It allows us to examine our fears in a safe place, and consider them, before we put them away again. I’m not sure about that. I think I just like living in a pretend world.

Of course, each story begins in my head, but to make them authentic, I need to do some research. So if I want to write a story about smuggling, I need to find police reports about what is happening, I have to find the transcripts of police interviews to learn facts, I have to check on possible routes, and actual ways and means. There has to be a smattering of real facts to hold together the structure of imagining. Otherwise it would be like telling someone what my dream was about last night – and we all know how boring that is!

Reading books is a way of experiencing other people’s “what if?” – I think it helps us to understand situations beyond our own experiences. Reading books differs to watching films or television or plays, because the action takes place in our heads, we hear our own voice speak the lines, we become part of the action. (This is why I rarely read supernatural or ‘spooky’ books, because I don’t want that stuff in my head.)

I wonder what your “what if?” thoughts are. Perhaps you should write them into a story. I did.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about some of the support I received.

Thanks for reading.
Love, Anne x

This is the story I always promised myself I would write ‘one day’ while I was teaching in an infant school. A light-hearted novel about 3 teachers.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/0995463204/ref=tmm_pap_new_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=new&qid=1539091413&sr=8-1

What if…you were the mother of a psychopath? The story of Joanna and her family – an exciting novel.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/JOANNA-Anne-Thompson-ebook/dp/B071H3RCKC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1539091592&sr=1-1&keywords=joanna+by+anne+e+thompson

Counting Stars Link

Invisible Jane Link

CLARA Link

Hidden Faces Link

JOANNA Link

An exciting surprise!

Good Morning!

This isn’t my normal time for posting blogs, but I wanted to share some news with you (because I’m very excited, and Son is in bed and Husband is at work, and I have to tell SOMEONE!) This morning, when I woke up, an envelope was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. When I opened it, I found a magazine. It’s an Arts magazine, and reviews art, literature, music and dance. As I flicked through the shiny pages, I found, on page 68, a review of CLARA. Wow! This is my first ever unsolicited review. How exciting!

I skimmed the review first, heart in mouth, wondering if I was going to read something critical. But no, the reviewer had found the book gripping. They describe being “glued to your seat and wondering at human nature”.

Clara is a pretty awful person (slight understatement) but the reviewer says: “I found myself fascinated – in the same way one can’t quite help but peer at an accident as one drives past – and in spite of myself, occasionally rooting for this woman as she ran roughshod over family and friends, so well was she written.”

Have you read Clara yet? Here is the Amazon UK link:https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079T5NJP7?ref_=k4w_oembed_94cpRjkhwVeJc3&tag=kpembed-20&linkCode=kpd

Reading a review of Clara, when it’s written by someone who has never met me (and therefore has no reason to be kind) was rather scary. But the reviewer wrote such a lovely article, it has brightened my day!

Clara tells the story of a young woman, who shows all the traits of psychopathy – so she lies, is self-absorbed, unable to empathise with others, and feels no guilt. But then she is shocked into changing her behaviour, and although she is still a psychopath, still not able to feel as most people feel, her actions change, and instead of being destructive, she begins to achieve great things.

Clara can be ordered at any book shop or library. You can also order a copy directly from me, or from Amazon. Buy a copy now, in paperback or on Kindle, and enjoy reading a different sort of book.

Amazon Link

CLARA – A Good Psychopath?
by Anne E. Thompson
ISBN:9780995463257
You can order copies from any library or bookshop. Also available from my website:
anneethompson.com

The Mystery of the Missing Lighthouse

Dear M,

I’ve had a nice weekend, how about you? I want to tell you about the lighthouse – but first I’ll tell you about chickens.

There’s a bit of chicken news, as I decided that the chicks are now big enough to be let out of the cage. The cats never touch the chickens, but would eat the chicks if they could, so I have to wait until they are definitely big enough to fit the cat definition of “chicken” and not “dinner”. The parents have been very antsy, waiting to be let out, and the cockerel has made a few escape attempts, by lurking near the door and rushing at it when I open it to feed them. Today, I let them out.

When I opened the door, the parents were waiting, and were out in a flash. The chicks started to follow – and then stopped – and waited. They stared for a while at the outside, and then, very slowly, turned back to the cage and walked away from the door. I waited for a while, and then just shut them in. Stupid birds. I’ll leave the door open again tomorrow, and see what happens; I didn’t want them to wander out after the parents had left, as they’re safer in a flock.

I thought the hen was still not laying, but when I did a proper clean up of the cage, I found a whole stash of eggs hidden where I couldn’t see them. Nice to have eggs again.

The chicks are still too small to be laying, but they do now roost on the perch at night. Very grown-up of them!

I keep looking, trying to guess which are males – cockerels have large red crowns on their head. Only two of the six have little crowns, which suggests I have four cockerels. (Four! Very bad news.) However, the mother has quite a large crown for a female, and so I’m also checking the chick’s legs. Two have definite thick, cockerel-sized legs, but two others are thinner. So, I am still hoping that I might be lucky and have more than two hens in the clutch.

Now to the lighthouse mystery. You remember that S gave me a lighthouse for Christmas, to go next to the pond? I loved it, because it was solar-powered, and at night went round and round. But the ducks weren’t so keen, and made a big fuss, so for a few months it lived near the house. I became rather fond of it, seeing the light sweep round the garden every evening when I shut the curtains.

Anyway, when the new pond was finished, I wanted to persuade the ducks to sleep on the island, not the bank, and I thought I could use their dislike of the lighthouse. So, I set it up, with a piece of masking tape across the area that would shine on the island, and put it next to the pond. I didn’t want it to fall in, so I built a little clay wall between the lighthouse and the water. It worked really well, when it got dark each evening, the light would start to sweep around the pond, only the island was dark. I thought it might also help to keep the fox away.

However, a week later, when I went to feed the ducks, the lighthouse was gone. I looked all around the pond. The little clay wall was still there, but no sign of the lighthouse. It was too heavy for a duck to move it (even the big ducks have no weight to them, and would be unable to move it, even if they flapped their wings right on it). I felt so sad, I thought that either someone from the farm lane had seen the light and climbed into the garden to steal it, or else the fox was so annoyed by it he had carried it away. I tried to sweep the bottom of the pond with the long net, but no luck, the lighthouse was gone.

Then on Sunday, when I was lamenting, again, the loss of my lighthouse, Dad said he’d try and search the pond for me. He set off, in leaky waders and bare legs, into the muddy pond. I wasn’t hopeful, but about 20 minutes later, a soggy man appeared at the kitchen door, with the dripping lighthouse. I was so pleased. He said that it was about 2 metres from the bank, which suggests it had been thrown rather than fallen. Can angry foxes throw? Maybe they can.

I don’t know if it will ever work again. I’ve unscrewed all the parts that I can without breaking it, and have spread it out on newspaper to dry out. Kia – nosiest dog in the world – tried to help. Next week I’ll reassemble it, and see if it works. But even if it doesn’t, I’m so glad it’s back. I’ll let you know next week if it works (or not…)

Hope you have a happy week.
Take care,
Love, Mum xxx

 

 

Anne E. Thompson has written several novels. They are available from bookshops and Amazon.
You can follow her blog at:
anneethompson.com
Why not sign up to follow today?

Written in 1605

My family has an old book. We have had it for years, and I have never really taken any notice of it – I thought it was an old Bible. But recently, James happened to see it, and became fascinated with it, and I realised that actually, it was rather special. Even if it has no financial value (it is in terrible condition, my father even took with him on a trip to the US once, and showed it to a whole congregation of people!) it certainly has historical value. Let me show you.

The book contains sermons, written by Master Henry Smith, in 1605. Now, even if the book itself is a reproduction, have you ever read anything that was written so long ago? It’s only about 80 years after the first English, Tyndale, Bibles were printed. Think about what was happening in England during the 1600s – the plague, the fire in London, all the stuff about the reformation, people being burnt alive for what they believed. Elizabeth I died in 1603, so things weren’t exactly stable.

It also predates Dr. Samuel Johnson (who wrote the first dictionary and therefore standardised spelling) so the language is amazing. Why wouldn’t you want to spell “poison” as “poyson”? (You do, when reading it, need to remember that all the letters which look like ’f’ are actually ’s’.)

As you read it, you can hear how people spoke in those days, and can imagine yourself back in time, sitting on a hard wooden pew, listening while the preacher berated the congregation. He was pretty harsh about ‘Papists’.

Apparently my granny rescued it from a bonfire her sister had when their mother died.  I will try to find out more and let you know. I don’t know if it is of any historical value to the wider world beyond the family. I’m not sure how much literature survives from 1600s, so it might be of interest. I have emailed the British Library, to ask. No idea if anyone will reply.

The words are a little hard to read (unless you have had years of practise reading the writing of 5 year olds, in which case it’s easy!) I have translated a passage about transubstantiation for you (which is when people believe that bread and wine at a communion service change physically – a big area of dispute between the Anglican and Catholic church in the 1600s) I have changed the spelling, but not the grammar or punctuation:

“It followeth, As often as ye shall eat this bread and drink this cup, ye shall show the Lords death till he comes. Here are three invincible arguments against popish Transubstantiation, like the three witnesses, under which every word doth stand.

“First we are said to eat bread; then it is not flesh, but bread. Secondly, we are said to show the Lords death; then it is but a show or representation of his death. Thirdly, it is said, until he come; then he is not come: if he be to come, how can we say, until he come?”

There is another sermon, about Noah being drunk, which I enjoyed. I am guessing the sermons were to be preached to ordinary, working people, as they talk about working the land, and being humble:

“First we are to speak of Noah, then of Cham (Ham?) his wicked son, and after of Shem and Japheth his good sons: In Noah, first of that which he did well, and then of his sin. In Cham, first of his sin, and then of his curse. In his brother, first of their ‘reuerece’ (reverence?) and then of their blessing.
Now we will speak of the father, and after of his children. Then (father Moses) Noah began to be an husband.
This is the first name which is given to Noah after the flood, he is called a husband; and the first work which is mentioned, was the planting of a vineyard; one would think when all men were drowned with the flood, and none left alive to possess the earth but Noah and his sons, that he would have found himself something else to do, than them to plant vineyards: and that the holy ghost should have entitled him King of the world, and not a husbandman of the earth, seeing there be no such men as Noah was, which had more in his hand than any King has in the world, or shall have to the worlds end: but thereby the holy Ghost would show, that God does not respect kings for their titles, nor men for their riches, as we do, and therefore he named Noah after the work which he did, not after the possessions he had, a husbandman.
It seems that there was a great difference(?) between this age and ours: for if we should see now a king go to plough, a noble man to drive the team, a gentleman keep sheep, he should be scorned for his labour, more than Noah was for his drunkenness: yet when we read how this Monarch of the world thought no scorn to play the husbandman, we consider not his princely calling, nor his ancient years, nor his large possessions to commend his industry, or modesty, or lowly mind therein. Which may teach us humility, though we learn to disdain husbandry. Of whom will we learn to be humble, if kings give examples, and the son of God humbleth himself from heaven to earth, and yet we condemn(?) the example of the kings of the earth, and the king of heaven.
The time was when Adam digged and delved, when David kept sheep, and all the house of Jacob were called to be occupied about cattle: but as they for this were abominable to the Egyptians (as Moses saith in the same verse) so they which do like them, are abhorred of their brethren: and they which live by them, scorn them for their work, which would be chastened themselves because they work not.”

If I learn anything more about the book, I will let you know. I hope you enjoy the tiny extracts I have shown you. Am personally loving the thought that Adam “digged and delved”!

Thank you for reading. I’ll write again next Monday, have a great week.

Love, Anne x

Next week I’ll tell you about the mystery of the missing lighthouse…

Anne E. Thompson has written several novels. They are available from bookshops and Amazon.
You can follow her blog at:
anneethompson.com
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