Out With The Old, In With The New

Be Thou My Vision is an ancient Irish Hymn from the 8th Century. I’ve always loved the verses of this hymn, but I’m not so crazy about the tune. A lot of musicians have tried to cover it (can you cover a hymn? Dunno) but I’m often left with the feeling of ‘leave the original ALONE’. However, The Rend Collective Experiment have done this hymn great justice with their cover ‘You Are My Vision’ on the album, Campfire.

I actually don’t like the trend towards updating hymns because I believe they are a historical treasure. Perhaps I just don’t like covers generally. I’m old enough to know that Frankie Goes To Hollywood sang ‘The Power of Love‘ first, not Gabrielle Aplin (of the infamous John Lewis Christmas ad); Billy Joel sang ‘Just The Way You Are‘ before Barry White made it even more popular and Bobby Brown mesmerised us with ‘My Prerogative‘ before Britney Spears was old enough to date.

Most times covers are a great big flop, but once in a while, talented artistes get it right. Being an Irish folk band, my guess is that Rend Collective were drawn to the hymn. If you’ve never heard their music, I would describe them as Simon & Garfunkel meet Mumford & Sons.

Be Thou My Vision (Written by Dal­lan For­gaill, translated by Mary Byrne, 1905, and versified by Eleanor Hull, 1912)
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all
.

OLD

NEW

You make your choice.

A Time For Everything

This week is Poetry Week at my son’s school and he took one of my favourite pieces from the bible in the book of Ecclesiastes.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Today, I had a right go at my daughter for washing her hands for the umpteenth time when she should have been changing for our day out. She is infatuated with washing her hands. So when I saw her wet after she’d moisturised, I was unhappy to say the least. And I told her off.

When I asked her why, it turned out that whilst she was helping her brother moisturise his back, her fingers got into his butt crack (don’t ask, I didn’t). So she did genuinely need to wash her hands. So I had to apologise because on this occasion, she did need to wash her hands.

I often apologise to my children when I’ve yelled at them or taken my frustrations out of them. They are only 4 and 6 but I feel now is the time to instil in them the values I’d like to see in them as adults. I apologised because I was in the wrong.

There are many reasons why I intentionally apologise.
I apologise because they are human beings who deserve respect.
I apologise because if they were adults, I would have to.
I apologise because I want them to know that even when you get it wrong, you can make amends.
I apologise because I want them to know that it’s the decent thing to do.
I apologise because they are not exempt from being beneficiaries of good manners.
I apologise because I want them to learn how to say sorry and mean it.
I also apologise because I know I’m going to receive a hug at the end of it all.

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Wallpapers Wala

Sports Day

Today was my children’s sports day. It was especially special because it was my 4 yo’s first sport day. Taking place at the lovely Fenners, God must have been smiling because it was such a glorious day. Blue sky and not a cloud in sight. Hallelujah!

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School events are always interesting to me for several reasons:

One – I’m amazed at how grateful I am to teachers for taking my children off me :). Really, I couldn’t do it all day long.

Two – As an adult, I can see that all children are awkward at a certain age; from the most popular to the shyest. I wish I had known that as a child as I find that knowledge quite amusing now, looking back on my childhood.

Three – the most interesting bit for me is observing the personalities of parents come to the fore.

There’s the:

  • First Come First Served (F.C.F.S) parent who always sits on the front row of every play and grabs full vantage point at every event.
  • Placeholder parent, who usually is the F.C.F.S parent, who reserves seats for Latecomer parent.
  • Paparazzi parent ever ready with looming camera lenses to capture every moment.
  • Sporty parent dressed accordingly and ready to beat every parent at the parents race; by any means necessary.
  • Cheerleader parent who screams ‘COME ON SUSIE‘ and the name of every child they know. Hilarious!
  • The Absent parent who ticks the box by attending and spends the whole period on the phone.
  • Cool as a Cucumber parent who sits on the sidelines and doesn’t rush to the front whenever their child is racing or performing.

    And I mustn’t forget the:

  • Ever So Proud Often Embarrassing Grandparent who claps uncontrollably at every little thing their grandchild does.

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    As for me, I am the Proud parent! 😉

  • Sea-bass Extraordinaire

    I’ve fallen in love with Sea bass, particularly after my local supermarket has been running promotional offers on fish. As I’ve rediscovered my love for cooking, I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes at the moment.

    It’s my take on a recipe I got from BBC Good Food

    Ingredients
    2 Tbsp Olive oil or sunflower oil
    4 Whole or Filleted Sea Bass
    Red and green peppers
    2-3 inches of Ginger
    3 Cloves of Garlic
    2/3 Spring onions (optional)
    1 tsp Soy sauce
    1 tsp Fish sauce
    1 tsp Rice wine vinegar
    1 tsp Lemon juice
    1/2 tsp Seasoning

  • Firstly I prepare the fish as it’s the most yucky part. I prefer to cut off the head but you can leave it on if you wish.
  • When I have guests I fillet the sea bass but as this was for family I just got it scaled and gutted at the fishmongers.
  • Once the fish is cleaned and washed, make three lengthways slits on either side of the skin. If you are using a whole fish, stop when you hit the bone.
  • With fillets, you’ll need to take care so you don’t cut the fish in 3 parts. We still want to keep the shape.
  • Once this is done, add a little salt or seasoning. Just a little for taste, not too much. Set the fish aside.
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  • Take 2/3 inches of ginger, 3 garlic cloves, 1 red and 1 green pepper. You can also add 2/3 thinly sliced spring onions.
  • Finely grate the garlic and ginger. (Use lemon to get rid of the smell of garlic on your fingers or wear gloves if you’re precious about such).
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  • Put the vegetables in a bowl and pour in 1 tsp of soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine ginger and lemon juice.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil or sunflower oil and mix well.
  • Now place equal amounts of the marinade in each slit of the fish, on either side. Make sure it’s done in equal amounts.
  • If you find you don’t have enough to go round, steal some from slits where you have been too generous.
  • Any leftover marinade should go in the gut of the fish. For filleted portions put the marinade in between 2 fillets.
  • The best result I had with this recipe was when I left the fish in the fridge overnight. However, it still works beautifully when grilled immediately.
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  • Put the fish on a grease proof lined tray and place under a medium heated grill for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully turn the fish around as it can be quite fragile.
  • And Voila!

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  • Use the juices of the fish and any leftover marinade to make a sauce of your liking to go with the fish.
  • Best served with rice noodles or veg.
  • I served this recipe to my sisters and they were both disappointed to hear I was serving seabass. After tasting it, they are both converts. 🙂