What are you looking for?

What are you looking for? Do you know? Do you know what you want? What you believe? Do you know what is good and bad? What is true and right, or wrong? Does it change from day to day?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to test or trick you.

I was thinking about questioning and doubt. About its presence, its bad reputation and its value. How does doubt and questioning make you feel?

I like to be safe and to be right and sure. Don’t you? So unknowing, doubt, insecurity – such shifting sands make us feel out of control, vulnerable, insecure – and to avoid this we seek information to bolster our understanding… to know, to be certain… and for our faith – in whatever it may be – to be unswerving and strong. This may be about the basic routines of our day, for example, or our health report, our whereabouts and location when on the move, our plans and preparations for a big event, our political persuasions and support come polling day, our financial safety-nets for retirement, maybe actual insurance policies and guarantees and often our meta-physical persuasions or beliefs and our raison d’etre.

We want assurance, insurance and reassurance again.

I think of adventure quests and heroes in story-books and on film – dangerous quests to find truth, or treasure and for valour and honour – life threatening, self-sacrificing endurance, seeking, for that which is right and true. The stuff that makes heroes. The big questions – the meaning of life and all that. It seems to be part of the heroic side of our nature – to seek wisdom, seek truth at whatever the cost. The Bible is full of such wisdom too – exhortations to seek and find the lost coin, the lost sheep, the ‘pearl of great price’, which cost him all he had. To ‘Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.’  (PROVERBS 4:7) And Solomon’s asking for just wisdom over every other treasure… and so many other examples. Wisdom and truth are seen as great treasure.

When my children were young, they would frequently complain that they had lost something important and had ‘searched everywhere’! I would smile and ask them to look again and this time to actually take their hands out of their pockets and use them to look underneath the piles of stuff!

Because if it were visible, they wouldn’t have lost it!

To seek knowledge, understanding and truth often means to go digging! It means to turn everything upside down, turn it out, get our hands dirty… it means to disrupt our comfort, camp for a while in unknowing, in the unfamiliar and in doubt. It means ‘living from a suitcase’ in questioning and a vulnerable state of being unsure, not at home and not in control. We may have to disrupt and abandon all else… Sometimes it means to admit to ‘not know’ something and occasionally it means to discover that we were partially or fully misinformed, or misunderstood, and to humbly learn…

But we are promised that if we keep on seeking we will find; if we keep on knocking, the door will be opened; and if we keep on asking, we will be answered. We are promised that if we seek Him first, then He will be found and all other things will be given to us as well. Our needs will be met. It is a constant process that we will not come to the end of in this life on earth, and maybe it will continue throughout eternity. I do hope so!

But beware. Be humble. If we seek the truth, we must be prepared to adapt, readjust, enlarge our tent and maybe change our mind. There will be change. When we find what was lost, or find revelation and truth and wisdom, we are forever changed! We have to change, for growth is change. We have to be prepared to expand our limited thinking if we want to seek truth. New wine goes in new wine-skins.

Some say “What is truth?” They say that there are many truths – for each of us, our own truth. Some say that we find what we are looking for, and that we each find something different. Some say there is but one truth. Jesus says that He is “the way, the truth and the life”. Whatever the truth is, we are encouraged to seek it. It is not something to fear, but it is something to make space for, to humble ourselves to receive. For His ways are not our ways. His ways are higher and above and beyond all we could ever fathom or imagine… But trust Him. Life is constant growth and constant change. We will never know everything in this short life on earth, but we should not be afraid to learn new things.

We are invited to seek wisdom, to seek understanding, to seek growth, truth and life.

What an adventure!

September Windfalls

September windfalls

I apologise for having neglected the weekly blog, but the monthly blog must not also go amiss.

No matter the business, the stresses and strains of life; no matter the hardships or even the challenge of un-answered prayer, there is always time, always joy, always delight in acknowledging the constant blessings and the constancies of God’s love and mercies, which are new every morning… and at the day’s end, God is still there!

A Pete Greig video left me with a helpful image of a microscope and a telescope – often we are peering through the microscope, focussed largely on our own concerns and bringing our burdens and needs to the Lord – for we are instructed to do so, by Him who ever lives to intercede for us before the throne of God – but when we take out the telescope and look up at the heavenly realm our perspective shifts… We don’t look up at the heavenly realm and say “Aren’t I important!” or “Poor me!”, No, we raise our sights and praise the Creator God and Father for who He is, in all His majesty and power and we magnify Him, not ourselves.

What we focus on, we magnify.

So I want to magnify God again for the answered prayers and windfalls of September and to remember that God is good, all the time, even when I do not understand.

I thank God for:

A good weekend together with my closest childhood friends.

That the changeover went smoothly for my babies and school and home is all good.

That S and I had another blessed week in London and both managed to accomplish much.

For inspiration and help with my writing.

For perseverance, courage and growth in my relationships.

For five good breaks away this Summer and for cover for work for each of them.

That S finally inspired to write his article.

That S free to travel around in Romania, despite restrictions.

That C and B successfully produced 2 great videos.

That A’s bloods showed that her cancer is now in remission!

That C begun University and is inspired and has risen to the challenge.

That J’s PHD has begun and all is well.

That first 2 prayer groups chez moi peaceful, blessed fellowship and tech improving.

For all the opportunities to serve.

Above all I thank you, not just for doing the things I have asked of You Lord, but for being God, for choosing to be in relationship with little me and for working with us, Your precious children, in this life on earth – for being Emmanuel, God with us – for coming to dwell in our hearts – being Jehovah Shammah – and for the assurance of Your presence. Though Satan should buffet and trials may come, let this blessed assurance be mine… It is well with my soul. Lord, where You are in the boat, no matter the storm, it is well with my soul.

Your Love endures forever and whatever happens, whether I understand or not, I know that You have me in the palm of Your hand.

Blessed be God forever.

Spend some time looking through the telescope today.

August Praises

Isn’t gratitude one of the greatest pick-me-ups? How many times has a dose of the doldrums been transformed into bubbling joy and calm, simply by thinking through and naming all the things for which you are grateful? Have you ever done it long enough to come to the end of your list?

But, slow learner that I am, I again made the mistake of thinking I didn’t have anything interesting to blog about last week and was too busy to listen… yet I had a post to be written all along. I had made a commitment (ooh, serious word!) to giving public thanks to God every month, for His faithfulness in hearing and responding to my prayers, with His Father heart of love. I am so excited, on a daily basis, as I acknowledge petitions that are answered, issues resolved, miracles happening… as I witness God happening in my life and in the lives of those around me… but, come the end of the month, I think – “I’ve nothing to write about!”

So here we are on 21st September and I’ve still not given public thanks and praise for all God’s visible goodness and intervention throughout August. But I will do so now, with repentance again for my warped priorities! Meanwhile God is so faithful, that my notebook for September continues to show countless blessings!

august definition: 1. having great importance and especially of the highest social class.

So, August praises to God is a fitting title, in all respects!

I give thanks:

That the chairs went back into rows in church, after 18 months of restrictions,

That C got more than enough distinctions and merits from his access course and a good grade for his GCSE maths, and was offered a place in university.

That my videos, recordings and writings continued successfully and the fourth edit of the book finally complete and is off for feedback.

That August holiday lunch-club was successful and many local families blessed with food.

That S and I had a very productive week of DIY in the house, related well, and managed to visit old friends.

That J and V got the council house they were looking for.

That I was able to receive the medical advice needed and tests all clear.

That You healed my right foot.

That I was able to help S to edit her paper enough to finally submit it.

That I was able to have a weekend away with old friends and all went smoothly and well.

That D and R back together, so child-care issues resolved.

That B’s tests and urgent flight tickets all resolved smoothly.

That I’ve been honoured to host a home-group for the new prayer course.

That S’s travel plans worked well and was released from the quarantine and able to visit all the people planned for.

That D’s cancer has gone and she is well.

That the tribunal hearing has been postponed until a more suitable time and venue.

That I was able to spend more time than usual with my beloved grandchildren this month.

Lord, there were 3 disappointments this month – 2 people for whom I had prayed, but who died. I don’t understand why, but I trust You. I trust You to know the bigger picture and continue to entrust all the bereaved into Your loving arms.

Not all of my prayer is petition and intercession (asking for intervention and favour for self and others) but many areas of growth and life are just too difficult to define in words and to quantify or qualify. Praise and gratitude are a large part of my relationship with my Lord and Creator.

I am most grateful that I can come with confidence into the presence of God and that He not only knows me better than I know myself, but that God loves me despite knowing the areas I hide even from myself. In other words, I am most grateful for the relationship with God and the fact that I really can bring all burdens, concerns, questions, celebrations and everything – even disappointments and laments – to a loving God, who listens, comforts and lights those burdens and pains with a peace beyond expectation and a joy that seems extravagant!

You are so loved! Always pause to give thanks for that!

It was in the plan!

Last week, while scribbling out my pen and paper rant on freedom, I also had a go at God, (which I chose to omit from the blog) for giving us this so-called ‘free-will’, but knowing the mess and suffering it would cause. I felt, as I considered the ‘options’, that ‘free-will’ had been a mistake, and not real freedom, as it felt like another, “Do it my way or die!”

I didn’t publish that thought, or a few others, as it was already becoming too complex for my little brain to hold together in one post, but I had asked God the question and a couple of days later, a clarity and peace infused my fragile doubts with a sweet smile. I will share those thoughts that were given to me:

The answer I heard, soothing my itching distractions, was that God knew! He knew we would make mistakes all the time. He knew it would take us lifetimes to learn. He knew we’d never get everything perfect, BUT He cherishes our freedom, He cherishes our feeble attempts, He cherishes our creative, eruptions of joy and kindness and love, because they are real expressions of a love response. We are made in the image of Creator God who is love. Just like we love to receive and treasure those cards and offerings lovingly made by our adoring children, so does father God enjoy our love offerings.

AND He KNEW we would need direction and teaching and He PROVIDED it. He knew we would need a role model, constant support and encouragement and He provided it. He knew we would need forgiveness over and over again AND an ‘out of jail free’ pass. He knew and He planned and provided for it all, before He even created us. At human creation, in God’s own image, the redemption plan was already in place, even then. God knew that He would love us to death, that He would become one like us, and with us, and have to sacrifice His life, so that we can be free of death, to be one with Him in His Kingdom and glorious delight. But He knew. It was not a mistake or a trick or an illusion. (Now as I read this back, I’m reminded of Max Lucado’s excellent story, ‘Because I love you” – He made the wall, with a hole in, and a staff to come find us when we climb through the hole!)

God provided for us a Perfect Role-model, directions, a conscience, support, encouragement, love, mercy, forgiveness, healing, restoration, the Holy Spirit to remind us of what is good – He gave Himself as our deliverer and Redeemer. So what do we need to do? We need to listen to the guidance He gives and to know that every time we slip or tumble, we can admit it, repent and get back up for another go. Persevere in doing good. Always get back up.

That love is an example for how we are to live, for our children and for one another. Not just forgiving ‘my brother’ when he says sorry, but a constant holding lightly of our strict expectations of perfection. Forgive as He has forgiven me. Let me give you room to practice using your own feet and discover your own wings, not shackle you to the confines of my own limitation. Let me be expansive with my children and myself and to remove the concept of ‘failure’ as that ugly, smelly, untouchable thing to be feared, but to look at it as an opportunity to learn, to be humble, to grow and stretch out my wings…

Lord, if you give someone freedom, you give them freedom to make mistakes and get it wrong – let me give others freedom to make mistakes and get it wrong too and allow for that in how I live – to encourage, support, tolerate, love – as others also make mistakes… just like young infants learning to walk or talk, we don’t punish them for not speaking a clear sentence, we coo and clap and encourage each sound and attempt and we cherish it.

The stress and devastation of perceived personal failure can leave people in utter despair. The stress of expectation for achievement and acquisition in our world and communities can seem unbearable.

Let us offer an antidote to these cruel pressures and offer encouragement and support to choose life-affirming things, remembering that we need role-models to show us healthy, excellent ways to live, we need unconditional love, ready forgiveness and grace to support and restore the falling and fallen… we need this in our homes, relationships, schools, churches and communities.

We need to encourage one another to ‘have a go’, to ‘follow our dream’, to ‘step out of our comfort-zone’, to try something different, to create something new – to re-create a culture of exploration and creativity, but before we do this, we need to acknowledge, that like the baby learning to walk, that our new venture and our daring to change may land us on our bottom or nose, time after time, it may hurt and seem hopeless, but with practice and perseverance and baby-steps… one step at a time, one day at a time, one smile at a time, one more encouraging word… How many times? “Seventy times seven” – every time!

imperfectly full of treasured love.

What is freedom?

This morning I was reading some Open Doors updates about Libya focussing on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I could have been reading about any of the similar countries in North, East and West Africa, in China, India, Middle East… Please allow me to ramble through some thoughts about freedom and control.

The violence and persecution, removing the freedom of others, towards this group or that, because of how they look, or what they believe, or how they speak, is to me very scary. But I felt compelled to look at it. I always do. I wonder what I would do if I was part of a persecuted minority and if I would stand strong, or hide? And now there is a subtler threat with technology enabling also such close surveillance of people… where can they hide?

One reads about a similar level of control in much dystopian literature as well, and this is a safer place to consider the consequences and possible outcomes to such levels of intolerance and control. I seem to be drawn to these too. I always ask myself how I would respond – in either camp? Of course 1984 springs to mind, so much so that I have recently read it again, due to what I consider to be a level of control here in the UK and all over the Western World, that shadows the horrors I see in China and amongst persecuted minorities all over the world. The Elabi Chronicles, more recently written by Maressa Mortimer, also echoes these themes in a superbly crafted way.

Silhouette, Close up Hand holding Freedom text with blurred sea sunset. sunlight effect.

Maybe it is because my father was so strict and controlling as I grew up, but to the adult me, freedom of expression has always been crucial to fullness of life. I do not want you to tell me how to dress, how to think, what to say or what to believe! Nor do I want you tell me what I can no longer say, read, or believe. I noticed a change first in the 90s, when I went to work in a particular London Borough and was told I should not speak of ‘black’ or ‘white’ coffee, and that the ‘black-board’ now had to be a ‘chalk-board’! Being ‘politically correct’ took on some amusing contortions, turning a serious situation into a rule-book lacking all common-sense. This has ‘progressed’ among various themes and issues, and now we speak of ‘cancel culture’ as well.

Please don’t think I am condoning ‘hate-speech’ or belittling the cruel words and discriminatory practices, through ways of thinking that incorporate so many ‘isms. There is never a place for bullying, discrimination, intimidation or cruelty of any kind. Never. But I defend your right to speak.

But back to the more violent persecutions in other lands, many of the perpetrators of this appear to be ‘extremist’ groups with religious, or political ideologies. And I think the same is true here and everywhere, at all levels. We all have our ideologies and we think we are extremely right.

At one level I understand the expectation: You come to my country so you abide by my laws, you learn my language and you behave and dress in a way I can accept. You conform. You are polite. If you don’t want to, you can go elsewhere or stay in your own country. You come to my house, you behave appropriately, you show respect and you abide by my rules too. You may not smoke in my bedroom. But although I may expect you to behave with respect, I do not expect you to agree with me on every matter I speak of, or even to agree with my rules and conduct. I do not expect you to behave like this in your own space and I certainly do not expect you to believe what I do, or love what I do, or want what I want. Why should I? I guess that is my question. You may face the consequences for breaking my laws of behaviour, but why would I want you to think like I do?

I am the product of one particular environment, era, country, set of experiences, personality and education, as each of us are. I do struggle with authority. I accept the need for it and God is my ultimate authority, but I do struggle to accept many of the rules…

I realise today that I have already written at least one post on this subject, and no doubt it won’t be the last, as it is a huge, complex, muddy minefield and something I grapple with frequently. As I say, I struggle with it emotionally and intellectually as well as spiritually. With freedom comes responsibility and choice. If I’m employed to do a certain job, I do not have freedom to do something completely different. Freedom should not mean anarchy or rebellion under normal circumstances… but what does that mean? How much control should people tolerate from leaders and ‘authorities’, whether they be in church, government, society or family? Rules in society have consequences. This happens in our ‘socialisation’ from birth, through school and in our societies – if we conform, we are rewarded and praised, and if we choose to not conform, we are punished. If our child obeys and seems to be trusted to do as they are told and make good choices, then we reward them with greater freedom and increased responsibility. If she does not obey, we withhold our smiles, rewards and pleasure, we chastise and seek to ‘re-educate’ the child and we may exclude them from something, take away their freedom, until they learn to conform. This is the way it is. In the areas where we do have some freedom to choose, as I say, there is responsibility and the possibility of making ‘wrong’, or unconventional choices. I struggle with choices and decisions and so I welcome advice, guidance, encouragement and direction… usually. I am also contrary and stubborn, some might say rebellious, because if I strongly disagree, I refuse to conform. Rules change though. What was right yesterday is sometimes wrong tomorrow, and vise-versa… so the question is, Who is the authority? Says whom? And if you say Peter has the authority and I say it’s Jane, and they both have opposing laws, whom do I follow? I do understand Pontius Pilate who, when questioning Jesus, disdainfully asked, “What is truth?” It is complex. What is freedom? What is free-will? What is liberty? These are not black and white concepts and require complex discussion. In my simple view, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. I believe it with all my heart and in my life it proves itself to be true. But I cannot prove it to you. You have to to taste and see; you have to make up your own mind. I defend your right to disagree with me and to tell me what you believe and to uphold completely different views and opinions; you have the freedom to choose… I also believe that if you seek the truth with your whole heart, you will find it, and if you follow that truth, you will know freedom. You may disagree.

I had to look closely at myself… Like all of us, I want to be right, do right and not to do ‘wrong’. What is independence and what is community and family loyalty? I have some guidelines in me as to what is right and wrong and I have often failed, even within the confines of my own rules and laws. I often do not do what I believe I ought to do.

But what of others, whom I know only by their behaviour and not by their intention? Do I expect them to speak and behave like me? Do I want my friends to think like me? Will I associate with you if your political views oppose mine? What about your cultural, economic or social views? What about your religious views? Do I feel comfortable around all types of people? Would I invite anybody at all into my home? Will I break the law of my own land? What if the law of the land contravenes God’s law? What if the law says I cannot read my Bible, or tells me to kill a person… Would I? What if the law tells you that you can no longer do what you believe to be right? Would you? Would I prefer you to share my faith and passions for things I think are important? Would I welcome you, love you, pray for you and with you, whoever you are?

I answered many of these questions, some rather uncomfortably. I want to be honest with myself.

I pray for greater love and increased tolerance in my heart towards everything that I do not understand and even more so for that which I understand only too well.

Life update

The theme I keep returning to for this week’s blog is to give you all an update on my life – or more accurately – on the progress of one of my current projects. Part of the healing work going on in me, is to recognise that, just as I am very interested in the actual lives behind all you wonderful bloggers and readers of mine, so also might you be interested not just in the random thoughts I scribble down from week to week, but you may also like to know something about me. If I am wrong, you can ignore this blog.

Since January of this year, 2021, I have been writing a book about the strategies and processing tools I found helpful in the task of finding the voice of my wounded inner child. The first section of the book explains why and how I did it and the impact it had. The second section contains excerpts from the writing during the main strategies I used to hear the silent inner child. I called my wounded inner child Suzie. The strategies I used have given Suzie a voice to express her long-buried trauma and her dreams, disappointments and emotions. It has not been an easy journey, but it has been necessary and hugely transformative. My dream was to share those strategies and processing tools to help others to deal with trauma, with hidden issues, and to come to a place of acceptance. Having heard my hidden child’s voice, I have been able to bring her pain and fear to the Lord, for healing. Confessing one’s emotions, one’s story to oneself is powerful! Confessing it to another safe person and receiving acceptance and validation – being really heard – is powerful and healing. Pouring out one’s heart and confessing to God, is powerful, transformative and brings wholeness. It is still transformative for me – it is a journey I am still on and there is more work to do. It is a healing of relationship – me with Suzie, with memories, as well as me with God and with others.

Section Two contains some of Suzie’s story, but Section One explains the why and how of it. This first section I have written, rewritten and rewritten again. I have written it in my own level of understanding of what the process has meant to me. Now I am holding my breath as it is being read by four people. One is a very close friend who is a psychotherapist and who will be writing a Foreword for my book, to explain my processing in the language of a therapist. My youngest son is reading it, with a view to illustrating some aspects of the story. Two friends are also reading it to provide me with some more general feedback, before I do the final edit and look for a publisher.

This is little me, an image of the hidden Suzie.

Obviously I am continually consulting God about these next steps towards publishing, as the whole process and all of it belongs to Him. He asks us to comfort and bless others with the comfort and blessing we receive from Him. This is the aim of the book – to share the great blessings and healing I have received. He is the Author and finisher of my faith; He is my healer; He is my wisdom and understanding; He knew me when I was hidden, mute and hurting and He was with me. He knows every thought before I do and He knows when I lie down and when I rise… and do you know, He cares! He knows my story, my thoughts and my deeds, and He still loves me and cares for me, as His own precious daughter.

You are the other child He knows and loves so deeply.

Jubilation for July

“Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

This scripture has spoken to me for a while now and is quite sufficient for direction when I am looking for answers and guidance. Carrying one another’s burdens is very practical and you will know what you can and cannot do, but we can always carry each others burdens to the Lord. Cast all your care upon me, He says.

The burdens and cares that the Lord lifted from my loved ones during July, for which I rejoice, are these:

Healthy birth of baby K.

That D’s back has remained strong and healed since hands laid on at the end of May.

That J’s surgery successful and is back home full of praise and with a new song.

For a blessed family holiday together with grandchildren.

For J’s A for his dissertation and that he is settled, fully-funded PHD ahead and finally in a very good place.

That J got a place on the course he wanted.

That I managed to speak to an authority in the park and safety was ensured and a duckling rescued!

That L secured herself a job she wanted.

That I has had a very good month and is feeling strong.

That Z and L both got 1st-class degrees.

That some wanderers returned and newcomers to AA.

That eased restrictions saw 50 back in church at end of July, with opening plans moving forward.

That our pre-school’s Ofsted visit was favourable and the venue got the necessary ‘all clear’.

Lord, for all those specific answers to spoken prayers I praise and thank You. I thank and praise You also for all the answers to unspoken prayers of the heart and for your interventions that I haven’t noticed or have taken for granted. Thank You for Your constant presence and Your faithfulness.

Another verse has challenged me during July – it grabbed my attention as it mentions the importance of “speaking out” and I have been on that theme for a few months now. These are the words of Jesus Himself, and so I say an enthusiastic and desperately excited Amen to the words, but there is part of my heart that doubts my own faith. This verse is:

“Everything you pray for with the fullness of faith you will receive… if you do not doubt God’s power and speak out of faith’s fullness.” (Matthew 21:21)

Sometimes doubt does hold me back from speaking out a faith-filled prayer even, but when I over-ride the doubts and speak out a prayer, faith floods my shaky heart and I receive God’s peace.

I’m reminded of the friends who carried the ‘paralysed man’ to Jesus… I often imagine them questioning their actions – such audacious perseverance, taking the roof off, pushing their way in, what a cheek! What if Jesus is too busy, not interested or won’t do it? But they stood in the gap for their friend, they persevered and they pushed through until Jesus healed their friend.

So keep believing for your family, neighbours and friends; keep standing in the gap for them, bringing them to Jesus with the faith He gave to you. Keep believing that after night, the morning will come; after the drought, the rains will come and there will be a harvest. Be ready to gather the harvest and to rejoice with the harvesters.

rejoicing in the harvest.

Putting It On — Let’s Practice!

Please listen to Feeding on Jesus’ powerful audio message, taking us step by step through receiving and putting on the mighty armour and protection of God.

Feeding On Jesus

It’s audio devo day!

I was under the impression that we were done with The Armor of Light series last Friday… but I was wrong! Holy Spirit began to stir my heart with one more episode on this topic after I released that last one. Today, our audio devo is a special edition for the exclusive purpose of practicing together – practicing the art of putting on the full armor of God.

Do you remember the intro to this series? We started out meditating on this verse that prefaces our Ephesians 6 instructions about suiting up with God’s armor: “…Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (v. 10, NKJV). Putting on the armor is about putting on His strength. God does not command us to be strong in our own power, but rather to be strong in His. As we put on each piece, we…

View original post 371 more words

Maupassant’s Short Stories – YouTube

I feel the need to offer a short story of my own – as a keen student of language and literature, I grew to love particular authors that I studied for O Level and A Level French and German. St Exupéry, Molière and Guy de Maupassant were amongst my favourite of the French authors and I particularly enjoyed Maupassant’s ‘quinze contes’ (Fifteen Tales). About 10 years ago I discovered an English translation of 30 selected ‘tales’, smiling at me in a quaint old bookshop in Eton. Of course I bought it and began to read the stories to a friend during his time of convalescence. We both enjoyed the experience, so now they are produced for you to enjoy too.

I will begin with these three that I recorded over a year ago and, if you enjoy them, I will record some more afresh. Maupassant’s short stories are to be told aloud; they are risqué, witty, fresh, cheeky and full of humanity.

This was an unrehearsed recording and is a bit of fun, so the accent fluctuates widely and embarrassingly at times, but I hope you enjoy the story and the paintings from a similar era.
Grave importunity or willing deception?
desperate misadventure!

(Sorry about the images that rendered out of sync.)

Do tell me which ones you enjoy.