OU blog

Personal Blogs

Some Good News And Bad News!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 25 Nov 2023, 18:56

Some good news! Renewable energy projects are rising in number worldwide

According to estimates by the International Energy Agency, more than 1.6 trillion euros is going to fund renewable energy (solar and wind) and electric vehicle projects this year, a 24% jump compared to 2021.

By Adrien Pécout
Published on May 28, 2023, (Paris) le Monde

Unfortunately too much Fossil fuels are still in production!

A Windmill

For more news on the climate lemonde.fr


Share post

Cat's - Eye 👁

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 11 Feb 2024, 02:35

        Cat's - Eye

The shock of a world, caught

In a headlight beam.
A country road by night,
each weed brandishing up towards you fronds spread, as ruthless as beggars,

each branch like a meaning overemphasised,

each particulate thing, crouched round at you, at bay:

the light from the retinal cave
the way the full moon throws it back

one moment when you don't know which, you or the world,

will veer or break and run.

Ref. 'I Spy Pinhole Eye'
Poems Philip Gross, photography Simon Denison
Cinnamon Press

Share post

More Poems from 'I Spy Pinhole Eye'

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 22 Nov 2023, 18:06

(Saccades: rapid tracking movements of the human eye, unnoticed by the brain, between one fixed image and the next)


The people of Saccadia

are backroom boys.
See them crouched

to their exposures in the darkroom plotting a map, or a plot for an invasion, motionless

as Cortes, at each moment on the brink
Of breakthrough to another world of which their one-frame stories tell

like a whole new dimension.
Oh, to be in - no-  to be the movies...

A Black and white Photo of a wild landscapeRef;

I Spy Pinhole Eye- Poems Philip Gross, photography by Simon Denison

Cinnamon Press

Share post

Achieved This Year!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 1 Feb 2024, 05:15

This last Year I have:-

• passed languages and cultures- level3▪︎ 

• I  already Passed - level 3 in english language module.

• Passed - level 3 in french language module.
• Read several books in french and understood about 3/4 of it.
• Watched movies in french without the subtitles. Understood about 3/4 of it.
• Was able to speak in french to my french friend over the phone.
• wrote on a french blog
•  Taught my english friend basic beginners french.
•  Wrote on an english blog
•  Wrote essays in french
• Took part on a mixed language forum.
•  Joined the Choir
•  Played a musical instrument within a small group setting.
• Improved on my computer skills
• Volunteered at the library

° Finally finished knitting a colourful blanket from odd balls of wool.
• Took part in my local village tidy up.

• Managed a few good long country walks 

• Befriended a lovely family from another country who are living in my village.

It has been a busy but eventful year!


Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Friday, 17 Nov 2023, 18:43)
Share post

How to have the Holy Spirit

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 27 Nov 2023, 18:49


Matthew 12:30-32:

God said  "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

"Love Thy Neighbour"

Do no harm to your neighbour who dwells beside you in peace.

1 Corrinthians chapter 13 is best understood as a way of life, lived in imitation of Jesus Christ, that is focused not on oneself but on the “other”.

I find this is a difficult commandment to live by as not everyone is lovable! but it is one commandment, that in the end, brings about peace. We need a lot of help from the Holy Spirit to achieve this. It is all about respect and acceptance for others. 🙂

Share post


Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 12 Nov 2023, 14:43

Voici la priére que nous a enseigné notre Seigneur Jesus Christ. The Lords Prayer.

Our father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory. For ever and ever.

En français;

Notre père, qui est au cieux, Que ton nom soit sanctifié, ton royaume vienne, que votre volonté soit faite, sur la terre comme au ciel, donne-nous aujourd'hui notre pain quotidien
et pardonne-nous nos offenses comme nous pardonnons à tous ceux qui nous ont offensés, ne nous soumets pas à la tentation mais délivre-nous du mal, Amen

Car à toi appartient le royaume, la puissance et la gloire. Pour les siecles des siecles. Amen.    ✝️

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 12 Nov 2023, 14:46)
Share post


Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 1 Nov 2023, 21:54

It is all about "Trust" to trust someone is to have confidence in someone, to believe in them.
We know we can trust in God because he keeps his promises.

 "Those who know your name trust in you" psalm 9 v10

Even when difficulties come, he is always there with us, he draws us closer to him. We must just have patience and rely on him. He will guide us and show us the way. His son Jesus is like him he is  our rock and salvation. He was rejected by men but chosen by God. Jesus trusted in God. So it is all about 'Trust'  Can we also be trusted as a Christian to keep our word to others?

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 24 Jan 2024, 05:47)
Share post

The Rose- ⚘ A poem by Christina Rosetti

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 7 Dec 2023, 14:01

The Rose

The lily has a smooth stalk
Will never hurt your hand
But the rose upon her briar
Is lady of the land

When with moss and honey
She tips her bending briar
And half unfolds her glowing heart
There's sweetness in an apple tree
And profit in the corn
But lady of all beauty
Is a rose upon a thorn

When with moss and honey
She tips her bending briar
And half unfolds her glowing heart
She sets the world on fire.

Christina Rossetti.

(from The Rose &The Lily)

Mary the mother of Jesus is often called the Rose.

Ola Gjeilo the Norwegian composer has composed music called 'The Rose'
Which takes inspiration from Christina Rosetti.


A red rose

A Red Rose from my garden.

⚘In Memory of my sister on her birthday.⚘

Share post

Amazing Autumn Trees

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 26 Oct 2023, 13:52

Autumn Tree with colourful leaves

Tree with red leaves

Photos taken on autumn country walk.

Share post

Technology just got better!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 20 Oct 2023, 21:03

Hurray! I have managed to get onto "view site entries" on the OU blog using my mobile. Good to be back!

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 21 Oct 2023, 15:01)
Share post

Book Review - Genesis 📚

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 22 Oct 2023, 12:10

Book review - The Bible "Genesis 12:1-7 is the beginning of Abraham's story.
From Abraham-  to recent times.

What we are witnessing today with the war between the Jews and the Palestinians, can be traced a long way back !  through to Biblical times and Abraham.

Abraham had two sons named Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was born from the women Hagar and Isaac from the women Sarah.

Sarah had been barren for many years and was unable to conceive a child for Abraham, so being impatient, she persuaded her husband to sleep with Hagar her servant girl,  in order for them to have a child that they could bring up as their own child,  so that is how Ishmael was born.

Between Sarah and Hagar some rivalry broke out so she begged Abraham to drive Hagar out into the desert.

He did so but God soon saw Hagars distress and sent the angel Gabriel to protect her and help her.  God spoke to her through the angel, he said not to be afraid and that  he would also make Ishmael a great nation too one day with many descendants.

In the meantime God had finally allowed Sarah to bear Abraham a child, a son who they named Isaac.
Isaac was of Jewish descent (from Sarah) and Ishmael was Arabic descent (from Hagar) They became 2 seperate nations of peoples.

This then was how it all began, and from then thats when the sibling rivalry started between these two brothers(or tribes)

It was also about land and establishing a state of Israel for Jewish people and for Palestinian people.

In more recent times after World War 2 for example, the land
since 1948 has been divided into Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

The land of Israel is also the birth place of  the three great world religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It has been ruled over by many kingdoms and powers throighout history,including Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel and Judah, the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great and his successors, the Hasmoneans, the Roman Empire, several Muslim caliphates, and the crusaders. 

"The area was ruled over by the Ottoman Empire, then the British Empire.
Going back even further the land was annexed and the area in 63 BCE. Roman Judea was troubled by large-scale Jewish revolts, which Rome answered by destroying Jerusalem and the Second Jewish Temple."
"In the 4th century, Palestine became a center of Christianity, attracting pilgrims, monks and scholars. Following the Muslim conquest of the Levant in 636–641, several Muslim ruling dynasties succeeded each other as they wrestled control of Palestine."

"In more recent history, relations between Israel and Palestinians have been marked by many conflicts, especially with the Islamist group Hamas, which also rejects the PA. In 2007, Hamas won control of Gaza from the PA, now limited to the West Bank.
In November 2012, the State of Palestine (the name used by the PA) became a non-member observer state in the UN."

These clashes of ideology has remained critical ever since and pose very difficult theological issues and unsurmountable debate. Pray for peace for all tne people of Israel and Palestine.🙏

The Bible(Old Testament Genesis)

Share post

Some night music 🎵🎶

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 3 Feb 2024, 16:10

Listening to some📱🎧 beautiful music this evening on Classic FM.📻 I also found some links on youtube.

Northern lights by Ola Gjeilo

Norwegian Composer
Other works include;

The Rose
The universal

Very good music to chill out with after a busy day of work or study!

Share post

Reading about different faiths 📚

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 16 Oct 2023, 18:01

I am reading about different faiths and cultures at the moment and was interested to read that Muslims believe that Jesus (called “Isa” in Arabic) was a prophet of God and was born to a virgin (Mary). They also believe he will return to Earth before the Day of Judgment to restore justice and defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal, or “the false messiah” —  known as the Antichrist. This is also similar to what christians believe as found in the New Testament.



Share post

Reading - The Thirteenth Apostle 📚

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 31 Jan 2024, 19:06

The book I have just started reading is called;

 'The Thirteenth Apostle'
Written by April D DeConick.

Inspired by the National Geographics release of the first English translation in 2006,  of the gospel of Judas, a second- century text that was discovered in Egypt in the 1970s.

Her fully revised and updated version edition, includes two new chapters 'Judas the star' and 'The Magic Judas' She brings a new and accurate perspective on the subject of Judas the apostle and friend of Jesus, who becomes the one who finally betrays Jesus.

'The Thirteenth Apostle'  has generated fresh debate about this imfamous Biblical figure of Judas.

April D. DeConick
came to Rice University Texas USA as a professor of Biblical studies. She is author of numerous books including - Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas, A History of the Gospel and it's Growth'

Share post

The Scandal of Shrinkflation!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 31 Jan 2024, 19:05

Have you ever opened a packet of food lately and noticed that the portions are much smaller?

The other day I opened my usual brand of kitchen roll and it has become much thinner, so much thinner,  that when I tried to mop up a small spill the paper completely fell into pieces!

My deodrant is now in a narrower can, there's less biscuits in the biscuit packet,  less in the cereals, smaller portions, it is getting ridiculous, what's going on?

There is shrinkflation everywhere! but apparently it is also happening abroad too. In France 'Carrefour'  have been the first supermarket to shout it out. They are now informing the public about this issue and naming and shaming the offenders!

The food manufacturers that are cutting corners, that are chopping bits off soaps, taking crisps out of packets, scrimping on sizes of cans etc. They should be ashamed of themselves treating their loyal customers like this.

The quality and the quantity is falling and the sizes are shrinking!
They do all that but the prices still seem to be going up and not to be coming down!!!

So how is it then that we are getting less from a product and yet we are still having to pay more?

That's the injustice of the capitalist system!

Permalink 5 comments (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Friday, 6 Oct 2023, 20:12)
Share post

Walking through fields!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 11 Nov 2023, 11:23

Appreciating Nature.

There is nothing better than having a lovely long country walk at the weekend, it is incredibly good for your mental well being as well as your physical health.

I usually like to plan a walk in advance, so I take a map of the area that I want to walk,  and my friend S and I we plan the route ahead that we will take. However, if we know the route pretty well we will just walk it, follow the designated footpaths and occasionally we will discover a new footpath,  but mainly it is the old familiar footpaths that we have already travelled upon and have enjoyed in the past.

Today was a sun drenched Saturday,  but with some nice fresh cool breezes. We decided today to walk across the sunny fields  to the next village through wheat fields, vege fields and green meadows , where cattle were grazing near to the little old chapel. There we stayed and rested indoors a few moments in the cool chapel.

When we left the chapel we crossed over the now quiet main road, to the footpath. Followed the footpath down hill, down past a grassy green field, where there were some lovely horses grazing peacefully, there was a beautiful little biscuit-  coloured shetland pony, a piebald horse,  a white horse and a Chestnut mare.  

Further on we came upon a small wooden foot bridge, over a flowing stream, here we sat down on the wooden bridge to rest, with our legs dangling over the edge. The stream was running quite fast as it had been raining recently

 After resting a while we walked again, this time through a lovely ancient cool wood, which contained a variety of tall trees, found a place to sit, a low but strong heavy branch, where we sat and drank a ice cold sweet fruit tea, while  looking out across the fields that we had previously been walking through, bathed in sunshine.

It was cool in the woods away from the heat of the day. I closed my eyes and could feel myself breathing in the fresher oxygen from the trees, it was so refreshing and restorative! especially after the heat we had endured, while walking in the hot fields .We both wished that could have stayed for ages in that wood it was so calm, cool, quiet and relaxing. The smell of the wood and damp earth was quite intoxicating!

Eventually we began wending our way back again through wheat fields,  that had only been harvested a few days earlier , so they still smelt fresh and sweet and had large circular hay bales standing dotted about in the field. The sun was still shining brightly, but starting to slowly sink quite low now in the sky, as the sun was almost getting ready to set. On reaching the cross roads my friend and I we hugged each other, parted, and went our own seperate ways home. It had been a  wonderful day!


Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 17 Sep 2023, 22:56)
Share post

Reading another of René Girard Books! 📚

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 23 Sep 2023, 16:55

'I see satan fall like lightning' by René Girard

Rene Girard (1923-2015)   A french writer and historian, literary critic, and social philosopher. The author of more than 30 books, he taught for many years at Stanford University, and was inducted into the Academie francaise in 2005.

Girard's pioneering work especially in mimetic theory has influenced many academic disciplines from anthropology and psychology to literary theory and theology.

The title "I Saw Satan Fall Like Lightning " was Jesus' reply to his 70 disciples on their return from preparing towns to receive him, reporting that "even the demons obey us when we use your name" (Luke 10:17-18) Girard persuades the reader that even as our world grows increasingly violent the power of the Christ is so great that the evils of scapegoating and sacrifice are gradually being defeated, and a new community, God's spirtual.
visible and invisible, nonviolent kingdom, is coming about even now.

I recently read "violence and the sacred" and I think this book is similar but has a more contemporary feel.

The first chapter concentrates on the Biblical knowledge then the mimetic cycle  The character of satan as the embodiment of evil what his purpose is, his character and how he tries to influence us.

Themes Explored

• Part Two - The enigma of Myth resolved.  

•  Mythology.     

 •   Sacrifice  

  • The Founding Murder.

Part three

• The victory of the cross. 

•The uniqueness of the Bible.  

• The scapegoat             

• The Modern concern for victims.  

• Conclusion.

"René Girard brings our attention to three facts without which we will never make sense of our lives, our world or our faith............" Gil Bailie author of violence unveiled.

English publication 2001.

Well worth a read if you are interested in Philosophy, History, Human behaviour or Theology.

White dappled horse with a fallen rider

Share post

Tomato- Chutney

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 23 Sep 2023, 16:58

Green and red tomatoes


Jars of Chutney


Share post

Making Chutney

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 18 Nov 2023, 13:51

Our kind neighbours had a bumper harvest of tomatoes on their allotment this year, (see above photo!) as they had too many, they gave us a large tray. We decided to make a spicy tomato  chutney. Chutney goes well with cheeses or cold meats, burgers, pies, chips, veggie burgers and so on. It is very easy to make a chutney!


• 1kg tomatoes, chopped

• 750g  Braeburn Apples, cored and chopped but keep skin on.

• 375g light muscovado sugar

• 250g onion, chopped

• 250g raisins/ or Sultanas

• 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped

• 1 garlic

• ½ tsp ground ginger
• 1/2 tsp all spice
• 1/2 tsp Ground cloves
• 350ml cider vinegar
•  1/2 tsp salt if liked

Put all the ingredients together into a very large pan. Bring to the boil stirring occasionally then simmer for about - 1hr 1/2 - 2 hours until it sets. 
When cooled spoon into clean glass jars,, place wax cover on top of filled jar and seal with lid. Label them with date.

Enjoy your chutney!

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 13 Sep 2023, 16:19)
Share post

Une Semaine caniculaire!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 13 Sep 2023, 11:47

Aujourdhui Il faisait tres chaud partout,  presque 30° degrés.
J'ai lu mon livre en français pendant  deux heures.
Je pouvais entendre tous les bruits de mon quartier

Il n'y avait pas de bruits de voitures mais seulement
les voisins qui bavardais dans leur jardin.  Les autres voisins, les plus bruyants,ils avait décidés de partir très tôt ce matin!

J'ai rempli la pataugeoire et pagayé les pieds dans l'eau.en même temps de continuer de lire mon livre.
Le soleil brillait et mon mari m'a apporté un verre de vin. Les oiseaux qui chantais, brusquement devinrent silencieux. Le ciel etait sombre avec beaucoup de nuages.
Tout d’un coup, le tonnerre se mit à gronder. Nous avons attendu quelques minutes puis une pluie battante est tombée ! et nous avons du courir à l'intérieur très vite!
Heureusement J'avais bu mon verre de vin!

🌞🌫⚡☔ 🍸

Share post

More Climate Change!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 6 Dec 2023, 00:09

As the planet gets warmer and the polar ice caps melt, scientists say that the Mediterranean coast, is also at risk from the rising sea levels.

Share post

A Meditation ❤

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 20 Nov 2023, 13:12

Peter tells us that "Love covers a multitude of sins" He echoes the old proverb, "Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all sins"

Christs loving sacrifice for us covered all our sins. Once we realise we can have this wonderful gift from God and embrace it, then in the same way our love for one another and for God covers our sins. Therefore, Love is the fulfillment of the law.

❤ 🌺⚘🌹 ⚘🌺  ❤

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 14 Oct 2023, 19:20)
Share post

Autumn Arrangement - Still life

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Tuesday, 21 Nov 2023, 03:35

Collection of red flowers and pine cones

Share post

Autumn collection - Still life

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Tuesday, 21 Nov 2023, 03:37

An arrangement of flowers and plants

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Judith McLean, Saturday, 2 Sep 2023, 10:39)
Share post

French Books 📚

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 23 Nov 2023, 16:26

Finished studying french for my last module french L332, Now whenever I come across an unfamiliar word in french I look it up immediately in my french/english dictionary or on google translate.
•  Watched the News in french I have watched France24 a news channel you can access it online for free.
I also read le monde and le figaro newspapers online. Now I have finished all my french modules but I am still regularly reading, watching the news in french online which I find very interesting.

Read books in french. I have collected quite a few books from the book shop in the nearest city to where I live. The prices are quite reasonable (2nd hand) If I am really lucky I can even obtain a nearly new copy which is in excellent condition. I also return books that I have finished reading.
I have read the following in french ;

• Jules Verne- Voyage au centre de la terre( voyage to the centre of the earth)

• Victor Hugo - " les miserables,"                  

• "le Bossu de Notre Dame"(the hunchback of Notredam.
• The Poems of Victor Hugo.                 "Madame Bovary"by Flaubert.            •"Germinal" and "Nana"  by Emile Zola.              •"Le petit prince" Novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

• Honoré de Balzac- "Comedie Humaine"  •Marcel Proust- "Swanns way"                 

•"L'étranger" by Albert Camus

•Poems de Baudlaire.

Also read books by these authors;

• Simone de Beauvoire
Collette.                •Philipe Sollers,  •Salinger 

• And many of the books from the "Maigret" french detective series by George Simenon of which I am totally addicted to!!

Now Watching films in french Some fims I have liked to watch are; Les miserables, Germinal "Manon des Sources" and others like  "Amelie"  "Cafe de Flore"  "Paris Je T' Aime"

"Le regle du jeu"  "Jean de Florette"  " Three colours blue"
"La Vie en Rose", "La Haine," "An Andalusian Dog," The 400 Blows" and "The untouchables"     "Portrait of a lady on fire " (2019)I intend to watch all these films just again to make sure I can understand them.

The TV seies "Paris Police 1905"

The detective films like "Maigret" and "Spiral"
And many of the books by french authors that have been adapted for film.
I have also being watching some of the latest modern french films that have been shown on TV. Using the subtitles in english until I become more proficient in understanding french.

Each day I try to keep to studying one or more of these three mediums including online websites each day to try to  keep my french skills polished and up to scratch!

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 31 Aug 2023, 12:20)
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 35296