Today was spent painting. My super-strong, guaranteed-ten-years, black paint was applied to the window frames. And not a moment to soon - the drizzle started shortly afterwards. This is the making of England's green and pleasant land. Warm April showers are marvellous for the garden where buds are on every bush and tree. Row upon row of grape hyacinths are standing like light blue soldiers in their green foliage. The heathers are brightly garbed in purple and white. In the greenhouse the geraniums have successfully over-wintered. The strelitzia is about to burst orange and the bougainvillea is showing signs of life. On the top branch of the cherry tree a lone robin is whistling.
I think we'll leave those anonymouses (or should it be anonymice) arguing among themselves and change the subject.
This is a story about the pointlessness of wealth. A very rich man was told by his doctor that he was going to die. This caused him dismay as he had often been told that he couldn't take it with him. He was a believer and because he had made a commitment to Christ at a Presbyterian church early in his life and he had been told, "Once saved; always saved," and therefore he was certain that he was going to heaven, but the thought of leaving all that he had worked for behind him was unimaginable.
That night he prayed vehemently to God, "I can't leave all this behind; please let me bring something with me."
As he was sleeping an angel appeared to him in a dream. "There are no pockets in a shroud, " he said, "You must leave it all behind."
Even more dismayed, the next night he prayed even more vehemently, "Lord, you have prospered me all my life, surely you don't want me to abandon all these blessings you have given me."
In his dream that night the angel came and this time said, "God has relented; you may bring one suitcase."
The next morning he rang his broker and told hime to liquidise everything and turn it into gold so that that night, as he went to sleep, he had beneath his bed a suitcase full of gold ingots.
In the night he died and he began dragging this heavy suitcase up to heaven. It was an arduous journey, but he finally arrived at the pearly gates. St Peter stopped him. "I'm afraid you can't come in here with a suitcase. You must enter heaven with empty hands."
"But God has given me a special dispensation. He said I could bring one suitcase."
St Peter sent an angel to ask God if this was true and when he returned the angel said, "God did give him this dispensation, but he says that you must check for contraband."
St Peter opens the case and stares at the gold with astonishment.
"Paving stones?" he says, "You've brought paving stones?"