Thursday, 3 May 2018

Updates from the Fens

You wouldn't believe the procrastination I have had to overcome to work out how to get back in here after so long! I had forgotten so many passwords..BUT I'm here now - and glad to be able to catch up.

Thanks for the gentle nudges which have come my way in the last few weeks - lovely to know that you are still here and interested.  Life has moved on significantly here and there is lots to tell! Weird to realise that I haven't been here since last August....

The EFG went back to uni in September and has just today had her final exam. She should get the results on the 25th May and then graduates in June - and I have to fetch her and all her stuff home! She's looking at post grad courses in Edinburgh or Bristol at the moment, depending on the results.

The YFG has had quite a year: she's continued working at the cathedral six days a week and then she has got jobs in two different gymnastics clubs to work to gain experience for doing a Level 2 coaching qualification - and she passed the final assessment for that about two weeks ago! She works in one capacity or another 7 days a week and has not had much time to herself at all. She has applied herself to it all very well and done herself credit. She has also applied to uni again and has accepted an unconditional offer to go to Newcastle to read Geography in September.

And me? I'm working hard in the church, full time now - 37 hours a week. The Superintendent is currently off sick for a long period so I am holding the fort with three supernumerary ministers [retired] and today an acting Superintendent has been appointed to work with us from a distance - he will advise by telephone and email and come over for big meetings but not be here on a day to day basis.

I'm pursuing the process to candidate for the Methodist ministry as a Deacon - this is an Order of ministry which is permanent - we do not have Deacons who are on their way to becoming presbyters. This is the calling I have and I feel very settled on it so I hope that the selection committees affirm it and put me forward. I have a long process to get through and won't know whether they are accepting me until next March.

By that time, [drum roll] I will be married and living in Cumbria!

The chap and I are getting married here in the Fens in October in my big church and the house is on the market so that I aim to move up there to be with him permanently after we are married. If God wills it, the house will sell at the right time and all will work out. Let's pray that it all comes together!

2018 is turning out to be one heck of a year - marriage, candidating, moving house, YFG off to uni, EFG graduating!!  It won't be a year to forget in a hurry....

I shall attempt to come back more often now that I have sorted the password out - and wish you all very well!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Exam relief

The days have passed and it's all getting better now, but the anxiety levels in the house were skyrocketing as the day approached on which the YFG would find out her A level results. She went off to school at 0645 Thursday morning to open the envelope - and it felt like the envelope held so much more than just a piece of paper with some letters on it!

Turns out she's one bright girl - A* in Religious Studies, A in Geography and B in Politics.  She's blown the predictions out of the water and done so much better than she had even dared to hope. The place she was holding at Norwich would have been settled with lower grades, and now that she has the grades in the bag, so to speak, decisions have been made: she's going to reapply for autumn next year, and she can apply to more challenging universities this time around... because she knows what she has to offer.  So here we go again with some open day visits etc, but it'll be fun.......[I'm trying hard to convince myself of this, as this will be the third time!]

The job she has already secured for the holidays is hers to continue after some discussion there yesterday, and she will look for more work to supplement that as it is only 15 hours a week.

The EFG is here for another two weeks and then heads back northwards, I've some more dates booked with the chap from the Lakes, and lots of work to keep me busy. Life continues and we're all looking forward with anticipation - we're all September-lovers who rejoice in fresh beginnings in the autumn. There's a little chunk of me which is secretly quite chuffed to keep my baby at home for another year, but I do appreciate that it is only postponing the inevitable - but she will be saving hard, working hard and I hope enjoying herself as well in this intervening time.

Much love to you all - and I hope that those of you with folk awaiting results or had results are doing OK too xx

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

And here we are again!

I'm grateful to FC for the gentle nudge - blogging today from a cosy little cottage in Armathwaite in the Lake District. We're halfway between Penrith and Carlisle, and the cottage is tucked away from the road in a wee courtyard.  The girls came up on Friday and I arrived on Sunday after the morning service had been delivered.

I had a full day out with them and J [the FH's cousin's widow, whom we have brought with us] yesterday but the girls have gone to a wildlife park today whilst J and I are having a quieter day at home, so far, anyway!

Yesterday we went to Wray Castle, but Hill Top was packed out so we gave that a miss. Huge scones were scoffed in Keswick, and we had a mooch in a few shops there too.  The weather was very pleasant and the driving, although very different from the Fens, was a lovely experience - everything from the M6 to one-track roads with passing places, where we had an incident with a Stagecoach bus! We survived though ;)

I spent the evening with the chap - what a co-incidence that he lives only 9 miles from the cottage ;) We watched some athletics on the tv as he had taken his son to London to the Olympic Park last weekend to see some of the IAAF World Championships so there were heats that he had seen there that he wanted to see the relevant finals for - and it was tense for a couple of the races. We really thought Laura Muir might pull off the 1500 metres but she came in fourth, which seems heartbreaking but she did take it well.  The girls and I met his son the previous weekend and really enjoyed spending time with him: he seems like a very well-adjusted and lovely lad, very keen on being active and sporty, which might be a challenge for us, but he was witty and wry with it, and very realistic about some of the challenges of ministry - he has no fear in telling it like it is!

Hoping to nip over the border into Scotland tomorrow, pottering around in Carlisle and perhaps the cinema on Thursday and then home again on Friday.  The Yeti's going well and I am very happy with it. It drinks slightly more diesel than the Fabia did but that is to be expected, so I am not complaining.

Some challenges continue at work - we tried to appoint a Children's Worker to the circuit team but the candidates were not suitable, the Super's not terribly well, and the rest is in God's hands, as it always is. His constant presence upholds us in all that we do, and I am encouraged by looking back to see all the blessings in our lives, which then enable us to be stronger in our certainty that He will continue to support and bless us into the future. Quite what that future holds isn't as clear at this point, but I continue to appreciate your prayers and support.  The YFG's exam results are the next hurdle and we will be jumping that one next Thursday........

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Jaunts continue

What a month May has been here!  

I've taken a funeral for a fine man with a gracious and patient widow, and because they were URC members of one of our churches instead of Methodists, I have investigated and used the URC service book for that, which was appreciated. 

I've been on a long train trip to Durham for the day - the things we do for love!  A glorious day in which we walked about 9 miles up and down and round the city, went to a beautiful garden, attended Evensong at the cathedral and just enjoyed being together. 

Durham Cathedral in the glorious sunshine

We've closed our village chapel. The last service was well attended and joyful, and it was the right thing to do.

I've sprained my ankle and had some recovery time for that - good excuse to put my feet up for a couple of days. Still aching occasionally but wearing walking boots most of the time is supporting it and I'm doing everything normally again now.

I've bought a new-to-me car.  I stuck with the Skoda brand but I've got a Yeti this time..... Quite a change for me, and the FH would be turning in his grave if he was in one [still in the sideboard] because he called 4x4s "Chelsea tractors" and thought they were an affectation but I love it!  I appreciate being a bit higher on the road and I love all the features, and just feeling that bit more secure.  

The Yeti took me to Cumbria for the weekend to see my love, and it did very well. It was a joy to drive, but the roadworks on the A1 caused a lot of congestion so I came home through Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, and Nottinghamshire and did a lovely tour of the Midlands once I left the M6 at Jct 15. 

Pooley Bridge walk on Sunday after chapel at Penrith

A brief excursion over the border to Gretna and Longtown Sunday evening

We went to Ireby Festival on Saturday where Martyn Joseph was playing - it was brilliant to see him live.  They were handing out leaflets for other music festivals and we were given one for a festival in North Wales. I looked at it hard and wondered what had taken my eye, and then I realised it was in Trelawnyd Memorial Hall and I thought immediately of John Gray!

It was a lovely weekend, but the Premier Inn where I stayed was looking a wee bit tired so I might look at an alternative for next time.  There is another one about a mile away......

And the FH's beloved cousin has entered his last days now. His liver cancer has weakened him dramatically, and yesterday he had stopped responding at all when the carers moved him. He came home from hospital last Wednesday.  I shall have a funeral to do in June, I'm certain.  I promised him that I would do it for him, and we have it all planned so that he has peace about that. 

The EFG is home for the summer, and the YFG is beginning the battle with A levels, so lots of hard days ahead for her until the last one at the end of June. 

Much love to you all. 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Just a wave

Much news but no time!  Will be back soon.......

Have popped in to a couple of your blogs and trying to keep up with some of your news but failing miserably!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Holy, holy, holy

It's Holy Week and the pressure is on. I've got a service on Good Friday in the afternoon, but that's not such a big deal as I did one last year in a completely different area of the circuit so I am fairly hopeful that I can repeat it this year and no one who was there last year will be there to recognise the salient points. Just have to remember to borrow the wooden sword from my friend before she disappears off on holiday Thursday night.....

Easter Sunday on the other hand, is getting complicated: baptism, sacrament and Easter in an hour.....could be a challenge.  I had a visit to the baptism family last week and had a wee hold of the baby - so cute - only born in January!  So out of practice at holding babies am I that I said to the mother that I really needed a cuddle to see how it felt again. He is adorable. Just pray for me that he doesn't wail too much....

And the other question which occupies my thoughts at the moment.... what does one call a man who one is seeing at this age? "Boy"friend doesn't seem right.....suggestions welcome!  The YFG is amusing herself with her own suggestions which are not being taken too seriously. He was here for the day yesterday and we went for lunch with the girls and Grandad and MB: he passed muster, and since he shares Grandad and MB's love of football, they were well pleased with him. He had a tortuous journey home on the train but made it eventually, about three hours overdue.

Today I have accompanied a lady to the CAB in order to help and support her in sorting out benefits, and it has been eye-opening, but well worthwhile for us both. We also had a hilarious time at a Knit and Natter session which was just after the meeting. She's becoming a part of the church family and they are taking her under their wings and looking out for her nicely.

Wishing you all a very blessed Easter holiday season if I am not back again before then. Much love x

Friday, 31 March 2017

Another jolly trip.....

Back to Yorkshire again, to "An evening with Stuart Townend" at Boston Spa Methodist Church, as part of his latest tour.  This was a brilliant evening of worship, conversation and prayer, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  

(image from

I'm facing some fears in my life and doing things I hadn't done before: I hadn't ever driven that far on my very own before, as all our long journeys had always been done with the FH and even when I drove to Aberystwyth a few years ago, I had the EFG with me. So I bought a sat nav, had the car thoroughly checked over, and sailed forth. And got there. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to charge up the A1!

Then afterwards I had to stay in a B&B so that I could visit friends in Lincolnshire on Tuesday on the way home, and I realised that I had never stayed anywhere completely on  my own before either!  But that was fine too... 

We had a whole 9 hours together, the weather was fine and warm, and it was good to be together again. I'm enjoying this!!

In other news, the EFG passed her driving test second time around on Wednesday [huge hip hip hooray] and the society ball of which she has been one of the main organisers is on tonight, and from the photos I have seen, it is a great success. Clever girl!  She's coming home on Monday for three weeks and I am really looking forward to catching up with her properly, instead of snatched conversations here and there.

The FH's cousin who has liver cancer now has sepsis too, has been in hospital for a week but has now been discharged into a sort of "hospice at home" scenario, with a hospital bed in the sitting room, and carers. He is in his last days now, and very pleased to be spending them at home.  We saw him on Tuesday night, and will see him again next week once the EFG has arrived.

I'm taking some time out from work this week - having a sort of "reading week" where people think I am not at work and so I don't attend things, but I am going to be doing a lot of stuff at home - there is a lot of admin stuff to catch up with, and internet setting up, and employment stuff to work on for the new people we want to advertise for, and I just can't do all of that when I am in the full swing of work. So I shall not work the 35 hours and I will definitely have some "holiday" but I shall be pottering about on the computer as well, and then taking more holiday later in the year.  I have plans to repaint my en-suite ceiling and interesting stuff like that....

I have had an interesting conversation with the YFG this week about being money-saving in the midst of this new relationship which is demanding travel. She is keen that I do not become a spendthrift, partly because there would be less in the pot for her, I think ;) She was relieved that I could report to having socked away £500 this month, so I think I have put her fears to rest. For now. Until I tell her about the hotel room I have booked in Carlisle for the weekend at the end of May... but I have time to save for that between now and then!