Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter

He is Risen!

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And we have made it to the Easter weekend break. It feels like a relief as tomorrow I have a day off, and I am ready for it!

Every day during Holy Week I have been walking 10,000 steps [roughly a little over 5 miles] in order to raise money for Care International to help girls attend school in developing countries by providing water pumps in their villages so that they do not have to walk to fetch water. I committed to walking that many steps each day, including today, so I am hoping to get the walking done before Storm Katie hits us - she had better hold off until tomorrow.

I have actually already walked the 70,000 steps necessary but since I said I would do it each day, I will - I have a choice, but the girls who walk for water have not the same luxury of choice and so I will walk today in their honour.  This cause is important to me, as someone who has received a good education and who works to promote equal opportunities and good education for the village children here, and I want all children to have access to education too.

I've had a good level of support and think that I will have raised just over £200 by the time all the money so far pledged is in, so I am pleased with that as the original target was half of that.

Each day I have been walking with some music to keep me company but yesterday I finally managed to get someone to come with me - the YFG accompanied me because I was lucky enough to borrow our friends' dog!  That was encouragement enough to get her to tag along, but whether I shall be so lucky today will be another matter!

I'm taking the village chapel service this morning at 10am, UJ is here for a roast lamb lunch, and then I shall be walking in the afternoon before I go to help out at another service this evening.  And tomorrow - my feet will be up and I have a film to watch whilst the wind howls down the chimney.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016


I'm now on my FIFTH car of the month - I started off with Susan, I've borrowed UJ's car, I've had a hire car, I've test driven Fiona, and now I'm on number Five!

Why a fifth?  

We went along to pick up Fiona, only to find out that she had failed the MOT as the central locking wasn't locking!  They had ordered the part and it should be there this morning.  I was more than a little disappointed, but on the other hand, better that they discovered it and put it right than it happen when it was my responsibility.  I did ask for them to deliver it, since I did not want to go all the way back again - and they gave me car number 5, a free courtesy car, for today.  This one is bright cobalt blue and a dream to drive.......shame I can't keep it!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Seriously Skoda

The part has not yet arrived for Susan :(

I bought another Skoda Fabia today :)  

I think she might be called Fiona, but I haven't quite made up my mind. She's petrol blue but actually runs on diesel and is a 12 plate.  She's coming home on Tuesday.  Relief all round.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


Sometimes it seems that the world's conspiring against you, and it is very draining to see money spiraling away from the bank accounts in a seemingly never-ending flow.  I've had the chimney fixed and not had the bill, but I know that the hire of the cherry picker to do the job was about £180 before the chaps touched the chimney!  Then there is the car, and the hire car, and the parts I have ordered, and it seems that that situation may not be remedied straight away........

In times like these, I do something which seems to some to be very strange - I start giving things away. It's a trust issue. It says to me and to God that I trust He will continue to care for us, and that we will be OK. That this drain will stop and that actually, I have enough, and so I can spare resources for others.  I have just made a donation to the Salvation Army online, and I shall be making a donation to the local food bank today as well.  It makes me stop and think about my own feelings towards resources and having "enough" and just how blessed we are.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Susan the Skoda

Susan the Skoda is feeling a bit poorly. She may actually be terminal......  We bought her back in 2012 from a friend, and she has been doing incredibly well for an older car - she has now achieved over 172, 000 miles, and was going very well last Thursday.  Friday morning, she sounded like she was sickening for something and was very reluctant to get going in the morning [know how she feels!] so I went straight to the garage we always use in the village. Chap agreed that she didn't sound right but couldn't fit her in until Monday.

I did ask what he thought about me going to the city to take the YFG to physio and he didn't recommend it, so I had to cancel that appointment. When I left the garage, I pottered slowly to the chapel where I parked her on the road outside and then went over the road to the school for a meeting.  Meeting over, worship lunch at the chapel done, and it was time to head home.  She really didn't want to start that time, so after a couple of attempts, I left her there and walked home, leaving the key with the chap at the garage on the way past, and asking him to recover her.

Long story shortened, I called in there today to see how it was progressing and it isn't!  We have ordered a part from ebay to see if it is the problem, because he really isn't sure and it isn't worth buying the part new at £175 if it may not be that. Since the value of the car is likely to be only a couple of hundred at most, it really isn't worth taking her in to a Skoda main dealer and having them spend hours of expensive labour on her.  The part will be at Argos on Wednesday so I can pick it up then and we can see if she feels better after that has been fitted. If not, she's probably off to the great scrap yard for Skodas.  Bless her, I don't want to write her off before her time is up, but I would quite like a new car - and I have seen one locally that would do.  Watch this space!  Serious savings will be on the cards if I have to go down that route.

In the meantime, we have a nice Ford Fiesta on a 65 plate from Avis so that I can keep going to work to earn the pennies!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Lent competition

Lent has sometimes felt like a competition between our ministers to see who can trouble me the most deeply with the Lent reflections course that we have been doing.  First, she who must be obeyed [who is lovely!] said I could do the third of the sessions, which was a bit of a leap in the dark, and then this morning, he who must also be obeyed [who is also great] phoned me when I was half way to the first group, and let me know that he was stuck in traffic and if I got there first, we could begin......yes, begin what?!  I had nothing prepared so I was very relieved to see him arrive dead on time!

We've been following a course recommended by Churches Together in Britain, about Pilgrimage. It is a bit tricky as these things go as there are no proposed questions or lines of thought to follow, but just four or five reflective pieces of writing, some prose and some poetic, to use as conversation starters.  Today's theme has been "uncertainty".

I attend each week's group in three separate places as we seek to try to bring the opportunity to as wide as possible an audience across the area that we cover.  10am in the north, 2pm in the middle and then the evening session is out to the west.  An hour at each one, and about 75 miles done over the day - and each time, I listen and hear something slightly different.

I struggle immensely with having to discuss something which I cannot see, but have only heard read aloud once, so by the third session, I am beginning to have coherent thoughts; it means that I do understand some of the comments of the others attending that this is a difficult course.  I shall have to give some feedback to the leadership team tomorrow when we have a chat.

I shall talk more about this theme of Uncertainty another day when I have thought about it more, as it is all very fresh in my mind today and I am not sure I would be very coherent if I tried to explain my thoughts tonight!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Clocking in

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Yes, popping back in here this week.  It seems that a weekly post might be the thing to aim for at the moment, as daily chatting is just not going to happen in this season.

The Circuit meeting was happy to extend my hours on Tuesday night so I am officially working 30 hours a week now, and kindly agreeing to pay me overtime for the extra hours I had worked in February.  I did also get a clear instruction not to do any more than that though!  I had to give  report on the work I have been doing in the past six months and the meeting seems to be generally pleased with what I am getting done.  

The Dane's great grandmother died on Sunday and so she is having a difficult week. Things happen quite differently in Denmark in that she was cremated on Monday [Monday! the day after she died - that would be impossible here as the queues for appointments at the crematoria seem to stretch into weeks in some places] and her thanksgiving memorial service is today. The ashes are likely to be interred today as well, she thinks.

Parents' evening at school tonight so I will be dashing between three sets of teachers for them all, and hoping for good reports.  I expect good reports, as if there had been any problems, it would have been wise for the teachers to have told me before now!

It is daffodil season in the Fens now - in full swing - and there are glorious spots of bright yellow everywhere!  It is lovely.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016


There are daffodils bursting out all over the place and the morning started off clear and sunny but we have just had snow, hail and rain.......has spring decided not to?  The lambs in the field outside the village will be thoroughly confused this morning.....

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