Yes, I'm now blogging from the north instead of from the east - I moved up here at the end of October, and am just about finding my way around: I still get lost but not as often as I did to start with, and rely less on the satnav to find Sainsbury's!
The EFG is half way through her post grad course at Edinburgh - it is hard work but she is enjoying the placements and working hard. The YFG is entrenched in Newcastle life and producing some satisfying essay results, so we have to be reassured that she is well able to manage sports, social and work lives to the max! She has joined the Gymnastics club and is participating again as a gymnast so we hear tales of what she has been able to do in the gym each week. Next week she flies off to Berlin with the Geography Society for three or four days of adventure, and in the summer, she is going with a group to Uganda for three weeks - there is no stopping this one! There is a fundraising campaign underway as she will be working with an organisation called East African Playgrounds to build a playground at a school, and she has to make a sizeable donation to that cause as well as pay for her trip.
The two cats, his and mine, have settled in to some kind of truce that only brings about hissing if they meet in a confined space like a doorway or on the stairs, but his is out a lot of the time and my old lady cats spends her days sleeping in the sun, so there aren't too many arguments. Mine has yet to step foot outdoors on her own - the girls took her out very briefly at Christmas but she was on a lead. She has settled into the cattery now, having been there three or four times, and gets on well with the owner, whom she allows to give her her medication, which she won't yet let my husband do! He has had the scratched hands to prove his willingness to try though....
I've got a new job working for an Anglican parish in the city as a community worker, 20 hours a week. I just started that last month, so I am really just getting going with that.
Two pieces of news, one good and one sad.... our beloved bridesmaid, my co-worker in the Fens, who wasn't going to let me leave the Fens unless she could be my bridesmaid, died in December, scarcely two months after the wedding. She was diagnosed with lymphoma on 7/11, having gone into hospital on the 5th. She never came home. I went to stay with a friend so that I could visit for two days, whilst she was in Critical Care, but when I left, she was hoping to be moved back to the ward, but she took a turn for the worst, and didn't get any better, suffering multiple heart attacks, and dying just before Christmas. The Fens ministry team, which was the Super, the new minister and I, conducted the cremation service and the service of celebration of her life together at the end of January. It was a very sad occasion but it was a joy to remember all that she had loved, done and wanted to share in life - she was passionate about sharing the gospel and so we reflected on that in the service and shared much of her life with others - the church was packed and about 50 or so folk had to stand or perch on the cushions around the communion rail! That was an accurate reflection of the love that people had for her, and respect for how she lived her life for God.
The better news is that the District Candidates' Committee have unanimously recommended that I go forward to the Connexional [national] committee next month, which is great! It was a very challenging experience to get through, in the same week as the funeral, but it was positive and affirming in its approach, and they were all lovely people. Now I have to go to London next week for an interview with the warden and deputy warden of the Methodist Diaconal Order, and then wait to know the exact dates I'm to attend the national committee - I know which week it is but not yet which 24 hour period. Those of you who pray, I'd be grateful to be included in your prayers as this discernment process continues.
And so I continue to settle into life up here: days at work, days off, trips into the Lakes for walks, the odd cinema visit [Mary, Queen of Scots and The Green Book most recently], odd visits to Newcastle and Edinburgh, exercise - I've joined the local pool/gym and swim now three or four times a week, worshiping with three denominations over the course of each month, taking the odd service here and there, although I shall be back on the plan properly from next month and preaching regularly for the Methodists, but I am also taking occasional services for the Kirk.
God is good and continues to bless us, amongst the challenges, and we are doing well. I'm happy to be here with my husband [he needs an abbreviation if I'm going to blog regularly again!], not far from my girls, and finding my way.....
Thanks for dropping in xx