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Thursday, 30 April 2015

A Man of Many Talents

Next week my dear friend Amy is coming for a few days so once again I am planning a Staycation for me.

There's something about having visitors which makes me look anew at my home and decided to amend things I have put up with too long.  Things like the broken chain for the plug in the bathroom sink, and also the rather elderly plug.  Or the shower head which has seen better days.  Little things which maybe, one day, some time, I'll get around to replacing.  But somehow I never do.

And that's where the wonderful Jack comes in.  You may remember that Jack does a lot of the work in the garden (see what I wrote about him here.)  He also helps me other things including the plug and  chain for the bathroom, not to mention a replacement bathroom shelf.  Before that he had set up the new phone in my bedroom and turned my mattress, set up the small fountain in my garden and weeded everywhere, and right now he's planting potatoes for me.

Have I made you jealous?

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Jeanie has been again today and she's here for a sleepover too.  It is such a joy to have a dog about the house again.  For various reasons I can't have my own dog at the moment, but how I miss my Fido!

Fido came to me from cocker rescue.  His original name was Barney but it seemed as though every other dog that I met was also called Barney.  I'd never met a dog who was actually called Fido and it seemed to suit him.  He had a terrible tendency to catch fleas, despite regular treatment so he had to be kept clipped fairly short.

He was incredibly greedy which regularly got him into trouble as he had no morals and would pinch from dogs, humans (especially children) and bins.  On one occasion he found a pineapple skin and ate it and was VERY sick but got no sympathy from your truly.  Here he had his suspicions that there was something edible under the cupboard and he managed to get stuck and being horrible I photographed him before I rescued him.

His best friend was Toby, my cousin's dog.  One day they demolished a large soft toy between them and Fido managed to wear it,  I call this picture, "His Honour, Judge Fido".

Sadly Fido had to be put to sleep November 2013.  I still miss him but I'm so glad that he enriched my life.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Sue  at had an interesting post yesterday called “Where are they now?”   The “they” she refers to are bloggers who disappear from Blogland without telling the rest of us why.  We’ve all got them on our blogrolls.  Sometimes I put an are-you-OK comment and indeed I’ve had one or two of those left for me.  We get to know a little of each others’ lives here in Blogland and quite apart from being nosy, we care.  Sue pondered why they disappear and I want to ponder the other side of the question, why people write blogs.

For some it’s an on-line diary either in words or pictures or both.  For others it’s a way of getting support or being accountable when going through difficult times.  Some have been through bad times and want to help others with similar problems.  Others want to share their love of something with anyone who cares to show an interest – it might be love of a craft or a lifestyle or a place, bloggers have posted about all those and many more.

So why do I blog?  My other blog, Frugally Challenged, is about projects I have which can loosely be defined as working towards the lifestyle I want.  That means I want to use the resources at my disposal, whether that’s money or time or capabilities, to create a glorious life for myself. 

This blog, Trundling Through Life, is a bit more creative.  It’s where I reflect on the things which are important to me, whether that’s my faith, memories of my childhood or just looking at the world in which I live.  Although I am writing honestly I try also to write creatively, choosing words and framing sentences carefully. 

Why do you blog?

Friday, 24 April 2015

Twenty one today

That’s what I am!  No, I haven’t started counting my age (rapidly!) backwards.  It is twenty one years ago today since I was ordained priest.

Ordination day
It was a wonderful day.  I was ordained with twenty five other women at Lichfield Cathedral and that same evening I celebrated the Eucharist for the first time in Shrewsbury Abbey.  I was among the first women ordained in this country – the very first had been ordained a month earlier at Bristol – and I broke a tradition of over nine hundred years by being the first woman celebrant at Shrewsbury Abbey, founded over nine hundred years ago as a monastery for men.  

These years have been eventful.    I served a further year at Shrewsbury Abbey before becoming Rector of five small parishes here in Lincolnshire.  I have been chaplain to the High Sheriff of the county, chaplain to an ex-servicemen’s association and chaplain to the chair of our District Council.   I have visited in prisons, hospitals and many, many homes.    I have sat with the dying, prepared couples for their weddings and blessed and baptised tiny babies.

Five years ago ill health forced me to retire very early and I thought that my priestly ministry would come to an end.  For a while I was unable to exercise a public ministry as I was carer for my sister who was dying of cancer and emotionally I was stressed out, but for the last four years I have donned the dog collar every Sunday and again I am preaching the Good News of God’s love.

One day I shall not be needed for this sort of ministry for God continues to call younger people and indeed one day he will call me to heaven but I give thanks that for the past twenty one years I have been able to serve him in this way. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

It might seem like a random list

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
Test matches
Glorious gardens
Regional accents
Driving on the left
Saying sorry when it’s not my fault
Fish and chips
The Weather
Stiff upper lip
The Queen
Last night of the proms
Donkeys at the seaside
Saying “How do you do?” and never answering the question
Marks and Spencer
Village churches

It's St George's Day 

(and Shakespeare's birthday).

What else is "quintessentially English"?

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Happy Birthday

I make no bones about it – I think Elizabeth R is one of the best things about The United Kingdom.   

I like seeing the lovely warmth of her smile.  Back in 2000 I nominated one of my parishioners to receive the Maundy Money from her at Lincoln cathedral and when I saw Her Majesty I couldn’t believe the radiance of a lady of 74 as she was then and as far as I can see she has lost little of that glow.

I am in awe of her stamina and energy.  True she no longer does quite as much but she still has an amazing workload.

I admire her devotion to duty.  Few Heads of State anywhere have been in office for over sixty three years as she has and yet she has said she will never abdicate, that her whole life will be devoted to our service.

And today she is 89 years old.  Non-Brits may not realise this but she has had 152 birthdays as she has an official birthday as well as the sort that the rest of us have!

When she was born she was not expected to become Queen but on 9th September this year she will become our longest reigning monarch.  We have been fortunate indeed to have her.

Happy Birthday, Ma’am

Saturday, 18 April 2015


I've got a very special visitor today.  She's called Jeanie.  She's come for a day out to see if she would like to come for a few days at the end of the month.  Normally she looks after a couple of friends of mine but today she's at a loose end.

I'm not sure if  Jeanie realises it but she's a dog.  Few dogs do seem to know that about themselves and most humans are happy to go along with them.  Jeanie is actually that very special breed, a rescue dog.  Others may think of her just as a little terrier but Jeanie knows better.  She has rescued her humans from their dogless state and she's very good at making sure they are happy.  She asks very little in return, just food, a couple of walks a day, and a sunny spot in which to fall asleep.

Oh, and the friendship between Jeanie and her humans has one other very special thing - love.  Every dog deserves that.  And today she has come to bring a little canine love into my life again.  Thank you, Jeanie.
Jeanie (with the light brown hair)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


I've had a very busy few days so today seemed like a good day to go to Normanby Park.

The house was built around 1825 for the Sheffield family.  They were very privileged.

Mrs Samantha Cameron, wife of the Prime Minister, grew up on the estate.  Maybe she too was privileged.

The pets belonging to this family seem to have been very privileged, so privileged that even in death they have a special pet cemetery.

Today at Normanby I was close enough to the deer to look into their eyes.  So no-one is more privileged than me.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Going North

When I was a little girl all holidays involved a journey along the Great North Road.  The very name evoked feelings of excitement for this was the main road from London to the north of England.  It had been the route for mail coaches going to Edinburgh and it passed through many towns and the route became well provided with coaching inns with such wonderful names as the Ram Jam Inn.  Dick Turpin, the famous highwayman was supposed to have ridden the two hundred miles from London to York overnight.  What child would not have a sense of adventure setting out on that road even if instead of pistols I was armed with nothing more lethal than a shrimping net!  

Sadly the old Great North Road is no longer a journey of such romance.  It has been largely replaced by the much more prosaic A1 or the even more prosaic A1(M).  Instead of mail coaches there are juggernaut thundering along and coaching inns have been replaced by Little Chefs.

Today I (with two of my cousins) travelled along a great length of the A1(M), sadly to attend a funeral but we got to our destination near Newcastle rather early having allowed ourselves plenty of time so that we wouldn’t be late.  We decided to do a small detour to visit the Angel of the North which stands proud above the A1(M) guarding travellers.  It is a truly dramatic piece of art and I feel it brings a new sort of romance to that stretch of road.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Tree

In the centre of my front garden is a cherry blossom tree, Prunus X Yedoensis Shaidare Yoshino, which is now in full blossom.

Almost twenty years ago my father died and my mother planted a cherry tree like this is memory of him.  Several years later she had to come and live with me and she left that one behind but she bought another one which Jack planted in the garden which I had then.  When she died I could look at her tree and remember both my parents and I took comfort in its beauty.

Move on another three years and I had to leave that house and come here, leaving my tree but a couple of years ago my nephew and his wife bought me another cherry tree which Jack again panted for me in memory of both my parents and my nephew's mother (my sister) who died four years ago.

The tree is in my garden.  It weeps for it is sad to lose those whom we love.  But even more it is truly beautiful, for I have been left with beautiful memories.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Civic Pride

I was so excited to get my trundle truck back that I just had to go out and enjoy this glorious day.  I just went into Caistor - and that is a lovely thing to do.

People here take a pride in our tiny town.  Daffodils have been planted and benches put at strategic points so we can enjoy them.

The local chapel made a cross of daffodils last Sunday and again there are benches to encourage people just to sit and think.

Our local history is honoured with the old fire station having a cheerful red front door and Horsefair still has its horse - albeit a wooden one!

Natural features are appreciated - I always enjoy going past this spring.  

And this Sunday is our Community Big Tidy Up.  Most people would say we don't need it - but folk around here take a pride in our town.

I like living here.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Back to childhood

I’m well into the swing of cake baking for Auntie Hettie’s party.  (See  

I always did enjoy cake!
We’re expecting about 150 guests so I definitely need a swing!  Others are baking - even her son who is definitely not A New Man is having a go – but the bulk of the cakes will come from my oven.  I made the rich fruit cake before Christmas and I’m now into sponges, carrot cake, tray bakes and the like.  

The thing is, I never bake.  Truly I don’t.  I live alone and most of my friends don’t eat much cake so there’s no reason to wield the mixing bowl.  This week is an adventure not just for me but for my oven, my electric mixer and the various cake tins etc that I have borrowed.  Each day I do a bit more then wrap it and get it into the freezer.

And each day I go back to childhood – I’d forgotten the fun of licking out a bowl!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

A Day Filled With Joy

Some days just bring joy - and today was one such!

I went to this lovely church at Great Limber today.  As I walked up the path the bells were ringing and there to the left of the path were the first violets I have seen this year.

The church was by no means full but we were a joyful congregation, singing the hymns with verve - and they laughed at my jokes in the sermon which always helps!  

Children had made delightful a Easter garden and put (toy) rabbits, frogs, hedgehogs and the like in it that they too might share in the joy of this day.

When I went into the tower there was a cloud of butterflies and then as I walked down the path to my car the birds were singing their hearts out.

Easter Sunday is full of joy!

Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!

What more can be said!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Holy Saturday

Christ was hurriedly buried in his borrowed tomb before the Sabbath could begin.  
For me Sabbath is a day of delighting in God and knowing he delights in me.  But that Sabbath knew no delight, just desolation.

On the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Good Friday

What is good about this Friday?

Nothing feels good.

On this day human beings did our worst.

It feels as though no way could anything be good.

Except God