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Monday, 26 June 2017

Family picnics

Way back the the nineteen fifties my extended family had a lot of family picnics.  We used to go to Laughton Forest, a beauty spot about ten miles from home.  Back seats of cars were a bit squashed as everyone heaped into two or three cars and off we would all go.  Each mum packed a picnic for her own brood but everyone just helped themselves from each others' sandwiches and cakes and very little food was taken home uneaten.

Move forward sixty years and the children who pigged out on sandwiches now form the oldest generation of the family.  We seem to meet up very rarely.  Back in 2011 my cousins came to my sister's funeral as we meet at all family funerals but I took a decision - funerals are not the best place to catch up.

Four cousins
And so in 2012 I organised our first family picnic for over fifty years.  Of twenty cousins only thirteen remain.  Some live some considerable distance away, even overseas.  Sadly there have been arguments and although I am in the happy position of being in some sort of communication with all my cousins not everyone is still on speaking terms with everyone else.  In 2012 six cousins and twelve other relations met up.  Since then death and divorce have taken their toll and some people just couldn't come but yesterday four cousins and four others met up at Clumber Park.  

I'm glad we don't just meet up for funerals now.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

I don't like to moan but . . .

Innit 'ot?  I just don't do hot.  With cold I'm fine.  A few more layers of clothing and a wrap, nice hot soup and (keep this secret!) maybe have the heating on all day and cold is coped with.  Hot is a different matter.

I was rather glad that I didn't have a service to take today as it meant I could take the trundle truck up to church for the eight o'clock service.  Now church is comfortable.  Cool.  Quiet.  Lovely.

Anyway, less of this moaning.  I've had a pretty good week (with one ghastly exception) including a card making session at Mandy's.  Here you go.

The ghastly exception couldn't have been much more ghastly.  Auntie Hettie managed to fall out of her armchair while I was with her.  My cousin and I spent six hours in A & E with her.  She's got two really black eyes but no further injuries.  Old ladies of 92 just don't bounce.  

Monday, 5 June 2017


Six years ago I offered to help for one or two Sundays a month at a group of churches not far from here.  It would just be for a few months.

Over the last six years I have led worship on 222 Sundays. conducted fifteen funerals, three weddings and twelve baptisms.  I have prepared two people for Confirmation, visited the sick, and offered pastoral care.

In return I have been loved and appreciated, supported when facing major surgery, helped to recover from a mental breakdown, and encouraged as I have faced increasing disability.  I have been given tomato plants, flowers, cakes, wine and gin.  Those lovely people have laughed at my crummy jokes, forgiven me my boo-boos and made me one of their own.

Later this month they are getting their own vicar and I shall move on to other places where there is no priest available.  Yesterday I took my final service for the Brocklesby Park Group of Churches.  I cried then and I am crying as I write this.  I left with prayers, blessings and an incredibly generous gift.  Thank you.