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Wednesday 29 September 2021

How is it for me?

Thank you for all your good wishes.  I've now been home fr a couple of days.  There was a suggestion that I should come home the day after the op but I resisted very firmly as there would have been no-one here. 

My lovely nephew will be staying until Friday.  I have set up an "SOS family" on Alexa so that she can call for help if I need it.  It's quite a lot cheaper than the usual Lifeline system and I feel it is better as it doesn't rely on me remembering to wear the alarm.  I feel very blessed as there is no shortage of kind friends and family offering to be on my SOS family list.  

I also feel rather lucky that I don't have to wear those horrid surgical stockings!  My legs are in such a mess (from previous accidents and surgery) that I can't tolerate them so I have extra medication to prevent blood clots.  I've also got pain relief to take and that makes the exercises less uncomfortable as well as making sure I can sleep at night.  

Monday 27 September 2021



Home again!  I had surgery Saturday and came home this morning.  All is well.  I am in far less pain than I expected, except at night.  My nephew has come to keep an eye on me.  God's in his heaven, all's right with the world

Tuesday 21 September 2021


 I'm quite busy at the moment as I prepare to go into hospital for the knee replacement.  And I have so much to be thankful for!  

Today is World Gratitude Day.  And I am so grateful for all the love and care I am receiving right now.  My nephew is coming to spend a week with me which will be quite difficult for him and I am very grateful.

He will have to go into work one day while he is here but the friend I phoned to ask her to come that day not only said "yes" but also. "I'm so pleased that you asked,"

Annie-the-Home-Enhancer has agreed to come more often until I can do more things for myself.  Jack too, will be keeping an eye on me - and I'll bet no-one is surprised at that.

I'm grateful for the skill of the surgeon and the rest of the hospital team and I'm also grateful for our wonderful NHS.

Thank you!

Sunday 12 September 2021


 I've been feeling a little anxious all week.  During the pandemic I haven't been much involved in leading worship and have only done so with another priest but today I was alone.  To add to my anxiety my service was at Sixhills, a church I had never been to before.  A dear friend and fellow priest e mailed me, . "Remember you are not flying solo.  There is a far greater high priest standing alongside you. "

All Saints' Church, Sixhills

So off I went to Sixhills.  Isn't it a dear little church!  And there was a lovely congregation of about eight.  There was an organist so we were able to sing (keeping masks on) and they've said I'm allowed to go again so probably I was OK. 

I probably won't be leading again much before Christmas as I have to isolate before surgery and then expect to take a while to recover and get on my feet.  The memory of today wll be important.  

It's good to serve that Great High Priest

Friday 10 September 2021

It's good to talk!

Ever since the first lockdown started I've had a monthly zoom with a couple of friends, Sandie and Jan. (Before that we used to meet for pub lunches.)   They are sisters and I can't remember not knowing them.  We are "Coffee Kids", still kids despite our ages ranging from 69 to 77!

Back in 1954 a group of eight women decided to meet each Tuesday and they continued to meet every week for over fifty years.  At first it was a cup of Nescafe, a real treat in those years of post war austerity.  (Anybody else remember those tiny tins of coffee powder? )  They were The Coffee Girls.  It's hard to think of a similar group today as most women go out to work but I suspect that in those days some sort of a meet-up was an important defence against being driven crazy by the endless round of caring for husband and children alone at home.

As well as the weekly Coffee Morning they had days out together, they had parties, when one couple bought a narrow boat they had day trips on the canals.  Those women and their husbands were all Aunties and Uncles to me.  

The last four Coffee Girls in 2002

As years went by inevitably those Aunties and Uncles died.  Around twenty years ago I had a party for the four remaining ladies at that time and as many Coffee Kids as I could trace.  It was good to catch up with everyone.

So, once a month, Sandie, Jan and I, each in our own homes, make a cup of coffee and settle down for a chat to celebrate a friendship of 67 years.  

It's good to talk.

Thursday 9 September 2021

At Last!

To be replaced with chocolate - please!

 "The letter" arrived yesterday!  I will be having surgery on my knee in less than three weeks.  I will be going as an NHS patient to a small private hospital in Grimsby and I expect to be there just one or two nights.  

I am inundated with offers of help.  I am so lucky!  I have offers to take me to hospital and to fetch me home.  Someone will sleep here to make sure I am OK.  Jack and Annie (my home enhancer) have both offered extra help.  Others will shop, cook and odd-job for me and I suspect I will be checked on so much that I will be lucky if I get any sleep.  

And I am so grateful!  Grateful not just for the offers of practical help but also for the love and care behind them.    I am truly blessed.  

Wednesday 8 September 2021


 We may all speak English (of one variety or another) but we all manage to use words which confuse or puzzle other nations.

My American readers seem not to have come across greengages before,  Actually, when I think about it, some British readers may not have come across them either.  I've never seen them for sale in a supermarket or greengrocer, just the (very) occasional wayside stall and even then, I can't remember when I last saw them for sale.  

They are tiny plums, green even when fully ripe.  They have quite a delicate flavour compared to, say, a Victoria and certainly they are much less highly flavoured than a damson.  They are slightly tart and, other than in jam or chutney, I've only ever eaten them stewed.  They have a stone which is quite large considering the size of the fruit and I had to stone around 150 greengages to get one kilo of stoned fruit.  I've put a £1 coin with the gages in the photo to give you an idea of size.

Rumer Godden wrote a book, "The Greengage Summer" (never read it myself) which was made into a film starring Kenneth More and Susannah York in 1958.  It was released as "The Loss of Innocence" in the USA.

Tuesday 7 September 2021


 Hi Everyone!  Jack here! Hope you're all keeping clear of covid.A few weeks ago the vicar asked me to clean and wash something which had been outside for a good many years,  To do this I needed to wash it with washing up liquid and I would need something to dry everything down.  Well, to my embarrassment she gave me something unusual.  I know she likes to recycle things when she can and get her money's worth out of everything but the item she gave me was a pair of old knickers!  I was flabbergasted!

Another time we were talking on the phone pone morning  we were discussing how well we'd slept the night before.  She told me she was "hot in bed", once again causing me embarrassment.  You don't expect a woman of the cloth to say things like that but at lest it proves she is human like the rest of us!  I wouldn't want her to change.

She's been a bit poorly of late and she asked me to pop in one night after I'd been to my caravan.  I pulled up outside her house and with me was a partially sighted lady whom I help a lot, and my twelve year old granddaughter.  She made them very welcome.  Homemade scones plus jam and cream were served up while I did some hobs for her.  Not only did I get scones there but she gave me scones, jam ad cream to take home.  I gave some to the lady who was with me.  There were still a lot of scones left so I asked the vicar if I could take some to her neighbours.  They also give me more stuff to take home.  

I'm pleased her garden is producing nice things for her to enjoy.  It makes my job worthwhile.

I'll blog again soon - in the meantime, keep smiling

Sunday 5 September 2021

Getting ready for winter

For the first time this season I had the heating on.  Just for half an hour this morning but it went on.  First real sign of autumn.

Greengages galore¬
Another sign is the receipt of gifts of fruit and veg.  One of Jack's other clients has a greengage tree in her garden and she used to leave all the fruit to rot!  Jack changed that!   For the last couple of years I've had to get the jam pan out to deal with the fruit.  Yesterday he brought me "a few gages", about five kilos!  Anyway, today I have made four jars of jam for him and two jars of chutney for me.  I shall make more tomorrow.  Some of it will be useful as Christmas presents.

The freezer too is filling nicely, this time including produce from my own garden.  I've frozen loads of runner beans and a few carrots and there will be more to come.

Some of the broccoli prepped for freezing

Yesterday I got a "Waste not" box of fruit and veg from Lidl and there were about 600grammes of tenderstem broccoli as well as strawberries, mushroom, grapes, plums, nectarines, tomatoes, peppers, apples and celery.  This box of joy cost me £1.50 and I won't waste any of it other than one mushroom.  As tenderstem broccoli is on special offer at Sainsbury this week at £6 per kilo you won't be surprised that I've been extra zealous in making sure none of that will go to waste!  Even the ends of the stems got mixed with some asparagus stems from the freezer to make soup.

Jack planted quite a few broccoli in the garden last week so I will have lovely fresh veg with my Sunday lunch in the deep of winter.