I thought I would share a couple of my views today. Monday’s are always varied for me and they are definitely full of “moments”!
It’s been a whole month since I last updated you with what’s what, so here’s where we are up to on the Mushy Cloud.
As you might know, I have just finished a four-week placement at another church prior to my BAP (Bishop’s Advisory Panel – selection panel to be a candidate for ordination training) and I am back at my own church this week. The placement itself was a fantastic experience and I met lots of lovely people, as well as learning more about my vocation and what God is calling me to do. I also had a very different experience of how to “do” church and that’s something that I will be reflecting on between now and my BAP.
I was straight back into my own parish ministry on Monday morning at our annual Teddy Bear’s Picnic with the little ones at Stay and Play. We said goodbye to 8 children as they move on up to “big school” in September and we are looking forward to seeing some new families in September when we get back.
Last Thursday (a slight overlap with my placement and today’s ministry) I met a lovely family who were preparing for the funeral of their beloved Gran and Mum, Jean. We talked a lot about what family meant to her and I was moved to hear their stories of her life and how she treated people with love. It was Jean’s funeral today and I contributed the prayers during the service, as well as accompanying the vicar at the graveside. I had one of those lovely moments where my online life met my “real” life, and I met one of my blog friends at the funeral. He introduced himself at the end of the service, and it was absolutely fantastic to meet him in person – hello Andy!!
We are heading off in the wobbly box next week for a few days away in the Lake District. It has been a long twelve months since we were last on holiday and we can’t quite manage the full two weeks this year, but the few days we are going to be away are going to be a very welcome tonic after the hectic (and sometimes frantic) things we have been working through as a family recently. No doubt there will be photographs and updates while we are there, including – I hope – a series of sunset and sunrise shots from the top of Hardknott Pass. Please pray for good weather for that overnight expedition for us. I’m not bothered about having good weather for the rest of it – tea tastes as good under canvas as it does in the open air when it is drunk out of a tin mug – but for the night we decide to do the photography on top of the world it would be nice to have some clear skies so we can see the sun come up properly.
A couple of weeks ago I received a delightful postcard from my blog friend Mary in the USA. It showed a photograph of Niagara Falls and it reminded me of the trip I went on with North Music Centre in September 1987 to the same place. We played an afternoon concert on a bandstand in the park at the top of the falls and I remember the spray from the water managed to wet our music even from that distance away. We also had a trip on the Maid of the Mist boat to the foot of the Horseshoe Falls, which is also depicted on Mary’s postcard. Thank you for the card Mary and thank you for the fabulous reminder of what a wonderful, natural world we live in.
In other news, I am trying to write a computer program that will help with crochet design so am on a crash course of learning coding (my head hurts) and how to apply maths and logarithms to what is essentially a textile art form. Not easy and anyone with any experience who can do this thing for me I will gladly talk to and get help from. I have also been trying to hone my writing discipline because since my degree I have gotten out of the habit of writing every day. I have started to keep “morning pages” and even in the short while I have been doing it I have seen an improvement in my word-craft.
That’s about it for now as I can hear my crochet hook calling me. Here is a picture of a bee I have designed. He doesn’t have a face yet as I’m not sure I like him to have a black or a yellow face. What do you think? The wings are still in the prototype stages too and so haven’t been attached yet. Sigh. A work in progress indeed.
That’s all for now. Until next time, cheerio.
It has been one of “those” days today. You know the ones, where randomness happens throughout the day and you just have to shake your head and say, “well, that was a bit good!”
Well my day has been a bit like that.
First of all I went to Stay and Play this morning and saw absolute genius in action. One of our mums is blind, and she has managed her baby very well with the help of either her own mum or a carer who was there to help guide her around and to make sure that the baby was always looked after. The baby has now grown up a little bit and is toddling around quite happily on her own two feet, but today, the mum came without the aid of either her mum or her carer, instead relying on the help of one of the other mums (a friend of hers anyway) to get her into the church hall and to get her seated and so on. The genius bit was this:
A set of jingle bells round the little girl’s ankle so that her mum could hear where she was in the hall and could track her movements easily. We were all astounded at how such a simple thing could mean such a lot – that not only could the mum enjoy some independence, but that the baby could also enjoy running around without getting too far away from mum. Of course there are always lots of people watching out and interacting with the mums and tots in the group so there would never be any real danger, but how’s that for a stroke of genius to help them both enjoy a bit of living!
Nature was also having a bit of genius this morning too. How’s about these couple of beauties?
Still reeling from the gorgeous skies and cold, crisp air, came a demonstration of something deeply moving. At about 12 o’clock, there was an almighty roar of engines going past the church hall as a big group of bikers made their way noisily up the main road. About 15 minutes or so later, they all came back again, this time doubled in number, going half the speed and leading out a hearse and a funeral cortege down towards the crematorium. The flowers on top of the coffin were in the shape of a motorbike, and the flowers down the side of the hearse spelled out BROTHER in black flowers. What a sight, and what a gesture to witness. Here is a video of the tail end of the procession so you can see for yourself.
Then this evening, I had the utmost pleasure and privilege to sit and listen to the Pemberton Old Band as they were put through their paces at a rehearsal for an upcoming contest. I have been going there for the last couple of months with Ethan, who is playing bass trombone for them, and I have heard the piece they are playing take shape and get generally better and better each week. The band has a great sound and tonight they were pushed to really play proper pianissimo and fortissimo, which was fantastic to hear. There are another couple of rehearsals to go before the contest at the end of the month, and it promises to be a great performance. Looking forward to it.
So there you have it, a couple of things that have made up my day today. Random? Or simply a reflection of the eclectic life I have?!
Either way, today has been a good one.
Outside my window… there are two lovely lavender bushes in pots by the door out onto my deck and their scent is wafting inside beautifully in the evening sunshine.
I am thinking… about how different I feel from this time last week.
I am thankful… that my bout of pancreatitis has finally subsided and I am starting to feel better.
In the kitchen… I made up a pasta sauce tonight from some smoked ham scraps and mushrooms in a creamy sauce. It was delicious!
I am wearing… as my tummy is still very sore I’m wearing my comfy tracksuit bottoms and a wafty t-shirt. For the record, my tracksuit bottoms have never been trackside, and the nearest they have ever come to seeing any exercise is when I amble round the house as I have been doing these past few days.
I am creating… a holiday plan.
I am going… to the northeast of England in a couple of weeks. CANNOT WAIT.
I am wondering… if I can contain my nerves until I see the dentist in six weeks time. Apparently that’s the earliest I can see a dentist as a new patient, but I have a dodgy filling that needs attention and I am not just nervous of dentists but terrified. Actually, make that petrified.
I am reading… “The Darkest Hour” by Barbara Erskine.
I am hoping… that Emma is doing well in Portsmouth this week. She is on a bit of a break with her boyfriend but she has no phone at the moment so I am out of contact with her and it feels weird. We received a postcard from her this morning which was lovely but it’s not the same as having a text or a phone chat is it?!
I am praying for… God’s healing touch in a number of places that are close to my heart.
I am looking forward to… going on holiday in my little caravan with my family and enjoying some time at the seaside with my camera.
I am learning… How to use the camera properly so I can do some proper timelapse photography and some astrophotography. I am also learning how to do some post-production so I can maximise the colours and finish of any decent pictures I might take whilst I’m away.
Around the house… the tide of housework is lapping at the shore. Having been out of action for a little while last week it is taking me some time to catch up on things again and to be honest things are a bit messy. Sigh…I wish I was Canute sometimes!
I am pondering… going out on my bike tomorrow sometime.
A favourite quote for today: “Enjoy life today; yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come”
One of my favourite things… is singing nursery rhymes with children at Stay and Play.
A few plans for the rest of the week: I have some music to arrange for a special service of commemoration that is coming up on 3rd August so I will get down to that tomorrow; I have some campsites to ring tomorrow to finalise bookings; I am going to a healing service at my church on Thursday morning and a Eucharist in the evening in another local church; I will be going to band on Friday night and Saturday morning is Messy Church.
A peek into my day…
These were taken yesterday morning at our last Stay and Play before the summer break. We sang outside again because the day was so lovely, and then we went back inside to have our Teddy Bear’s Picnic and to give out our farewell certificates to those who are leaving for Big School. It was a bit emotional!!
Looking forward to seeing them all again in September, but it will be different without all our 3yr old graduates!
Come and join us at http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ and join in!!