Travel

This week in my world

It’s been a busy one, I had planned on posting midweek but I was just far too tired to string a sentence, without trying to put together words that made sense for a post on here.

Monday and Tuesday I was working hard. I’m still trying to settle in to my new job and I’m getting really tired while I get used to the really early starts. I’m no early bird unless I’m off on holiday and I promise you, this place isn’t a holiday. I definitely know I’ve earned my wages by the end of the day.

I struggled the rest of the week getting up. I’m more of a late person than and early one and my body clock has been really thrown.

My Dad is back in hospital. His surgery several weeks ago was successful but since then there’s been a lot of pain and fevers and more than one infection.

My newest nephew currently does not have a name, and as of yet I haven’t met him. That’s life, his parents are busy and tired and I’m quite a way away and don’t drive, and I’m busy and tired for my own reasons.

In happy news, train tickets for the September holiday have been paid for and delivered and the campsite has been booked and the deposit paid. Paul and I are most definitely going away this year. We are taking out bikes so we will be able to get farther afield than we have done previously, and with less need for buses.

We travel on the Riviera Sleeper and it may sound silly but it means the holiday starts as soon as we get on the train in London. Last time we went, we were so excited we barely slept, this time I sincerely hope it’s a better night’s sleep. We are cycling from Penzance to Sennen Cove once we get off the train. That’s quite a bike ride on not much sleep!

For today, I’m doing a little housework, a bit of laundry and getting rested. I’m hoping to go to church tomorrow, I’ve not managed to get there for several weeks and that annoys and bothers me in equal measure. I miss seeing the people I fellowship with.

Take care one and all ūüôā

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Categories: Life, observations, Plans, Travel | Leave a comment

So long since I posted, so many changes

I’ve not blogged in ages, I simply haven’t felt capable of it, but I need to as I have plans and this is one way I have of keeping things up to date with myself, know where I am and talk about things I find exciting.

I’ve had a harsh time with depression over the winter. I don’t want to go back over and describe how it feels. If you’ve ever had depression you’ll have a good idea, and if you haven’t it’s pretty hard to truly comprehend the magnitude of it.

That aside, I’ve also got work news. I now have two jobs. I still do my domestic work, but I now also have a part time job packaging food. Mostly dried grans, pulses, powders, that sort of still. It’s easy enough work but the team I work with are truly lovely.

I probably haven’t mentioned my big plan for my landmark birthday. It’s coming in January and I spent quite a long while thinking about how I wanted to mark it. I finally came up with the idea of a long distance hike but couldn’t decide on the route for ages. Then last year I finally caught on (with a little help from a TV presenter) to the idea of the Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk. Yep. That one. It’s really long and will take around 2 weeks. Additionally, because my birthday falls in January, I’m not going on my birthday. The plan is to go in May instead, when the weather should be better. So I’m gathering together the stuff I’ll need for that, and it’s a remarkable amount that’s actually essential, so my luxuries to take are going to be pretty limited. I’m hiking with a backpack over 190 miles for 2 weeks, I need the pack to be manageable.

I think that’s all I have time for this afternoon, I have to get ready to go out now. I’ll post again soon, There’s a lot to say about the long hike!

Take care!

Categories: Beginning, Life, Plans, Travel | Leave a comment

The slowness of the Post-Christmas three days

I’ve been feeling bogged down by this virus today, to my shame I only just managed to get dressed before my groceries arrived. But I have eaten and rested and done some sorting out and planning and I think I’ve managed to retrieve the day. I’ve even found my bike lights, ready for a trip later this week… out on the bike where they’ve been for the last six months – oops!

I can report that yesterday I went out on the Kings House Annual Christmas Outing, which was delayed due to Christmas day falling on Sunday and lots of people having things to do on Monday. There were quite a few of us and we went to Arrow Valley Lake. It was enjoyable although I completely neglected to take any photographs. I’m sorry. I’ll try harder and get something for later this week. It’s a good place to walk, with an easy walk and a longer walk, depending on your ability. I took the shorter one and had some good chats.

Now, back to my list of what I do and don’t need for my next trip! Food is off the list as I’m having lunch with someone, and checking bike tyres needs to be on it as it will save me getting bus fares at each end of the trip.

See you soon!

Categories: Church Event, Life, observations, Travel | Leave a comment

Trevedra Farm and what I did there

I’ve just come home from a camping holiday. It was shorter than I usually go away for, just a few days instead of a full week plus travelling but there were good reasons for doing it this way this year – like the fact that on a bank holiday monday the train fares can be 300% higher than on a normal day. Crazy but true. I needed to save money so in spite of desperately needing the holiday I cut it short and went a few days later.

Trevedra Farm is a working farm and campsite next door to Sennen Cove and right around the corner from Lands End. They’ve built a new reception building that houses the onsite shop and a cafe (the burger van of previous visits is no longer in use). They also added to the shower block – there are now more utility sinks which is a very good thing, it’s a popular site and you can be queueing up with your pile of pots and plates if you time it wrong! They have signs up saying they prefer to improve rather than repair and the changes since my last visit definitely bear that out.

My brother Paul came with me this year. Mum and Dad dropped us at Liskeard train station and we made our own way down Cornwall from there. The perspective you get from the window of a train is pretty good, you see a part of Cornwall that you would never see from a car, certainly not while driving said car. From Penzance we got the bus down to the campsite, Paul sat upstairs getting the best view, I minded the bags downstairs!

It was great taking Paul because he’s not been camping in a very long time and it was nice to see things through his eyes. The fact that we are so close to the sea is something I’m used to but it was amazing for him to be able to wake up and see it in the morning, look over at tea time, look for Longships after dark, try and see the Isles of Scilly through the haze.

The friendliness you find on the site always lifts me. People on their way down to the beach to surf will smile and chat although if they’re after a particular tide it may only be a smile. The people camping each side of us always chatted for a few minutes at breakfast time, people on the way to and from the tap would chat too.

Anyway, on Thursday we walked round to Lands End on the coastal path armed with food and camera and binoculars. It’s not far but on a hot day it feels longer than it is, but we walked there taking pictures as we went – and just happened to see the helicopter land on Longships for maintenance work – and then walked around the attraction itself before walking back again. The coastline along that short stretch is amazing, well worth making sure of a camera for.

On Friday we were still footsore from the hike so we took our food and our sunburn down onto the beach and relaxed. Well, I did, Paul went in the sea and enjoyed the waves. I managed once again to be less than thorough with my sunlotion and having burned my face on Thursday, I burned my legs on Friday. Bad Plan. The only way off the beach here is up a flight of steps. Trevedra is only about quarter of a mile from the sea, but it is just above 100 metres above sea level. That’s a lot of steps whichever way you look at it, and sunburned knees do not like bending, trust me on this point!

Mum and Dad picked us up from the campsite on Saturday morning and we went to St Micheals Mount for a while before heading up the county to Liskeard and a family barbecue. I’ve miscalculated coming here before. There’s only one day per week that the island is closed to the public. Guess which day that is? Yep, Saturday. All the shops were shut, the house was closed to the public and the ferries that run when the tide is in were not running either. We did walk around and take some pictures of areas that we could see but it was galling not to be able to eat in the tearoom there, or be able to show the gardens off. Still it was a nice day, we ate on the island and admired the view and then wandered back across the causeway long before the tide returned.

Dad drove us across most of Cornwall before reaching Liskeard, I think he just wanted to see a bit more than he usually does, which was fair enough. The barbecue went on well into the evening and gave us all chance to catch up with people we hadn’t seen in almost a year and then in less happier circumstances. Stephen gave an amazing demonstration of skipping, almost everyone climbed what is now known as the family tree, the small ones showed off their latest jokes and songs and dances.

Then it was into a real bed and a chance to try and sleep through painful sunburn. It was an exercise in futility but worth trying regardless

Categories: Fun Stuff, Life, Travel | Leave a comment

Resolutions

I have a few traditions, on of them is writing up here what I’d like to do next year. I remember the plans I had this time last year, all the things I thought I was going to do, the happiness. It’s hard to believe that the plans I had made were changed completely within weeks of posting them up.

What I’d like from this year just happens to be a little simpler than before. I want to make a habit of looking after myself properly. I tend to skim on things a bit, ‚Äúwhy bother, no one will notice‚ÄĚ. So, I’m going to take care of myself, boost my self esteem and self respect.

My big plans for the year include going away alone for a few days several times. I used to take camping holidays lasting from four to ten days and just use the time to relax and collect my thoughts. I’m going to do that again. At least two breaks, and hopefully to different places each time, although obviously I do have a favourite place to go.

I shall certainly be continuing my weight loss, I consider it to be part of my self respect mission, respecting myself enough to reduce my weight to a healthy range.

I could sit here and wish for a quiet year but I doubt I’ll get one, not as part of the Jesus army anyway (and I plan to be as active with the Church as I can, shifts at work permitting).

It seems I’ve run out of things to say for now. Among other things I seem to be craving sleep, so I shall indulge that whim for tonight at any rate.

Categories: Food, Life, observations, Plans, Travel | Leave a comment

I’ve been keeping a secret

Sunrise on the way to work

I have been rather mean lately. Something big has happened in my life that I have not breathed a word about and I really should tell you at least something of it.

I got a job. After six months of hunting, my dream job finally showed up and I’m working again, doing something I really love to do. Truth be told I’ve actually been working a month now, but I’ve been pretty tired adjusting to a new routine of earlier starts and occasional later finishes and days off when I wouldn’t normally have them and working through weekends where previously they have been time off to rest etc.

Right. I’m now a care assistant in a nursing home not far from Rugby. I cycle 10 miles a day and am on my feet for all but about an hour of the working day. It is a very rewarding job, something I have been wanting to do for most of my working life. It’s definitely a job for someone who can just see something that needs doing and do it, who isn’t overly picky about whether they might get their hands dirty.

It’s been pretty tiring to get used to though. I’ve had to adjust to getting far more exercise than ever before in my life, and I’ve been used to standing for most of the working day for much of my working life, and the shift patterns are different, sometimes needing me to work longer hours than before. Those who know me personally will know how I get on with early wake-up calls: I now have to get up at six am every work morning. It also means that I can’t stay up late. The job is so active that I need the full eight hours as often as I can get them. It’s not possible to cut into that eight hours more than once or so a week, and certainly not two days running!

I guess from reading this over that it must be easy to see that I’m pretty tired today even though it’s my day off today. I’m hiding from the washing up by typing this in bed!

In other news, I still miss Dan a lot. The last anniversary of his funeral had me off at the knees; I was glad it was a day off work as I would never have been able to paint a smile on, the tears would have washed it away instantly. The time is passing, and i am able to live life, but I’m really rather glad that I never will forget him, even though it does mean the tears from time to time. I’d rather have the tears than no memory of him at all.

Life has changed a lot this year, but the new job really does help me to feel that I’ve come through it and out the other side stronger than the person I was a year ago. I can feel another post brewing already. Maybe normal service will resume here too, you never know!

Take care.

Categories: Beginning, Dan, Life, Travel | 1 Comment

The bank holiday always starts on Friday

I said I’d post about the bank holiday weekend, and I’ve left it at least a week. That’s almost deliberate to be honest; I was very tired after it and while trying to sleep it off all kinds of things happened and I got a virus and on the story goes.

Let me tell you about Friday; all good bank holiday weekends begin on a Friday (some would say that the weekend begins on Friday). Having let the man from the electricity have his way with the meter in the cupboard, I ate lunch, sorted a packup and got on the bus. I took public transport to the Marquee site partly because I wasn’t sure if someone was going who could give me a lift and partly as a demonstration to myself that I could do it and had what it took to get myself to something I wanted to do without being carted around the countryside. This is in no way a slight on the people who kindly give me lifts, it was a challenge to myself not to be lazy and reliant on other people.

Anyhoo, a bus, train and another bus later, along with a short trip into the supermarket on the way, I arrived at the marquee in time to eat my tea along with the set-up crews and Karen; and then help out while various other people arrived at the marquee site and chatted in the way that is normal and expected on Friday night.

Friday night of a Jesus army bank holiday weekend starts with an informal meeting, lots of chat, lots of laughing, hot drinks, snacks and the like. After a good hour and a half of chat and catching up with friends the music group for the evening struck up and we sang together. It was an incredible time of worship and prayer.

Friday night of a bank holiday weekend is not an official or main event, it’s optional. A lot of people decide that since it’s an optional and informal event they’ll give it a miss and do their normal friday thing and not go until the Saturday afternoon event. I have personally always found the friday night events to be unmissable events. They are a very different style to the rest of the weekend, but that simply makes them more special. There was a lot of laughter over things like the choice between wellies and rigger boots and other footwear and who might have made the best choice.

Nothing quite beats laughing with a friend you haven’t been able to chat with properly for a couple of months and believe me, we all made up for it!¬†Finally Beckie and her friends and I all loaded into Beckie’s car and did an errand before dropping me at the train station to make my way home again. I had checked the train times, and I knew that no matter what time things finished I would manage to get the train home. What I wasn’t so certain of was the busses. I knew what time the last one ran but didn’t know if the train would get me in on time… It didn’t. I missed the last bus out to my house by 10 minutes which meant a 45 minute walk back.

My feet were still reminding me about it when I woke up. I can tell you that retro linoleum flooring does have a purpose in this world – cooling off sore feet.

Categories: Beginning, Church Event, Food, Travel | 2 Comments

Real And Wild in Cofton Park 2010

Real And Wild didn’t get off to the most auspicious start in this flat.

As regular readers will know, at the beginning of last week I marked the six months anniversary of Dan’s funeral. I pitched into what felt very much like depression. I couldn’t stop crying, I was struggling to sleep, all that stuff. I barely had what it took to pack my bags for RAW and was more than once on the point of picking up the phone to wimp out and not go at all. I felt really dreadful and felt like I’d only drag everyone around me down and make no useful contribution whatsoever. However, with the alternative of spending 4 days almost completely alone because all my friends had gone off to RAW without me and finding that I was bored and lonely and still tearful, I worked out that going along and being miserable with friends around had to be better than being at home alone and miserable. There was even a remote chance that I might even feel better for going, you just don’t know with these events!

In aid of cutting a very long story down to¬†sensible¬†size, I didn’t wimp out. It took me a while and 3 packing lists, but I got there and by Wednesday evening I had put my bags in mum’s car, fed the cats one last time, locked the door and was off. My RAW experience actually started on Wednesday night so that the car headed for Birmingham didn’t have to do extra miles picking me up.

Thursday morning was something else. Two carloads were going to¬†Birmingham, heading for two campsites. Men and women camped at different locations not that far from the main marquee site at Cofton Park. There was basically a general scrimmage to make sure everyone had the essentials such as jackets and toothpaste and that no one was taking too much stuff as not only were the cars pretty full but the tents wouldn’t have too much space in either when we arrived and pitched up. There was also the additional worry of how Marygrace and I would fare in terms of diet, we weren’t at all sure how diet friendly the food would be and didn’t want to ruin things for ourselves. Cue a couple of coolbags!

Finally we had lunch and packed ourselves into cars and headed for Birmingham collecting Karl on the way. Josh was dropped off to stay with some friends, Karl and Lee were dropped at the Men’s campsite at Cornerstone and finally Marygrace and I headed for Rubery and our own campsite and to locate Kristina who was sharing our tent. Having found the site and Kristina we checked in and applied ourselves to setting up camp. The tent went up in a matter of minutes. It was an easy tent to put up and there were three of us working on it, so after setting up and putting our baggage inside we turned to the neighbourly task of making sure the other people around us got their tents up safely. It was fun. As a regular camper myself tents are not an issue, but it was pretty obvious that some people around us were not natural campers at all and needed help!

Tea was eaten picnic style and then it was off to the main Marquee site to check in there and begin the first event. The tent was set up very differently to how it normally would have been: the back third was partitioned off to make a lounge area with sofas and general comfortable sitting space and a cafe area set up with tables and chairs – The Real Cafe and The Wild Lounge. The rest of the tent was The Main Auditorium. No seats, just staging around the edges, podiums and a baptistry in the centre covered by staging that could be stood or (later it was) danced on!

After a general informal greet session we sat and things began to roll. I’d been dealing with tearfulness on and off through the day and it started again as the evening even proper began. Until a very clear thought came into my head “Yes, you can sit and be depressed and sulk all weekend, its your choice, but you could also chose to let this weekend change you and lift you, you can chose to go with the life here and see what happens.” Well, what’s a girl to do? There was also the thought, most definitely my own, that Dan wouldn’t be the least bit happy if he found out that I’d gone to an event like this and hadn’t got fully involved. Choice made, I stood up, wiped my eyes and started singing.

The first song was one that’s become a favourite of mine. “I sing a song” is how it starts. It reminds me of some of the Psalms where its blatantly obvious that David’s had a bad day, completely down, shouting at the dog cause everyone else has run for cover type day, then he remembers that he has a God he can ask for help and worship, and by the end of the psalm he’s recovered himself and the world is turning the way it should (that’s how I read some of them anyway!) It’s lifted me from the brink of tears to the point of worshipping God and being able to consider that the people around me might be tired and in need of support themselves.

The theme for the first evening event was The Call. Being called out and called to do something. It challenged me. This is never a bad thing. I’m among the many who doesn’t naturally choose the hard road or the hard way to do something. It was inspiring stuff.

At the end of the evening it was back to the campsite and supper and bed. Girls being girls there was plenty of giggling and jokes being thrown around but it was all very good natured and most of us were aware that we’d be woken very early by the sunrise and settled fairly quickly.

Breakfast on Friday morning was over fairly quickly and then we headed for the marquee. A short time of prayer and worship and a Mr Motivator session just to make sure that absolutely everyone was awake, and then it was into the seminars. I and a decent sized group of other girls chose the girls-only session, “Intent on Sisterhood” looking at how we respond to a variety of situations, a question session. I’m skimming a bit here but it was really very good. The second seminar I picked was “Intent on Building” which looked at how we build together. There were a variety of icebreaker style demonstrations of building and working together. Then we formed teams of five ready for RAW outdoors which would happen after lunch.

Here you can see the team name we chose, unusual, but at any rate we guaranteed that no one else would have that name! Having had lunch all the teams were put into groups and sent to different locations for the afternoon. We were in the group that stayed local and we went off to an estate that was only walking distance from the main marquee site. There we had RAW beauty, offering hand massage, nail varnishing, beading, temporary tattoos, crosses and games out on the green. An informal game of football went down well, and some muscles for free in the local gardens was well received too! My guess is that we all enjoyed ourselves and earned the tea that was served up to us in the marquee!

The evening session was themed on movement. I remember being struck as I looked round the marquee at the people gathered around me (pardon me if you are reading and were there) and being struck with the thought that yes, I’m part of a movement. I’m part of a group of people who are no longer children. We can take responsibility and we can push things on, it’s us who get to grab the baton and run with it now and hand it on later. In many ways for a long time I’ve thought of myself as a child, but on Friday night I felt proud to be the thirty-something adult that I am, proud to be part of something that doesn’t stand still, for all that realisation actually is quite scarey to me, it’s still true and its good.

Hotdogs and marshmallows round a slightly damp campfire were the supper scene on Friday night, but more than a few felt the weight of a short night and a long day and chose the warmth of a sleeping bag over a hot marshmallow!

Saturday followed a similar pattern to Friday, in that we had the same titles on the seminars, but the girls had a beauty parlour with a difference. The straighteners of truth, straightening out the twisted words we feed ourselves that wreck our confidence, the lipstick of gentle words, the blusher of joyfulness, the mirror of truth, and on it went. I can’t remember it all, but I couldn’t help thinking that no one in that group of girls would ever wear make up again without thinking of what we’d just learned! The second session I went for was “Intent on Flying” – are you nominal or phenomenal, complete with tug-o-war!

The group I was in for RAW outdoors was sent to the city centre to meet people, hand out sweets and crosses, invite people back to the evening celebration, pray for people, whatever seemed right really. I’ll tell you now that this sort of thing was what I had been dreading. Garden work, great! Games, no problem! Evangelism and outreach; well, I’ll make the tea if you don’t mind! The choice thing came back to me again, I could sulk and hide, or be confident and give these people a chance of a lifetime to meet a God they could have a lifetime relationship with. No choice really… So sweet and crosses it was. I prayed for some girls when they asked for crosses, which actually felt great. I’d never prayed for someone in the street before, but these girls had genuine things they were concerned about, and I was so blessed to be able to help.

After tea, the evening event was themed Forward. There was loads of food for thought in it. Far too much to list; but very much, what will you do next, there’s a world out there filled with people who feel that no one cares, are you going to be someone who works to change that? Who will you tell about the experience you’ve had? One shout went out “everyone”, and the response was quick, “no you won’t tell everyone, you won’t tell anyone if you say that!” There were baptisms and much celebration generally, it being the last session of the whole event most people wanted it to go with a bang.

The campsite was strange to return to on Saturday night, a good third of the tents had gone, we were all under strict instructions to be back in time for our own Sunday morning meetings at 11am, so that meant some people had to leave on Saturday night rather than have supper and sleep over and clear up in the morning. Marygrace and I packed away in the morning, to the shouts of Jesus Christ is Lord as people finished their own packing and cleared the site in small groups.

Breakfast over and all passengers collected from their various locations, we made it to our own meeting at the Coventry Jesus Centre with 5 minutes to spare. Sharing about the experience was pretty big for me. I can chat one on one but trying to talk to as large group of people is pretty scary! Nonetheless, I did it and so did some of the others who went along. The rest of the room seemed to like it anyway, so that was ok.

Now, I’ve told you all, I know its long, but I hope I’ve been able to draw you a picture of how it went and how much I enjoyed it.

Categories: Church Event, Food, Hope, Life, observations, Travel | Leave a comment

One day I will learn

Fountain and Nelson's ColumnOne day I will learn how to live life without wearing myself out completely!

I went to London on Saturday to join the Jesus army’s London Day. It was great. Full of colour and sound and life and friends. I didn’t take loads of pictures, but that’s just me. I live life at the time and kind of forget the camera dangling from my wrist like a Wii remote from a tired child’s!

I did take some pictures though, which is just as well; three days after the even I’m still worn out in spite of having done the minimum and trying to rest as much as possible.

We gathered at Hyde Park Corner to start and made our way through Picadilly Circus and on to Trafalgar Square. As is normal on such occasions, there were whistles and horns and dancing people and flags and banners and loudpseakers and stuff. I’m not doing it justice here at all!

Trafalgar square had a large stage set up at the foot of the column and from there a variety of dramas and dances were portrayed for the great and good of London to witness.

I have to confess that by the time we reached the square I was pretty tired. I had breakfast at 7am, and we reached Trafalgar square somewhere around 1pm. Nothing to eat before I got there, and not much to drink, having tried to travel light on the march. I snacked on my packed lunch over the next several hours, but didn’t really find somewhere I felt I could sit and tuck in properly. I did find friends to chat to around the square and was able to give one in particular some very real help in terms of pain relief.

It wasn’t a bad day, but I’m realising as I record it that much of it is coloured by the fact that I was tired then and haven’t managed to shake it off now. I did desperately need to be able to find one person to sit and chat with, and while I was able to chat with people, there wasn’t really one proper spot that I could sit that wasn’t covered by a person or by spray blown from the fountain. Hark at me whinging at my one-day-per-year trip to London!

I’ve been resting since then, I stayed in bed all day Sunday; and yes, for those who wonder, it did feel wrong not going to church. I’ve got to sign on tomorrow, but I could really do with staying home and resting some more!

Enough whining from me, I’m going to resT up and see if I can shake this cold bug thing that’s grabbed me lately (yes, thats a lot of why I haven’t posted sooner and am in such a poor me mood now!)

Take care.

Categories: Fun Stuff, Life, observations, Travel | Leave a comment

What a weekend

I’ve just got back from Blackpool. I went to meet Jim and Helen and some of the other friends I’ve made by visiting their chatroom. Given the timing I was rather apprehensive. It was Dan’s 5 month anniversary a week ago and today it’s his 29th birthday. I’d had a hard several days before I left and I was concerned that I’d cry all the time and spoil it for everyone else; but I’d promised to go and I’d got the bus ticket, and I wasn’t going to waste the money. Besides, there’s the sea close by, that’s always a good place to go.

I woke up stupidly early on friday morning. I’d set the clock for 4:30 but my bodyclock kicked in at 3am. I decided to get up as trying to get the extra 90 minutes would have left me feeling awful and would probably been a¬†futile¬†exercise anyway. I left for the train station at ten to four in the morning. Left me tell you that right after mid-summer, dawn arrives at 3am and by 4am, sunrise is looming.

Anyway, you don’t need to hear the mutinae of how my journey went, save that it was long and sunny and I started another knitting project on the way and had a lovely chat with the lady across the aisle from me.

I could give you a blow-by-blow account of how it went, but there’s no need. I was met, provided with coffee and made to feel welcome. Through the afternoon more of the chatroom people arrived and were met with a full mug of something. Helen is more than a chatroom host, she is a tiny dynamo always with one eye on making sure the people around her have what they need.

Food was set out and one by one we vanished to get changed for the evening. Then things went a little wrong. You see, we had planned to have the chatroom running exactly as normal but to set up a working microphone so that there wasn’t umpteen laptops trying to run, we could have just one projecting the chatroom on to a screen and we would talk to the people in the room and they could type responses. Except that the server had a power surge and some components got fried. The owner of the website we use promised to be up all night until the problem was fixed, and bless him, he did exactly that, but it was too late for out planned party online. The next best option we had was to record what happened all evening, store it, and then broadcast it another night.

So we had a good night. Singing hits of all kinds, eating and drinking and generally putting names and ID’s to faces. I’m not going to relay everything, it would take too much time and space here, but I will say that Helen had to send me to bed when I finally fell of my chair and started dosing sitting upright on the kitchen floor against the cabinet, when I’d been awake 21 hours.

Saturday morning Jim proved that he has more talents than simply providing music for chatrooms. A full cooked breakfast for about 10 I think it was. It went down well. Then Helen kicked us out to go down the seafront or go into town, whatever we felt like doing; while she cleaned the house up and got ready for the second evening of the weekend.

Saturday night was less formal and the chatroom was up and running as it should be, so we did very much the same again, singing, eating drinking and playing jokes on people.

I haven’t laughed so much all year. I’d been concerned at how my mood would be, but it was very quickly obvious that I didn’t need to be, that these were good people. I was able to forget what has been happening and just think about the moment.

On sunday, breakfast was a muted affair: Jim was on to Lunch. One of the guys had won the quiz that is run on a weekly basis, and said that instead of the normal prize he’d prefer a cooked sunday lunch. So we got sunday lunch. Boy, did we get sunday lunch! It was gorgeous.

After lunch, the departures began. Some people had long journeys and there was the football match as well, so cars and bags were pack and people waved off. My coach wasn’t til the evening, so when the football started I whipped off down to the beach again and wandered along taking pictures and watching the birds and generally enjoying the quiet and watching the tide go out. It was far too short, even if it was 2 hours; but I had to get back, the match was over and my coach was going to go whether I was there or not.

So ended a great weekend with good people. Jim, Tink, Don, KD, Paul, Cal, Ady, DerbyDog, Matty, TechVac, thank you for making it so good.

Dan, as always, I love you. Happy birthday to you, my own personal angel and sunbeam. I hope I did you proud this weekend.

Take care!

Categories: Dan, Food, Fun Stuff, Life, Travel | Leave a comment

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