Wednesday, 30 November 2011

There are complete Fig roots over Angkor Wat!

At last - Fig roots over Angkor Wat is complete! Our table can be cleared. The Curate can go back to work  :) . That is the best £3.50 we have spent - hours of entertainment and distraction from work. We bought this in a charity shop so we will be returning it when we next go into town. We will remember it fondly as it is the first puzzle we have completed together ( I did hold onto the final piece!). Our old age together is ensured, as there is a world of puzzles waiting for us.

Blogging the progress certainly worked, The Curate was determined not to have an incomplete puzzle blogged for another week! 

 See progress here:-
week 3   week 4

Monday, 28 November 2011

Persimmons, pomegranites, poached pears and pots of marmalade - home making..

As the year rolls through the Autumn season towards winter, so I am beginning to feel a sense of belonging in our new surroundings. We have moved the furniture around to try and make better use of the limited space.Our dresser tends to be a bit of a dumping spot so moving this with all its contents, made me realise how we are starting to settle in. As well as the wonderfully coloured pomegranates and persimmons that I couldn't resist buying in the market, there is an   odd collection of objects to remind me to count my blessings.

* We have had wonderful support and help to look after our dogs when The Curate has had training days or when we have had to go away.  On the dresser there are souvenirs of our travels: - a Moroccan, henna patterned finger drum, bowls from Andalusia and a camel from our son in Dubai.(There is also a card on the shelf from our amazing friend and neighbour in our last parish who we relied on.We wondered how we were going to cope without her in this parish .)
* An unexpected pot of homemade marmalade was left on our doorstep as a thank you to The Curate. We would like to have invited them in - maybe next time.

* We have enjoyed the company of new friends and The Curate and I enjoyed a day of shopping and cooking together to prepare for the meal (I did the seasonal poached pears). 

* I have managed to have conversations with people that are not about church or The Bible. These are The Curate's department, - I don't mind talking about these - but I would like people to get to know me. I'm interested in art and local crafts - hence the jugs and bowls on the dresser.

*  There are a few dried flowers saved from the flowers that were given to me when we left the last parish. We regularly  think about everyone 'up north'.

* The Toby jug reminds me of my father (he didn't look like that!) as it belonged to him and the balloon lady belonged to my grandparents. My mother gave me the unusual bronze ceramic jug. I am fortunate to be part of a large family,although we are not geographically very close to them.

* We  have a garden (even if it is a little challenging in location) and space for the dogs and the ring of dried red chillies grown in my last garden, reflect my love of gardening and being outside.

* There is a dish of lollipops left over from Halloween - we didn't have any callers this year (maybe next year) so The Curate is helping himself to these.

* The Christmas decoration was accidentally left out of the parcel to oldest son, who will be in Australia /Malaysia for Christmas. He and his girl friend decorated the dining table with the two red candles when they cooked a meal for us here earlier in the year.

* The tankard was given to The Curate by younger son and celebrates a significant birthday and The Curate's enjoyment of home brew(ing)!

* The ceramic bottle stopper was from NQT - younger son's girlfriend  - as usual the bottle is empty so only the stopper remains.

Today there are a few more bits and pieces on the dresser since I took the photo - pieces of The Puzzle, cameras, a photo...It is when I look at these things that I realise that we do have a home here, -  not just a house.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Autumn walk to Little and Great Mis Tor

Setting out with an easy objective of  reaching Little and Great Mis Tor

The weather was perfect although the light was a little hazy.

The Curate feels the need to hold up Little Mis Tor.

At fourteen years old, our Lakeland still manages to keep up. She blends into the autumn coloured moor perfectly.

The light is fading as we head down again so we quicken our step.

Time to head home.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Finding strength and space.

The buzzard was still in the same spot - watching over his territory. He seemed less surprised to see us this time and hopped down onto the ground, unperturbed by our stationary car. Perhaps we were no longer strangers as we we were returning to our favourite 'time out' spot.  No walking this time, just a chance to clear my lungs in the fresh air and soak up some of the stillness.
I was unfamiliar with buzzards until we moved to Devon. On the day of our move, the sky was a clear blue without a cloud to be seen. We were faced with what appeared to be an insurmountable problem - our furniture didn't fit into the quirky cottage we had just bought. The small rooms with two foot thick walls could not be stretched  to fit the last loads  - so our garden  was now furnished with table and benches and a chest of drawers. (Little did I think then, that I would face the same problem twenty one years later.) We lay on the benches looking up into the sky and we thought we were so fortunate. And that was when I first heard the cry of the buzzards. A piercing, screeching cry that was unmistakable yet the sky looked empty. Eventually we could make out two tiny pin pricks way up towards the heavens. There they were - soaring to a higher place, circling on the invisible air currents and surveying the world below them. 

When we moved to Gibraltar there were no buzzards but in  Spain we saw the sea eagles. With their huge outstretched wings, they ascended into the skies from the mountain ledges and were a truly magnificent sight. We saw them again when we visited Spain in the spring some years later. We had left a friend and neighbour very ill with cancer. It was the Curate's birthday and as we watched the eagles circling above us, I commented that I hoped our friend was free from pain and flying with the eagles. That was the day that she had passed away.
I was reminded of this when the Dean of Gibraltar preached on a lovely verse in Isaiah 40.31 while we were visiting a few years back.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength,
They will soar high on wings like eagles ,
They will run and not grow weary
They will walk and not faint.

We have known several friends and neighbours endure the shock and distress of a cancer diagnosis. For some, the journey is long and difficult.  I don't remember knowing about people dying when I was growing up, perhaps we were more shielded from death as a child. Even at my age, I still don't expect my contemporaries or their children to die  - I am not prepared for it. I hope buzzards count as eagles in Devon.
Eagle territory in Spain.
Buzzard territory in Devon

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A gentle man passes by.

Looking back to Geoff's parish and where we lived.

A gentle man passed by yesterday on his way to a better place. We joined many others to bid him farewell with a memorable service to celebrate his life. Geoff was the Priest in Charge of the parish where we lived when The Curate started his first curacy on the North Coast. The Curate served in the neighbouring church and then the parishes were joined together as a mission community so he worked with Geoff as well.
Geoff was a carpenter by trade and he continued this work after he was ordained. He served as a part time Priest in Charge in this North Devon parish whilst working as carpenter / builder so he was well known in the community. Geoff repaired houses and homes, restored property and people. He was straight forward and firm in his faith. His message was clear and his singing strong. We will remember him with respect and love.

'Hell is not being in heaven.'

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Stopped on my way to work.

There is always some compensation for having to be in work early.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remembering to keep calm and carry on.

How things have changed from a year ago when The Curate preached for the first time at a Remembrance Service. This time last year we didn't know we were going to move parishes and we were struggling with the separation and the difficulties of travelling. I was struggling with being a curate's wife (- not something I ever intended to be). We have been in this parish for six months now and today, The Curate took the Remembrance service as if he was an old hand at it. (Am I allowed to be proud? - Well I was!)

Six months in and I will be honest and say it has not been the easiest of moves for numerous reasons. At least The Curate and I face the ups and downs together and not during elongated telephone calls. I hate the telephone. For much of our  married life (and before), The Curate and I have had to manage with snatched phone calls. He was often away at sea and the telephone calls were so precious. It is much better now with mobile phones and the reduced risk of missing that call that means so much. At college we had a pay phone at the bottom of the stairs of the residential block. To get a phone call,  it relied on someone passing to answer it  - and then it relied on that person knowing you and knowing which room you were in. I was on the top floor so I spent much of my time hanging around the call box waiting for a pre-arranged phone call from Curate to be. Oh the angst if someone else was using the phone at our pre-arranged time! I do hate telephones.

As to settling in here .....? The moor is fantastic and, as you will see from this blog, we make the most of it (I did enjoy yesterday) but we do miss the sea. At this time of year, I leave home in the dark and arrive back in the dark and I need to be outside. I love wide open spaces, natural light and fresh air and to be physically active - perhaps it is time for a job change. I do hate being in rooms with fluorescent lights on all day.

The Curate and I both find it difficult not to look to the next move and we both want to just settle and make a home. I feel in limbo and feel as if I am only going through the mechanics of living and working, without any passion. I miss not having a rip roaring laugh with friends. I miss the cosy, open fires we have in our old, family home. I miss cups of coffee with close friends where anything said is understood. I'm tired of walking on egg shells for fear of not saying the correct thing. I'm tired of not being able to be me.  Knowing that there is another change in the not too distance future, is probably preventing me from getting involved or letting people get too close. I hate the process of leaving places.  

Well - that's three hates in one blog! I'm obviously not doing very well with the Positivity approach. 'Hate' is a strong word to use - 'dislike' is probably not strong enough. It was a good morning and there is no going back - so it's a case of 'Keep calm and carry on'.

PS. Thank you Anita, for recommending Ann Voskamp's blog 'What is Success? Life in the Upside Down Kingdom'.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Riding out again


We are so fortunate to have had fantastic weather today and so we were able to ride out on the lovely Clydesdale horses again at Adventure Clydsdale. This time The Curate and I took Younger Son and girlfriend, NQT. Neither of them had been on the back of a horse / pony since they were very small. After all the rain yesterday, Bodmin Moor was too wet underfoot, so we rode around the lanes and bridle paths. It is the ONLY way to see the countryside. Now NQT is not that tall and these horses are very tall. I was very impressed with her courage as she climbed aboard Ben. Younger son ( who has not ridden since he was about six) had been full of bravado in the car. He went a little quiet when he saw the horses but once aboard Trotter, he looked quite at home.
These really are BFGs (Big Friendly Giants) - the horses - not Younger Son and NQT!
The Curate and Ecco heading home.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Weddings again.

Over the summer my graphic designer younger sister sent out a request for  'Vintage' family photographs - I suppose as she is the youngest of five children, she might just be excused for her assumption that we all fell into the 'vintage' age group. She said it was something to do with work so I was happy to help out. 

The project is now finished and Sister Dear has sent me a link to a particular web site to show me how the photographs were used. You too can have a lovely card with our wedding photo on it ( but actually you are suppose to personalise it with your own photo)!!

I did enquire about royalties...... !

At the last wedding we went to, a typewriter had been left out for guests to add their good wishes for the couple.... I had to explain to some younger guests how to use it as they couldn't get it to type on to the next line. Maybe that means I am 'vintage'.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Wonderful Wedding

 Another weekend when The Curate and I were in another part of the country. We attended the lovely wedding of the youth worker from our last parish on the north coast. She was marrying the youth minister at this Baptist church in Stevenage. They are both committed Christians and wanted this to be a very God centred wedding service but it was also youthful and vibrant. There was no choir or organ music. The youth band from the church played and there were modern songs as well as a modern arrangement of 'Be thou my vision'.

The Minister for this church spoke of the joy of this Christian wedding and  the couple's desire to continue with their youth work. While the register was signed, we listened to favourite music and watched an amusing collection of the bride and groom's photographs. The Curate was involved and many of the young people joined him at the front to pray for the two of them . Yes - The Curate is still waiting to officiate at his first wedding in his own parish and so long distances were travelled to get some wedding experience...and then it was in a Baptist Church! 
He was very pleased to be involved with this wedding. 

There were cupcakes and tea for everyone while the photos were taken. Then the bride and groom left for the reception in a suitable vehicle.
The reception was lovely.The Curate and I always enjoy a Ceilidh and we danced until we were exhausted and until the newly married couple left for their secret destination. Ceilidhs are great for including everyone- young and old a like. There was a lot of laughter. It was lovely meeting friends and family and to be included in such a happy occasion.

 What they didn't see was the confetti being recycled!

....or the The Baptist Minister hoovering the church to get it ready for Sunday services. Church ministers have to be very versatile people these days!

Weddings are such joyful occasions and this one, with its modern service, was particularly delightful.

Thursday, 3 November 2011