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.