Thursday, 27 September 2012

Bowling down the aisle and doughnuts in the side chapel

Well I was nearly felled at the first post in my quest for fun. I have succumbed to the dreaded cold, complete with sore throat and runny nose. I complained last year about the lack of hanky users in school and I see that it was exactly the same week into term that THE COLD struck last year. After a long (but not hot) summer with rest and fresh air and well away from snotty germs, it seems that the body's defence mechanism can't cope with a mass attack from marauding children. (ok, so the children don't maraud - but I'm sure their bugs do!) 

Despite sniffles,I was able to visit our church's new take on Harvest.This festival was seen as an opportunity to outreach into the community by running a Harvest Fun Day. A team from the church organised an assortment of games and fun activities to get the local community to come into the church and have a bit of fun, at minimal cost. The sun shone and quite a number of people wandered up the hill for a non threatening encounter with the church and free apple pie! 

A closed church door can be a huge barrier to people who have never been inside the church or have given up attending. There is the unknown on the other side and, in many people's minds, no real reason to explore what goes on on the other side. So a day like this means that the community can see that this is a church that doesn't take itself too seriously all the time. The Curate was a shining example of this and threw himself into the activities with gusto!

There were lunches and teas available in the hall and free apple pie in the church. People lingered over their ploughman's lunch or pasty. They chattered with others while enjoying their tea and cake. It was lovely to see such  a wide age range all having fun together. This first event was the result of a lot of hard work from a determined group of people and their hard work was rewarded. I hope that this will become a regular event for this church.

Friday, 21 September 2012


Harry Worth and the shop window!
Last week The Curate and I walked down the street and I had tears pouring down my face. It seems such a long time since we have laughed so much that I was crying ...and in a public place. I suspect onlookers may have thought we were drunk but, as it was only mid morning, this was not very likely for us. I can't repeat what was making us laugh so much but it was deliciously childish. It felt so good! It reminded me of how my father would laugh at the antics of the TV comedian Harry Worth in the 1960s. Slap stick humour that hurt no one and was so innocent compared to today's comedy. Too often people think it is acceptable to laugh at others rather than with others. What is funny for one group of people may be at the expense of another group.

In responses to my last post, I was advised to have fun now that I am about to set off in a new direction with The Curate. So what constitutes fun? Is it a self centred concept? I'm beginning to think it might be. I enjoy activities that involve other people having fun such as ensuring my sons celebrated their birthdays properly and had loads of fun - But was that me having fun? Or did I get my enjoyment from being a 'facilitator'. 

'Fun' for me, as opposed to 'entertainment' is when I experience a guilt free, child like giggle that starts at the base of my stomach and rises, like a bubble, through the whole of my body. Sometimes this is openly  expressed (as with The Curate last week), other times it is expressed as a sense of warmth and well being and that all is right with the world because life is fun. Of course, the most awkward times are when that giggle bubble starts and has to be suppressed because it is not at an appropriate time. As adults, the latter is usually when we (or others) judge ourselves as being immature or childish. Isn't it good to see the world through the eyes of a child? How foolish and self important we make ourselves sometimes. 

So I am setting out to have some fun (at no one's expense) and discover who I am and what makes me tick!

Friday, 14 September 2012

A leap of faith

I have resigned my job. Those of you who follow this blog will know that I have been toying with doing this for sometime. I just didn't have the courage to step off the edge into the unknown. Returning to work after the summer, I knew that the time had come and I had done as much as I could in this particular job. It means that The Curate can apply for  possible vacancies in any location. 

My daily commuting will end at the end of October. I have had a lot of encouragement and I can only look forward to pastures new. I have swapped my commuting car for the smallest camper van in the country and The Curate and I will be heading in new directions. 

Of course, it feels a little wobbly at times but I guess this is when I really do have to rely on prayer and inner strength. The Curate has already found me a school to volunteer / supply work in, should I wobble too much! Until we know where and when we are going, I intend to take full advantage of living near the moor and do some conservation volunteering, more walking and plenty of riding. There is a problem horse who might be waiting for a patient pair of hands and the possibility of a new pup, plus a house that needs clearing now sons may be moving on. Nothing is a certainty....except that I won't be going back to work in November.

Friday, 7 September 2012

At last a dip on Dartmoor.

15 and a half and still enjoying Dartmoor
What a wonderful way to spend our day off. At last the sun shone and we were able to picnic on Dartmoor. We had the river to ourselves and the dogs splashed in the river. I dipped in the river (not deep enough to swim) and The Curate paddled in the shallows (and slept!). We sat by the river and shared cheese pasties and dog biscuits.No sky larks, no sheep or ponies- just the burbling  of the river making its way towards the sea. We have missed spending time together on the moor this year because of the weather but this was a perfect afternoon.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

And now it's all over

So that's it ! That was summer! Next week I am back at work and autumn is well and truly heading our way. It has been the wettest summer for a hundred years but the Curate and I have had a great time. What has made it so fantastic? The public celebrations set the tone, from the Royal Jubilee to the Olympics and now the Paralympics.  On a personal level, perhaps it is because The Curate knows he is at the end of his training and we can begin to look forward. Perhaps it is because I have made decisions regarding my work. Perhaps it is because both sons are back in the UK.  Perhaps it is because we have managed some stress free time away, we have caught up with family and managed to take two very well behaved dogs with us. Perhaps it is because I have taken full advantage of living near the moor and have been able to ride regularly. All in all - an excellent summer!

So now what? Job adverts and applications become The Curate's focal points while he carries on serving in his present parish. After a summer of officiating at weddings, he is fully wedding trained and he has become quite an expert on the practicalities of various wedding dress designs. He has managed to not drop the rings or step on the wedding dress. He has lost his sermon and had to go looking for it during the hymn singing and managed to conceal his panic. He has calmed excited bridesmaids and handed hankies to bridegrooms.
Perhaps the secret to the success of this summer has been to ignore the weather and totally immerse ourselves in all that has been going on. After all, skin is waterproof!