Friday, 20 November 2009


I love post. I love to give it and I love to receive it. I think I love it all the more when we live in a time where e-mail and text messaging enables us to send news instantly. There's something wonderful about the now slightly old-fashioned 'snail mail'. I was musing on this as I queued in the post office yesterday. There always seems to be a queue in there, which I count as a blessing because it means the postal service is still in business. So, rather than get frustrated at having to wait to send my post, I delighted in what makes the Post Office an even more wonderful place to be, besides being the place where post is gathered to be send to hundreds of different destinations. It's a place where lives mingle together for a few brief moments.

Yesterday, there was the old man with a wonderful West Country accent, in his green mac with a walking stick that doubled up as a chair. Seeing the queue, he said, 'I'll remember I was behind that man', and pulled up a seat beside the passport photo booth. Having sat for a few minutes, he said to the gentleman in front of me (who had reprimanded me for shutting the door behind me because the postman was about to come out with bags of parcels), 'It's Friday today, isn't it?' Alas, it was Thursday. In some ways I think there's something brilliant about being of an age where the days of the week don't matter so much. Upon realising it was Thursday, he picked up his chair and left, realising he could run his errands the following day.

Then there was the man who had a bee in his bonnet about our country, expressing his concern to the local church minister behind him about the tragedy of living in a place where the poor live in council housing, stay locked up in their own homes all day watching tv on the latest plasma hd-blu-ray-widescreen-thingame-bob-whattsit, living next door to the same family for ten years, never knowing their names. Behind him, the lady who was sending post to all corners of the globe, informing the lady serving her that there would be plenty more post going to New Zealand over the years, courtesy of her. I wondered why this would be the case, smiling at the fact that you get an insight into people's lives as a result of being at the Post Office that you wouldn't otherwise get. It turns out her husband is from NZ so they have family there. I love the way being in the Post Office seems to bring a little bit more out of people that you wouldn't otherwise see, simply because they feel compelled to share something of what has led them to be posting the post that they are. It's a funny old thing, feeling like you're looking into a stranger's life without invitation, as you stand in the queue silently waiting your turn, yet they are the ones openly sharing, so in effect, there is some kind of unspoken invitation there.

I think I need to visit the Post Office more. It's amazing what you learn.
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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

a little bit more of this

I was in the queue at a supermarket today, standing in a daze, very aware of the thick foggy feeling in my head which has taken up residence for a while due to my cold. As I stood there in my daze, two teenage girls ran past me, fresh with the vigour that the end of the school day brings. These girls had one thing one their mind and they shared it with me and the other bystanders in the supermarket. 'Magazines!' They had popped into the supermarket on their way home from school to get their latest fix of whatever magazine they liked to read.

The thought crossed my mind, 'I remember a time when life was so simple that all I needed was a magazine to fill my time...' I never thought I would become someone who felt like there was not enough 'time'. I never wanted to use that as a reason for not getting things done, or not doing the things I love, but somewhere, somehow, I have become that person.

While I find this very difficult, it also means that I delight all the more in those moments where I am deeply content and at rest. Last Sunday had an afternoon that was made up of those moments. The best moment was standing on a hill at Ashton Court, breathing in the fresh wintery air, and watching the skies. Something I love to do more and more. I never cease to be amazed by their beauty, put there by God and we get to delight in the beauty.

In light of this, somewhere, somehow, I want to get some time back. Not that it's something that can be retrieved, but that I want to learn how to use my time more wisely. I think it's going to take a lifetime to learn.
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Monday, 9 November 2009

through john's eyes

A few snapshots of the weekend, taken by John. I love having an aspiring photographer as my companion on all of my adventures.
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The words we speak

Over the last week, my children have come out with some wonderful gems that you just wouldn't get with adults. For instance, one girl at nursery informed me:

'I grew in my Mummy's tummy and Sam grew in Daddy's tummy.'

What a brilliant mis-understanding of how babies grow.

Another child asked, 'Do I look like Humpty Dumpty?' referring to a drawing he had just done of himself, complete with the scar on his knee and the veins in his face. He is one on-the-ball four year old.

Most weeks this term, I get to spend the time between the end of school & the end of football club with Grace in Costa Coffee. It has become a bit of a routine that once we are seated with our drinks - one hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows on the side, one cinnamon / vanilla / caramel / gingerbread latte - whatever takes my fancy that day - we play games. The good old classis hangman is a favourite. Although, it only occurred to me the other day that this is a bit of a funny game. One where if you guess a letter wrong, you are one step closer to dying!
Anyway, Grace being the lovely Grace that she is, was taking her turn of deciding a phrase that I had to guess. The photo is the evidence of her decision. What a treasure.

I think sometimes with adults, it's not so much a case of the words we speak as the words we don't speak. Our inhibitions that come with age seem to cloud our ability to be kind with words in the way that children are so brilliantly free and unbridled in. We see people doing wonderful things and don't say anything for fear of embarrassment. What is it exactly we think we'll be embarrassed by? Bringing a smile to someone's face? Surely not. Speak kind words more. That's my thought for the day. Simple but oh so effective & powerful.
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Friday, 6 November 2009

Days like these

I love Autumn for the days when the moon stays high in the sky, way after sunsise, and for the clouds that seem to dance more in the dusk. For the blue, blue skies and fresh, fresh air. I love days like these.
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Monday, 2 November 2009

Always time for chocolate

Despite having packed up my life into boxes, I was not held back from doing one last little bit of baking.

Chocolate gooey pots. Mmmm mmm.

John things mini marshmallows are a perfect accompaniment. I think Rocky Road goes down a treat.

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These are a few of my favourite things

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And so it goes

Thursday was moving day. And so was Friday. It turns out I have quite a lot of stuff. A lot of lovely things that I have accumulated over the last few years that in a small way represent a little bit of me. Of the things I love. From all the books to fresj linen candles to photos to more books to baking supplies galore. They all came with me. Well, nearly all. I had to leave about 18 cake tins for the recycling men to collect and turn into some new wonderous things because there simply is not room for all of those tims at my new lodgings. While a little sad, it has helped me to dream. Of the day we move into our new church building where I hope I will be able to bake on premesis, saving me the need of vast numbers of old sweet tins to store my cakes in when I bake for church. That day is fast approaching...And I dream of a day when I might have my very own cake shop with drawers and boxes especially for cake storage...that day is a little further away, but maybe one day, some day...
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