Our day off started with the usual frustrating efforts to try and extract information from Nottingham university and/or my theological college. It was a very simple question. When I have had my thesis bound, where do I send it, please?
Librarian at the university was foxed. No idea, she said. Nobody had ever asked her that before. (But you’re the librarian. Theses are supposed to be lodged in your library. Surely … ???)
My college put me through to the academic administrator. No idea, she said, I’ve never been asked this before … and our Director of Research is on sabbatical. Anyway, send it to me and I’ll work it out!
Hub and I went to recover with a cup of coffee and, in my case, a very nice piece of lemon and lime cheesecake. Life was looking up.
After that we went for a walk, then to a rather nice garden centre we know for lunch, where the food is fresh and tasty and the plants good quality. We bought a Hot Chocolate rose. We have a triangular bed in our back garden, and weird things happen to it. No matter WHAT we put in the middle, it always disappears. A sort of horticultural Bermuda Triangle. I suspect the fox.
Somewhere, he has a very nice garden round his earth, full of our plants.
Anyway, as there are several other roses in that bed, and they seem to do OK, I decided to buy just this one, in the hope that it would fill the gap. There are already yellow, bright pink, palest pink and apricot roses and I wanted dark red for contrast. The Hot Chocolate is very unusual – a sort of rusty colour, so hope it does well!
Back home via a brief visit to a retail park (Hub does not like shopping), and then I faced a job I’ve been putting off for months. A first trawl through all my father’s archives made me realise that I had no option but to dump a lot of his stuff – sermon notes going back to the 1950s, for instance. I cannot take it all with me when we retire, as we will be seriously downsizing. I decided in the end that I couldn’t bear just to put it all out with the paper recycling, so Hub and I had a bonfire instead and ceremonially burned the personal stuff. That felt a more suitable way of doing something which was heartbreaking, although I don’t really know why.
I thanked Dad aloud for his faithful teaching over 70 years, and feel deeply grateful for all the spiritual nourishment he gave so many people for so long. It was nice doing it with Hub, who also appreciated Dad’s wisdom and ministry.
Last piece to go was Dad’s writing course, which he had started at the age of 84. He was a man of karfin hali, as we used to say in the Hausa language: strong character.
After that we had supper and do you know what, sometimes there is nothing nicer than a boiled egg, with Irish soda bread, and a big cup of tea.
Time to unwind.