A very full few days! On Friday we trekked up to Surrey to stay with Daughter 2, her hubby and our two grandchildren. We arrived to find them in the middle of having the attic converted, so we rapidly learned to navigate our way around piles of boxes and not to stub our toes in the middle of the night on the hard corners of the drawers tucked under our bed .
On Sunday we Pottered into Penge (see what I did there … ?) to spend some time with Son and wife and year-old Baby Grand, who is now alternately toddling and falling over on a chubby nappied bottom, so she takes it all in her stride (so to speak). The bonus was that Daughter in Law’s parents were there too – it was great to catch up with her Dad, who has had major surgery for cancer and has just finished his first round of chemo and was looking remarkably well.
A trip to the park so Baby Grand could have a swing, which she adores: and with 4 grandparents and two parents all with their cameras on her, Son tells her ‘ignore the paparazzi!’
Monday a quiet day, with everyone either at work or school, so Hub and I Pottered off to Polesden Lacey (see – did it again) and thoroughly enjoyed the early autumn colours.
I was glad of the quiet day, because I was up early the next morning to Wander into Westminster (this is catching) to meet the Bishop of Carlisle with half a dozen other deacons. They are from different dioceses, and we’ve been working together for over a year to plan our first-ever national conference for deacons at the end of this month. I’d asked the bishop if he would oversee us (the dear ole Church of England doesn’t like free-floating groups) and this was our first chance to meet up.
There was so much riding on this meeting, but Bishop James turned out to be a revelation – friendly, practical, very supportive of our ministry, alive to the issues and with a game plan to tackle them. We all came away enormously encouraged!
In the afternoon we Hied over to Hackney (sigh) … to see a very old friend from our Nigeria days who has had a return of cancer which is now terminal. We disovered her looking well and lively, the same practical down-to-earth person we first met when she was a tiny little nurse perched up behind the wheel of a large Landrover which she drove through the bush to her midwifery clinics. She’s completing her first dose of chemo, hasn’t had any side effects apart from feeling tired, had been to Derby for a birthday the day before, and had taken a decision to live a day at a time.
What an inspiration.