I have seen it in parents who give up every life plan to care for a child with a disability, somebody who tenderly supports their partner through mental illness, a friend who gives up their only meal for someone hungrier than them, or a neighbour who takes time out of their hectic life to drop a care package to the person next door.
Rather than a pursuit of a feeling, love is about devoting a life to courageous acts of service that usher more kindness into our world, especially in the darkest of circumstances.
Small acts of love often mean the world. Cups of tea handed out in love, fresh towels after a night in the pouring rain, or a set of clean clothes and undies when someone walks in drenched to the bone.
Think about what love means to you. This Valentine’s Day, perhaps you can forgo the flowers and chocolates, in favour of an act of love that will truly make a difference to someone's life. If you can, please make a donation to our "Nothing Says I Love you Like a Clean Pair of Undies" appeal”…
Click the link: Wayside Chapel | Love Over Hate
Alison has compiled a Photo Book for Violet and Clementine and many of the photos had not been seen for a while - if at all. Over the past few months Alison and I had met up with or made contact with, some of Kate's friends who also provided photographs and these are a good testament to the vagaries of 1980's fashion!!
Kate would have enjoyed the Afternoon Tea that Violet produced, the exotic lemon and raspberry sponge-cake that Alison baked and the champagne that was quaffed by everyone! Kate would have particularly approved of the latter as - poignantly – it was a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne that she had given to me for my 50th birthday!
Happy Birthday Kate! We all love and miss you so much. xxx
A selection of old family, family and school photographs:
Anyway, with all the various NHS notifications and directives I managed to sign myself up for "antibody testing" which was quite a thing - just in case you haven't come across it. To be honest, I wasn't sure what was happening - but hey. A testing kit was sent in the post and basically, by wielding a pretty sever lancet on my ring finger, I had to produce a small phial of blood and send it off in a pre-organised, pre-paid box for analysis. Just 24 hours later I received the following information (below)- which was surprising:
I will generally be covering on a Tuesday (part of the day) and a whole day on a Wednesday. My other school (Temple Guiting – “TG”) is usually a full Friday. The schools are of a similar size but are as different as chalk and cheese by way of management and administrative structure.
I gently explained that I was, in fact, attempting to straighten it up as it was very lop-sided, in danger of falling down and losing all its decorations and baubles. To which he looked at me askance, rolled his eyes and nonchalantly walked on…
People, generally, are irritating me… And not even specifically! I feel quite harassed by everybody – even when they’re not actually, in reality, making too many demands. Maybe it is because a lot is coming from several directions?
Thankfully my work stuff is all up to date … and that is a good thing because as from the beginning of December I shall be employed in SEVEN different job roles! Yep – quite a plump portfolio!
In the past two weeks I have been offered two more jobs – another very part-time Clerk to the Governor’s at a very small Primary School in a tiny village called Withington. There are 46 pupils between Reception and Year 6, and approximately 15 pre-schoolers. The thing is, I think the contract is only for approximately a month pro rata over the academic year and it might be more trouble than it’s worth… but I am being asked to apply for these roles and you never know where things might go. For example, today I was offered another Administrative Assistant role at one of ‘my’ other schools. It is for 12 hours per week and would complement the other school office job (on Fridays) and basically, what I ‘lost’ by leaving Bredon School because of the travel / inflexible approach, will now be covered in two-and-a-half days with a lot less travel.
Having said that, by the beginning of 2022 it will have levelled out somewhat as I am ‘losing’ one Clerk role – as two schools are merging and as such, so are the governing boards. I knew this would be the case and, in all honesty, it has been a more problematic scenario linked to educational inspections, special measures, leadership and management evaluations. It was a positive ‘learning curve’ but I’m quite pleased that I can draw a line under it soon.
So, what else? Well, from the sublime to the ridiculous (as is often the case).
Paul has been working long hours at the Malvern / Three Counties Showground where he has been setting up the ‘Winter Glow’ event – have a look:
However, for the next month or so his main work will be at *Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park and is ‘in charge’ of the (click links) Enchanted Light Trail and Enchanted. This is quite a nice gig insofar as it probably won’t start until 2pm, finishing mid-evening and is only 10 miles (maximum) from Winchcombe – via country roads and lanes, so not much traffic - except for the odd tractor and stupid gamebirds running amok! Naturally Paul will have to work over Christmas (not Christmas Day itself) but he is used to that because of operating on Panto throughout his varied theatrical career! Thankfully this Farm Park Light Trail is “locked in” because there has been only very limited work offered from the Everyman Theatre and its production of Jack and The Beanstalk this year. Phew!
This is a photo from the last evening in Cornwall (wine from a place we frequented in the Hunter Valley when we lived in NSW and now on offer in the supermarket!), and this must have been another dimension because it has hardly got light since coming back to the Cotswolds!
I think Autumn has definitely arrived. Hmmm.
Whilst the word is bandied about like a well-worn sock perhaps consider the benefits of Mindfulness, a simple Eastern meditation practice engaging in the present and focusing on acceptance and non-judgmental thoughts. Common sense prevails and encourages taking time to eat healthily, drink less alcohol, get more exercise, breathe deeply and set time aside for activities that make you happy. Simples!
Here is a list of what has been making me happy over the past few weeks:
Sorting out the garden and greenhouses; things to do in the autumn:
REMEMBER - don’t be too tidy!
You would be forgiven if you thought this was a photo of the Mediterranean, but it is St Michael's Mount in Cornwall, In October! What a fabulous day to visit this amazing place.
After two weeks of work with hardly any progress Cormelian decided to secretly sme of the green stone under the granite in her aprons o that her husband would not notice. However, one day Cormoran did notice and angrily instructed his wife to return the green stone to the mainland. On her way back down the causeway, the apron strings snapped and the green stone tumbled to the ground and Cormelian decided to leave the stone there. The pile of green stone is now called Chapel Rock and the ferry sails from this point to go to St Michael’s Mount at high tide.
Eventually, Cormelian and Cormoran finished the stronghold, which towered high above them. Upon seeing the Mount the villagers cried: ‘Who will stop this giant? None of our cows or sheep will be safe now that Cormoran can take them to his stronghold! We’ll starve!’
Jack, a local boy, was fed up with the bad-tempered giant stealing his livestock. He decided to act. One night, he crept out and set a trap to teach the giant a lesson; he dug an enormous pit near the causeway and covered it up with straw and branches to hide it.
When it was ready, Jack walked up to the front of St Michael’s Mount and blew his horn. Outraged at being woken up stormed out of his stronghold and chased after Jack who was taunting him. Jack sped along the causeway and when the big clumsy giant couldn’t stop in time, he fell down the pit. Jack walked to edge of the pit and peered down. ‘I hope this will teach you a lesson!’ he said. ‘Giants shouldn’t steal our livestock!’
Cormoran was killed by a blow from a pickaxe or mattock. After filling in the hole, Jack retrieved the giant's treasure. A rock was placed on the burial site and this rock is called Giant's Grave.