The next Community Lunches will be on Wednesdays 3rdJuly,
7thAugust and 4thSeptember from 12.45pm. till 2.00pm. (Serving time 12.45pm. till 1.00pm.) Cost £4 per person. Everyone welcome.
The wanderer has returned!! I’ve survived my annual holiday with my mum with everything but my sanity intact!!
Before I regale you with a few tales of our exploits, I should point out that although I may appear to be rather mean to my dear old mum, we both tease each other something rotten and she loves to read my (somewhat embellished!) stories about her. So please, don’t feel too sorry for her as she most definitely gives as good as she gets!!
Our trip began, as ever, with ‘Operation Tardis’.......also known as ‘see if you can get all your mother’s mobility equipment into a family saloon car along with the dog and two people’! An hour or so later with my meagre holdall stuffed into the rear foot well, the boot bursting with my mum’s stuff and the dog wedged between other ‘essential items’, we were off!! So far so good. We hadn’t quite reached the A1(M) before it became apparent that this could turn out to be an ‘interesting’ journey. The Satnav was doing its best to send us in the right direction but was struggling to compete with my mother’s delight at having a captive audience. After two solid hours of the Satnav yelling in my right ear and my mother waffling in my left, we arrived, my ears pleading for mercy!!!
My friend Tracy and her physically challenged mum, Wendy, met us there with a similar look of ‘oh my goodness, did we really book a whole week’ on her face. But we needn’t have worried - wheelchairs side by side, my mum and Wendy found in each other a willing listener as they repeated the previous two hours of conversation verbatim!! Tracy and I found the wine!! We drank a lot of wine that week!
We had a wonderful week, the weather was fabulous and we were staying in a beautiful barn conversion. Our days were a mixture of lazy starts and breakfasts on the patio, trips to beaches and fabulous flowering displays at stately homes, a boat trip on the broads and leisurely dinners back at the barn. Tracy and I loved being able to spend some quality time with our mums....so much so that we forgot to set them up with one of our usual pranks!!
For those of you who have read about our annual ritual of ‘mum-baiting’ in previous editions of PAX and are now feeling a sense of disappointment, fear not, because the holiday wasn’t without its ‘entertainment’!! The boat trip on the Broads provided us with some mileage - it’s amazing just how close to the water you can get a wheelchair containing a non-swimmer when you pretend to have lost control going down a ramp!!! I heard my mum utter words I had never imagined she even knew.....plus a few that were new, even to me!!!
But the pièce de résistance had to be our trip to Hoveton Hall and the incident in the disabled loo!! Hoveton Hall is a beautiful place with a combination of magnificent giant rhododendrons, amazing water gardens and delicately arranged.
formal gardens....truly stunning. They also have a lovely café where you can sit outside and enjoy some home cooked food. It was here that we managed to lower the tone in a somewhat spectacular way!
I won’t go into details as to how many times we had visited the disabled loo adjoining the café during our visit, suffice to say that it had probably quadrupled our walking distance and that I knew my mum was able to negotiate it on her mobility scooter without my help! So there we were, sat in the sunshine, freshly baked cheese scones and a pot of tea on the table, surrounded by genteel conversations from other diners about how well their begonias were doing, etc., when my mum needed to ‘pay a little visit’.
Off she trundled, narrowly missing wiping out a small dog as he inadvertently crossed her path. The three of us continued sipping our tea, talking quietly amongst ourselves, when suddenly there was a loud kerfuffle coming from the direction of the loo! A loud crashing sound followed by a few muffled expletives, broke the tranquillity, followed by an even louder bellow of ‘EXCUSE ME....I say, EXCUSE ME’ in what I recognised to be my mother’s dulcet tones. This was immediately followed by a middle-aged man exiting the building looking flustered and another bellow from my mother....‘GINNI’!!! Fearing the worst, I dashed in to help, only to find my mum sitting on her mobility scooter in the open door of the disabled loo with a look of indignant rage on her face! ‘Mum, what’s happened’, I asked in my best ‘concerned daughter’ voice, ‘are you ok?’ ‘No I am not’ she replied.....‘I can’t shut the loo door so I asked that man as he came out of the gents and he ran away’!! It took some convincing to get her to see that ‘asking’ isn’t the same as ‘bellowing’ and that the poor man was clearly terrified at being accosted and shouted at by a woman on her own in a ladies toilet!! We left soon after!!
So what have I learned from my holidays with my mum? I’ve learned that life is busy and time is precious and we should make the most of the time we have with people we love; that many older people live isolated lives and the greatest gift you can give them is the chance of a conversation; that it is the simple things that make the most difference; that able-bodied people don’t always realise the challenges that face those with a disability nor the effort that is required by their carers for the most basic of tasks; that laughter and humour is good for the soul!
So I thank God for my mum, for her love and her ability to laugh at herself and for the precious times we share together. And I thank God for the millions of people out there who give selflessly of their time to care for others with patience, humility and forbearance. I can make light of the times I care for my mum because I am able to choose when I do it, but for those of you who don’t have that choice, I take my hat off to you......you are amazing and I pray God’s blessing on you for the love and care you show to others. Amen.
With love - Ginni
Whilst Revd Ginni is on holiday there will be no Wednesday morning Holy Communion.
Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances our plans have had to change and the Flower Festival will not take place this year. The very good news is that the Flower Festival will now take place in May 2020. This will give us all more planning time for our outstanding arrangements. Our meeting scheduled for Monday 8th July will also be cancelled.
REFLECTIONS ON OUR TRAVELLINGReverend Ginni is on her holidays at PAX deadline time so you have to make do with me again! It is very much the time of year that we turn our minds to travelling, whether it be within the UK, a little further afield with our European “friends” or on a long-haul voyage of discovery. I was reminded of just how much many of us travel by our village What’s App group at Easter. Someone sent Easter greetings from their holiday destination and before long many others joined in from near and far. Luckily, we left some at base camp to oversee the Easter Vigil. We are not alone in travelling, if we reflect on the New Testament, so many of Jesus’s experiences, teachings, miracles and conversions happened as he travelled. The distances might not have been as far but it needs putting into the context of travelling on foot with no other means of communication than word of mouth. Jesus’s three-year travelling ministry was no more than 100 miles from his home but on those journeys, amongst other things he met his disciples, healed the sick and calmed the storms on the Sea of Galilee. Whilst Jackie and mine own adventurous travels are curtailed at the moment, a wonderful three-week family holiday a few years back in Sri Lanka was brought into sharp focus with the news of the terrible tragedy that the country has suffered. At the time of our visit they were still badly affected by the internal conflict but their people were friendly, welcoming, generally peaceful and very stoic. It is very sad that having put their historic problems behind them and reopened so much more of the country to visitors they have been hit by such a horrendous attack. I feel our time there means we have an even greater sense of their loss and I am sure the same applies to many who have travelled to parts of the world and met inspirational people who then are faced with natural or human created tragedies and disasters. This brings into sharp focus that whilst we attend church, we trust in safety, so many Christians around the world do so in fear of persecution. How we return from our travels and reflect the experiences we have had or the cultures we have seen is very varied. We reflect on this each Christmas at St. Ippolyts Church in the wonderful array of nativity sets that have been collected from around the world and brought back to enhance and broaden our understanding of how others see Christmas. Also, each year the Women’s World Day of Prayer, held this year locally at the Baptist Chapel in Little Wymondley, shares the experiences of a different country and the challenges particularly for the women. This year women all over the world were praying and learning about life for the women in Slovenia. What is important is that we return and share our experiences and broaden our church and communities’ understanding of the wonders and the challenges facing people around the world. Travel related experiences certainly play a major part in the debates that we have at our village Men’s Breakfast Group. Our next breakfast is rumoured to be Lebanese. It is important that our travelling experiences are reflected in our PCC decisions, our church activities and prayers, helping us to think outside our own local issues to the challenges of others around the UK and the rest of the world and in so doing enriching our churches and communities. I will close on that note and await the pearls of wisdom Reverend Ginni has to relate to us on her return from Norfolk, which incidentally is about the same distance from home that Jesus travelled on his ministry. Paul Harding
Congratulations to Elizabeth and Nicholas Watson for their 60 years of marriage. At the 09:15 service on Sunday Revd Ginni paid tribute to our happy couple by presenting them with a gift specially wrapped by Michael and Gordon. The only trouble was that their hands were tied (with a pink scarf!) and the wrapping was far from elegant!!