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FURTHER ADVENTURES WITH MY MUM ! A thought from Revd Ginni.


I can’t believe how fast this year has gone!  It seems only a short while ago I was talking about my holidays and now we are almost in November ......and the ‘C’ word, which I am forbidden to mention before 

1st December, is fast approaching!!  

It was good to have the chance to catch up with many of you over the summer months at various fêtes and events and I was amused to learn that my escapades with my mother seem to have caught your attention.  I have been asked several times when the next instalment is coming, and so, bowing to popular demand, here it is.....

My mum had been struggling to live well where she was in Enfield and whilst she enjoyed her stays every 5 weeks or so at The Vicarage, it was only for a few days at a time because she had to sleep in a chair in my office (she can’t do stairs) and anyone who has ever been into my office will appreciate that it’s more ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’ than Travelodge!!  

She decided that she would have a couple of weeks respite care in assisted living accommodation in Stevenage....and she loved it.  So much so in fact that she announced, just two weeks prior to my fortnight’s holiday, that she was going to move into a flat there......immediately!!!  Now your first reaction might be ‘wow, brave decision, go for it!’  Except......the said flat was carpets, dodgy paint job, etc., etc.......and guess who was tasked with sorting it?!!  That would be me then!!

My daughters took up the challenge of painting the flat….‘no problem’ they said, despite having never picked up a paint brush since leaving primary school, ‘we’ll pop over Saturday and do it’.  Oh how I laughed!  Let’s just say that it was one of life’s learning curves for them both and they have acquired a new appreciation for their mother’s decorating skills!  To be fair, they did a very good job but it took a ‘little’ longer than they expected and neither of them has any desire to meet with a paint brush again!


I got the flat carpeted, coerced friends to collect my mum’s furniture, put up curtain rails, suffered several visits to Dunelm to both collect AND return items, and spent hours assembling flat-packed furniture (it was a CRUEL person who designed those!!) and did my best to smile sweetly and encouragingly as my mum offered ‘suggestions’!!  Oh and did I mention that I also worked, walked the dog, etc., etc.!!  

The evening of my holiday came and we had done it, she was in!!  We pulled up outside with my new car stuffed to the roof with the last of her belongings when she looked at me and said ‘phew, I’m exhausted, how on earth are we going to unload all this?’!!!  Given that there were only two of us in the car and one uses a mobility scooter, it took all my willpower to resist the urge to state the obvious - rudely!!!

Fortunately, my holiday restored my sanity and sense of humour although my darling mum continues to test both on a regular basis!  We are now settling into a new way of life with her living so much closer and I’m very proud of her for having the courage to make such a big change at her time of life.  It will take some getting used to for both of us and I have already noticed that I have a tendency to revert to ‘petulant child’ in her presence but I am working on improving that!!

So there you have it!  I’m sure we will have more adventures in the months to come but right now, I’m rather hoping for a bit of respite myself!!

With love Ginni

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OUR TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND - 14th to 23rd May 2019 by Sheila and Frank Harding


OUR TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND - 14th to 23rd May 2019

There were 20 in our group and our leaders were Venerable Paul and Canon Liz Hughes and Tony Boon.  The trip was advertised in Pax Magazine 6 months earlier and we decided to go.  We all met at 6.30am. at Luton Airport for the Easy Jet flight to Tel Aviv where a coach met us for the 2 hour drive to Jerusalem.  Our hotel, The Golden Walls Hotel, was just by the Golden Gate into the old City.  Both old and new are bustling, noisy, chaotic and very busy and we walked everywhere in the city;  through the narrow busy Souks to the Wailing Wall, along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Manger Square.  Oh so busy!

Next day we drove to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane and looking over the old cemeteries to the panoramic view of the walled city, we could hardly believe we were there!  Another day we went to Masada, a Roman Fortress built by Herod the Great and then on to the Dead Sea and a chance to float…...Frank tried it! 

On Sunday at 6.00am. we walked through the Souks to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for a more peaceful walk around the church.  The trip encompassed all the different aspects of the area, geographical, historical, political and especially the religious areas.  We crossed into Palestinian territory where we celebrated Eucharist at The Fields of the Shepherds, in Bethlehem.  A truly emotional experience, except for the electric fences and walls surrounding us.

Next day we travelled through the Judean Wilderness to Jericho and to the banks of the River Jordan where we renewed our Baptismal Vows and had Eucharist.  Then on to the Ron Beach Hotel by the Sea of Galilee for the rest of our trip, visiting Nazareth, Mount Tabor and The Basilica of the Annunciation and the area of Jesus’ ministry.  On the way back to the airport we stopped at the remains of the Roman city of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great with a magnificent Amphitheatre and Circus.  The trip was very uplifting tinged with sad sights of the walls and electric fences, cutting off the Palestinians from selected areas.  Certainly a trip we will never forget. 

Sheila and Frank Harding

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