Do you remember when weekends were a time you spent doing things just for you and/or your family? It seems ages since that has been part of life for us...before ordination, there was Readering, and the children have always had busy busy lives, so the idea of time out hasn't really applied for at least the last 10 years. This weekend, though, there seemed to be rather more opportunities just to do happy things, and I did enjoy it.
My good friend Humble Secretary was staying here on Friday night, which was an excuse for a wonderfully lazy and pleasing Saturday. If you find yourself in Winchcombe, then The Plaisterer's Arms do a very good line in baguettes, and some brilliant banter in the bar too, and the drive back through piercingly green Cotswold valleys was pretty breathtaking too.
Then today I was sent on a research mission to Kids Praise at Thornbury
This was a blissful experience: a service which did what it said on the can, in that it was stuffed with under 9s all having the time of their lives singing, and dancing and praising God. I took that hardened cynic, my older son with me, and he too came out positively smiley: the enthusiasm of those children reminded me of just how wonderful worship can be, even in the parish church.
From Thornbury, we headed south to Bristol to spend time with our favourite non- pedestrian, Caroline. She and G have a splendidly subversive relationship, which involves frequent wind ups of the neurotic Kathryn...but we all know our roles and play along beautifully...and we even got to watch Dr Who this time as well.
Excellent to manage a sustained conversation with G on the way there and back, as well: the trouble with a house full of articulate and opinionated people is that it's too easy never to hear each other at all. I guess the infant J may have a point.
Safely home, I realised that tomorrow is finally 9th May...which has had a smiley red ring round it in the diary for a while, as I'm off to Cambridge to see Maggi and sit at her feet, plus those of Jonny and one or two others who are running a Praxis day "On Another Planet"..Very excited. Full details on my return, but too busy smiling for now :-)