Yes I'm still alive. No, I haven't abandoned blogging in favour of some other more exciting pursuit. I am, quite simply, busier than I have ever been in my whole life - and though it's mostly wonderful it's also incredibly demanding and exhausting, so late-night blogging is as unlikely as finding a quiet half hour to blog in the day. One big difference here seems to be that nearly every sort of encounter happens in the evenings, not just official meetings per se - so it's quite hard to carve out time for other stuff (such a motherhood or dog walking) at all. I'm assuming that once I've begun to learn my way round things will settle into some sort of pattern, which may leave space that I can use to blog- though even then, I'm not certain what type of blogging will be appropriate in order to safeguard the new relationships that lie ahead here. The last thing I want is for someone to half read a post and jump to wild and anxious conclusions. So...things may be a bit quiet here for a wee while, though I'll drop in when I can. Meanwhile, boxes are mostly unpacked and there are pictures on the walls. I have survived the APCM at Valley Church (Hill Church has its annual meeting this week), presided and preached at Sunday and mid-week services in both places, taken my first funeral here and spent lots of time with baptism and wedding couples. School term resumes on Monday, bringing with it a whole raft of new connections to be made and, thank God, children to engage with. I'm beginning to have ideas and dream dreams, I'm learning what has been part of the vicar's role here (which might have been sorted by the huge array of "support staff" at St M's) and will hopefully have the full picture before I fail to do something of vital import. I'm having a lovely time...and sleeping the sleep of the utterly wiped out! I am hugely and constantly grateful that the Evil Dillon has settled well in a Jack Russell orientated family, where he is one of 3 bouncy, noisy small dogs and seems to be having a ball. The humans in that household have halos, wings and very shiney medals from the Fleming Family Rescue Society as the thought of Dillon barking the walls down at the vicarage is something that is all too easy to imagine, but would be distressingly hard to live with...Mufti, in contrast, has settled happily on the sofa in the new study and ventures out to the park and the letter box if offered, but is otherwise content with the vicarage garden and the odd game of catch as catch can with the cats...She does a great line as a non anxious presence, does Mufti, which is something to be prized as we continue to learn who we are and how we are here!