It’s been a whirlwind tour. Sunday, friend Jo came to see us. Monday, we went to Oxfordshire to see friend Tania and her two little girls aged 3 and 5. Tuesday, we went to Berkshire to see friend John. Tuesday evening, we went to another bit of Berkshire to see friends Sarah, Richard and their twin boys aged 5. Wednesday we went to Colchester to see friend Faith and her prayer group, and Wednesday evening we went to Dovercourt to see friends at Kingsway Evangelical church.
Joni of course loves all the attention. It’s a good job he still needs his parents to drive him places, otherwise we’d probably be superfluous to requirements. We have also enjoyed ourselves catching up with lots of friends, and we were also encouraged by the warm response we received at the two meetings that we took. I was thinking last night that giving presentations to groups is a bit like crowd-surfing (you can tell the kind of gigs I used to go to as a student); person throws themselves onto the mercy and the upstretched arms of the crowd, who bear said surfer aloft, passing them to the back of the arena and safely restoring them to earth. Sometimes it went wrong and people got hurt, but that was part of the risk, and I never actually saw it happen in all my gig-going experience. So, we threw ourselves on the mercy and the upstretched arms of our supporting groups.
The church at Dovercourt have gone technical since we were last there, but unfortunately we couldn’t make our laptop talk properly to their beamer. So after a lot of fiddling by us, and patience from the church, we had to set up our (borrowed) beamer and use that instead. Having finally begun the meeting, I was disconcerted to see Martin exit with Joni and the nappy bag just at the end of my talk, when Martin was supposed to come to the front and do his bit. I swiftly moved into a time of “any questions?” but there are limits to the stringing along that one can produce, so I made my excuses, and leaving the stage empty, went to swop with Martin who was located changing the baby on a window sill.
Three days; three curries. By long-standing tradition we had a curry with Tania on Monday. On Tuesday we thought we’d go for Chinese, but Sarah and family live in a small village where the Chinese doesn’t open on Tuesdays, so we had another curry. On Wednesday, Faith had been reading our blog entries about curry, and made us one. Only another dozen or so and we’ll have stocked up enough to see us through the next couple of years of curry-famine.
A friend of ours died this week, I have known Jon since I was 19, he’s a top bloke, we share a reputation for asking the difficult questions. We feel sad for us that he’s not around, but he also knew very starkly the likely progression of his illness, and we’re grateful that he was spared the worst of the potential end-scenarios. Most importantly of all, he knew where he was headed, and I reckon his welcome party is just getting going. “I have run the race, I have kept the faith”.