Friends, Family and a Journey

On Monday 18th July we had our Bible Study at our home.  We discussed a few final questions from the York Course on Psalm 127 about the relevance of the Bible to today’s world and how we would answer a young relative who challenged us.  We then began to look at a course originally compiled by David Watson and Simon Jenkins called ‘Jesus, Then and Now.’ We discussed why we were bothered to think about Jesus and shared our reasons. It was a lovely time of sharing our testimonies with each other.  We will continue to look at how the people in the gospels and the first century thought of Jesus and his influence.  It is a precious time of sharing when we have a Bible Study.  I feel I know people in our group much better since they joined our group.

On Wednesday I went to the Acorn Centre AGM and stayed for an hour before picking Cathy up to spend some time with her. Life seemed rather busy but I am always pleased to spend time with Cathy and my beloved.

On Thursday I did my shopping and then my friend needed my help to accompany her to the A&E and there she was finally able to get the help and support she needed.  As it took a long time I had to ring my beloved and ask him to cancel my time of prayer with Brian.  I was glad to be able to help my friend.

On Friday we had the final session at the Computer course before the summer.  The final course had only been for 5 weeks; most courses are 7 weeks now.  It is good to see the students grow in confidence with the computer over the courses.  In the previous session we had two weeks of working with IPADS, which I found helpful, even though I have a tablet.  Kath our tutor is brilliant at instilling confidence in the students.  Two students were learning to send emails to each other, adding pictures as well.  They both found it helpful to do that.

I have begun to get fitter, I hope, as I walk our dog usually twice a day, unless my elder daughter comes at the weekend to walk him or when my beloved comes with me at tea time.  I do walk at least for an hour a day with Piper and it gets me up in good time.  Apparently having fresh air helps us sleep better, but it is rare I have problems sleeping anyway; my problem is as it gets later, is staying awake!!

I had got my bag ready to travel the next day with my younger sister Fran to Chelmsford too on Saturday.  |My beloved will be looking after Piper and getting closer to him, as although he gives him more attention, he seems to prefer me.

Fran planned to arrive on Saturday morning to go with me to take Piper for a walk, before we set off.  I just finished my breakfast whilst Fran had a cup of tea and we set off with Piper. It was good to have a walk before we set off. Piper seemed to welcome Fran along.  Beth and Cathy popped by as Beth had forgotten to take some things the previous day. They still had more things to collect in the campervan from Beth’s home before they were finally to set off.  Fran and I set off at about 10.30am using my Satnav to guide us. We joined the A1M it guided us fine until we decided to keep on the M1 and the Satnav began to argue with us. I ignored it at first as it often wanted me to leave the M1 to go on the A1 and then it would bring me back onto the M1 via the M18.  However it seemed to keep trying to get us off the M1 for so long that in the end Fran decided to put the postcode of the Deanery in Chelmsford instead. Then the Satnav decided to take us south towards Chelmsford.  We stopped for a salad lunch I had prepared and I gratefully enjoyed the Earl Grey flask of tea Fran had so thoughtfully made.  It was lovely and sunny when we had lunch; even too hot; we felt sorry for dogs travelling in hot cars!  Once we reached Chelmsford Fran put in the postcode of the Atlantic Hotel and the Satnav took us there.  It said we had arrived at our destination and we could not see the hotel, so Fran popped into a shop to ask for directions. We were just across the road from the hotel, but to get to it we needed to go ahead around the roundabout and turn left past a car wash to get to the car park.  We were really glad to have arrived.  The room had air conditioning and seemed comfortable.  We made a drink and settled in. I just relaxed on the bed after I had taken some items out of my bag.  Fran spent a much longer time settling in, unpacking and hanging things up, whilst I just collapsed.

We soon had a visit from Selwyn’s wife Janet and we arranged to meet later for an evening meal in the lounge.  Fran and I were looking forward to seeing Selwyn and meeting Lauren, my great niece, who was visiting from America and staying with her grandparents Selwyn and Janet. Lauren’s sister Emily and her father Mark were busy back in America, where Mark is a New Testament Professor in North Carolina at Duke University. My elder sister Janet and her husband Graham were on their way by train, having played Golf that day but we knew they would arrive later.

Fran, Selwyn, Janet, Lauren and I settled down for our meal.  Lauren was really delightful and chatty.  My beloved remembered her as a delightful small child at Rachel’s wedding.  Janet chose a chicken dish, Fran and I had vegetable lasagne and Selwyn had a beef lasagne.  I can’t remember what Lauren chose.  Fran and I loved the vegetable lasagne but Selwyn had such an enormous portion that he could hardly eat any of it.  I helped with two helpings of the beef lasagne but it still looked as though we had hardly touched it! I decided to avoid that meal. Selwyn generously funded the wine we shared.

I was only too glad to go back to our room and rest; I felt exhausted after my drive down and decided to go to bed. Fran, bless her, had run a bath, which I gratefully relaxed into.  Apparently I looked as shattered as I felt.  I was glad to be in bed although I slept somewhat fitfully.  I always sleep best with my beloved and it takes me a day or so to get used to a new bed.

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