Tuesday, 29 December 2015

And that was Christmas.....

It's been unseasonably mild, and this front window has been open on more than one occasion!  The African violets which live there seem to thrive on the northern light, and don't mind the odd blast of fresh air. The cactus arrangement was a cheery Christmas present, if a slightly unusual one - but I hadn't already got any prickly cacti in my collection of plants, so it is a welcome addition.

This big [for us - there are bigger ones out there, I know] Christmas tree was pictured with a pair of shoes, as that reminds me that the EFG is home!  There are always random pairs of shoes lying around when she is here, and so I included them in the shot because I am glad that she's here!

The Sainsbury's bright orange bag holds the violinist's gifts from us as she has gone home to Austria for Neujahrekonzerte here and there. She is playing with a trio and a quartet, and a chamber orchestra, I believe - she's a busy girl.  I doubt she is getting as much sleep as the rest of us have been enjoying this past week - long lie-ins have been the order of the day here, but we must start getting back to normal hours or next week's return to work and school is going to come hard!

Today the EFG has headed off on the train to do a volunteering session at the Food bank, and the YFG is coming to hold my hand at the dentist this afternoon.  The Danish lass is off out for a walk in the sunshine with her camera later to make the most of the good weather we are getting today.

Christmas has been quiet, but enjoyable.  We had relatives here on Boxing Day as usual, and spent much of Christmas Day evening watching the specials on the tv - Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey in particular went down very well, although I wasn't so keen on Doctor Who.... We have Sherlock to look forward to at New Year, which has been eagerly awaited by all the family.

I hope you have all had a good holiday, and enjoy a peaceful New Year!  See you again soon xx

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Hanging in here still

Yep, we are still here!  The night before Christmas Eve was probably not the best time to break a tooth and lose the filling from the same tooth.....I shall have to be very careful if I can't get an appointment at the dentist tomorrow!

Busy times at the moment - hope you are all OK and nearly ready for Friday!  Back soon xx

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Pause for thought

(image from angalmond.blogspot.co.uk)

Having volunteered to take part in this year's Pause, I have been pretty useless in my posting this time.  Sorry!

Since it is the last Sunday in Advent today, I have had plans all week to think of something to post today, and nothing sprang to mind at all.  Until three things came together yesterday.

I came home from a lovely Messy Crib service to find an email from Facebook to say that I had been removed as an administrator from the page I created on there.  That felt like rudeness, if I am honest - I set the page up a few years ago and it has been instrumental in bringing more people to the real life group that it represents. But another admin can alter the settings, and I am no longer required.  Would have been polite if I had been otherwise notified.

A neighbour who is a teacher turned up at the door a few minutes later with a bunch of flowers.  She had been given them by a parent at the school on Friday and is going away for the Christmas break to visit relatives, and thought that perhaps we could enjoy the flowers.  That was really kind of her, and we have put them in a vase in the sitting room - they are lovely flowers!

And then there is the "followers" on here - up and down like a yoyo!  There's 128 for ages, then one leaves, another comes and two more leave......

And my point is?  Well, it came to me last night that it is such a good thing that I do not measure my value, my self-esteem, in the way that others treat me.  If my self-worth reflected the way the world reacts to me, it would be a difficult life.  Thanks to my secure faith in Jesus Christ, I know that I am loved, saved and forgiven in His Mighty Name, and so I rest in Him.  And He is all that matters in the end.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Mystery parcels

When I came home from work this lunchtime, a courier delivery van was in the street ahead of me, and then it reversed onto my driveway...couldn't think of anything I had ordered so really expected the Danish girl's name to be on the parcel as her relatives have been sending her lots of parcels!

But no!  Had my name on it....the mystery deepened.  It was an interesting parcel with a label that didn't give anything away, so I rushed around and popped the frozen fish away before I grabbed a pair of scissors and attacked the straps around the parcel.

It was a sweet little hamper for Christmas from EF, the organisation through which I am hosting the girls.  Two mini bottles of wine, some Father Christmas chocs to hang on the tree, some Walkers shortbread, a mini Christmas pud, some tiny jars of jam.....but the best bit was a Christmas tree bauble in white ceramic. It has been individually made to reflect our family and students for it has their national flags on it side by side under the Union Jack. What a thoughtful memento of our year together.

And that was the mystery solved.

There will be a couple of other parcels turning up in the next few days as I struggle to complete the shopping for the girls!  I made fudge this afternoon and this evening we have sat and made 28 little trays from card, lined them with tissue paper, popped 4 pieces of fudge in each, clingwrapped them and added a bow of ribbon. Hey presto - a present for each teacher and teaching assistant in the school, to be delivered in the morning.  I have shared the fudge recipe before and it still works!

Monday, 14 December 2015

The shame!

Having studied it for A levels all those years ago, and written some rather good essays on it [well, they got As!], the shame of hearing the YFG say at dinner tonight, "King Lear? Who wrote that?" The EF girls and I fell about laughing and then the darling girl recovered herself and enquired, "What? Was it, like, Shakespeare then?" It is an A level text once more this year, and I have lent my battered and annotated copy to the Danish girl, who is also going to read my essays for some light relief, so that she is ready to attack it with gusto in January. Her being Danish and all, it is a shame it is not Hamlet, but you can't have everything!

Being spiritually prepared for Christmas is quite different from being practically ready......I've been to carol services, advent bible studies, songs of praise for Christmas, band concerts, etc, but I still haven't got all the gifts sorted out, and the days are indeed hastening on.  In a good way, I am excited because that means the EFG will soon be home - the exams are over as of this afternoon!  On the other hand, there is no sign of the washing machine being repaired before the 23rd, so I am going to beg the use of a neighbour's up the road to do a dark load tomorrow.

One success to report - we were able to buy the Ravensburger Christmas puzzle [limited edition for 2015] in Tesco at the weekend. I haven't ever seen it in there before, and I was pleased to be able to pick it up alongside the few bits of shopping we had popped in to get. Compared to Amazon, it was only £9.50 to their £12.99 so a few pennies left in my purse from that.

The best thing, from a very practical point of view, is that if I don't get Christmas all ready on time this year, I can always try again next year!

[And one last question - did one of my lovely readers send me a piece called The Angels' Rest Room? I've used it twice this year already and it is getting rave reviews - people love it!  But I can't remember where it came from - I'm sorry - so if it was you, please would you comment and let me know?]

Friday, 11 December 2015

Hanging in here

Quick post to say Hello - we are still here but getting a bit overwhelmed with all the Christmassy things which are popping up in the circuit as well as some sadness: one of my churches has four funerals planned within a three week period, and my work involves supporting the ministers and churches in these too.

We've also got Christmas music events for the violinist, which is involving some taxi-driving duties for me, and then there was a hospital appointment for the YFG yesterday with the ongoing problem she has with her wrist - we're now waiting for an ultrasound appointment to make a decision about an operation next year...

I made time for a quick hair cut yesterday and regretted it when I got home - I need to find another hairdresser in 2016.  I now have to look as I do for about three weeks until it grows again, and I am not that happy with it.

All the television news about the flooding in Cumbria puts our wee problems in the shade, and it is heartwarming to see the way that the communities there have pulled together and helped one another. A miracle cow that floated 18 miles downriver, shops cleaned and opened up again in just a few days, the community fund which has raised over a million pounds since last weekend, radio broadcasters doing extended programming in order to keep folk company in the dark night hours.

I have also made my annual donation to the Salvation Army in memory of my mum.  I'm sure that the SA has also been busy in the Lakes helping folk and I continue to support their work when I can.

And I made a cake last night - first one in weeks!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


It seems weird to think that the building I spent a scant half hour in last night was designed by a King almost 600 years ago - he did a good job as it is an amazing place!  I was less pleased with the almost four hours it took us to get there and back in order to be there just after the rush hour - and to find the door locked against us when we arrived....

King's College Chapel, Cambridge
Image result for kings college chapel
(image from en.wikipedia.org)

Anyway, the YFG has now had the privilege of standing at the wonderful lectern in the choir area, and rehearsing her reading by candlelight, in her position as a reserve reader for the schools' carol service this morning.  She was a bit quiet and a bit quick in her reading, and the chaplain instructed her as to how he wanted it read. It is a difficult reading, from 1 John, full of "knoweth" and "loveth" and words which make one struggle to know where to place the emphasis.  The chap who should be doing the reading was there last night, and I have hopes that he has turned up this morning so that she doesn't actually have to do it, so that she might get an easier reading when she does actually stand up there and do it for real next year!

It is a fantastic place, very overwhelming in size and majestical architecture, as you might imagine. The details are astounding, and the sheer scale of the building and craftsmanship just defy description.  I'm just glad that I don't have to preach in anywhere quite on this scale!

The chaplain was doing some name dropping as he was talking last night, saying that his friend, an actress, had been in to do some coaching with the readers who are reading at the recorded BBC services.  Only Rosamund Pike.  The YFG was a bit disappointed that she wasn't there last night to offer a few pointers!

Thursday, 3 December 2015


Thankful that the appraisal meeting went well yesterday - I know that there were a few prayers helping me out and I am grateful.

Thankful for some good times with the EFG home this week - some laughs and a lot of love - so good to have her home for a sneaky week away from uni. She has been working hard on revision though. She's off back in the morning for the last two weeks of term - so looking forward to 20th December!

Thankful for some gorgeous blue skies yesterday.

Thankful for UJ and my neighbour J who helped me with the drains yesterday - you just don't need to know any more than that!

Thankful for a good evening with the FH's son and his partner on Monday - good to catch up on some of their news over dinner together and then they took the girls to the cinema to see "The Lady in the Van".  Interesting reviews when they got home.......

Thankful for the £10 off voucher in the paper at the weekend, from Lidl.  Consequently one "free" turkey crown purchased for Christmas dinner, and the pud also found its way into the trolley. Dinner almost sorted!

Thankful for your patience whilst I am having a busy few days.........

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

And we're off!

Today, the first of December, marks the beginning of the Advent rush towards Christmas. The purists know that Advent began on Sunday but for all the little children opening their chocolate calendars, today was the day they could finally begin.

I've been here less this week so far, and I should think that might continue for now - life in the real world is busy.  I've been preparing for the work appraisal tomorrow, and the EFG is HOME for the week [just till Friday] so I have been spending a lot of time chatting with her - till 12.45am on Sunday night/Monday morning - she is a night owl and we do spend more time chatting at night, whereas the EF girls are both asleep by 9.30pm most nights.....

We've had a wee beastie in the EFG's room that we had to catch - the mouse trap had its victim within the afternoon, which was a relief.  We have left the traps set for a couple more days in case he had any friends up there with him!  And I didn't have to ask anyone for any help setting the traps, thank goodness.

I hope you are all well, and I shall pop round the blogs when I have time this week - I haven't said much lately on some of them, but I am still reading!  I am so far behind with the festive season this year - no cake made, no pudding, and hardly any gifts organised - and please don't mention cards.....

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Rocking, Rolling, Riding

That's what the EFG's train is doing today - she's caught in the north of England somewhere, travelling at much reduced speeds due to #StormClodagh and is patiently hoping to make her connections!

Are these storm names amusing you as much as they are us? Whilst not making light of the damage and distress that storms can cause, it does seem that someone somewhere is making them out to be more important than they used to be.  Names used to be for hurricanes and the like, not for a brisk wind coming in off the sea [and yes, that is me underplaying it - I know that they are some pretty fierce winds out there today!].  The weather seems to be changing year on year and we are getting a lot more of this wet and windy weather than I ever remember from years ago....but then, perhaps I don't remember it that accurately - I am far more likely to remember pleasant summer days than drab November ones.

The Fens are clothed in a coat of brown at the moment - the roads are slathered in mud, which rapidly transfers itself to the cars and vans, which are now all brown.  The verges are similarly muddy, and since the fields are ploughed over in the most part - they are deep and rich hues of brown as well.......there's a lot of it about!  Thank goodness for the days when we see gloriously blue skies to contrast with all the dullness occasionally.  Is it any wonder that we long for the bright lights of the festive period?  But we must be patient.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

You'd have noticed

Imagine the scene: a sedate WI choir, all dressed in black with chic red scarves, a small gathering of more senior citizens, a few helpers like me, and a generally hushed environment as we wait for the musical director/organist to appear [he'd been caught in traffic].  This was the church in one of the towns I serve last night, as we were having a carol sing-a-long with coffee and mince pies.

Then in walks someone who has obviously taken the festive theme to heart - red shoes, sparkly silver tights, a swirly satin skirt with gold tinsel all around it, a red shirt. An antler headband adorned her head, and a flashing Rudolph nose was attached with elastic.

Heads turned, as you can imagine. Then she started dishing out elf hats that she had brought along to share.  

This is my boss, the new superintendent!!  

Just shy of her 60th birthday, she is huge fun, as last night proved, and game for a laugh all the time.  When the compere chappy asked if anyone wanted to have a go at the solo for Once in Royal David's City, up she went and belted it out - she has a lovely voice.  We had a great night in her company, and the evening certainly got livened up when she arrived!  I'm loving working with her, I have to say!

I've also been to a Christmas Tree Festival this afternoon, and that was really inspiring too, if a little less exciting!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

One down

Well, last night is over and the last part of Faith and Worship is done - the presentation got a good response from those listening, and comments were made that it was thought-provoking, so I was pleased about that.  Perhaps relevant for today as Thanksgiving for our American friends that my presentation was on "Everyday Gratitude".

Now the next challenge is Sunday's evening service on Advent Sunday....the challenge of this one is that there is also a service at the same chapel in the morning each week and there is a slight risk of overlap so I do try to make the evening services that I take there quite different from anything that they may have had in the morning - but I have got to wrack my brain this week.  I'm making mince pies tonight so I shall mull it over whilst I bake.

I've got poorly girls in two countries this morning - taken the YFG to the doctor with some rashes which itch this morning, and then there's a message from the frozen north about a banging headache that is afflicting the student....paracetamol recommended.

Off to a "Sisterhood" group this afternoon - there aren't many of these devotional women's groups left in this area, but we have one in the circuit. A speaker is coming to talk about the local food bank, so I am keen to go along and find out what he has to say.

See you soon xx

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Called up

It seems that it was very timely for me to have a bit of a rest last week because it is all happening now!  Tomorrow night I have to make a presentation to the Local Preachers' Meeting as the final part of the course, and I have been preparing for that in the production of a 2000 word essay to deliver to them - on "Everyday Gratitude".  

I went off this afternoon to an Advent service, and came home to an email from the Superintendent summoning me at the customary one week's notice to a 3 month appraisal next Wednesday - oh my! and oh bother!

I've now got a list of question to consider and respond [with evidence] to for a meeting with the two ministers, and then a meeting with a lay board, and then a feedback meeting when all that is done......

Shall we just do one day at a time?

Monday, 23 November 2015

On the mend

Feeling more human again - less snuffly, and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine yesterday.

Ang's chrysanthemum plant is looking a little rough around the edges and in need of a tidy-up but hey, it is still alive and that is an achievement when I am taking care of a plant!  A bright spot on a north facing windowsill.

The beans are rattling in their pods on the wigwam in the garden but just look at the gorgeous blueness of the skies we had here yesterday - cold and crisp, yes, but glorious!

A reminder of the cycle of life - a few feathers on the mat evidenced the cat having had a spot of something earlier - something quite small by the size of the feathers....we do feed her really!

Leaves on the grass - pretty colours but also the testament to the development of the estate over the last ten years, as there were no trees or shrubs here when we arrived since it was all so new.  Now that we are more established, people's trees are sharing their leaves over the fences, and my bottom lawn is covered in next-door-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden's willow leaves.

And the raspberry canes are thinning out and shedding their leaves too after a quite prolific summer and autumn season....now if anyone can tell me how to keep them in the allotted bed, I'd be chuffed as they are growing everywhere, including in the pathways!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Confined to barracks

With a stinking cold, it seems unreasonable to be out and about at the churches, sneezing near vulnerable older folks, so I have just nipped in to a school yesterday to do an assembly, and then mostly been at home today.....apart from a haircut and a visit to the opticians.  All is well with the eyes, and the hair has been chopped quite dramatically - the floor looked as if a small brown sheep had been sheared!  Hoping to be feeling better tomorrow xx

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Another birthday passing

"The FH would have been 78 today" but I am not one for making too big a deal out of it now. That's why that remark is in quotation marks, because I haven't been going round, saying it to all and sundry.  I have remarked on my FB page that yes, it is the anniversary of his birthday, and I have sort-of indicated that this is the last time I will mark it on there, as I have further commented that I am sure he would be pleased with how we are getting on with our lives, as he wanted us to do.  We cannot live with one foot in the past, and we must look to the future.  He would not have wanted us to spend our lives in his shadow. 

Image result for birthday cake
(image from sugarshack.co.uk)
He did love Maltesers!

He has been gone for nearly 18 months now, and we are getting used to the new life that we have. The girls are both doing well in their studies, if not entirely with their friends [EFG hassles over flatmates, etc] and they have good heads on their shoulders.  They are reliable, sensible, focused, level-headed most of the time, and quite mature for their ages - although I still can't get to grips with the EFG being 20 next birthday...how did that happen?!  The YFG and I have talked again lately about a dog becoming part of our lives. That is about us moving on.

The FH's sister has emailed me to say that she will be ringing me today. She deals with grief and loss in a very different way, and always wanted to speak to him on their mother's birthday, for example. I do get it - it is about connecting with someone else who remembers the person who has died, and having shared space for memories.  I'll gladly speak with her, even though I would be happy to chat with her any day of the year - she need not wait for his birthday.  

There are thousands of ways to express grief, and I have been touched lately by some unhelpful posts on FB, which were absolutely well-intentioned, but just not right for me. They were largely of the "it's OK to be in pieces because grieving deeply means that you loved deeply". Right. So not being in pieces all the time means I didn't love him enough?  The people posting those thoughts, and the ones sharing them, perhaps haven't grieved an awful lot in their lives, or perhaps they have, but only in one way.  Their way is not my way, which is not your way, widows and widowers of the world.

Every single one of us does this our own unique way, and every way is right. Every way is true and deeply felt. 

I went to a meeting last week for people who had lost their partners through bereavement.  It was part of my work in the circuit, but it worked as I fitted in as a widow.  Let me tell you, there was a spirit of joy and warmth in that room as about 45 people came together in fellowship and shared community. I am going to work on setting up other groups like that in other areas of the circuit because we are sure that there is a need.

I know other widows read my ramblings here, and I just want to let you know that you just need to do whatever you need to do to get through it.  There is no right way. No wrong way. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty for doing this your way. I'm doing it my way.  God bless us all x

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Now what have we done?

I should know about gratitude....I've been consciously practicing it for more than three years, in a serious way. If someone does something for you, it is the right thing to do, whether they have bought you a present, unblocked a drain or dropped something at the dry cleaner on their way past.  Well brought up folks say thanks.

Image result for bottle of  wine for a gift
(image from lordsgifts.co.uk)

Appreciation is another side of the same coin.  It is ever so slightly different. These days, I am sick to death of people gushing on the tv and saying, "Thank you SO much!" all the time. It feels as if they think that just saying "Thanks" is meaningless and so they have to quantify it in some way.

So the chap next door risked life and limb to go up on the roof, and we took him and his son their wee gift tonight.  Awkward does not even begin to describe the scene. "Well, that was a stupid thing to do!" was the opening comment from the son when I said we had just popped round to say "Thank you!" and then the dad went on about, "We didn't do it for that" and they dug themselves deeper and deeper into it, until I just gave the son the bottle of wine, expressed our gratitude once more, and left them to their splutterings.

What a contrast between them and the computer chappie, who just said, "Oooh! I like that, thanks," and popped it in the fridge.

There's all kinds of reasons for their awkwardness - perhaps!  Perhaps they don't get thanked very often, perhaps they don't do things for other folk that much to get thanked, I don't know.  It may even be a man-thing - like man-flu?

There's another little point here but it is a serious one - we widows do not want pity.  We are strong women, we have been through all sorts, and so we can cope with disasters of all kinds, because we have already been through the major disaster, and we are still here.  We don't want people to be on our team because they feel sorry for us, and we do expect to be able to thank our team when we are supported.

Lesson for today - be gracious when someone thanks you, because it makes the person saying it feel pretty rubbish if you are not......but we'll keep putting their bins out for them when necessary :)

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Paying my debts

Wonder what you thought to that title? I don't have any real debts [thank goodness] but I have owed friends and neighbours for helping me out this last week or so, and I have both times been unable to pay them for their time and effort - as in, they would not take payment - so I have "paid" them both with bottles of red wine!

One chap, who has been a good mate for quite a while now, and if I had had a brother, I would have liked him to be just like this bloke, sorted out one of our laptops. It was on Windows 8 which the YFG and I both detest, and was running quite slowly, so he took it back to Windows 7, and it now goes like the wind around the internet, and loads programmes up much more speedily.  This man's wife is also a friend of mine through the church, and is possibly about to undergo a major operation, so she is often in my prayers.

Another chap, my neighbour, has been up on my utility room roof this morning to replace a tile which had slipped out of place and was threatening to come down. He has built his own house elsewhere in the past, and I knew that he would be able to recommend local tradespeople who would be reliable, so I approached him to let me know who to ask about the roof.  With my set of ladders, he was easily able to do the job himself with his son, who passed things up and fetched things, and I was very relieved that they were able to sort it out in about 20 minutes.

Ever with an eye to the pennies, two bottles of Sainsbury's best for a tenner found their way into the shopping trolley this afternoon. One delivered and one to be dropped in tomorrow, with chocolates for the son because we didn't know what he liked to drink [he is over 18!].

Our last minister very wisely told my friend, T, when her husband left her, not to lean too heavily on one person when she needed help, and I am doing my best to follow that advice as well. People are generally glad to help out if they can, but it wouldn't be right to ask the same person time and time again to give advice or assistance.

I have established a sort of mini-team around the place for help: the computer chap, the neighbour who gives house maintenance advice and assistance, the chap at the garage who maintains the car, my sister who helps with lifts for the YFG and taking her places she needs to go that I can't manage for one reason or another, my good friend T for general chats, UJ for gardening, and my dad for encouragement.  Cousins J & A are a tremendous source of support and their son M took the EFG's baggage back to Aberdeen in September and has already made plans to take her stuff up there next year.  We are incredibly blessed to be surrounded by people who love us and support us: in addition to these people, I know of at least half a dozen more who would help me if I asked them!

I'd rather be blessed with people like this than win the Lottery, I have to say.....

Friday, 13 November 2015

Butternut squash soup

Tonight, I was wondering what to do with the bottom part of a butternut squash. The top section had become a curry, alongside a sweet potato and some spinach, and so I had the other bit left. The violinist suggested soup, and indicated that she would like that for dinner tonight, so that is what I made.

It was easy, really, when I found a recipe which I could adapt to the ingredients which I had available. The squash was chopped up and roasted in my little oven for about half an hour in a wee puddle of oil in a roasting dish.  I fried off an onion in a smidge of butter and oil, and then added two garlic cloves [there's a bug going round in a Fenland school at the moment - not ours, yet - so I am going heavy on the alliums] and when the squash was finished roasting, it was added to the onions with 800ml of vegetable stock.  I added a teaspoon of curry powder for a bit more depth of flavour, and then I used the stick blender to whizz it all up.  I served it with a dollop of creme fraiche in each bowl.

It made two bowls of soup, which was perfect for the two EF girls as the YFG hates butternut squash so she opened a tin of chicken soup. They had hot cheese toasties and a microwave syrup sponge pudding with custard for dessert - a lovely, warming storecupboard/use it up kind of supper!  No photos as they ate it too quickly...

Thursday, 12 November 2015

A bishop from Uganda and a birthday

It's been quite a day!  I have managed to meet about 45 people at a bereavement support group, then I moved on to a credit union representative, and I ended up at a presentation from a Bishop from Uganda at what I thought was going to be a simple Knit and Natter group - but it was very interesting.  There was also birthday cake with the Bishop as the minister at that chapel was celebrating his birthday and brought cake to share.

(image from luwerocommunityprojects.org.uk)
The recently completed new school block above

Uganda. Wow. Children who get up at 5 am and walk for an hour or more to be in school by 7.30 am. Children who are orphaned, and cared for by the school ministry team.  Lack of water so desperate that they are getting money from Lakeland [used to be Lakeland Plastics, but I think it is now just Lakeland] for water tanks, and they have also drilled a well - 230 feet down to the water table. Lakeland has already funded the building of a clinic at the school for the local community - I'm impressed: I may make the odd purchase there again if they are doing good things with some of the profits!  Children in the area need to pay to attend the school, as it is a private school - government funding doesn't run to many schools, unfortunately. There are more than 600 children in this particular school, and the Bishop is in charge of 500 pastors who cover the surrounding area - a big area!  He's my age, and he came to Glasgow to the International Bible College there, but then decided that he would go back to Uganda to help his people there - he could have stayed and had a much easier life, I think, but decided to go back and give back.  He and his wife have a gorgeous baby, but she was one of triplets: only Priscilla survived.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that however little we have, we still have so much more than countless others.  Makes me grateful all over again.........