Having last written with my heart in my boots and my feet dragging reluctantly on into a new season of change, I thought it was time to write an update. As much as we were confident our steps were steps of faith and that we were choosing to walk in the way that was right for us, there was still that awkward wrench and heart-ache at leaving all that had meant so much to us. Now, change has taken place and two months into this new way of life, how has it been? After only two months is it really fair to pass comment? It is still early days, but the most succinct word to summarise it is an unsurprising and uninspiring word: good. There is no more complex or flamboyant a description needed. However, if I were to elaborate, I would add the word wholesome. That is to say that this new way of life has benefitted the general health and well-being of our family (apart from the dalmatian, who nearly self-destructed after eating an indestructible toy. A very expensive operation saved him and has left Longshanks investigating pet insurance). The natural law of life dictates that where we prosper, so do the lives of those we connect with and so we are watching the capacity of our ministry expand and stretch healthily, just as we expected it to. To say nothing of the pleasure of being able to share our table with others!
I could celebrate big things but, as always, it is the little things that I rejoice in.
Some of the little things I am learning to love:
- The rattle of the Mighty Micra across the cobbles as Boffin and I set out in the early hours of the morning. It’s not the rattle that I love (obviously) but the fact we live on a cobbled street (even more so as it has built-in, flagstone, carriage tracks).
- The freedom to experience the Dean’s Field as our backyard, now the evenings are lighter.
- Being able to entertain guests with ease. We are so much better positioned to put our pastor hats on and say ‘pop round’.
- Evening walks around the city walls, with Tim.
- Family badminton games.
- Squash with my highly competitive husband – an hilarious highlight of my week. On average we get to play twice a week and if he’s losing the level of possible cheating rises but it’s so subtle that I can never quite figure it out. It’s very funny!
- Despite being right in the city centre, we love the quietness of where we are situated and the fact that when we might hear a bit of late night disturbance on the walls it tends to be a happy sound of laughter or tipsy singing.
- That said, the fortissimo volume of bird song is incredible! The birds are so loud here, in comparison to where we moved from, that we couldn’t quite believe it.
- Kayaking on the canal – Tim’s latest outdoor pursuit – as the canal is within walking distance.
- We overhear the choir practising regularly when we walk out from the house into the cloistered neighbourhood – angelic and somewhat bizarre!
- The convenience of the shops (not sure it is convenient for our budget, however!).
- The independence the children have as they grow up and gain opportunity to do different things.
- Friday night date nights when the children are at Youth (they have their own key and can make their own way home when they are ready) and Tim and I explore the local eateries etc.
- Driving home through a 14th Century archway with a 21st Century bollard that drops in recognition of our car number plate – the anachronistic contrast tickles me.
- Culture on our door step that feels so luxurious. Recently, we had a lovely evening of roast duck at home followed by a wander across the cobbles to the theatre to watch some extremely arty contemporary dance, the like of which I have never seen live before.
- The bells. I love the bells. My teen years were spent living in the shadow of a parish church and it means I feel at home when I hear the bells. They are not as loud as I expected them to be.