Hello everybody. The second article from home - I can’t believe it… Even with extra time, I’m writing it last minute.
The first thing I’d like to say is that I hope that you are all remaining safe and well. If anybody needs anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or Karen from the benefice office and we can get you whatever help you need or find the right person to help you. No matter how small, even if it’s a little worry on your mind, we may be able to help. Contact details are here in the magazine (p57).
While I’ve been out and about, I’ve seen lots of faces I hadn’t seen in a while. These included Philipa Latham, ex pre-school and now Shinfield after school club, with her husband Richard and one of her daughters. It had been a while since we saw each other and it was lovely to have a catch up. I am truly blessed living where I do - really. People are walking by for their exercise and I’m getting to say hello - though I do have to remind them who I am, as my hair is no longer short and blonde, it’s longer and is my natural colour (red, not forgetting the silver streaks). I also haven’t got my apron on, a true giveaway usually, but have been wearing shorts because it’s been so gorgeous, which totally throws people.
I saw Jules (volunteer Kathy’s daughter-in-law), Sophie and Oliver out on their bikes. I said “hello, how are you?” Jules very politely said “fine, thank you.” She had no idea it was me and I couldn’t chase her down the road saying “it’s me, it’s me.” A few days later, they were riding past my flat and I saw them. This time, Jules stopped and I said I’d seen her and said hello. She said “I remember now, but I didn’t know it was you!” So we had a little catch up.
I’ve seen Anna, Will, Daisy and George. Anna is one of the Grazeley school receptionists and a long-standing friend to the cafe. This is the wonderful family that lend us the Gazebo every year for the cafe at the carnival. They even brought me an egg for Easter - very thoughtful and kind.
I’ve also seen Jude and Trevor. I was half asleep in the chair outside in the sun and I thought I recognised the voice… There they were, going on a walk, so we had a chat and a catch up. They are well and, like lots of people, have been decorating and clearing out the loft. I was so glad they hadn’t taken a picture of me half asleep for Facebook!
Have you found yourself faced with the jobs you didn’t have time to do before lockdown and you wish you didn’t have the time for now?!
Anna and Heather were passing the other day so we all had a catch up. Heather wants to learn how to knit stitches other than knit & purl. So I’ve offered to teach her over our mobiles on Facetime. I’m looking forward to that.
Have any of you started something you’ve never done before? I was dropping some meals to Dave the other day and walked through the church garden - what a lovely job Elizabeth Joyes has done again. Elizabeth keeps the garden of remembrance looking lovely. She even mowed around the edges of the main garden. Thank you, Elizabeth. I saw Richard Joyes out with their dog, Fingal, on the same day - what a coincidence.
I couldn’t believe it when I saw the other Richard, riding his mobility scooter around the village, so I walked with him (leaving a socially distanced gap between us) all the way from Croft Road to the One Stop shop. It was lovely to have a walk and chat. He’s doing well, no change really, he’s still got his positive attitude.
I’ve seen Trudi and Andrew. They called by to say hello on their way past. How lovely it was to see them. They have been working on the magazine and all that’s involved in it becoming digital. They never stop - throwing their hearts and souls into each project they get involved in. Thank you both for all you do with those committed, compassionate hearts.
Dawn Walker and I have little chats. Dawn and Simon were out for a walk and stopped to say hello - from the other corner of the street. I told you this flat is perfect for me...
Karen and David Patrick called by. They are discovering new walks in the area.
It was great to see them. It is so true that we would never have found these places to walk, under normal circumstances. I most certainly didn’t think I had the time to go out for walks but I will definitely be making sure I do when we return to what resembles normal.
Marc is ok as are Joan and Charlie. I’ve spoken to Marc lots. I’ve also spoken to Robin a couple of times and he’s managing. He’s got plenty to do to keep him busy, even a fish-pond. I had no idea that you could have a fish-pond at the mobile home sites - you learn something new every day!
On VE day, I was walking along Grovelands Road and saw Laura and Mark with all their family. I had never seen them all together before. It was sunny and everyone looked so happy, so I asked if I could take a photo. They were so grateful. Apparently, they had been saying, a little while earlier, that they didn’t have a recent family photo. So now they do, and so do you!
Karen sent me a photo of Gwen having a socially distanced VE Day party in Askew Drive. I’d walked through there and had seen the preparations – which reminded me of everybody getting their stall ready at a church fete!
I’ve seen Pat and Andrew Baldwin. Pat gets younger looking whenever I see her!
I’ve used this time to catch up with old friends, some of whom were the original tiny tots group members who were part of the original team who had the idea for the cafe. That was fun...
Quite often, I see Laura and her family with the twins and Daniel. They are neighbours, kind of, so its lovely to see them. How big they have grown!
I often wave at Margaret, sitting in her chair in her window.
Once again, it’s reassuring to know that everybody is looking out for everybody else. It’s a great community we have in this benefice. It’s a privilege to be a part of it.
I’d like to send best wishes to anybody who has been poorly during this time, not only with the virus but with other medical conditions. Thank you to all in the benefice who continue to work in any in front-line positions whilst we stay safe at home. Lots of love to all the volunteers, customers and churchgoers across the benefice who I haven’t mentioned. Also to the clergy for the continued support via Facebook for lunchtime and evening prayer and for the Sunday morning worship via Zoom.
Stay safe all. Until the next time.
Debbie x x
Love and blessings from
Caf’ Active Volunteers, St Michael’s PCC & me, Debbie
07773 947 836