Wednesday, 25 September 2013

harvest festival

When I first arrived at this little chapel I was warned that it was like stepping back in time thirty years but I was quite happy with that. I use the pulpit, wear a dog collar on special occasions and we have a 'hymn sandwich' service. Thirty years ago at the suburban church I attended it was decided that we should no longer decorate the church and bring along our baskets of fruit and vegetables for the Harvest Festival - no-one seemed to want them afterwards - all the Old People's Homes were overwhelmed with so much produce from so many churches that they could not use. So we were asked to bring tins and if my memory serves me right - used tins with money inside!
Here at Zoar we still celebrate Harvest in a big way, especially as it is a farming community and this year the farmers are very happy, having had an excellent harvest.
Apologies for the quality of the photo - it has come to me via a pc onto my mac and gone blurry but there is corn and fruit and vegetables, bread, eggs, coal and salt along with flowers on every window sill. 
After the service, flowers were sent to those unable to attend and the vegetables were taken to make soup, apples taken to make pies, other fruit to make fruit salad ready for our Harvest Lunch on Saturday. We have quite a reputation for our Harvest Lunch and others come from out-lying chapels and the Vicar comes from up the road and no-one will need to eat for the rest of the day after the four-course meal of soup, salad with ham and meat and/or a veggie quiche, dessert and cheese and biscuits, tea and coffee! The flowers and the remaining fruit and vegetables will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to the BMS (Baptist Missionary Society). There will be much fun and laughter.

Monday, 16 September 2013

they are not called Lakes...

Thursday 12th Sept.
...most of them are referred to as Waters or Meres.  We are now camped just outside Hawkshead which is just north of Esthwaite Water which is situated between Windermere and Coniston Water. Hawkshead was heaving with tourists this morning - we tend not to think of ourselves as tourists! as we used to live on the outskirts of the Lake District. It seems that most people come to look at the quaint houses dating back to at least the 15th century along with where William Wordsworth went to school and many ‘shops’ about Beatrix Potter who lived very near here and was inspired to write and illustrate her books as well as help to start the National Trust and she made sure that the breed of Herdwick sheep survived. Sorry no photos of sheep, but they are grey and have fluffy legs so look more like large dogs!
Most tourists are unlikely to know that they are only a short walk away from a beautiful quiet ‘lake’ with a swan with its cygnets and about fifty mallard ducks - no boats, no people, just a few cars on the road on the opposite side of the lake. It was so peaceful.
Our walk to the village entails tramping across fields which are often edged with large pieces of slate, the look and size of tombstones! very applicable for the churchy boundary!
Heard on the news today that the Church of Wales has voted in favour of Women Bishops, Yippee!

Friday13th Sept.
Today we opted for a walk away from the crowds up into Grizedale Forest, our aim being to reached an un-named little water. On the way I saw lots of blackberries which were not quite ripe and remembered waking early and listening to the farming programme on Radio4 - there had been a scientific experiment comparing blackberries picked along-side urban roads, rural roads and those bought in a supermarket. The result was that they all had a certain amount of chemicals in them but there was not that much difference. Their conclusion was that it was quite safe to eat roadside blackberries - whereas my conclusion is don’t buy supermarket berries - only eat those from hedgerows well away from any road!
We reached the little water... it was so quiet and still, as you can see from the reflection of the trees - and we were the only people there!

Saturday 14th Sept.
We got on our bikes and cycled to the southern end of Esthwaite Water, where we sat on the shore eating cake! As a diabetic, the expending of lots of energy walking up hills and cycling means I can indulge in very fruity home-made cake.
A passing swan but without cygnets made the picture complete.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

moving on

Tomorrow we leave the club campsite with all its facilities including wifi and go to the centre of the Lakes near Hawkshead where we will be staying on a 'certified' site, which means we should be one of only five campers on a very quiet site.

After our last visit to Gretchen on Friday afternoon, I again felt tired but not exhausted, but I also had a deep feeling of calm which has stayed with me and it is still there! although I do still have my tremor but I can at least eat my dinner with a knife and fork instead of a spoon which has been happening recently!

We have been taking things very easily over the weekend - no strenuous walks - but a gentle stroll this morning on the shore of the Esk estuary. This photo was taken last year, but the weather was just the same this morning, except for a few clouds until we got back to the camper when the heavens once again opened! We think the posts originally held up fishing nets but today often hold up washing lines!

Friday, 6 September 2013

catching up

Although I have not written anything here recently, it is not for lack of something to say - just that I seem to be busy when something comes to mind!
Paul successfully completed the Etape and just came in the first third of those completing the course but it did take him a couple of days to recover!

When looking forward to our holiday here we were prepared for it to be much cooler than at home and very wet. But having been here for four glorious days this is our first wet day and we had already decided to have a restful morning 'doing nothing' before going for our treatment at the Centre for Complementary Care this afternoon.
I first met Gretchen when we lived on the edge of the Lake District and I attended a day of Christian Contemplative Prayer and she was one of the speakers. We then visited the Centre on a regular basis but I did not have any treatment until a couple of years ago when my tremor was getting particularly bad and any pills I took just zonked me out!

One would think that lying on a high bed for nearly an hour, sometimes falling asleep, sometimes chatting while Gretchen sitting on an office wheelie chair slowly goes around you lightly touching first your left upper arm, moving to your left hand, down to your feet, up the right side of your body and then lightly holding your head, would make you feel relaxed and revived!
But although the feeling after the treatment is one of being relaxed, it is shortly followed by feeling tired and exhausted and being warned not to do too much for the rest of the day! We have now learnt that it is best not to go for a long strenuous walk the next morning either - hence our lazy morning while the rain patters on our camper-van's roof!
It will be our last session of four this afternoon and although I have not noticed a great reduction in my 'shakes', something has been happening!