The week was spent clearing some of the properties of storm damage. There are still about fifteen to do, but that's for the coming week.
This was Friday, my birthday, and after a morning cuppa.....pressie time!
The daughters were coming over for the evening, but for now, Amanda presented me with a lap full of 'shiny specials'. There was my favourite aftershave, a beautiful, warm woolen scarf, and a John Rocha shoulder bag for carrying my drawing stuff, camera and such like when out and about.
Celia came down soon after, whereupon there were more gifts of a flower press (yes, you heard correctly readers. A very manly one though, that I had been after). There was also a copy of 'The Hedgerow Handbook' by Adele Nozedar, which I shall put to some very good use this coming year. Finally, a cd token, which already had a harp collection and oboe collection stamped on it.
A lovely breakfast of bubble and squeak with fried eggs was next, as we were going for a short drive and a bracing walk today.We headed over the ferry to the purbecks, and parked up just outside Worth Matravers. I have mentioned our final destination a couple of times before, but it is a favourite of mine, and always affords some quiet time of reflection, the results of which I must put in my next post. We headed along the path that takes one to St.Aldhelms Head, where there is to be found an 850 year old octagonal church, perched on the cliff top.
It may appear to be a strange place for a church to be, but when it was originally built, the coast path that it's on was part of The Priests Way, a pilgrimage route from Penzance to London, and people of faith making the journey were able to rest a while, pray, and reflect, as we were ourselves doing. Although their journey was a much, much longer one.
Of course there has always been those that feel the need to carve their name etc into any such structure, and this place is no exception. The difference here is that some of the marks (those that are still readable) go back to the 1600's! The letters and numbers carefully and beautifully carved, unlike the 'penknife scratchings' you see today.
I had lots to be thankful for, but also more that I needed help with, and so I prayed in earnest for the first time in quite a while.
It was about 1pm by now, the weather forecast was for heavy rain to move in from the southwest, and on looking outside, the dark grey clouds were heading our way.
And so we headed back to The Square & Compass for the warm fire, good company, and a little refreshment.
The afternoon seemed to fly by ever so quickly, and before we knew it, Claire and Rebecca were knocking on the door, armed with more presents, and a couple of bottles of wine, in readiness for the evening ahead. Champagne was sipped, as I opened up yet more wonderful goodies. A bottle of Shiraz, olives, posh chocolates, a Pissarro print and special little ginger crisps, I do love all of my ladies! A wonderful birthday feast to follow, of Amandas fish pie, made with smoked haddock, cod, salmon, prawns and scallops was devoured, and soon followed up with a homemade lemon cheesecake, one of my favourites.
Then the real fun began, as all five of us retired to the lounge for a Sound of Music singalong, with all of us laughing and unable to sing, as we tried to keep up with the Goad Heard song.
We all couldn't believe how the time flew by, as the film, and my lovely time with such special people drew to a close. It was midnight when the daughters left, and Celia retired to her room for the night, leaving Amanda to settle a very excited Gary back down to earth once more.
I leave you with a chinese proverb that was on one of my birthday cards, and how true it is.
IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY FOR A SHORT TIME
HAPPY FOR A LONG TIME,
FALL IN LOVE;
HAPPY FOR EVER,
TAKE UP GARDENING.