They weren't easy for more reasons than expected. The circumstances mentioned below were very sad ones for everyone concerned. Others had a great deal more to cope with. For myself the shock was great. For those closer, the shock was much greater. Very sad.
And yet even in these days there were things to be grateful for. And some big surprises too. The opportunity mentioned below was stunning and a total sudden surprise. It meant that a week later I found myself not in Newcastle as expected but in Edinburgh. But that can all wait for a future post.
The circumstances are not what we hoped. Not at all.
But I am grateful to be able to see the relations that I like.
I often visited this place as a child, the home of my favourite uncle and aunt and their children.
We would always walk into the village and often take pictures of the child angel.
We would always be fed well.
Things are different this time. But the angel and the feeding remain. As does the view.
Grateful the day is over.
Except grateful for an opportunity presented to me unexpectedly.
Grateful for a surprise lunch with my ex church pastor from Crawley. I learned solid, literalist, Biblical homophobia in that church. Things have mellowed a lot since then.
Grateful too for water features at a Crawley hotel.
Grateful that we got the necessary things done today.
Grateful to have got through this time in Crawley. In 12 hours I will be gone.
Photos were taken tonight in the darkness of what was my parents' back garden.
Grateful too for a surprise contact and the promise of meeting a friend at the weekend for the first time in 20 years.