These were four days in Newcastle between a time away that was wanted and a time away that in so many ways isn't wanted. As I write this I am still away for that time away and look forward to being home. It's a necessary time away but a sad and difficult one and it got more sad than expected. It's all part of life, and I am now gaining a life that I want to live and live to the full. That's not something I could have said not too many years ago.
Four days. A lull. A time that felt a bit unreal. And a time that demonstrates my current zeal to live. Days of trying new things and going to new places. Some of them got listed in the diary.
The day after this I left home for Sussex to help with the final clearing and selling of what was the home of my parents and which was my home too - my only childhood home. On the day that this post is published I will be leaving that house for the last time. It's pretty empty now and doesn't feel like my parents' house now. Contents have gone to the tip, to family, to charity shops, and some to refugees. More will be taken for family and refugees very soon and the remainder will be cleared by a house clearance firm.
I hope that the new owners and/or residents love it there. My parents moved there just a few years after getting married and never moved even though they considered it several times and there were a couple of periods of looking at lots of other houses. We came quite close to moving once but the house we wanted was taken off the market. My mother said it was good that we didn't move. Finances wouldn't have worked out well if there was any larger mortgage to pay off. So they stayed in that house and made it a good home, filled with the things they loved.
So. Four days, between the joy of Greenbelt and the non-joy of the job-nobody-really-wants-to-do-but-most-people-have-to-at-some-point.
Grateful to have taken the plunge.
Grateful to have tried something new.
At Greenbelt I stood and watched a guy play with a hoop. Returning home I find notice of a hoop dance workshop once more.
I have heard of these workshops since they began. I wanted to try. I couldn't.
This time I went for it in full knowledge of my unfitness, lack of balance, stiffness, and of having not really played with a hoop since I was six and was pretty ridiculed at school for being so crap at it.
Yep. Ridiculed. And wounded.
One more kick towards the darkness.
I am grateful that tonight I played again.
One more caress back into the light.
Yeah. I can't do it. Or much of it. I could begin to do a couple of things.
But I can't set a hoop spinning round my middle without it falling to the floor.
Yet is a word I didn't used to use of my lack of a skill.
I will play with a hoop again. And see what happens.
Does anyone have nice hoops they don't want? I think regular play would be excellent for me physically and mentally.
So Clare had a good time. And if she hadn't? Well that would have been okay too.
Grateful for the meeting in Broadacre this morning. It may lead to good things.
Grateful for a free evening of meditation even though it all felt a bit cultish possibly. I enjoyed it but my inner siren said "Danger, Will Robinson."
Before the evening, Blob met this priest. A man from Ampleforth, a place currently embroiled in further accusations of sexual abuse and of cover ups, this time unrelated to Basil Cardinal Hume.
Grateful for another priest today - the Anglican Bishop of Grantham. He has publicly stated that he is in a gay relationship. A brave thing for a bishop to do.
Hopeful for a church future - if the church has any worthy future at all - in which neither sexual abuse nor loving sexual relationships are ever covered up.
A future in which churches aren't so twisted in doctrine or practice.
Grateful for street logos and art.
Grateful too for cheap clothes in Byker and a superb toastie in a Byker cafe.
Also grateful for a moment of revelation in a discussion with one of the evangelical praying people in town.
Grateful to be able to buy just the right kind of liquorice for Amanda. I went to Tynemouth just to buy it.
Grateful to have got the best seat on the Metro.