Deacon Peter writes...
Hello again everyone, I hope you are all still keeping well. What a month it has been!
As we are all now witnessing, the coronavirus death toll in the UK is finally falling and therefore certain restrictions are being eased. Holidays to Spain, Portugal and other parts of Europe have begun to resume, family ‘bubbles’ can now be created and much to my delight but not Melinda’s football has returned to our television screens, if not the stadiums, and we continue to enjoy the glorious weather and just as we try to get everything ready to open our churches for private prayer, the government announce that actually, churches can open from 4th July, it feels a bit like the number eight bus in West End, nothing for ages and then two come along at the same time! but there is still a lot of preparation to be undertaken before this happens so please be patient as you may see some churches opening before others and wonder why they can’t all open at the same time. As some restrictions ease, others are put into place. I had just got used to queueing at the amenity tip and worked out that rather than going at a reasonable time in the mid-morning and queuing for about two hours I could arrive a little earlier than the advertised opening time and only queue for one hour which was very manageable however; Eastleigh Borough Council (and I believe other local councils) have now introduced a booking system which requires a 48 hour notice which is not as convenient, but I suppose it helps the local residents who have to deal with additional traffic queueing on their roads and we have to be grateful they are at least open again.
While I continue to be on furlough from work you might be surprised to learn that I have grown a beard and moustache, (not a big deal in the grand scheme of things) but during a clergy meeting via Zoom this week Fr. Antony said he did not recognise me at first. I thought my growth was quite cultured however, as the top and bottom lips meet they take on the role of natural Velcro so needless to say when you next see me I will probably once again be clean shaven!
Our garden continues to grow both in colour and in the number of plants with another couple of roses added to the ever-increasing rose garden, some more lavender and additional carnations. I have also purchased a new compost bin. Priced (I thought) rather reasonably, the advert gave it a good rating, describing it as being weather proof, with a hinged roof for easy access, environmentally friendly and made of natural fir construction. It was quite a tense time in the house when it arrived as on the outer box was emblazoned in bold print ‘Bright yellow’ I was not pleased as that was not what I ordered and was already planning to send it back but when I opened the box it was exactly how it was described, what a relief. The runner beans, peas, tomatoes and lettuce are now well established however, the onions have suffered somewhat as Geraldine the chicken wanders around the garden, she seems to have a particular liking for spring onions!
I have also been busy on the construction front. Now I would like to think there is a good reason why I am called Peter and not Joseph, not least because I am not a carpenter however, I was pretty pleased with my handywork recently after I completed a woodstore with some left-over wood I had in the garage and from a project that our son had completed. We don’t have a woodburning stove in the house but I do have a fire pit on the patio which I have been using recently, especially in the early part of lockdown. It was one of those things I felt the urge to do, if you have seen the film ‘Evan Almighty’ you will know what I’m talking about, not quite on the same scale as the Ark, but was just as satisfying all the same.
This past week has also been a week of celebration as first we celebrated Melinda’s birthday and then Father’s Day in our family ‘bubble’ with a BBQ and a lovely countryside walk, and this week (Feast of SS. Peter and Paul) I will celebrate my 11th year of Ordination to the Diaconate. It was a day that will live on in my heart, from breakfast in the morning through to the hog roast in the evening, so we thank all of you for your continued support, prayers and cards over these past years.
We pray this week for the repose of the soul of John Ackland, we pray also for Christine and the family at this difficult time. I wish you all a happy and blessed week and please God we’ll all meet again soon.
27th June 2020