It was strange to be back in Leamington yesterday for Rachel and Nish's wedding. It was lovely to see everyone again and made a change from all the 'Hello who are you again?' conversations I've been having recently. But it was interesting working out how to reply to the question, 'How's it going?' How is it going?
I suspect I gave a slightly different answer to everyone who asked and, if they compare notes, they'll be confused. Sometimes only talking about how it's going will tell you how it's going.
I don't know quite how I'm doing yet and I think that is for others to call but I certainly, in answering the questions, worked out that I feel happy and fulfilled whilst remaining a little concerned for Liz whose working life makes it a slower matter to establish friendships locally. She's not here as much as I am and when she is here she is weary. Whilst traditionally it is the clergy who get interrupted at mealtimes with pastoral emergencies she had to restaff a shop today whose manager had suffered a bereavement.
Someone asked me today if I was doing too much (close friends please stop sniggering) and, whilst I don't think I am, it is good to have the support of people who will ask such questions. It is true that if your children have left home before you are old and tired it gives you an opportunity to work differently. I tend to take lots of breaks in a day but I am quite good at switching on and off work. I can't train this technique; I guess you are either wired like that or you aren't. Talk to me about it if you want to though.
The wedding was great fun and included giant party-poppers as bride and groom walked down the aisle. The band more or less held it together with special respect to Joe for putting the pedal of the bass drum right through its skin during verse 1 of song 1 and covering by playing bass on toms for the rest of the service. Class. As ever it was a joy to accompany Ben singing. Fly Me To the Moon and Across the Sea during the signing of the registers had the angels watching jealously. Another ten years of practice and I might get the hang of swing. I couldn't do golf either so maybe I am just incapable of all sorts of swinging. Some good news there then.
This morning I visited one of the other churches in the team and had to dust down my robes and sing all eight verses of For All the Saints and O When the Saints Go Marching In. Bit different. I was told that the choir couldn't hear a word I said but not what I should have done about it. Apparently they enjoyed seeing the laughter on the faces of the rest of the congregation. Popped back into Trendlewod for coffee and walked into a happy, vibrant, community. Had several chats with people and felt built up for the week. Never got a coffee though.