Two weeks ago, I said to the welcome team at the front of the church "I have some friends coming this morning,can you keep an eye out for them, please?" The conversation then became rather surreal as I had to explain that I'd only met one of them, briefly, in Belfast, a few years back, but she wasn't Irish - and I had never met her mother [who lives near here], but Mum would probably be carrying a large wedding hat. I suspect the welcome team wondered how they were going to give a special welcome to someone who I could not describe at all! [So they did their usual thing and welcomed everyone warmly!] Fortunately I spotted Niqi soon after she came into the building, and all was well.
The week before, someone at church told me that a lady they work with had asked about me, as she has been following the blog for some time, and worked out from posts this year that her colleague and I go to the same church. We have not met up [yet]
This week, I was in Boscombe, following Bob into a CS, when a lady coming out said "Excuse me, are you Angela?" and this was someone who had exchanged a few emails with me over the past year. She too has followed Tracing Rainbows for a while, and lives not too far away. She'd kindly got in touch to wish me well with the move to Dorset - but we both had family weddings, and have never got round to meeting up for coffee [In the New Year I hope we will]
Two other friends, both of whom I have known for more than 30 years, but rarely get to see these days, put kind notes in their Christmas cards, saying they still follow the blog to keep up with our family news.
It has all been quite amazing - and particularly helpful these past few weeks, when I have been remembering how many good friends I left behind in Leicester. Those friends are still very precious - but I am grateful for the many new friends I have here in Dorset too, and many others all over the world.
I cannot send everybody a Christmas card - but whoever you are, thank you for reading the blog - and may God grant you and yours a truly blessed Christmas time and a New Year full of unexpected joys.