Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Ups And Downs

It's been a strange week of ups and downs. Familywise [is that a word?] lots of "ups". I cannot tell you the joy of seeing Steph and Gary, and meeting George on Friday, and then on Saturday to meet up with Liz, Jon and Rosie for the first time since Christmas. Rosie has had virtually no "live" conversations with anyone, apart from her parents, since early March. She was bursting with enthusiasm to tell us everything. 
Having spent Friday in Manchester, we then drove to Cornerstones. Lots of issues needed sorting here. The fallen fence panels we stacked in our brief February visit [intending to shift at Easter] had become home to a colony of mice. The weeds were rampant. And there was a dreadful smell of oil from the CH boiler [no gas in the village] We smashed the panels to much  smaller pieces and Bob took them to the tip. He mowed and strimmed and sprayed. Philip the boiler guy kindly came at short notice to fix the leak.
Four and a half days at Cornerstones was a real treat. The journey here was shorter than the trip to Manchester, so less tiring in one day. [and both shorter than that infamous trip to Durham] 
I actually had a helpful conversation about my journey beforehand, with someone from Dorset police. I feel so sorry for them at the moment, they have a difficult job at the best of times, and this is the worst of times. 
Both my daughters are coping well, and I was grateful to see them properly, not just on-screen. But concerned that like many other couples both busily WFH whilst managing a child, Liz and Jon looked very tired. A seven year old will be getting activities from school, is safe left in an adjacent room while Mum has a work  Zoom meeting. A four year old  needs a lot more adult input. Trying to meet all the demands of work and family has been exhausting for them [and loads of other parents] In three months Rosie is due to start school. A whole new world, in a classroom of unknown faces, and no proper opportunity to have the preschool preparation which her excellent nursery would normally provide... We are all concerned - for children, parents and education professionals.
A friend died at the weekend. In her fifties, with children - a hard working, caring woman, and wife of a Pastor on the point of moving to a new church. She contracted the virus, then there were complications... It is really sad. My heart aches for the family, and two church fellowships unexpectedly bereft.
And then alongside personal ups and downs, there are all the global repercussions from the killing of George Floyd. Sir Keir Starmer was right, that wretched statue in Bristol should have been toppled years ago. It was never really wanted from the beginning [helpful historical notes here
Yes I am a privileged white female and so I cannot truly empathise with BAME groups - but I can recognise and acknowledge injustice, and do what I can to fight against it, and stand up for the weak, the poor, and the marginalised. 99.9% of the time I believe in peaceful protest - but just occasionally I realise I support "considered" vandalism, which does not hurt people [or animals] I cherish a tiny fragment of the Berlin Wall which Steph brought back from Germany some years ago. I watched the TV pictures of people tearing down that monstrosity of evil, and I cheered and I wept. 
I do hope they fish the statue out of the water. That much bronze surely has a good scrap value. Sell the metal, melt him down and make something worthy, and use the money to do good.
Life has its ups and downs. Today we will shut up Cornerstones again, and drive down the motorway back to Dorset. And trust the Lord to guide us through the days ahead. 
Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come
Tis grace has brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home 
[John Newton, who wrote "Amazing Grace" had himself been a slave trader, but God turned his life around from evil to good] 


  1. Let us hope medical research can tell us one day why BAME were more susceptible to Covid than others, apart from the elderly and those with underlying health issues of course, as this has been the case the world over.

  2. Well you covered a fair few miles there that's for sure. Dorset to Manchester to Norfolk and back. And how many nights did you stay away? A few Hail Mary's and Our Fathers will put it right.

  3. We were away 5 nights. And my parental instincts, plus the discovery of the oil leak, suggest it was a wise decision!

  4. Sounds like a busy few days! I am glad you were able to see your family in person. I am sure Rosie had a lot to say! :)

  5. I am glad you said that about the scrap value...because I was glad it had gone...but I kept thinking...surely that bronze could all be put to good purpose for the cause rather than rotting at the bottom of the river.
    There's a lot to think about at the moment and learn but I will continue to do my best for those BAME children who I immediately have an impact upon and there a lot of them.

    1. Latest news : the statue has been fished out. The council have it "safely stored" but they have said the graffiti and ropes are still on it, and will stay there as they are "part of the story"


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