About 20 of us gathered in the Methodist Church in Radstock for the last Vineyard service of its type before the summer break. One of the leaders is going to Hong Kong for two and a half weeks and others will be on holiday or busy working on their farms.
I loved the T-shirt worn by one of the members. Very droll.
The Sermon was on the topic of rest. I don’t do rest very well but as I pointed out to one of the discussion subgroups of which I was a part, it’s all about respite care which includes respite for ourselves and secondly, recreation which is one of those words that we use without thinking about it. Re- creation is a self-healing that can happen automatically without the will of the subject.
You don’t have to do anything or not do anything apart from breaking your daily routine. I think we’ve grossly under estimated the effect of ‘me time’ which is not selfish but considerate of the fact that we have a mortal body and it needs to repair itself from time to time, well regularly in an ideal world. You would not try to service a car while driving it and in the same way the car must be parked in order for servicing and repairs to take place.
We are not saying time spent on anything is good or bad but like the mixture in a cake you need a balance between flour, sugar seasoning, water and yeast for the cake to rise.
We were asked to say what we had achieved during the last year. I say that I have maintained my faith and not fallen into the arms of the devil. By this I mean succumbing to Greed and insecurity and losing your sense of purpose in life. Also I have made progress due to the support of others and their willingness to attend to my often rather obvious and basic questions.
Two people were motivated to pray for me. One person who prayed for me said that I should remember that the Spirit of God has been with me since before birth, and also that I should learn to become more flexible and therefore develop a new modality of interaction with others.
We were abjured during the Sermon to ‘fill our jars’ with the Spirit of God.
I’ve discussed with one of the people the general human trait of shyness. To those afflicted there is nothing to be ashamed of. If you have been hurt in five or six different ways then you are going to perform due diligence on yourself before entering into a new situation. When people are invited to an event they don’t know anybody, or dont have the confidence then self-protection is going to come into operation.
What if I’m the only person that doesn’t know anybody? What if I don’t get on with people or have nothing in common with them? What if I can’t find the place of the meeting? All these are perfectly natural reactions and you see them in the Natural World with animal behaviour when they are cautious in a new situation. I’m told that when cows are introduced into a new field they check the perimeter to see the exits and I suppose you could say escape points and only then will they graze.
I talked to someone who was trying to start a Men in Sheds group. He found that he wasn’t getting much traction and said that it was probably the wrong time of year. I agreed with him and said that preparing for a launch in September might bring a greater response. I think that men bonding together for a practical purpose is very therapeutic and I would support any adventures in this direction.
I returned about 12:45. I had asked that Francoise to eat her lunch because I felt we ought to go off expeditiously to our Open Garden afternoons involving many activities and the meeting with lovely people. This time we were venturing to Compton Dundon. I don’t know what it is about places that include the word Compton but they all seem to be very posh. The name is from Old English Cumbtūn. Equivalent to combe (“valley”) + -ton (“town”). We had momentarily wondered whether we should go but it was a nice afternoon and we had nothing else particular to do so a 40 mile round trip was not too much of an ordeal. In the event we were glad we went.
There were nine stops on the tour and we managed eight. First port of call was the Old Farmhouse which goes back to the time when Samuel peeps, my idol, wrote his Diaries. The age of the house has been estimated about the 1650s if not before. It is very picturesque but very difficult to heat in the winter. It has a spring. Most older homes have a well in the garden. I guess they had to as water mains did not come in until the 19th Century.
The couple have occupied the house for 9 years. Three years ago they bought in adjacent field and bought a horse called Annie. Their aim is to encourage wildlife and create an all year round haven. She likes hr own company. If she meets horses smaller than herself she annoys them.
Sweet corn well advanced. They said that when they went away 2 weeks ago it was about 1 foot high. It is now 6 feet high.
The owners engaging all in animated conversation. They are very entertaining and could easily do a stage act between them. On to the next one.
Next the Old Vicarage, a relaxed style with lovely views both of the house and a view from the end of the garden.
Next stop, the churchyard of St Andrew’s Church Lane. Here well loved traditional church in *pristine condition. We met a lady outside who was officiating with the visitors. She had a 2CV Van painted with just the right green. She is a garden designer. My french wife loves them as they are so economical and her family had one when she was young.
- pristine – a lovely word that I seldom use. ‘As new’ does not quite cover it. It refers to the earliest period or state of the object. Would you use the term to cover an item that had just been purchased? No. You would just say ‘new’. Pristine is surely about the care and attention lavished on an object or feature. I think the van below is also in pristine condition.
This yew tree is estimated to be 1760 years old.
Last stop – The Beacon. A sloping south facing garden with a wild flower meadow, a pond fed by spring water and a lovely view over the hills from an outside table. An excellent venue for a party or… well anything really.