I slept well last night and so did everyone it seems. Mom had a good night and even though she had decided yesterday not to come to church, she changed her mind and came. As everything starts later in the UK (Michael said it is because there are so many old people here), we only had breakfast at around 9am and then headed for church just after 10am (church starts at 11am only but it is about a 30 minute drive to get there). It was a family service at Moordown (where my parents attend) and the singing was excellent and while it was an unconventional sermon, it was good nevertheless. All in all, the summary would be “It was good to be in the house of the Lord”.
Incredibly, John & Margaret Whaits (who are from CT and attend Goodwood Baptist) were at the church as well. They are touring in the area and so sought out the church to come to. Mom invited them to join us for lunch (illustrative of how much better she was feeling). We had the usual mandatory Sunday roast with roast potatoes; Yorkshire pudding (we’re in England so how could we not) and veg. Desert was Apple Crumble or Apple Pie (or in my case both) with either Clotted Cream Ice Cream (as good as it sounds) or Cream (I had both again) which was Clotted after Helen beat it into oblivion. The leftover cream will be used tomorrow morning to butter our toast.
After lunch Helen, Chloe, Michael and I decided to drive down to the sea (my parent’s house is very close to the sea but Helen was complaining that she had never been to the beach in this area). As the weather was quite nice again (around 24), we were fearing that the rest of England might have also descended on the beach but when we found our way to one of the small coastal towns in the area it actually wasn’t that busy. It was slightly cooler there (around 20) but the wind was blowing quite hard and it was unpleasant even to get out of the car. We stopped at a beach with the plan of dipping our toes in the Channel but after seeing the beach of pebbles and feeling the howling, freezing cold wind we looked at each other and dived back into the car. Of course there were numerous Brits on the beach, paddling in the water, kite surfing (plenty of wind for that), some crazy fools trying to surf (there were no waves) and a line of people buying ice creams (no danger of the ice cream melting – only risk was that it might get blown from the cone). No one seemed to be enjoying themselves but they were there nonetheless. We figured out why they have those little wooden huts on the beach, so you can sit inside them and keep warm and out of the wind but still say to your friends that you had been to the beach. That is why they are all so white – they sit in little wooden boxes away from any sun that might be shining.
We headed back to my parent’s home and watched the final games of the epic Wimbledon Final of Federer vs Roddick. We arrived at 8-7 in the final set and spent the next hour wondering if the match would ever end. Helen and Mom kept yelling at the TV, Dad was coaching Federer on his backhand, Stephen was fast asleep (and only woke up when Mom and Helen yelled particularly loudly at the TV) – I for once was not the one yelling – I was just amazed my wife could get so worked up over a tennis game (and I thought she didn’t even know who Federer was!).
Then it was time for the boys and I to make use of the excellent cricket pitch that is my parent’s lawn. It would be better if they cut it slightly lower and rolled it a little more but it was at least playable (unlike the time we played in December when it was rather iced over). We didn’t break any windows or lose any balls this time (not like yesterday when Stephen deposited one of my attempted bouncers into the neighbours garden – it would never have happened if my Dad had properly rolled the pitch before we started). We decided to call it quits at 8pm – not because bad light stopped play but because it was time for some more food of course. We watched a DVD of last Sunday’s service at Moordown (the Spiritual food) and then had supper. Now everyone is getting ready for bed. The bed times of the kids seem to have slipped considerably over the last few days. It is now 10:15pm and only one of them is actually in bed! I had better finish this now so that I can round up the other 2 and herd them off to bed as well.
Yours from a humid Burley Street (that is where my parents live)
Peter and Co