Saturday, 10 December 2011

Graham and Dylys' news in 2010

We are conscious of just how well we have done for weather on our recent holidays. In the middle of October last year, we enjoyed an excellent week walking the North York Moors and coast: a mix of warm sunshine, low cloud and mist one day but only light touches of drizzle, and a bitter wind on the final day, but nothing to spoil our getting out every day. In May this year, we spent a week in North Wales. We did climb into cloud one day and there were no views, but the only rain during the week came overnight or whilst we were in the car. Then in October this year we paid a family visit to Cornwall, spending a week there on a wonderful summer holiday with not a spot of rain.

There certainly has been rain this year. We bought a new water butt which collects water off the roof of the green house, and since it was installed we have never managed to empty it – as there has been no prolonged dry period over the summer. In January we found a damp patch in the boxing around the water pipes in the kitchen: and we suspected that we had a leak from the pipes. However, when we called in a tradesman, he diagnosed a broken tile vent on the roof. The boxing is where the original boiler used to be, and it hides the old redundant flue pipe – rain was coming through the tile vent, down the pipe, and into the kitchen! Then in the spring, we noted that a damp patch in the corner of the garage roof seemed to be getting more noticeable – we opted to call in Everest before the damp patch developed into a leak, and we had the flat roof replaced. We also had the kitchen radiator replaced before its rusty blisters got any worse: the new radiator has made the kitchen the warmest room in the house!

Out and about 
We had an interesting day out of a different kind in August. A friend had fallen out of a tree, incurring serious injury, and was in hospital in Sheffield. His poor wife was making daily trips from home in Macclesfield to visit him in Sheffield; so we took a day off work and drove her over. It was a really nice drive over the Peak District (through Castleton). We found Mike in the process of moving wards, and it was almost funny to see him racing about in his wheelchair getting everything organised – he was in good spirits. We are pleased to see him back in church now.

Lud’s Church, Gradbach, Staffordshire
We are getting old! On August Bank Holiday we decided to do a walk over Shutlingsloe (our local hill) and a circuit around the south Cheshire / north Staffordshire borders. It was over 15 miles – not really strenuous climbing, but not much of the walk was flat. Our hips and thighs really felt the hammering with each step along the latter stretch of the walk, along roads into Macclesfield Forest. It was a good day out, but we have rarely been so relieved to get back to the car. We have done the walk before, though from a different starting point and a rather shorter route. It has a number of highlights, including the summit of Shutlingsloe, and the amazing Lud’s Church: a passageway between walls of rock where a persecuted saint used to worship.

The nice people in Dylys’ office gave her two garden plants for her birthday. Sadly, the Hattie’s Pincushion was enjoyed by unwelcome predators. The Passion Flower has proved much more domineering: it has helped itself to a large section of the tall fence down the side of the garden, and has produced some nice flowers!

At church this year we have stepped down from some official duties. Dylys had served as Deacon for six years, and Graham as Church Secretary for six years. The constitution obliged Dylys to take a break after this time period, and Graham was ready for a break too. But we have both got involved in Hope Mission Action Groups: Hope being the banner that unites most of the churches in North East Cheshire, and the action groups being the practical outworking of different types of mission. We were both looking after tables at the Hope Expo day in the Town Hall in November.

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