All change for Dylys
Perhaps the defining event for us this year has been Dylys taking early retirement. She has worked for the Information Commissioner in Wilmslow since 2001, initially as a temp, but very quickly taking up full time employment. We planned a holiday in May, and Dylys made arrangements to finish work in time for the holiday. Since the holiday she has found opportunities for voluntary work in the charity shop of the local hospice, and in our local hospital (doing quite similar work to that which she was paid to do at our local cottage hospital when we lived in Stoke on Trent). She has also joined “Open the Book”, a group which takes Bible stories into local schools.
Waters and bicycles
Graham started his current job with Waters Corporation in Wilmslow in December 2014. Initially we travelled to work together by car, and Dylys would usually catch the bus home, as she finished work earlier than Graham. The Waters office is around ten miles from home, and Graham has appreciated the opportunities to cycle into work once or twice a week over the summer months – something which was not really viable with his previous job.
We have thought about a replacement kitchen for a long time, and this was a job that Dylys said that she would like done before she finished work in May. We ordered the kitchen in late 2014, and it was fitted late January / early February this year. It really was not the best time of year to be without a kitchen, and the whole process took around three weeks due to a snow event and one of the contractors having an accident (not in our home).
Dylys was given a good send-off from the Information Commissioner in May, and she was presented with a voucher for a balloon flight. Balloon rides are subject to appropriate weather: she had to book a date and then phone at 11pm the night before to find out whether she had to get up very early for the morning flight – this happened six times before her flight finally took place on 20 October, and she floated over the countryside around Nantwich.
It has been a busy year with Bethel Baptist Church, as we are only a small church, our previous pastor retired in 2014, and we are still working our way through the challenging process of identifying a new pastor. Graham was appointed an elder of the church in May, giving him particular responsibility in this task. We have had one candidate preaching several times this year, and the church may be making a decision in early 2016.
We are both involved in running the Conversational English class which takes place in the church lounge on Thursday evenings. Dylys is usually present at the monthly service that the church holds at Harry Lawson Court – a local retirement complex.
Some time awayWe have enjoyed two excellent holidays this year. We had a week in North Wales in May – yes we did get to the top of Snowdon, but no we did not get any views because the summit was in the clouds. Then we had an amazing bright, warm, summery week near Hadrian’s Wall at the end of September and early October. We were also part of a family gathering long weekend in Somerset in August, to mark the 80th birthday of Graham’s Dad.