Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Graham and Dylys' news in 2016

Day by day

It has been a busy year. On Mondays Dylys is working in the back office at the Hope Centre in the morning and at the East Cheshire Hospice shop in the afternoon. On Wednesdays she works for Macclesfield Hospital. On Thursdays she takes part in “Open the Book” – a team taking assemblies in schools. These are all voluntary positions. In contrast, Graham has a straightforward life – he works in the Waters office Monday to Friday, and he gets paid a bit more than Dylys.

Getting around

Graham has appreciated this year as one in which he has had more exercise than most – he cycled to work 66 times, ten miles each way. He is a fair-weather cyclist, so he only does it during the better months of the year. However, he did get caught out in a terrific thunderstorm on the way home one evening in September – and he got somewhat more wet than he does when he goes swimming on a Monday evening.

Church

Graham continues his service as an Elder at Bethel Baptist Church – life has been a bit easier this year, as we appointed a new pastor in January. He looks after the church website and sermon podcasts. We run the Conversational English class on Thursday evenings together. Dylys looks after communion at church, does some of the cleaning duties, and manages the rentals – the other groups that use the church building on a regular or one-off basis. We both helped out with the week-long Children’s Holiday Club in August, and took part in the first meeting of a new “Messy Church” venture in November.

Music to your ears

If it is raining when you read this letter, Dylys is probably practising her singing. She is part of the choir at the Roger Jones “Christian Music Ministries” productions. This included a performance of “Barnabas” in July, and she will soon be practising for the “Jailbreak” production next February and March (Graham got quite disconcerted earlier this year when he looked over her shoulder to glance at her mobile phone and saw the word “Jailbreak” on the screen).

Seeing the best of the UK

With the normal weeks being so busy, we really look forward to our holidays – the opportunity to take a complete break. In June we had a week in a caravan in Great Langdale (Lake District) – it is a great place to stay, as there are lots of walks starting either straight from the caravan or just a short drive away. In September we booked an apartment in Settle, visiting the Yorkshire Dales for the first time – it turned out to be one of the wetter weeks that we have spent away, so we had some decent walks but did not see as much of the area as we had hoped.

We visited family in Cornwall in October, and on this occasion we took Graham’s mother with us, so that she could stay with his brother’s family in Bude for a few days.

Dylys at Loughrigg Tarn, Lake District

Graham at Stainforth Falls, Yorkshire Dales

The odd let-down

There are always a few problems arising at unexpected moments – we had to miss church one Sunday evening when we found that the car had a flat battery; we had a boiler fault and made do without hot water for a week; and we were without a landline for three weeks (come on, Openreach!). Minor inconveniences really – it has been a good year.