We had a quiet Christmas at home, and a few days earlier we helped at a Wellbeing Day run by Crisis, who help homeless people; Diana offered head massage and John clay modelling. We did this again in April. We love the way on these occasions that it’s impossible to distinguish the guests from the staff and helpers.
This year, with help from our friends, we arranged for Diana’s hospice patient Mary to have two four-week visits from her sister who lives in the Gambia, paying for the first one. They had not seen each other for many years, so it was a very joyful time. We took the sister out to see the English landscape, and a ballet, and a play at Stratford.
Our own holiday was to hire a narrowboat and travel from Whitchurch (Shropshire) to Llangollen by canal. It involved negotiating lift bridges, locks, tunnels, some very narrow reaches, and two high aqueducts (the photo shows the view from one of them). We endured one day of rough weather, but otherwise it was mild and often sunny. We loved the spring blossom, primroses and birds, and the gentle pace of travel. Judy and Craig brought our step-great granddaughter Lottie to travel with us one day.
We are also enjoying watching the development of our great grandson Ziggie, born to Jake and (a different) Lottie in November. Ella, Jake’s sister and Judy’s daughter, got married to Josh on 22 April, and Jake prepared and cooked fabulous food for her reception at the inn where he worked and lives. Our other grandson Charlie (the son of Graham and Rachel) who lives in Connecticut, has just got a place at a prestigious New York university.
At the start of May, with our friend Georgeanne Lamont we ran a weekend retreat for twenty people working with refugees. Some of them had been at previous retreats run by Diana and Georgeanne and had asked for another. This time we had to raise all the costs ourselves, but this was quickly done. There was a lot of sharing, learning and relaxing; and the effect on those who came was a transformation.
Our new book for the Quaker Quicks series, called Inner Healing, Inner Peace is officially due for publication in September, but we have been given advance copies and there was an enthusiastic review in a Quaker journal. This is the first time we have written a whole book together, and we were pleased that we did it quickly and peacefully!
We worry about the breakdown of essential services in our country for those with much greater needs than ours. We mourn the violence in Sudan where we each spent part of our childhoods. Helped by many of our friends we continue to support grassroots peace building, nursery education and literacy in Uganda. We are deeply sad for Ukraine, where we have many dear friends. We have written about these efforts on another page of this site.