I am writing this at the second breakfast table at Sonia and Michael's house in Shropshire. Twenty one people slept here last night; some were in the house in beds, Mark and Tricia were in the 'garden room', Bob and Lesley were in their caravan on the car park area at the front of the house and the rest were spread between four tents.
Today is the bank holiday Monday and several of us will be leaving later today for the trip back home having had a few days of social time together. We've done a lot of eating (no surprise there) - which means one of this morning's tasks is a trip to the local Harry Tuffins to restock. It is amazing how much food we can get through...
Yesterday morning many of us went to Clunbury church for the morning service. The local team rector, Barney Bell, is retiring after eighteen years here and this was the fifth of six farewell services: each church in the patch has its own farewell service. Sonia and Michael were choir members but the rest of Shechem did their bit to swell the sound particularly in the Taize song that was sung during communion.
Last night Sonia and Michael had invited a number of local people over to join us all for a BBQ. We began outside but the clouds had not read the weather forecast (which was fine) so we had to move inside bringing the barbeque food with us.
We have done some walking over the last couple of days (among other activities) and yesterday afternoon fifteen of us walked up Callow Hill to visit Flounders' Folly: a local tower built in 1838 with some fine views over the surrounding hills. David Josey was particularly pleased to be able to see Cader Idris (52 miles) from the top.
Anna has done her best to keep up with the walking parties, but since she is about half the height of the adults this has kept her busy (and she has accepted a small number of shoulder rides from her father and others). She has also been learning more about Flounder's Folly from the guidebook she was given by the man on duty at the foot of the tower.
We are very grateful to Sonia and Michael for their invitation to join them here, and hope they recover from all the extra work this has given them and also their friend Ruth who has been hard at work keeping us supplied with things such as with toast and tea (but not coffee) at breakfast. She is currently ironing tea towels in the sitting room.
The campers have appreciated the fact that nights in August are warmer than in late May; and also that the garden has no midges.