The Rev Mary Kuria is staying with me at present so, with today being both gloriously sunny and my day off, we went to Kilkeel. This small fishing village on the County Down coast is my home and the harbour is one of my favourite places. The snow capped Mournes are just three miles away although depending on the light they can look either further or nearer.
It is good to hear again about the work that is going on in Kajiado Diocese in Kenya and hard to believe that it is almost four years since I've been there. Hopefully 2011 will afford an opportunity to return for a few weeks. Mary's parish is quite close to Nairobi and her wider brief is for mission/evangelism in the Diocese. Interesting work. She has four adult children and one beautiful granddaughter.
Our trip today began with Saint Patrick's grave and then the cathedral church in Downpatrick followed by a while in Newcastle. It was warm enough (just) to sit out in the sunshine and enjoy corned beef hash at my favourite cafe.
They always provide a dish of water for Eliot and he sits happily waiting and watching, ready to bark at any passing dog.
A little wander along the promenade set us on our way to Kilkeel where we met up with some friends. It's always good to see them and to hear the little one's plans for his future. Watch out ITV - there's a budding game show producer in the wings...his plans are already well formed and he'll be ready to take over when Ant and Dec retire!
The afternoon sun continued to give some heat as Mary and I took a dander round the harbour and posed for more photographs. Here is a very, very restrained sample ..... the boats look their best in this kind of light.
Another visit to more friends and then our journey back to Belfast continued - this time travelling over the Mournes where snow still lies in some places. This was another photo opportunity! So out we got into the freezing cold air of Spelga Pass.
If it hadn't been so cold the light was perfect for some interesting pictures but, as it was, it was a case of snapping a few shots very quickly and returning to the warmth of the car to get back to the rectory for an Ulster Fry to end another perfect "tourist" day.
Not so much a blog tonight either - more a travel diary of a well loved part of the country. We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful place surrounded by so many good friends. Life is good.
Eternal God and Father,
you have promised to hear those who pray
in the name of your Son:
Grant that what we have asked in faith,
we may obtain according to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer
The Litany at Ordination Services