How good is that first drink from your own bowl! Holidays are over and normality is beginning to return to the rectory. I'm afraid that Eliot didn't keep a photo diary of his time in Bangor but the Turkish one, with about a quarter of the pictures that were taken, is now on Shutterfly. Seven albums in all to remind me of some of the highlights of that experience. They're open for viewing if you want to have a look and are numbered 1 - 7 with the title "A special...." And it was certainly that!
The time passed very quickly and yet, how many things were packed in! It is a most colourful and vibrant place where the pace of life is a little more leisurely and spending time greeting folk is the way of life. Even in a very short visit it seemed that I got to know a number of people and will continue to keep in contact with them.
Back now in Belfast it is time to get ready for the rest of the week. Some food, fresh water and a favourite toy were prepared for Eliot's return this morning. The house has been strangely quiet without him but now he's dozing happily at my feet, content that life is "normal" again.
It was funny to watch him doing a tour of the back garden to check that everything is in order.
What he doesn't notice are the colourful yellow flowers that seem to spring up overnight! Pretty, but I suspect they shouldn't be there and will get chopped off shortly - very shortly! It looks good in the bright May sunshine and the lilac is now in full bloom as well.
Preparations are under-way outside the gate too.... This week is Balmoral Show and the bright yellow Car Park signs are going up all over the district. It is great to be here within a very short walk of the show-grounds - some of the car parks are a long way from the King's Hall! Last year, when it was both cold and wet, a large number of folk decided to park on the broad footpath outside our houses. Police cones along the roadway made it clear that you couldn't park there....and they all returned to find parking fines stuck to their windscreens. What a horrible end to a day that must have been miserable enough anyhow.
In the list of things to do today the blog wasn't top...but it is done and can be "ticked off"!
You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety, though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.
Be not afraid, I go before you always,.
Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.
Church Hymnal Number 22
by Bob Dufford