The days have turned colder so the time has come to think about icy nights and freezing pipes and making plans to stay warm and cosy!
The fuel store was empty of all but half a bag of slack and three unused instant barbecues ... and maybe the aroma of rodent ... hopefully only mice ... . It wasn't really the summer for barbecues ...
Don't you love the pattern of the bricks with their age and discolouration ... ?
Eliot was making sure that all was in place for the fresh supplies of fuel that had been booked.
Isn't it wonderful that you can make a phone call and a very helpful person asks (on Thursday afternoon), "Will tomorrow be okay for you?" My guess is that it could have been sent round that same day if my need had been urgent.
And so ... with the order placed all we had to do was wait.
On returning from a visit this afternoon the coal lorry was parked at the gate ... so I wondered why did he not drive up along the side of the house and so cut down a steep slope and long run?
The answer: As the coal man tried to move into reverse the gears all disengaged and he couldn't move the vehicle at all!
Oh dear ... there he was ... stuck until his brother should arrive to fix the engine. So, run after run, (and he did run) he carried sacks of coal, turf and bags of logs round the back for me.
The coal man is the one dressed in what was once a high visibility jacket and his brother is clambering all over the engine. I don't think that they were aware of me looking down from the upstairs window through the almost bare tree.
He made a neat stack of the logs and the turf so I'll be able to get at both of them easily. The turf burns with a great heat and the aroma of the smoke transports you to rural Ireland in an instant.
Then, at the bottom of the garden the coal bunker was filled as well. There'll be enough fuel to keep warm fires in the rectory for many a day to come.
So the preparations are completed ... the oil tank is full and the solid fuels are stored ... but hopefully the winter will not be just as cold as last year ... even if the forecast suggests otherwise. All of these (coal, turf and wood) will be used in the two open fires that I enjoy in the main rooms downstairs. Sometimes if you're using just one room then it is more economical to heat it alone rather than put on the central heating for the whole building.
Meanwhile, Eliot decided to sit on guard at the store entrance ... I'm not sure who he thought might come along but he's taking no chances! Maybe he just likes to be up a step to see more clearly what is happening in the garden?
So there's a glimpse of domestic life in a suburban rectory ... nothing unusual really ... just the mundane stuff of life that carries on in the background. It has been interesting to identify another blog reader or two ... you must sometimes wonder at the sanity of the writer ...!!Now it is time to do a bit more for Sunday's sermon ... the service at 10.15 am is a Celebration of Wholeness and Healing from the BCP. We follow this liturgy a few times each year and continue to pray for the sick, and those in any kind of trouble, on a regular basis at the Wednesday Eucharist.
One of the hymns we'll sing on Sunday is "We cannot measure how you heal or answer every sufferer's prayer ... " The tune is "Ye banks and braes".
The pain that will not go away,
the guilt that clings from things long past,
the fear of what the future holds,
are present as if meant to last.
But present too is love which tends
the hurt we never hoped to find,
the private agonies inside,
the memories that haunt the mind.
Church Hymnal number 514 verse 2
John Bell and Graham Maule