Thursday, 19 November 2015

The wee egg cup

The Lord provides. Full stop. I could regale you with stories this year of places to live, funds appearing from all sources when required and clothes, books, flowers and food being delivered. All that. However at 3 in the morning I saw a provision that just caught my breath and I thought this was the one to share here. 
As we have mentioned we were able to move to a wee house in Stromness in September and have been able to settle there during the last 3 cycles of chemo, living with Donald and being a family. We have lots of things we were ale to take with us from our loft in Finstown so as you saw below we have our very own bed and lots of bits of furniture from family who were having a clearout as well.
During our time in Orkney Auntie Chrisabel passed away and when the family offered us to have a keepsake I asked for her baking tins, mine are in Spain obviously and hers have many happy memories and, as I use her recipes, they fit the quantities. They came in a carrier bag with other random things from her kitchen. The night after I got them I was up on a steroid-induced-midnight-feast rampage of the fridge and opted to have a boiled egg. Yum! However how to eat it without the necessary tools? I had a wee look in the carrier bag and noticed one plastic egg cup. These tiny details tell us more about God´s care and provision for our needs than some of the huge answers to prayer we worry about. Never has an egg tasted so good.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

BLOG 300 - and so to bed

So this week we got back into our own bed - it has been a long time in coming and we were both ready for it. This is blog number 300 and in that time we have used 127 different beds but just think - every couple of posts and a different bed if you include the repeat visits. It is too much. Goodnight.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

A CAVA-eat

Here we are in another house, we have been here a month and are about to leave again. We had a little celebration last night with our hosts Janet and James. Just announcing a caveat.  the subject of which we  cannot yet tell you what we were so happy about but hopefully soon. This chemo malarky is not really much fun but certain other chemicals along the way do gladden the heart!

Please Sir...

This post is not really about us, but the fact that our youngest has qualified and started work as a teacher is really a significant step forward. Donald is the guy at the top of the stairs (as is often the way for male teachers we hear!) We are so happy that he loves his job and that he gets to stay with us for a few months.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Pre-chemo cumpleaƱos

The countdown to chemo started but we were delighted that we got another wee party in before we had to fly to Aberdeen. It was a joy to welcome 30 people into our summer let and to hear the mixed conversations in the 4 wee rooms (intellectuals, politicians, teachers and those of us in the kitchen!!) Good times, party food and a clootie duff! Next stop ARI

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Messy Church

So on Monday after the prayer meeting a neighbour from the flat upstairs brought down her scissors and while she tidied up the team's stray locks the floor grew hairier. Messy Church but great to build relationships with the locals.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Plane to Spain (again!)

We have tickets to go to Spain next week and clear the flat for the following 7 months. Les will probably stay a bit longer than me but we hope to be together before chemo starts or my birthday on 8th July - whichever comes first.
Friends have offered us the use of a holiday cottage over the winter which is amazing and we are so grateful. We also have a different house for July so the bed total is soon going to be 111 different ones, even though I missed the conference room I had booked and Les's birthday night in a hotel.
Meanwhile we have had a little holiday in Orkney, being well fed and watered by Mum... this explains why the standing stone is leaning to the side!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Like it or lump it.

We have been a bit quiet on here about health matters as you heard enough last year on the operational front to last for quite some time.. but again surgery is required and so to make a complete record of this journey we report the bad as well as the good. Fiona found a lump which was cancerous and this week we went to Aberdeen and had it removed. Excellent surgeon and team in a nice clean hospital, such a different experience to last year, and home the day afterwards. Those who saw this photo on facebook asked what the scribbles say. Apparently it is now the procedure to mark the skin 3 times and have it checked to avoid any errors. So Wide Local Excision (the lump plus a bit of healthy tissue) and Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy where they remove the nearest lymph nodes to check if any cancer cells have spread. We won´t know until another 3 weeks when they get the pathology reports back what the next steps are. I will have to have radiotherapy treatment for sure but if there has been any spread I might have to have chemo first. Now you know as much as me but I won´t be back in Spain for at least 2 months.

Open doors

Don´t know how you feel about playing cards, we don´t either! However when we had an open doors day at the new church premises one of our locals tried to teach us how to play cards. essentially they are the same as regular cards except the names, shapes and rules are different. Got that? Us neither.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Inauguration: We are open!

Who would have thought our dark orange painted building would have scrubbed up so well - we were so happy to throw it open for the official inauguration and welcome about 68 people for a buffet and church service to officially mark the start of the mnistry here. I slighly photo-bombed the photo with my sunglasses as Marin our first member to get baptised and our oldest local woman cut the tape. Happy Days! (To be fair I may be second oldest...)

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Burns Night

Burns night came late... "Would some power the giftie gie us tae see wursaels as otherssee us.." Even a torch would have been a help as in January we had no power in the new building! However by March we had enough to boil both tatties and calabaza (in the absence of neeps) It was good but in true Burns style we burned the mince. The cook blamed all the posing for photos "wearing something tartan" i.e. a napkin! There is a video of the ceilidh but it won´t be shown anytime soon!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Pruning time..

So pruning time is here as "The Cooncil" send men oot on the first dry day in weeks to lop the branches off the trees on the road to the cemetry.  When they grow back they will form a green canopy meeting in the middle to give shade in the summer, even though they look odd and ugly at the moment. Reminds me of John 15 and the good news is the bits that get cut off are carted away and dealt with!
Me faither is the gaerd'ner
His son´s the rightfast vine.
He cares aboot the hairst tae come, 
He's luckan fur new wine.
So if he taks his gully
Tae hack aboot thee sheuts..
Cheust nivver heed
Thoo´ll no be deid
If in Him thoo haes thee reuts.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Aqui estamos para Ti.. (We are here for You)

So here is our first evening in the new place, lots of things to learn but we had a good time. Thanks to everyone who prayed we would get the power on. It isn´t enough to boil 2 kettles at the same time but as they say here poco a poco (bit by bit). Here is a wee soundbite for you all, be glad I wasn´t singing into the camera as is my wont!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


OK, so we are not the Village People really but there are similarities and we all live in the village! We though the young men´s painting association about covered it. It certainly covered the walls of our new church premises, at least twice! Honestly not sure why Les was in a pair of flip flops but there you go - at least he wasn´t in an indian headress!


At last we are contracted workers! It has been 10 years since I worked to a contract and even longer for Les (15 years at least!) At the weekend we signed up with Buenas Noticias Chuch in Lugo over 100km away but to work with them at planting a church here in Ribadeo. Those sharp eyed of you will notice the books about CT Studd and Operation World on the bookshelves. Nice! (Should point out that the contract doesn´t have a bottom line, there is no salary involved!)


Our poor Christmas tree angel. She has seen 34 years of active service and no wonder she looks exhausted. Balanced up there every year with boys fighting over the parcels below, her robes tattered and her bodice crumpled... she has presided over 6 dwellings and for most of her time has slept in a box in a damp attic. This year Donald dressed the tree and did a fab job. Next year?
We all felt the better of a Christmas together, four of us and the Angel.