I led Zac's bible study on Tuesday and it was fine. After the chaos of the previous week, when Steve led it, everyone decided to behave. Or rather, the awkward ones weren't there. So that was fine. Until later when everything had been cleared away and a man came in saying he hadn't eaten for days and was there anything hot. I said I'd warm up some soup for him and put it in a polystyrene cup. Then he said he had two friends outside and could he have three cups.
Which would have been fine if, by the time I'd warmed up the soup, he hadn't got into argumentative mood with the result that I was left to clear up a puddle of soup and half a can of lager from the carpet. Then when I went outside I discovered most of the rest of the soup spilled on the road. It does make you wonder why you bother. But then you remember those who really are hungry and grateful. Not that we do it for gratitude but neither do we do it for ingratitude!
Saturday it was off to Surrey for GrandSon1's 3rd birthday party - pirate-themed.
Daughter-in-law had done a fab job preparing a treasure hunt complete with treasure that had to be dug for while Elder Son put together a pirate ship out of cardboard. Children of that age don't really play together but they all seemed to have a wonderful time running around and climbing in and out of the ship.
Daughter and family, who'd joined us in Surrey for the party, came back to Swansea as they needed to do stuff on Monday while Husband and I childminded. Sitting on my lap in the afternoon GrandDaughter whispered to me, 'Perhaps Mummy and Daddy will forget that we're going home to day. Don't tell them!'
But they didn't.
Today included a visit to Great-auntie Joan for her 95th birthday, although as she explained that even though most people think it's on the 8th July when she found her old birth certificate she discovered her birthday is actually the 7th. So now she manages to stretch out the celebrations over two days.
When I arrived she was in the kitchen making sandwiches. She'd already made a trifle and cooked a chicken - 'I'd never buy one ready-cooked: you don't know how long ago it was cooked' - and still had the sausages to cook before her family of ten including grand- and great-grand-children came for tea. 'I really should sweep up outside,' she said, 'but they'll just have to close their eyes to the mess.'
Her work ethic was instilled many years ago. When she was eleven her mum said, 'Right, it's time for you to start work,' and each day before going to school she had to go down on her hands and knees and scrub the front steps. 'I even had to get up at 6 and do it on my wedding day.'
In 1974 she had a mastectomy and I'd always assumed she'd been fitted with a prosthetic replacement but I found out today that she made - and still does make - her own out of material stuffed with cotton wool. Here she is four years ago with her little brother on his 90th birthday.
While I was visiting Husband was gardening and when he was picking gooseberries he came across this:
A snake had become entangled in some fruit mesh. After checking that it was a garden snake not an adder he spent fifteen minutes carefully cutting it free. The snake was very tightly squeezed through the holes so it needed a lot of care to slip the scissors in without damaging the animal. Snakey hissed at him but didn't try to bite.
What a hero Husband is. Although I shall be reluctant to venture into any overgrown part of the garden in future.