Although we would have liked to go to church on Sunday, we really didn’t want to be where people would know about MIL (we’re all a bit fragile if people are nice to us about MIL), so we decided to take the day off (when you’re a clergy family, it’s hard to be anonymous in the churches around and about so that wasn’t really an option either).

The plan was to pack a picnic and make the most of the fine weather, before DD1 arrived home following her practice DofE expedition on Rame peninsula. However, as soon as I came home from dropping her off on Saturday, I found her mobile phone in the dining room, with which she planned to let me know when to pick her up from the foot ferry! So that settled which side of the water to have our picnic … we decided to meet her on the other side of the ferry before she boarded.

We didn’t get away too early … DD2 couldn’t find her sunglasses or sunhat and dissolved into a panic about being in the sun without them (already this summer her vitiligo is much more noticeable as she slowly tans in the sun – she tans easily, however hard she tries to avoid it). The pale patches burn so quickly, it can be very sore. So we provided her with a sunhat (DH’s cricket hat) and she had plenty of suncream and that had to do, but it took us an hour to negotiate a truce so by the time we arrived at the car ferry the terminal was jammed full!

We settled to wait with some sweets and some music … I always have some worship tracks in the car, and as other people in the queue had their music on with windows open, so did we. DD2 was in agonies of embarrassment! No-one paid any attention so eventually she settled down and we started to play letter and word games using number plates (anyone else remember Catchword?). That is until a particular track came on … I’d been singing along, so we’d been paying attention to the words …

O MY SOUL, ARISE AND BLESS YOUR MAKER,
For He is your Master and your Friend.
Slow to wrath but rich in tender mercy:
Worship the Saviour, Jesus.

King of grace, His love is overwhelming;
Bread of Life, He’s all I’ll ever need,
For His blood has purchased me forever:
Bought at the cross of Jesus.

And I will sing for all my days
Of heaven’s love come down.
Each breath I take will speak His praise
Until He calls me home.

When I wake, I know that He is with me;
When I’m weak, I know that He is strong.
Though I fall, His arm is there to lean on:
Safe on the Rock of Jesus.

Stir in me the songs that You are singing;
Fill my gaze with things as yet unseen.
Give me faith to move in works of power,
Making me more like Jesus.

And I will sing for all my days
Of heaven’s love come down.
Each breath I take will speak His praise
Until He calls me home.

Then one day I’ll see Him as He sees me,
Face to face, the Lover and the loved;
No more words, the longing will be over:
There with my precious Jesus.
(Stuart Townend Copyright © 1999)

We were both rather emotional for a while after that (DD2 still chatting happily away in the back seat oblivious was really hard to handle).

The ferry arrived soon after, and we had a lovely time with our picnic and a walk down through the woods to the meeting point … we could see hikers arriving in their teams of five … but no sign of DD1 until long after the time we’d been told to expect her. It seems that her group were the penultimate group to leave the camp … so we waited around with other parents for quite a while, DD2 getting more and more bored, and me getting hotter and hotter – it wasn’t a particularly happy hour! When DD1 did finally arrive, she nearly rebelled at having to walk back up the hill to the car, but it seems she was in a better state than at least one of her group …

We spent the next hour or so (driving back and another long wait for the ferry) trying to keep the peace between the girls, so we were fairly fraught by the time we came home, but we had tea in front of Time Team and then the girls went upstairs to bed. I had a bit of a headache from the heat, and fell asleep in the armchair.

All in all, apart from the particular circumstance of having a day off on a Sunday, it was a fairly typical day off!

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