Uncommon commonalities

I wondered what visitors might have in common with me so I came with a few things that we could have in common

Where I have lived?

For the vast majority of my life I have lived in England. Until I started school I lived in Derbyshire (Clowne, Creswell and Long Eaton).  While I was at school I lived in Cheshire (Claughton, Mollington, Plas Newton, Eccleston and Dodleston). When I left school I moved to County Durham first in Gilesgate Moor then in Ferryhill before moving to Coundon.

Most recently I have landed in north east Wales. It was getting harder and harder to go home and leave my parents behind. Then one day I got home and said why am I putting myself through this. I thought about it for a day or two and realised that there was no good reason for me to stay in County Durham. I did come up with one or two reasons but to be honest they were not very good ones. The relaity was there was no good reason to stay there any longer. It now takes as long to drive to my my parents home as it used to do to the train station to catch a train to go and see them.

This is why I have a British accent. The problem is anyone hearing me has a struggle deciding where in England my accent is from. They often know what it is from somewhere in England and have some ideas where it is not like Liverpool or Birmingham or Durham or London. There again I am not sure what it is myself, apart from it being English, rather than Scottish Irish or Welsh.

Since landing in Wales I have been trying to learn Welsh. Strange language though. There is no single word for yes or no. The cheating way around this is to say of course. The proper way is to say I have or I did or I will or one of the hundreds of other ways of agreeing with what somone has said. A lot of things like signs in shops or on the roads are in both languages. Some places have an English name and a Welsh name that can be very different. Others are just pronounced differently.

Where have I been?

I have only been out of Europe twice. Once on a day trip across the Straits of Gibraltar to Africa. The second time was a holiday in Turkey when I had the opportunity to visit Ephesus. I have taken a few trips around Europe visiting Italy, France, Germany Portugal and Spain.

I have been to Washington, Toronto, Quebec and Philadelphia but these are the names of places in or near County Durham rather than the big cities in North America.

Things that I like doing

If you have not guessed I like making things partly because it involves problem-solving. Making things used to be my coping mechanism. I would make all sorts of things for my home and family. Some were knitted by machine, others by hand. I would also crochet and sew. That experience has been very helpful with Everyone CAN Craft CIC.

Things that I definitely do not like

  • I hate housework. I try and call it home-blessing to encourage myself to get it done.
  • I do not like being in the big city. I will go for a reason but I prefer village life i.e. some people and loads of countryside. The city is too busy and too crowded for comfort. That is why my idea of a good holiday is a trip to Scotland but not Glasgow or Edinburgh. It is also why I have settled in Wales so easily. I can drive into town and enjoy some beautiful views at the same time.

Me and church

I went to three different churches in one denominattion over the space of about 30 years. These days I am not settled in a particular church. Shortly before the first lockdown I tried sharing an idea with the new minister. He discussed what I was going to do with the leadership team then told me what my first move needed to be. Sadly the conclusion I had come to after spending two days prayerfully pondering what to do was very different. It was different because I was in possession of more of the relevant facts than they were. Sadly there was no room for discussion as they thought they knew everything that they needed to know. They made a foolish decision that was impossible to comply with. Instead of refusing to do what I was asked to do I said it was too early to take that step. I went home and was in floods of tears for days. After lockdown I did not return as to be honest I no longer felt safe or protected there.

During lockdown I found some online broadcasters that I have followed ever since. They have now restarted their church but brought that online as well. One in particular has held a few face to face conferences that I have attended.

I am joining in with local events, some focussed on teaching and others on worship. I watch more Christian videos on YouTube than television.

It is not as if I have fallen out with God. I am trying to stay close to him and those of his friends that I can trust.