Sunday 9 February 2014

It is a truth universally acknowledged

That a single woman, in good company, must be in want of a cake. 

I do accept the irony, in the light of my previous post. However, in my defence, this was not just any cake, but afternoon tea at Cassandra's Cup, the ye olde tea shoppe opposite Jane Austen's old house. And it was the last day of our wonderful weekend. And I had just walked a whopping four miles (ok so that's really not far, but considering my lack of fitness and the extreme mud, I don't think it's bad!) on a very lovely circular slopey squelchy route full of geocaches. Yes, having gratuitously insulted a number of friends for their interest in caching, I am now humbly (and publicly) eating my words. For it was fun. Even if I am now a muddy soggy windswept mess. 

So, having made ourselves sufficiently muddy to appear as village peasant extras in a low budget Austenesque costume drama, we stopped for a terribly traditional and elegant afternoon tea, before tramping the mud around Jane Austen's house in Chawton. 

And it was good.

This bedspread, made by Jane, her mother and sister, out of their old dresses. Not much white muslin there.

Jane Austen's prayer.
Most exciting of all, the very table (but not the very chair) which she uses to write her manuscripts. 

Plaque on the wall outside.
<strike> Mad </strike> wonderful friend.
And a piece of lace made by Jane herself.
Muddy or not, a most excellent end to our weekend away. 

Tomorrow, I'll step back into real life when I pick up the girls and start the merry round of nursing, hospital visits, meetings and everything else. But today, the rain held off until we reached the coffee shop, and stopped again by the time we'd finished. The sun shone, the wind blew, and we were very very happy. 

An oasis, a beautiful bonus day once more after the New Wine Women's Day on Saturday. Still unpacking everything from that one, still sifting through what was thrown at us, and lots of extra reading to be done. 

But once again, God was so good to us. With floods and storms all over the coast, He made it possible for us to arrive in brilliant sunshine. A wonderful lunch, and the giggles started. And only a mild drenching whilst chasing a rainbow before heading into Fawlty Towers for the weekend. 

Blaze itself was awesome. Can I rise to the challenge it set? I hope so. I think I have a bit of a path, I know I have a God who loves me, and I'm absolutely certain He can take whatever I dare to throw at Him, if that's what I need to do. And I know He's given me truly awesome friends who will be walking alongside me whatever our future holds. 

A ridiculously silly evening. Laughing until it hurts, over inappropriate and inexplicable nothingnesses. I am so thankful our God has a sense of humour, and chose to share it with us. Walking silly distances and climbing viewing platforms in horizontal rain; there is nothing like weather to reconnect us to the power of God. Excellent food, tasty wine, offbeat waitresses, and stupidly slidey bedclothes. Creaky floorboards, cracked walls, and terminal silliness. 

And then, today, an Austen day. 

Now I'm home, and tired, and going to soak my blistered feet. But I have remembered how much I used to love walking outdoors, and am resolved to find a way to be out there more, no matter what Miss Mog may need. So many God Breezes this weekend, so much more than we could ever have asked for, and the knowledge of so much more to come.   


Anonymous said...

Sounds like an Uplifting weekend, glad it went well.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful, refreshing weekend.. Glad you were able to get away and have this special time.
May the truths of what you heard and the memories of the fun times be an encouragement and ray of sunshine for a long time

Tina said...



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