So perhaps I should pass on the past week or so and just tell you where I'm up to today. Then I can circle back, if there's time, and add some more back-story.
I'm in Manchester, just by the airport, as the thought of coming home and leaving again tomorrow became too horrible to contemplate. So just after five o'clock this morning I got up and got ready for an overnight trip. It's the third SAS course I've been on since starting with my new employer in January, and it's very useful stuff. But it has resulted in lots of trips, and lots of early starts and late finishes. And Viv and I decided that rather than a late arrival home and a lunatic early morning two days in a row, I should stay in Manc, so here I am. It's been a good day, though it started far too early.
Valentine's Day, yesterday, was finished off in the evening by a school parents' evening - what on earth are they thinking of? Viv and I are not obsessive romantics: 14/2 is just another day, but for others, parents and staff alike, it seems like a very poor choice of night. What was most interesting was that it seemed that some teachers were talking about a quite different child to other teachers. Also interesting, but not in a good way, was that some of the teachers could just as easily have been describing me.
In other news, the campaign at work for weight loss is at an end. I weighed myself yesterday as I would be out of the office, turning in a weight loss of 3.2kg, with a weight now of 16st 1pound, or 225 pounds. It won't be a winning figure in the contest, but it shows I'm going the right way, though the lunches on the SAS courses (see http://www.thelowry.com/eatanddrink/lunchmenu.html for details) don't help weight loss.
What has happened since my last posting here? A quick look in the diary reveals the monthly church prayer meeting on the 7th, the news that David went to an 18th birthday party last Friday, while he and I both went to a bacon butty breakfast at the church hall on Saturday morning. That was a good morning, and a former curate from our parish spoke very well: he has recommended that everyone goes to see Amazing Grace ( http://www.amazinggracemovie.com/ ) - the story of William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery. US: 23 Feb UK: 23 Mar (dates approximate) - it certainly seems well worth a visit.
On Saturday evening, we met with three other couples and played Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit. Our friends have had the game since Christmas, and finding LOTR fans is not as easy here as it was in Aotearoa. Still, our stories of LOTR (Helm's Deep just up the road, Rivendell slightly further just up the road, our voices on TTT, me doing security for the pre-screenings of TTT, being at the premiere of the symphony, seeing all three movies at The Embassy and so forth) make the few LOTR fans here green.
Sunday was as ever; then it was back to another week - more of the same, but a course for today and tomorrow. And on Saturday, news and prayer for our friends in Tanzania, an exercise in fixing up a problem with someone's computer, Starlight Express at the Liverpool Empire and a fundraising hotpot supper with some friends in the evening. By then it will be almost the weekend.
Next week: Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day. Who's coming to the Little Chef in Eastham ( CH62 9AQ ) some time around 7 o'clock in the evening?