I am looking out of the patio doors to a cloudless sky watching the rabbits on the “lawn”. I love how it is at the moment with the grasses shimmering in the breeze and the daisies, dandelions and celandines giving colour but the “gardener” prefers to keep the grass short so during this week they will all disappear. A butterfly is fluttering from plant to plant and various insects buzzing around.
The first month has past in my new position and, so far, things appear to have gone smoothly. Alan and I joined the Codgers outing on the 5th when we went over the border to Kent. Friendly company, fine weather, good ringing and a good lunch made for a very pleasant day out. The next occasion was the South of England Show. A lot has already been written about this but one or two anecdotes I would like to share. A lady who was blind said that she had always wanted to have a go at bell ringing as she loved the sound of the bells. After a very short time she was able to handle the bell with no difficulty. She went away a very happy lady. A young man who was disabled, appeared to have very little co-ordination, with only three fingers on each hand and was deaf was shown once and then took over ringing the bell very competently. Again a lovely smile as he walked away. There were many more pleasing moments and what an excellent Public Relations exercise for bell ringing.
Having had a very busy weekend I was hoping for a lie in on Monday but a trip to the dentist had been booked. Glad to say that all was well and the next appointment is near Christmas! On the 19th Mary Burr from Seaford had kindly arranged a walk on the Ashdown Forest. About ten of us set off from Duddleswell after a short refreshment break at the Garden Centre. The sun was shining and the morning walk took us through woodland to Fairwarp for a lunch stop at The Foresters Arms. It was getting warmer as we left for the walk back to Duddleswell. There was very little shelter on this part of the journey and sadly, after about an hour, I succumbed to a touch of sunstroke. We had by then almost reached a clump of trees which gave some shade. I insisted that the group leave me in the shade and we agreed that when they had arrived back at their destination Jenny (Dearie) would pick me up. I missed out on an ice cream, afternoon tea and then to top it all I had to cancel my evening activity, an evening at the vicarage for Pimms and Puddings, and went to bed.
On 20th I met with Marisa Hayes and Stephen Beckingham to discuss how to take the Website to the next level. It was agreed that the workload needs to be spread amongst a number of members both “behind the scenes” and with adding information. Do keep a lookout for new additions. Alfriston was the venue for the next two days, firstly to ring for a wedding. The bride was very late so there was time to pop into a tea shop for a quick cuppa. Saturday a quarter peal was arranged to be rung after a memorial service. Alan and I then went off to the Eastern Division meeting at Christ Church Eastbourne where we made up eight! So another quarter as this would benefit those attending. The arrangement was to have a fish and chip supper on the beach after the meeting. As it was not really beach weather, some decided to go home either with their picnic or to make their own tea and three of us went off to have a jacket potato in the warmth of Fusciardi’s. This was our second trip to the ice cream parlour this week as we took our older granddaughter there earlier in the week for one of their naughty but nice sundaes.
On Sunday we met with our daughter, Rachel, and family at Wakehurst Place. We were stopped by a young lady who said “Do I know you?” After a few suggestions, she said “Do you ring?”. It has been a good number of years since we had seen Emily (nee Kennard from Bexhill) but it was lovely to catch up on family news.
Wednesday 26th was another Plain Bob course at Hailsham Ringing Centre. Good progress was made and, once again after some theory, one of the students was able to see the reasons for ringing slower and quicker i.e. the extra bell between each change when hunting up and vice versa when hunting down. This made a tremendous difference and his ringing improved beyond measure. Thank you Stuart for the rhubarb cake it was delicious.
Together with Anne Franklin, I have attended two Vision meetings both of which produced some thought provoking comments and suggestions. I hope that you have been able to attend at least one of these. The Working Group will meet at the end of July to take into consideration the results of the meetings.
And finally, I am sure you will join with me in sending the SCACR Young Ringers best wishes as they travel to York at the end of the week to take part in the Ringing World Young People’s Striking Competition.