The luxuries of the summer holidays seem a faded memory as we settle back into the school routine. It is hard to get up at 0500 to make it out of the door by 0815, but at least we have the pleasure of Candice reading to us whilst we get ready. This reading opportunity is the most marvellous distraction for us all – Candice has read to us all of the Chronicles of Narnia and is now on the 4th in the ‘Potter ‘series – she is a gem!
We spent last Saturday helping out Rudyard Sailability who was hosting an “Aiming High for Disabled Children” session. This was the last of a long series of visits by this Government funded project and it was wonderful. Tilly rolled on to the wheelchair-accessible safety boat and helped out with rescue with her helper Jess; Candice took out two sailors and I helmed a bell boat with ten paddling passengers. The sun shone, probably for the first time for this group, which was an added bonus, as we have not been blessed with good weather and have lived in our waterproofs all season.
Still, the rain didn’t dampen anybody’s pleasure and the Charity has welcomed over two thousand visitors this season which is fantastic. We’ve just got to get through the next couple of weeks working with the local Special Schools before our current dilapidated boat store is demolished, as per the local Council’s Enforcement Order. Our stock will go into store, but we have plans to build a new ‘flagship’, fully-accessible boat store ready for a grand opening next Easter – we’re just short of the £400K needed to do so. All at Rudyard Sailability believe that we have the power overcome this significant barrier, and are willing to consider any suggestions – www.rudyardsailability.org.uk
The girls were back at the piano early Sunday morning with Fleur, their teacher, and were relieved that they hadn’t forgotten everything over the holidays. They are both at Chess Club, at the moment, and felt reluctant to go along convinced that they have forgotten how to play that too! It’s amazing how quickly we can feel unsure of ourselves. I’m sure they’ll be fine once they get going.
At Church we learnt about the Children’s Christmas Shoe Box Appeal http://www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk/ and have set about loading up shoeboxes with Christmas gifts ready to take to Harvest Festival which will then be sent off to Romania. Most children in our society have so much in excess of everything, it is hard to believe that there are so many thousands of children, not so very far away, who have so very little. We are certainly very privileged indeed, and I constantly thank God for all our blessings and remind the girls too on a regular basis.
Daddie’s meals, ‘like a proper family for once’ were such a joy as the school term is so filled with activities that we rarely manage to eat together during the week, and they were flavoured also with the welcome return of family favourites Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor
I’ve been in for a session with Simon from the Design Team of Caudwell Children to work on the last few items of Tilly’s book, Tilly Smiles. It seems that the finger is hovering above the ‘print’ button which is very exciting.
I attended the funeral of little Jack, aged six, who had drowned whilst on a holiday in Mexico. It was just as anyone would imagine it would be – heartbreaking and highly emotional. It seemed impossible to be able to celebrate the life of this beautiful little boy until his Daddy got up and told us little stories about his little lad’s character. Jack’s Mummy got up and told us what a happy little boy Jack had been, and how he’d made everyone else so happy too. Jack’s young sister (Tilly’s friend) got up and told us that she would never forget ‘her bro’ and would say hello to him every day. Jack’s amazing little spirit had given his family the power to lead the way and celebrate the life of their child, and they did him proud – a supreme tribute to a sparkling little boy. The rain hammered down outside from leaden skies, but inside, the Church was filled with a glorious outpouring of love that is almost too deep to describe.