Friday, June 10, 2011

Living in Ormskirk, Part 02

Monday, 06 June

We got to bed early on Saturday night, in order to get up in time for Church on Sunday.  We conked out and got out of bed the moment our eyes opened, but found, greatly to our surprise, it was eleven o'clock Sunday morning.  (No, we don't have an alarm clock.)  So we missed it for this week.

Sunday afternoon and evening, we went to David and Julia's for a cook-out.

James drove us in Kim's new car, a red VW Scirroco, a coupe; and I made the mistake of sitting in the back seat.  Not that it was uncomfortable or anything; it's just when I tried to get out of it, I couldn't.  Instead, I slowly sank all the way to the floor.  I couldn't do anything but sit there and laugh until James pulled me out.  (I'm glad I've lost some weight, or he might never have been able to!)

David has a fancy new grill, over which, on a spit, he guarded a lamb roast while the rest of us sat out in the summerhouse.  Well it wasn't lam, said David; it was hoggit.  Hoggit is the meat of last year's late lambs. 

What can I say?  Men (or even women) who can cook as well as David aren't one in a thousand (although it has been my delight to know a disporportionate number of them).  In the cavity where the bone had been, David had stuffed rosemary, garlic, and mint, which had marinated into the whole roast.  There were also potatoes, some of them roasted in a pan beneath the lamb, and carrots and broccoli, and for dessert pudding, chocolate cake served hot, with cream to pour over it.  All in all, a severe challenge to my diet, but I managed by eating small portions of everything.  Yes, even of the cocolate cake, and yes, even with a bit of cream.

Tuesday, 07 June
of Bibles and Knitting Needles

Ann Stein is a curate at the Ormskirk Parish Church.  Last year, after I had left England, she friended me on Facebook, and by that means, we've been in touch ever since, albeit loosely in touch. 

One of Ann's ministries is to conduct a group that does Bible study on Monday afternoons, between 1 and 2 p.m.  and then knitting from 2 to 3 p.m.  Ann wrote me that last week the bishop had visited this group, and the ladies had told him they even had 'an outworker in America.' 

So I was doubly happy, yesterday, to rejoin this little group.  I'd only been once before and that was last year, and only for the knitting part of it.

The Bible study goes by topics and the current unit is on Prayer.  One or two of the ladies don't care for it as much as for some other topics they've done.   'You either pray or you don't,' said Dorothy, 'and you either mean it or you don't.  That's all.' 

The other unit they had studied in the past and ALL disliked, interestingly, was Spiritual Warfare.  The theology was 'too deep' for them, they said.  And then, of course, it all depended, didn't it, upon the difficult issue of the existence of 'a personal devil'.  No, I didn't take up the subject.

At two, the Bibles were put away and the knitting needles were brought out. The ladies do charity knitting: teddy bears for children in natural disasters, tiny shrouds for stillborn babies or babies who don't survive, little blankets (23" square) for premature babies, sweaters jumpers for tots in Africa, and the like.

During the whole hour, I accomplished ONE row of knitting!  Too busy with other things.  There were names to learn, everybody else's project to admire, my project to explain, patterns to share, and the chit-chat so trivial in itself, but so crucial for social bonding.  I also turned in the 5 wee blankets I had knitted during the year, including that spiral one that had been so surprising to work.

The ladies do more than knit and socialize; they also share paperback books they've read, pass them around to others who may like them.  AND, they even share needles, as in, 'I've got some needles that size; I'll bring 'em to ya next week.'  Now THERE is a real challenge to my generosity!  Ask me so share anything else, fine; but knitting needles?

And if you're a knitter, you'll appreciate this:  they have a communal stash!  Yes, a large plastic bin full of various yarns.  Parishioners donate them from time to time, and the knitters themselves contribute their leftover or unused yarn.  Isn't that a great idea?  You can put A's leftover yarn together with B's and come out with enough to make a very nice project.  Plus, you don't end up being displaced from your own home by overflowing boxes of yarn. 

At 2:30, tea was served, with shortbread cookies biscuits.

Overall, I had great fun and met 10 or 12 very congenial ladies, all roughly in my same age group.  Who knows?  Some of them may turn into friends one day.


Anam Cara said...

You must have heavy curtains on your window to keep the light from waking you earlier! At your latitude the sun must be coming up around 5 AM!

Your Bible study/knitting group sounds delightful. The idea of the yarn stash is great. When we lived in Germany after 9/11 my German quilting group had many people who didn't sew donate fabric which we used to make "comfort" blankets for the families at the Pentagon who had lost people there.

I always loved that spiral blanket. I can see it as a rainbow with each row a different color of the spectrum.

Warm chocolate cake sounds wonderful but that is because I'm not so good at cakes - I make a great shortbread, though. Do you like McVitie's digestive biscuits? Our graham crackers, no matter what anyone says, just aren't the same.

Thank you for these posts. I am with you in spirit!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

The sun must come up by around 4:00 here, as it is very light already by 4:30. (This I can unfortunately testify from personal experience.)

Anam, you've always loved England, haven't you?

Yes, i like those McVities, but I still prefer graham crackers.

Feel like sharing the shortbread recipe?