So, a new week. Life's been pretty full-on over the past few days. This is partly because we took a week off. Now, the principle that works here is that when you take time off all that happens to your work schedule is that the first three days of a week away get crammed into the two days prior to departure, while the final four have to be squeezed in to your first two day's back. Consequently, you end up feeling knackered and in need of a holiday...
So, with Remembrance Sunday and the next installment of James to prepare plus meetings relating to the youth charity I'm a trustee of, my three days back in the hot seat last week were pretty full-on.
I find Remembrance Sunday tricky. For some in the church there are personal memories of distant conflicts - especially the second world war and national service in the 1950s - for others there is a sense of wanting to honour a history that we've only really accessed in school. But for one family in my congregation yesterday, the day was especially significant as their son was deploying to Afghanistan that very morning.
A couple of people spent the summer researching the names that appear on our two war memorials in church and yesterday Janice reported on who these men were. It was fascinating but more than that, it put our remembrance in a very real context: here were men who were our brothers in Christ - Sunday school teachers, bookstall managers, players in our church football team - who'd been lost at the age of our older young people (late teens into twenties).
It made our two minutes silence profoundly moving.
This week, I am mostly writing. I want to get a chapter of my Lion book dispatched to my very patient editor and polish off a draft chapter of my MA. Even as I type these words, I think that sounds ridiculously ambitious... We'll see, I guess!
To keep me company, I have the Fever Ray album, Editors and Moby - all pretty wonderful - which reminds me that I will soon be compiling my festive top ten... Now, I need some coffee, I think.