Katy’s already posted about our weekend, so I will just fill in some extra stuff rather than repeat everything.

The first thing to say is actually one of the last to happen: Katy’s recognition service. I was very glad that L stayed asleep (on me) until Katy’s well-deserved applause, even though we were making each other hot. Also, I’m very proud of Katy, for all the hard slog she’s put into her preaching. The training itself is like an Open University course – theology, church history, Bible study, how to lead worship etc. – and then there’s preparing the services themselves which can take up most of a week’s spare time. (Long before your formal recognition you’re doing services by yourself.) I have learned a lot sitting in Katy’s services, and know she has a gift for preaching.

Katy mentioned in the service today that motherhood and preaching have largely occupied the same stretch of her life. This made me remember when she was just starting out and we would put J down to sleep in a tiny travel cot bag in the vestry of whichever church we were at, and he’d stay asleep until the end of the service. Things are a bit trickier these days on the child care during Katy’s services front!

On a completely different tack, I was struck by the contrast between two Ikea workers yesterday. We stopped off at Ikea on the way back from the baby shower in order to break the journey and it also has some strange irresistible pull on the car. (Hmm… Something wrong with the space-time continuum, captain?) We got there late, but there were still people in the cafe so we tried to get something to eat. The chap behind the counter said he’d run out of pasta which was a blow as there wasn’t much else we wanted. It turned out he did have some but it had sat in the serving thing for ages and so was a bit chewy. After only a little to-ing and fro-ing we managed to get it anyway and it was duly appreciated by the children. Thumbs up to common sense Ikea workers.

We’d got a couple of drinks that gave free refills. There was an announcement on the P.A. that the restaurant was now closed (although they were letting us finish our food), and Katy noticed a member of staff doing tidying up type things near the drinks machines and said I ought to drink up and get a refill quick. I did the drinking part, hurried to the machines and was told by the tidying worker that the she’d just turned the machines off. It was obvious that she wasn’t going to turn them on again, which was a shame as I now had no drink with which to finish my meal. I know it hardly registers on the grand-scheme-of-things-ometer, but it just seemed a bit unnecessarily unhelpful – couldn’t other things have been tidied up first?

Bah! I’ve given Ikea two whole paragraphs and sound like Victor Meldrew. That wasn’t the intention so I shall end with a thought that struck me this week. I was marching across town one lunchtime to help with child logistics and crossed a common that is the venue for the fairs that visit. One was in the process of being set up, so it looked less like a fair and more like a travellers’ community (albeit with specialist vehicles). There was a girl of about 12 sat at a table enjoying a book she was reading and it occurred to me that the people who do fairs are home educators like me – it’s just the setting that’s different. Their children will have much more exposure to some things than mine will – British geography, buying and selling, marketing, logistics and planning, mechanical engineering, (advertising) art and so on. The fact that this was a major realisation then reminded me that I’m not as open-minded as I like to think I am.

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