Saturday, 18 July 2009

We've managed in the last month to sell a house, buy a car and marry off a daughter so it has been most fruitful indeed.

Our house on Spencer Avenue finally sold at the end of June and we now need to decide how best to invest the money left over as we will need some income from it. We do not have enough to buy a flat big enough to live in here in Paris, but we are wondering about buying a flat somewhere else and renting it out (even in London). We need to do some serious research over the next month or so.

We bought a Citroen C3 and have had a tow bar fitted. In France however, you should not drive a car around with towbar sticking out the back unless you are actually towing so it is a detachable one. As usual everything is much more expensive here (second hand cars, towbars etc), but that's life and we're getting used to it. God doesn't seem to mind of course!

We are just back from ten days in the UK. We left Paris on Sunday 5 July to look for the caravan which had been on a farm in the middle of nowhere since last August. We followed the google instructions most carefully and ended up completely lost. However a local kind farmer told us he knew of the caravan place (it's near to the farm where they sell chickens apparently) and he printed out a map for us which was great. The caravan was duly found in one piece although a little dusty. No signature or identity were required by the farmer so we drove off. Actually I suppose we could have taken any caravan there although ours is the only one the C3 is big enough to tow!

We then set off for Calais camping overnight in a recognised motorway service area. At 2.45am I was awoken by metallic scratching noises at the caravan door and suddenly realised it wasn't a simple nightmare, but someone was actually trying to break in (while we lay in bed!). I got up, banged on the inside of the door and shouted (I can't remember in what language) and the person ran away and I heard a sound of a car revving up and driving off. The lock had been broken unfortunately and I spent the next week unable to close the door!

I left Gill at Caterham to take the train to London and thence to Leeds while I drove to Brighton. Just short of the M25 at a roundabout a passenger in the car behind ran up to say that my driving was erratic: when I indicated left I then turned right and vice versa! I wasn't sure whether to believe her so I checked it out at the next layby. She was right, so I finished my journey to the campsite at Brighton by indicating left when I wanted to turn right etc. Really weird. It hasn't happened again since!

As the conference started at Brighton I was involved virtually the whole day in caravan door repairs (unsuccessfully) and got totally soaked cycling to PC World in Hove. I enjoyed Wednesday and Thursday, particularly hearing Terry Virgo speak about things vital to our churches (such as the baptism in the Holy Spirit) and the future of Newfrontiers.

I spent four nights in the caravan at Brighton with Philip who had just recovered from an unpleasant dose of Shingles. It was great to spend some time with him although he was still in pain the first night.

On the Friday morning we drove to Chorleywood to pick up Charlie Gordon one of Sarah's bridesmaids and arrived in Leeds in time for the wedding rehearsal.

Sarah and Gabriel's wedding was a wonderful day and experience for all involved. I had the privilege of walking Sarah up the aisle while Michael and Philip played some of Dvorak's New World Symphony. The service was full of worship and people. The reception was great fun. The newly weds are now in Turkey! You can view some of the wedding photos at

A couple of days with Gill's father and finally back to Paris for a week before we leave again for Rendezvous on Thursday.

We then have some holiday in the caravan in France and northern Italy as the church here in Paris effectively closes for a month.

I am still looking for a job!