Sunday, 2 May 2010

Once upon a time there was a blog. After a busy 18 months the blog disappeared until one wet day in Paris it returned...

With some very good news: at long last Gill and I have been able to buy a house. No, not in Paris (houses here cost about twice the Greek national debt - and that would only get you a studio of 10 square metres). The house is in Headingley Leeds and is currently occupied by six student tenants. The rent they will pay us should go a very long way towards the rent on this apartment even after putting what is necessary aside to provide for income tax, insurance and maintenance etc. So, together with the salary I earn from Berlitz and the amounts Gill receives from her ironing business, we should have enough to live on from our own income resources for the first time since moving here! Praise God!

I am enjoying my work which recently has mainly been teaching English to French lawyers who, it seems, more and more need English in their work. I work 22 hours or so each week which leaves reasonable time to prepare the odd sermon etc. Actually I don't think all my sermons are odd, although last week I did manage to tell everyone authoritively that Joan of Arc died at the butcher's rather than at the stake - the two words in French sound similar! Gill, went one better when we were registering at a local doctor's surgery when she announced that she was very pregnant rather than saying that she was in good health (not that the two are mutually inconsistent, of course).

The church is enjoying some good times together on Sundays although it remains a challenge to gather more than 60-70% of the church at any one time. We are, however, growing slowly and we are looking for somewhere new and bigger to meet on Sundays. We visited a local hotel recently which could be good although at present they are saying no because they are linked with the medical profession and only rent out their meeting rooms to associations in that domain. We are praying that they will change their mind so that we will have a new place from September.

We have a UK trip coming up in ten days' time, our first this year (although Gill spent a week with my parents a couple of months ago when my mother was not very well).

It is Monday tomorrow so Gill, who has a season ticket, will be going to the dentist to continue a long series of treatments.

On Saturday evening we have what we are calling a Cafe Concert evening to which the church are encouraged to invite their friends. There will be eats and drinks and a number of musical items which will include songs, cello, piano etc. It promises to be a lot of fun.

We will not this summer be able to get to the Brighton leaders' conference, but will try to make it a priority in 2011.