WHY I BLAME HOOVER FOR MY DAUGHTER MOVING TO THE USA

 27 years ago, Hoover offered two free international flights with any £100 purchase. Today, it’s remembered as the worst sales promotion in history. *

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 But here’s the thing: I got two tickets to the States on this promotion! 

 And the rest as they say, is history.

 The advert was simple: purchase a minimum of £100 worth of Hoover appliances and you will be rewarded with a voucher towards an international airflight ticket. By November 1992, a return trip to the USA was also on offer.

 A close friend, godmother to my youngest daughter, had recently relocated to Boston due to her husband’s work, and invited us to visit her. There was no way a young Vicar could afford airflights to the USA at that time, but this advert made all the difference – the church needed a new vacuum cleaner, and so did the Vicarage.

A still from a 1992 TV ad promoting Hoover’s offer (YouTube)

A still from a 1992 TV ad promoting Hoover’s offer (YouTube)

 

They both got new Hoover vacuum cleaners, we filled in the forms and sent them off and sat back to await our flight tickets.  And a kind grandmother offered to pay for another flight – it was decided I would take our two daughters.

 

After a lot of negotiation with Hoover, including saying we would go at any time,we received flights to New York for mid February. It would be cold – but who cared? It was term time – but head teachers thought it would be educational. We had a few friends in the States in other places as well as Boston; Amtrak trains seemed cheap so we flew into New York, and set off. 

 

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Arriving in Central Station with 11 year old and 9 year old daughters, I was faced with a gun shooting just in front of us, and all hell was let loose as the cops arrived. Jetlagged, I wondered why on earth we had come. We staggered on to the Amtrak train  - and arrived four hours late at 3am in Evansville, Indiana; our dear friends had fortunately waited and were there to meet us as we jumped down on to the tracks, there being no platform. 

 

From there, things could only get better! My daughters attended school. My American friend drew up a list of words which we understood differently. She drew a line down the page, wrote “English” at the top of the left hand side, then turned to me and asked, “but what do YOU speak?”  Top of the list was rubber, let the reader understand. I had presented her young with Paddington Bear stationery, including an eraser …

 

Atlanta, Georgia, was warm and mild even in February, and I learnt a lot about the recent War and Unpleasantness, and the devastation it wreaked on the area. Hang on, I thought, America wasn’t invaded during the Second World War.

 

Turns out my friend was talking about the Civil War. I had a lot to learn about the States.

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On to Alexandria, Northern Virginia, to English friends; the husband was teaching at the seminary (Theological College) for a while, and was attached to The Falls Church. Little did we know, when we attended church with them on the Sunday morning,  that I would end up as a member of the clergy team there. At the time, I didn’t even think women should be ordained!

 

BOSTON - we watched them throw the tea into the sea in the Harbour …

BOSTON - we watched them throw the tea into the sea in the Harbour …

And so to Boston, where the elder daughter and I dropped the youngest, and we headed home. She stayed for another week, to go to school for a few days with the twin sons of her goddaughter, and travelled home as an unaccompanied minor. She was brave. 

 

She also loved the States. 

 

So really, I can blame Hoover that my youngest daughter now lives in Northern Virginia and is married to an American.

  

I’m giving away a free download! It will give you 5 simple ways to enjoy a mini retreat, time with the Lord, while you walk this summer. Each of the 5 is easy to do, and each gives you a way to connect with God perhaps in a way you haven’t before.

All you have to do is fill in your email address here and the freebie will slip into your inbox. AND you’ll be one of the first to know when my new book “Walking Back to Happiness” is published this autumn. Can’t wait to tell you more about it - it’s a memoir about the epic walk across France in June 2018, when, our marriage in a dire way, my husband and I walked from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic; and how we found ourselves in France.

You can read the full story of what happened to Hoover and how much it actually cost the company by reading the August 10th2019 edition of The Hustle here: 

https://thehustle.co/the-worst-sales-promotion-in-history/?utm_source=sunday&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=08%2F11%20-%20hoover&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fthehustle.co%2Fthe-worst-sales-promotion-in-history%2F



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How are you feeling about September ...

… or don’t you want to think about September yet?

I know - it’s still only just August.

Although I did see this tweet on Wednesday last week, July 31st:

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And another stating how many days until Christmas,

and a ‘book your Christmas party now’ sign.

I’m in the USA at the moment, of course.

But I bet there are signs of what’s ahead wherever you are.

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So - how are you feeling about September?

What are the issues facing you when summer is over?

I’d love to know your thoughts and feelings on this

and be able to pray for you.

I promise to read them all even if I’m not able to reply

to every single one.


Me?

I’m walking another part of the Via Francigena in Tuscany

in late October. I need to get in shape to do a challenging walk again!

And that’s quite an issue for me at the moment, and rather daunting.

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I’m giving away a free download which will help you to enjoy a special time while you walk this summer, - however long or short your walk might be. It will give you 5 simple ways to enjoy a mini retreat, time with the Lord, while you walk. Each of the 5 is easy to do, and each gives you a way to connect with God perhaps in a way you haven’t before.

All you have to do is fill in your email address and the freebie will slip into your inbox.

Happy summer walking and retreating!

- AND you’ll be one of the first to know when my new book “Walking Back to Happiness” is published this autumn. Can’t wait to tell you more about it - it’s a memoir about the epic walk across France in June 2018, when, our marriage in a dire way, my husband and I walked from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic; and how we found ourselves in France.

You can find the signup here:

http://www.ministriesbydesign.org/ministries-by-design-1/2019/6/10/summers-here-how-to-walk-and-retreat-





Oh Noooooo.......

I was working on my website pages earlier this morning and deleting some things - and appear to have sent rather than deleted! #technophobe

I am very very sorry to have clogged up your email inbox.

Here’s a calming photo taken just now at the Somerset Lavender farm in the next village. My daughter and granddaughters and I waked around there this morning - the lavender is spectacular at the moment.

  • Penelope

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How to Feast and Fast during Lent


Forty days to go deeper.

Apparently it takes 21 days to confirm a new habit and 42 days to make it a lifestyle.

What new, or re-newing, lifestyle would best help your current walk with the Lord?

What might help you to go deeper in a relationship with him?

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LENT.

A few weeks without chocolate.
And maybe alcohol.
A few weeks of abstinence. 
Of giving up things we like.

Or maybe for Lent this year - just giving up.

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Hurry up, Easter. And spring. And chocolate eggs.

But maybe there's another way.
A way of feasting as well as fasting.


A way of drawing near to the Lord in and through it all. 


FASTING & FEASTING
Fast from a gloomy outlook on life
Feast on what is bright and cheerful.
 
Fast from always being right
Feast on seeing another's point of view.
 
Fast from always pointing out differences
Feast on what unites us all.
 
Fast from words that pollute
Feast on those that purify.
 
Fast from complaining
Feast on appreciation.
 
Fast from self-pity
Feast on goodness in others and self.
 
Fast from self-concern
Feast on going out to others.
 
Fast from overdoing
Feast on time for prayer.
 
Fast from worry
Feast on God's love.


(Father Kerry: Our Lady Queen of Angels
bulletin Lenten Reflection: Feb 2010.)


Come swiftly O Lord, to the dark moments when we are lost.
Make us aware of your presence.
Strengthen us to resist the urges and pulls to deeper darkness.
Stir us to move away from the dark moments of sinfulness
towards the light of your forgiveness.
Come quickly O Lord as we call – or forget to call – and
keep close to us and keep us close to you this day and night,
and as far as the days and nights stretch before us.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

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Walking slowly through France - 230km done, 300 to go

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There is a rhythm to our days. We rise. We walk. A cafe is a bonus. The countryside is beautiful. Wild flowers and vineyards give way to rolling hills, sunshine gives way to rain. But it’s the people and the world we live in that fascinate me.

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Dinner one evening with a couple, he Italian, she Flemish, with our French Algerian cuisiniere. We talk about faith, Trump and Brexit in my broken French. Our host at the B&B has one Catalan grandfather and one Basque (as well as a magnificent moustache). The great European experiment! C’est un melange, they say.

The next night we stay with a German couple, another wonderful chef. He is giving up on the French and returning to Germany as the French never turn up as arranged! A marriage made in ...?

And then a young English couple who moved to Carcassonne. He’s now very grateful for an Irish parent and that their 18 month old was born in France. 

Yet as I read a novel set in occupied Nazi France, I reflect. It’s a mess - Europe. It’s not the ideal I believed in when I voted to join as a young man. It’s overladen with bureaucracy and senseless rules. But what is the alternative? Are we really better off on our own?

And then the kindness and the warmth of the hospitality surprise me. What happened to the French disdain for foreigners?

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I’ve lost my addiction to The Times and today’s news; but even here Trump’s attempts to destroy the Western Alliance send a shiver down my spine. Have we forgotten the lessons of history? My father turns in his grave.

It was our generation that voted for Brexit I’m ashamed to say. What world are we leaving for our 6 grandchildren? Isn’t it better that we live with uncomfortable compromises than with a certainty and nationalism that isolates and separates? 

just a few thoughts as we walk slowly across France .....

Kim

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FINDING OURSELVES IN FRANCE

Finally, after nearly 20 years on my bucket list, the big Walk Across France is about to begin! On June 1st, we fly to Beziers, and the next day, June 2nd, we will be on the Mediterranean beach at Portiragnes Plage.  There, we will turn our faces west, and begin the 500km walk to Cap Breton on the Atlantic. (20,157,480 inches, or 318 miles)

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We will be carrying everything we need, in our large backpacks, so living simply and carrying as little as possible! And we will be staying in B&B and similar accommodations. Some of the walk is relatively easy along the Canal du Midi. Some is more challenging, in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

After the ups and downs of married life, especially recently, and to celebrate the end of our gap year of travelling during the first year of retirement , we will be Finding Ourselves in France…..

We are obviously funding the entire trip ourselves, and going anyway; but then we thought it might be lovely if some people could follow our progress, pray for us,  and maybe support a couple of worthwhile causes to sponsor our every step!

There are two Christian charities for whom we would like to raise £2000 each – a total of £4000, which is £1000 for each week of walking. We will actually walk for 6 days and then take a rest day, so it will take nearly 5 weeks all together.

The International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org)

IJM is an international, Christian, organization focused on human rightslaw and law enforcement, and in particular to work towards the end of sex trafficking. It was founded in 1997 by lawyer Gary Haugen and is based in Washington, D.C.. There are field offices in AfricaLatin AmericaSouth Asia and Southeast Asia, and five partner offices in North America, Europe and Australia. 94% of IJM employees are nationals of the countries they work in. Gary was a member of the church in Virginia where we were on staff.

People against Poverty (http://www.peopleagainstpoverty.com)

in Romania

In September, a group of men from our church (Holy Trinity, Combe Down, Bath) will be going to Transylvania to work with a local pastor who has an outreach ministry to Romany people. Kim will be part of the group!  The men are self-supporting for their own travel; but need to raise the money to build a barn, and other buildings, to help provide farms for those who have no other means of livelihood. The church has a strong link with this ministry and teams have been before.

The fund-raising direct links are below - please join us on the adventure of a lifetime and follow the journey. Social Media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin will each have the occasional photo/update. 

We fly back from Bordeaux on July 3rd.  and would love there to be some financial aid for those charities. Thank you so much for all your help, your prayers,  and your support in every way.

      with love,    Kim and Penelope

People Against Poverty:

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/kimswithinbank1

IJM:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=KimSwithinbank&pageUrl=1

Architect's design for the barn. They discovered the ground is seismic and had to redo the plans - pro bono all the way.

Architect's design for the barn. They discovered the ground is seismic and had to redo the plans - pro bono all the way.

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WALKING THE VIA FRANCIGENA

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- the mediaeval pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome, through the heart of Europe.

We walk part of it in Tuscany, from San Gimignano to Montalcino.

It's very special, beautiful in its simplicity and peace, as we retrace the ancient ways.

DATE ALTERATION!

So maybe it will work for you to come after all 

NEW DATES  are September 1 - 8 (Saturday to Saturday)

There are  just a few places still available - full details here: 

http://www.ministriesbydesign.org/italy-pilgrimage/

 

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