I am writing a daily blog on preparing spiritually and physically

to lead a Pilgrimage of 100 miles in September.

for details of the Pilgrimage, click on the dropdown Cotwold Pilgrimage bar at the top of this page 

Today has been a curate’s egg kind of day.

This morning, I stood at the happiest place: the arrivals gate. Oh the joy of hearing the cries of delight, the sobs of joy, the squeals of pleasure, as loved ones were reunited.

Smiles and laughter. Hugs and kisses. Exclamations and enthusiasm.

Would my own loved ones ever come through that door?

And would I recognize them?

I always have that ridiculous fear when waiting for my family and friends – that I won’t recognize them.

But of course I always do.

There they are!

And my eldest granddaughter she leaps up into my arms, words spilling out to tell me of the overnight flight and all that she, they, have done.

And her younger sister holds out her arms – she’s balanced precariously in her car seat on top of the luggage.

My poor daughter  is pushing the luggage AND the buggy – so is doubly glad to see me.

The happiness of reunions and being welcomed and recognized.

Surely a foretaste of arriving home in heaven?

Of being welcomed and recognized and swept up in joy and affirmation.

* * * *

And then this afternoon.

The unhappiest place to be: driving across a hot dusty crowded London. Friday afternoon in a tired capital.

It’s only 14 miles door to door:  it took exactly two hours and ten minutes.

People were hot and tired and frustrated.

Horns blared and bleated.

Finger gestures were indescribable.

Cars were cutting in and cutting up and cutting out.

Voices were raised.

It was all too tempting to join in.

And then something reminded me of Amy Carmichael and her writing.

Her book IF


If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love. *

*For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water however suddenly jolted.


How sweet was my spirit this afternoon?

What flavour was spilt?


* * * *

No walking today.  Fewer than 1,000 steps, after the ten, and eleven and twelve thousand of earlier days.


Relationships take priority over rules.

Joy over judgement.

Tomorrow is another day: and I am booked for a 7 mile hike with a friend – to Hampstead Heath and back.

And then a powerplates session.

* * * *

And I’ve been in the happiest of places today.

I’m grateful.


It’s good to have my girls back.






We met in the archway.  Swept past the waiting crowds, joined the queue inside.

Headed for the stairs - another long line.

But then we were in. Swept with the people into a room of vast canvas, brilliant blinding colour, trees.


Three trees.









I stare at the spring of the trees.

Look with the artist through the blossom to the greening.

Feel it coming alive with new hope.




Scent the new grass growing.

Feel the life, the hope, the returning.


It’s my picture. I stand and stare, unable to take in all that it promises. This.

This is what I am here for, what I am meant to see. That there is hope. Life springs out again.


And again.

And again.


At the scent of water which I can see  - it has already rained and everything is fresh and new-sprung.


There is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. (Job 14:7-9)


People pass in front of me, obscuring the view. I sigh and turn to view the next.


It is Three Trees.  Again.

I swing.


Three Trees.

And again.

Three Trees.


spring summer autumn winter.


And oh yes.

Yes, yes.  My seasons. That’s where I WAS.









Winter, stark, bare, frozen.

Devoid of signs of life.

Cold and unfeeling.  Cut down.


But now.

Now there is spring and the life.

And the promise of this next – summer.

Full growth.

Thick luxury of life in all its fullness. Bold glorious colour.


Verdant. ALIVE










If winter come, can spring be far behind? And then a summer’s lease.

And knowing that one day will be the autumn of my life.











But for now, I am content to be in spring time.

Anticipating the summer yet to come.


* * * *

I have to move on. There is more to see.

I long to view the trees again and hunt in the shop for postcards.

Only two – winter and spring. But they meant the most.


We go to lunch. She hands me the heavy bag. ‘For you.’

It is the whole book of paintings. I gasp.

All four are there.


The book stays open on my table. At spring.

Soon it will be summer.  It’s been painted, it will come.

Each season in its time.


And you?

What season are you in for now?



Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

    1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

    2  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

    3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,

    4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

    5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

    6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

    7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

    8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.