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November 16th, 2012


DIARY 2013

Before I retired, I almost said when I was working, but somehow, whatever I believed before retirement it isn't quite like that, so before I retired...I used to acquire the next year's diary any time after the start of August and make sure I had it with me at all the quarterly and half yearly meetings that took place in the autumn so that all the meetings could be planned sensibly from the off, so to speak.
Today I have bought my diary for 2013 and so far apart from my name and address and blood group and my doctor's address it contains nothing....
I'm sure that isn't going to last but it gives me time to pause and think about what the new year will bring....the sort of question I used to address when I conducted Watch night services and wrote my new year articles for my church magazine editors.
One thing is quite certain, it will be a year of change and although I am aware of what some of those changes might be, now is not the time to go public on what is in the pipeline, just that some of what is currently my life will come to an end...and undoubtedly as one door closes others will open.
I expect that we shall by January 2014 know where we shall be going in the summer of 2014 when Laura expects to retire....and we can be Derby(or is it Darby?) and Joan
together but that all seems an incredibly long way off.
I expect that by January 2014 we may still not have unpacked some of the boxes that came with us when we moved over six years ago but I do recognise that in the coming twelve or thirteen months that task needs to be accomplished so that we can contemplate our next move with a sense of confidence and calm and lack of panic and an assurance that we shall not be cluttered with the chattels accumulated through lack of acquisitive discipline that has been our lot since we married in 1970 and with so much of the paraphernalia of ministry that we have both acquired over a somewhat shorter time.
At the moment we have no idea whether we shall then have one, two or twenty four bedrooms or where the dump/palace is likely to be but at least part of the coming year will need to be devoted to "the clear out"
There may well be things which we shall do for the last time, certainly towards the end of the year...and this time we shall be planning in advance, rather than having retirement "just happen" ....so here goes...365 days of the last complete calendar year that we shall spend in circuit...and it is all waiting to be written and acted out....
This week we published the circuit preaching plan for December/February so there is stuff from that to be written in already. The circuit walking group and my Bird group meetings are planned already for twelve and eight months respectively..... and things like Sunday Worship, the Prayer for Zimbabwe Group, and Thursday Learn and lunch sessions will also continue but apart from that I'm free...if carless...but I have my bus pass and have been threatening to see how far I can go with that, though I probably shall not actually go any further than Huddersfield....
My other half will continue her work and that will involve a certain amount of supportive activity and the family will no doubt make calls on our time from their now more scattered locations ....it was so much easier when they all lived North even if for Tim anything south of Scotch Corner was "The South". Newcastle, Cirencester and Milton Keynes take a little bit more struggle as far as keeping in touch is concerned than did Liverpool, Southport and Newcastle, but that struggle will be made.....after all that is what "family" is all about.
So 2013 ....now looks a little closer with the acquisition of my little black book, still with a page a day for weekdays and oddly only half pages for Saturdays and Sundays....and the absolute certainty that some of what will fill it will be totally unpredictable and unknowable until the moment comes.Wouldn't life be dull if we knew exactly what was coming before it all kicked off.