Saturday, September 01, 2012

Lay me down in Green Pastures...

I decided that after a hectic summer and before the hectic rest of the year, that while I was in England for a conference anyway, I would have a little bit of a time to rest and "retreat". {and the fact that the plane tickets were way cheaper a week earlier helped a bit in the making of that decision as well} Online, I discovered Green Pastures in Bournemouth and it sounded idyllic, so I booked to come here this week. And it has indeed been a fantastic time of rest, restoration, full of good input and spending a lot of time with God... it has been exactly what I needed!

The gardens are lovely and I have felt like the Lord was leading me beside still waters while I was here:
I did get out and about in the area and took some photos which summed up the week: This place was like my little "island" of sanctuary like for this little guy:
And my calm before the the storm:
I don't think they will make a plaque for me like they did for John Wesley who only stayed ONE NIGHT in this cottage (which was then destroyed in WWII)... love it!
Two unusual things in Britain: red telephone boxes that work and SUNSHINE:-) But after 40 degree weather this summer in Bosnia, the 20 degrees that held sway this week in the UK were quite a welcome change. 
So, having decided to come this week for a retreat, completely by happenstance, I was actually in Bournemouth when the Air Festival was on...
And one afternoon, I took a little walk through some lovely gardens, and happened to arrive in Bournemouth just in time to see THE RED ARROWS!!!!! (completely unplanned, but so much fun!)

They really are amazing!!! And I am still pinching myself that I got to see them live!

Today I took the bus down to Swanage which goes across the Sandbanks ferry (which is run along chains under the water). My friend Helen Scott (nee Bennett) and I went on this ferry on our grand tour of the British Isles 15 years ago, so it was a real trip down memory lane for me...
Now, the cool (literally) thing about the bus to Swanage is that it is open top... and I wanted a picture of me on the ferry in the open top bus, so I asked someone to take a picture of me in the open top bus in the ferry... and this is the photo she came up with of me in an open top bus on a ferry (you will have to use your imagination, as she proved why I prefer using self timer where possible - where is the open top bus? where is the ferry?? I look pretty good, but well not really the point now is it?)...
But luckily I checked the photo and so we came up with this slightly better one, you can at least see the open top bus and the fact that it is on a ferry (well if I tell you...and you use your imagination still...). Yes, self-timer is definitely the way to go...
So, instead, I give you my arty picture from the open top bus, looking through the ferry window and out onto Brownsea Island: not a bad shot on a fast moving ferry ;-)
Now, just to prove I didn't spend the whole week alone, here is a self-timer pic of me with some of the other residents of Green Pastures: the Maize family from London and Ruth from Bracknell on Bournemouth beach...we walked down together after dinner one evening:
And talking about self-timer pictures, I have to show off this one of me in Alum Chine (which is one of the many forest/garden walks which are all around Green Pastures...): As I say: self-timer is definitely the way to go!!!
So, I hope you enjoyed seeing the week that was as much as I was blessed in having it ;-)

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