Reflections upon 2013 in general and November in particular

This year has been marked by four family funerals and the planning of a family wedding (for 2015).  Three of the deceased were well over 80, whereas one was only 60.  (I say “only”, as once you’re over 60 yourself, you think of 60 and under as young.)  Partly through funerals, I have made contact with relatives who I have not seen for decades, and I was pleased about this.

In May I suffered from a bad back, and treatment by a chiropractor and exercises helped me get better.  The condition returned in November, but I shook it off by going for a series of long walks in the locality.  This is something worth persisting with.

The last week of November has been busy.  Jane was getting ready to return to voluntary work in Palestine, together with a close friend, with visits to Israeli and Palestinian friends lined up.  (They flew out today.)

We hosted Paul Parker, Recording Clerk and in effect Chief Executive of Quakers in Britain, as he was giving a talk – about Quakers in 21st century – to local Quakers in Bridgend Meeting House on the evening of 26th.  (38 people turned him to speak.)  He is a very engaging speaker.

On 27th Jane and I set off for the home of Jane’s sister in Scotland (370 miles away), not sure yet whether the funeral of their Uncle Andrew would take place on 28th or not, as the authorities’ permission was required.  In the event, the funeral did go ahead, at 9 am, as hoped; and we spent the day with family and friends.  On 29th we set out on the long journey home.

On 30th, Jane was involved in the 75th anniversary celebrations of the foundation of the Temple of Peace & Health in Cardiff, eg with running a stall for Cymdeithas y Cymod (Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales).  Then she dashed off to catch a train to London, to be ready for the early flight to Tel Aviv today.

It was St Andrew’s Day yesterday: one can’t help thinking of the helicopter crash in Glasgow and the aftermath, but also the positives of people rallying round.

David Harries

1 December 2013

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