9km Walk

Tuesday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day I went on a 9km walk. I wasn’t sure I would because the day began with all the signs of rain.

I worked all morning and I have to admit, it was mainly from my rocking chair. At lunchtime, I had finished, so I put my walking shoes on and off I went. I took a backpack with  my raincoat as well as my pepper spray and wore my NHW high viz vest. This, I have learned is a great deterrent. No one negative approaches me – they all think I am some sort of security, so they stay away. The security cars and other para-safety people all greet me with warmth & appreciation.   I feel so much safer walking with it on. I’m easily visible, avoided by those I want to be avoided by and approached by those who are harmless. I walked up Highway and this view had me believing the rain was gone.

I wanted to go to the Silvermine Wetlands, but knew there and back from our house would not be as long as I wanted to walk today. I wanted a 9km walk, so I took a very long route to get there. Up the mountain, down Berg Rd, up Ranger,  down Pass, over Kommetjie, down 17th to Valyland. I stopped there for some water and to check my email. Then I walked down the cycle track alongside the primary school, past Bay Primary and through the avenues to the wetlands. The bridge is being repaired.

The walk along the path on the Fish Hoek side is idyllic. I felt so safe and it is very picturesque.

I’ll definitely do it again. Home again, taking a slightly longer route to make up exactly 9km.

Tomorrow looks like another good day to walk, although I think I may tone it down a bit & only do 6km.

I’m reading through Romans at the moment & have encountered this passage.

Romans 3:22-24
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Tomorrow, it’s 45 years since I received this wonderful gift of salvation. The impact of the 17th July 1979 is never far from my thoughts.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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First Sunny Day in a Week

Monday

Dear Elsie

Today was the first sunny day in a week. There was a shower late this afternoon, but the day all in all was filled with sunshine.  I think everyone was very happy to see the sun again. This was the sunrise…

There was a Southern Right whale in the bay this morning, but as soon as the sun rose & the glare increased, I lost sight of it.

I had two meetings this morning. At about 1.30pm, we went for a walk to Harbour Bay to pick up some shopping. Such a perfect day for walking. This is on the path along side the train tracks between Simon’s Town and Glencairn. The snow on the distant mountains is just visible.

This is from the same spot looking the other way.

The path comes out at Glencairn station, but walking on past Glencairn Tidal pool comes out at this path to the beach.

The return walk was just under 9km. We didn’t rush & it was very pleasant.

I did a bit more work and now I’m settling down for some You Tube videos.

A good start to the week.

Psalm 11:1
In the Lord I take refuge.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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Hope of Sunshine

Sunday

Dear Elsie,

Today was the day I thought we may get some sunshine and it did come from time to time. But intermittently there were showers too. In anticipation of the sun coming out, I did a load of washing and also managed to get some tumble drying done.

It was a serious stay at home day where almost no walking was done. My activity was mainly cleaning the house. I paid special attention to the island. The taps haven’t been cleaned with  my glasses on (haha) for a while. Amazing how much dirt is missed when I don’t wear my reading glasses when I’m cleaning.

When we were doing the finishes for the house, the taps and the black kitchen sink in the island were two of the items we debated over. I’m still so happy with them. Considering we didn’t have a clue what we were doing, it worked out quite well. Mike and Courage made all the cabinets and the island for the kitchen.

There’s satisfaction in cleaning!

This afternoon there was the Wimbledon final. Clear skies beyond.

We went for a walk afterwards and sunset seems to show a clearing from the north.

The wind has stopped blowing, the sea is flat and it looks like tomorrow will be fair. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Meanwhile, this is Jo’burg weather for the week. Are you serious?! What kind of winter temperatures are these?

End of the weekend and an early start tomorrow. I have an 8am meeting.

Psalm 10:17
You hear O Lord the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them and you listen to their cry.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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Flooding and Mud Slides

Saturday

Dear Elsie

It was great to speak to you today my sweetheart Elsie. You are such a treat. I love the voice note you sent me the other day. You needed to tell me that your shower cap had different colour spots and was not just blue. (I had said your shower cap was blue like  mine). You explained I was wrong & said, “I’m just informing you, but I still love you lots and lots and lots!” And I love you lots and lots and lots as well!

Today was the day it rained (again) quite heavily overnight and steadily during the day. The forecast for the week ahead doesn’t look to bring too much sunshine either.

We started the day with some exercise. Mike ran 6km and I walked 4km and we met at the foot of the stairs. Breakfast and resting and then this afternoon we took a drive to see some of the storm damage and mud slides. This is on the way to Cape Point. There is a stop and go. There are several areas under construction. At this one, the gabion baskets had collapsed down the hill towards the beach. There is water pouring down the drain and at that point, there is a burst water main causing the fountain.

Work is underway to repair the road and shore up the mountainside with more gabion baskets.  Meanwhile, across at the Silvermine wetlands, the bridge is collapsing. Leon posted this on FB.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The informal settlements are going to take a long time to recover. The rain is incessant. It can’t be easy trying to stay dry. The guest in the loft is enjoying the new window. He wondered what a Cape Town winter was like and now he knows.

This evening, it’s rugby. Mike is tearing his hair out.

He doesn’t often watch these games live, preferring to know the outcome and watch the win afterwards. I’ve convinced him to watch it live! It’s now nearly half time – Ireland 13 SA 6.

Whatever happens with the rugby and the weather, life carries on & with rain, there are rainbows!

I am sure I most likely  used this verse a year ago today.

1 Chronicles 16:11
Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

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Tale of Two Tables

Friday

Dear Elsie

Today was another day that was cold and wet. While the wind wasn’t as strong and rain as forceful, the showers that rolled by continue to contribute to the floods. This weekend, another cold front is expected so it’s not over yet. So far the City has had a lot of rain in July.

After work, I took a walk to buy fish and chips for dinner. On the way home, I went via the beach – this is a rare sight at this storm water drain. It’s the one closest to the restaurant and has seldom got water coming out of it, let alone a waterfall.

Meanwhile, my tale of two tables involves an old one and one that is yet to be. My dear friends the Beales had a collapsible table which they had on their patio. Many a Thursday lunchtime, I sat around this table with Aunty Wyn. I was in my 30s and Aunty Wyn was a great mentor.   When they went overseas, they were selling off the contents of their home and asked me if I wanted the table. It has been with us ever since.  With the rainy weather, Courage made a project of sprucing it up. Ideal indoor project.

It’s now in our lounge while Granny’s table is in the loft. Meanwhile, today, Mike went to pick up the wood for the new dining room table he is planning on making for us. It is blackwood and beautiful!

He will probably start working on that exciting new project next week. I’m so looking forward to watching it be created.

It’s been a good week.

Psalm 9:18
God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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Poor Drenched Cape Town

Thursday

Dear Elsie

Last night there were such strong winds and pounding rain. A  massive storm again dumped torrential rain over Cape Town with some gale force wind causing havoc in some areas.

There were a number of houses that had their rooves blown off. Trees were downed and there were mud slides across many roads, like this one…this is Blackhill.

On the way to Cape Point there is a massive chunk of road that has fallen down the mountainside.  Water continues to pour off the mountain and the roads contain various levels of streams running down them. In the low lying informal areas, the situation is worse. So many trying to mop up. Thousands have been flooded out completely. It’s heartbreaking to see. We live in a land of contrasts and the divide between crippling poverty and comfort is only a few kilometers.

While we slept in peace, we woke this morning to a pool of water that had blown in under the side balcony door. Despite blocking under the door with towels, the stream  extended under our front door to the entrance area, where it got soaked up by the carpet.

At lunchtime, Mike and I walked to Fish Hoek for Mike to pick up a very long, heavy steel clamp. We also did some shopping and then lugged it all home.  We came and went via the Beach. Not a day for swimming, although the sea appeared to have been blown flat by the wind.

The cat walk was very wet in places and hopping over rivers was part of the journey. Looking to see what is ahead, there seems to be rain over the weekend with the next sunshine predicted for Monday. We can’t get too complacent, rain is forecast for at least 4 more days next week.

This is a good one to remember:

Psalm 9:9
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

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Big Storm, More Rain

Wednesday

Dear Elsie

As I write, there is a strong north-westerly wind blowing outside and the promise of another big storm tonight with more rain. The winter weather is also affecting your town as both your school and the ones in Fish Hoek have closed for tomorrow due to the inclement weather.  We had a pretty idyllic June with sunny weather that was often windless. This week is playing catch up. Pat in Noordhoek posted this on Facebook.

It poured this morning and then there was a break over lunchtime, so I took a walk. I went up Contour, across the bottom of the start of Elsie’s Peak and then walked all the way down Mountain Rd to Highway again, over Kommetjie Rd to Valyland. Fish Hoek from Mountain Rd.

Looking at where I was going. The arrow shows Valyland…

I bought myself some water and walked home via Hillside.

By the time I got in, I’d clocked up 6km.

The loft is now finished and Gareth has returned for 10 days so he gets to stay in it first. The new window makes all the difference…

We are very happy with it.

This morning I read Psalm 8 – one of my favourite psalms, so before I went walking I pulled it up on my cell phone and while I was out, I started trying to memorise it.

Psalm 8:1
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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The Surprise of the Day

Tuesday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day that a mammoth cold front passed by and it dumped torrential rain on Cape Town for the entire morning. My morning sunrise photo was not much to admire.

The massive amount of rain made Mike worry that the one gabion basket may get too wet. He and Courage unrolled a huge piece of plastic…

And then went out in the storm to put it in place.

The wind was howling and it was pouring with rain, although the photo doesn’t show how bad the conditions were. It took them a while to get it secure and when it was done, they were pretty drenched. Photos came out on various whatsapp groups. This is Ou Kaapse Weg..

And this was outside Fish Hoek SAPS.

By lunchtime, the rain suddenly stopped and it looks a lot clearer. The surprise of the day was I went for an hour long walk and while I was out, not a drop fell. I went via the beach where the volume of water through the storm drain had dug away at the beach.

I walked through the avenues where there were various signs the storm had passed through.

I came home via this set of De Villiers steps which I haven’t walked up before…

So surprising to get a proper walk in on the wettest day of the year thus far. It was also surprising that Julian’s flight wasn’t delayed. I think they left a few minutes late but that was because they were waiting for another plane to land. Flights were coming and going as scheduled. No cancellations or diversions it seems. While there was a phenomenal amount of water, it seemed the wind wasn’t strong enough to cause any flight issues.  The wet weather is not over. More rain is forecast tonight and tomorrow. We had a lovely sunny June. July is putting paid to any thought we may have that we would have a warm winter!

Psalm 7:1
Oh Lord my God, I take refuge in you.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

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More Rain, More Wind, Very High Seas

Monday

Dear Elsie

Today we got a lot more of winter. It certainly has set in. More rain, more wind, very high seas and lower temperatures all added up to a Cape of Storms winter’s day. And you too Elsie. Snow in Swellendam! Simone’s Mom took this one…

I went out early to get some steps. It looked dry but no sooner had my feet hit the road, a squall came through. Fortunately, I had my raincoat with me and managed to get myself covered enough to stay dry. Can’t miss me!

I walked up Highway, past the Daisy Lane turn off, choosing instead to go a little further to Zoutendyk steps.

Down to Hillside, where I peered between the houses to a very deserted beach. No swimmers today.

While the sun was trying to break through the clouds, they still looked ominous.

This is the nature of winter in the Cape. The wind is strong and blows the rain across the city. It blows in and blows out – then there’s a gap before the next flurry of windswept showers. Today has been chilly but there has been less rain. Tomorrow we are expecting another significant frontal system to make landfall. Wind Guru’s prediction is very colourful.

All those stars mean it’s going to be blowing gales. Apparently the strength and size of the waves are related to the new moon tide. Hopefully, it will be a little less buoyant in the days ahead.

The other thing that happened today, apart from 6 hours of work, was a trip to the vet. It was not Raiku who needed attention. The neighbours, who are overseas at the moment asked me to take Basil to the vet as he had a bladder infection.  Charles, the neighbour’s gardener loaded him into the cat carrier and off I went.

As you can see from his very cute face, he looks a picture of health. He wasn’t dehydrated and didn’t seem in any pain. The vet said his bladder wasn’t blocked and was completely empty which was good news. He gave him 2 jabs –  cortisone and an antibiotic  & we were good to go. The owners were very relieved. Home to Charles and back to his warm spot.

It has not been a bad Monday. Mike went through to Woodstock (where else!) to get the wood for the dining room table he is hoping to make. I’m so excited.

Proverbs 18:21
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

The words we speak are powerful and have the potential for love or hate. Speak to encourage rather than criticize.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

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Every Bit a Winter’s Day

Sunday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day a big storm swept through Cape Town. I think you were also expecting a lot of rain in Swellendam. Last night there were some very strong winds and a massive clap of thunder woke me up at 2am. There has been a lot of flooding and damage in the informal settlements.

It was quite a blustery in the morning.  At lunchtime, we decided to go for a drive. We needed some shopping, so went to Fish Hoek first and then took a meander across to Kommetjie. I planned to get some walking in and thought that maybe we could walk to Kommetjie Lighthouse. We stopped for hot drinks and by then it was raining, so we drove on before stopping to enjoy them on the roadside just before Scarborough.  Foamy water…

Looking towards Misty Cliffs…

Mike enjoying the full windy, rainy effects.

We had a very dry June with hardly a winter to speak of so to have a typical Cape storm has been a change.  We came home via Red Hill and relaxed. I still hadn’t done any walking, so reminiscent of Arona, I donned  my raincoat and off I went. I felt fully English walking to the village to buy milk (which I had forgotten to get earlier). There was plenty of rain about with a river running down our stairs to the street. Down the road, drains were bubbling over…

I walked to Fish Hoek down Simon’s Town Road passing the view of the barrel…

After shopping, encouraged by a break in the rain, I came home via a very quiet beach…

Seagulls foraging…

The cat walk was entirely deserted. I passed absolutely no one which must have been a first for me. Not a single soul on the entire cat walk. I was followed by a few flashes of lightening and rolls of thunder.  I did one good deed, in that one of the pink NSRI life saving buoys had been blown off its hook. I retrieved that before it disappeared into the sea.  Hopefully, I secured it well enough to not dislodge again.  I dashed over the bridge and scuttled up Sunny Cove steps, up the hill and home. The stairs had dried out and there was no longer  a waterfall. Not so now though. I’m sure the water is gushing as it’s been pouring down over the last half hour.  I’m under a blanket on my rocking chair and this is my view…

The biggest concern with this size frontal system and volume of water is the terrible flooding and devastation in the low lying areas of the informal settlements. Rain is forecast the entire week, so the City’s Disaster Management will have their hands full.

Psalm 5:3
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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New Moon Sunrise

Saturday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day you and I had a short chat but I heard about your first tooth coming out and how the “tandmuis” came! I also saw the worm you bought,  your new pantoffels & your raincoat! I love them all!

This morning, I was in my rocking chair when I noticed the clouds turning pink. It was 7-10am.

Then at 7.50am, this happened! Welcome to Saturday!

Such a dramatic sunrise on what is new moon. I never followed the size of the moon until we moved here. The moon is just a sliver right now &  we can see the effect it has on the tides and sky. The new moon brings with it a very dark night. And the tides seem to be super low at low tide and super high at high tide. We went to Fish Hoek for breakfast and walked home along the cat walk. I took some photos from the Sunny Cove bridge. I don’t think I’ve seen the tide so low.  In the photo below the waves are usually crashing against the beacon on the right. The furthest rocks are usually always under water.

So much seaweed visible as well.

Sunny Cove station and Simon’s Town Road from Sunny Cove bridge.

And us!

The rest of the day has been very chilled. I read, I did my word game and I nodded off. Julian spent the day in Somerset West going through a consignment of books. When he got home, we walked to Harbour Bay and had ribs at Sav Cafe.

Now we are onto watching tennis.

A good Saturday.

Psalm 4:8
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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Bed Box is Done!

Friday

Dear Elsie,

Today was the day Grandpa finished making the bed box for the foot of our bed. He has long wanted to get one of these. In the end he decided to make one. It’s perfect! He just has to paint the feet.

It took him a LOT of time and he won’t make another! It is bespoke, made to size and colour to match our headboard and he got it absolutely perfect. Maybe, Elsie, one day you can inherit it!

One of the things I am doing in 2024 is celebrating my 60th year. While this may culminate in November, I’m enjoying all the treats along the way. It sort of started in February when our terminology changed with David from ‘he has long Covid’ to ‘he is in recovery from long Covid.’ His improvement was one of the biggest gifts of the year. He’s still not completely better, but he is managing so much better. March was unexpectedly buying the half car. It’s such a lovely car, I feel quite spoiled driving it. April/May was our unforgettable trip to Italy and then to the Norwegian fjords. June, we had a special week of time with you, Elsie and your Mom  – that was a big blessing.  July is the bed box. I’m celebrating each little blessing.

This year hasn’t been all good, because we lost Claw’d but it’s certainly been much better than last year which was like walking through mud. Every day from when David fell ill on 15th February 2023 was a worry, fraught with anxiety – it’s never easy watching someone you love struggle and it was hard to keep my smile going. I had to dig deep to keep the faith and know that God is faithful and He won’t let anything happen without His permission, presence and purpose. Even by Christmas, my heart was heavy. It was only in January/ February, we began to see improvement in David’s energy. He’s managing better now.

I’ve had a good work week and now we are looking forward to the weekend.

Proverbs 18:14
A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear.

There were many days last year my spirit was crushed.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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Weight Loss July

Thursday

Dear Elsie

I’ve turned this month into weight loss July. For the last year or so my weight has varied  a few kg up and down, but I’m trying to get it slightly lower so that the upper number is about 3kg less than it is now.  I’ll feel better when I’m a few kilos down.

From Monday I’ve been trying a new eating strategy to get rid of the extra weight this month. I actually just want to lose 2kg this month. I don’t have high expectations.  The two things I have learned this week is I have to get used to being hungry again, and, I have to control my ‘hanger’! It’s really easy to get irritated towards the end of the day. I need to be aware of that and still try be happy when I’m hungry.

The main key to any weight loss success I’ve ever had is counting calories, so I record everything I eat on my watch app on my cell phone. The two sync, so when I exercise, it gives me more calories and tells me what my calorie deficit is. What’s really helpful about using an app to record food eaten is it puts the brakes on. I have been shocked at where calories lie. Last night we had macaroni cheese and the portion I usually would have served myself was a whopping 1000 calories. Halving servings helps. One rusk is 140 calories, so I have half to get a taste.

Today I worked and then at around 11am, when I was on top of things, Mike and I walked to Fish Hoek for him to buy a few things from the hardware store. Good to see Law Enforcement on the cat walk.

Talking of security, this evening is our local neighbourhood watch AGM, which I’ll go to. At least it’s earlier tonight.

Rain is forecast over the weekend, but right now it also is looking particularly gloomy.

And to think this morning, I considered a swim! Ha. Raiku has the right idea…

I’m back to the beginning of the Psalms.

Psalm 2:2
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

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The Builder’s Sign

Wednesday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day I saw our builder’s sign on my daily walk.  I thought, ‘oh wow, that’s Werner’s sign.’ I walked a little closer and looked a the picture. Then I looked a little closer and realised it was of our house during the build!

It’s where my desk now is, so it looks like this…

It is a special view, that’s for sure.

What was not a great sight today was this…late lunch for baboons on the street.

They made a real mess. This was the photo from the neighbour across the road…

They wandered to the end of the road, upsetting Bnb bins and then left the street again.

Another interesting thing from my day was this from Flight Radar. I went on to see if the rainy day had upset Cape Town flights as Julian flew in today. When on the site, I spotted a plane quite far south of Cape Town. Turns out it was a Royal Airforce plane that had left Cape Town, flown almost as far as East London and then turned back.

Later I looked to see where it was and found it just west of St Helena Island in the South Atlantic. I lost track of it, so don’t know where it landed.

I went to last night’s meeting and stayed until question time. There were loads of people.  About 50 more arrived after this photo was taken.

I went wanting to ask, ‘what are you doing about crime?’ The Community Police Forum came saying, ‘you need to get involved in your neighbourhood watch.’  I’ve ordered a NHW bib for when I go walking and I’ll go to the AGM tomorrow night.

Proverbs 18:12
Humility comes before honour

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

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Wintery Weather

Tuesday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day I bought you this! It was from a second hand store and I couldn’t resist getting you a pair of wings.

I’ll bring them next time I come.

Today has been colder than the last few days. The wind has turned and the rain is coming. This is what we can expect tomorrow.

I worked for the morning and then at lunch time went walking. I reversed my usual route going up Highway & down Daisy Lane…

That comes out on Hillside. One of the houses has a wind sock that was blowing from the north.

I walked home via the Beach and along the cat walk.

This evening there is a community meeting with the FH Community Police Forum. It will be worth going to, so I’ll take a drive to see what it’s about. However, I have a caveat: if I can’t find parking because there are too many people, I’ll retreat and find out the outcome on the whatsapp groups. Furthermore, on Thursday there is the NHW AGM, which I think is important to attend. Two evening meetings in one week is a stretch for me, who never goes out in the evening and is mostly in bed by 9!

Off I go to get ready.

Proverbs 18:10
The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

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