Marathons and Kites

Let me tell you about last Sunday. We had to take Son 2 back to uni, ready to start his Masters course, so there had been some discussion as to when that would be. I was keen to go on Saturday, because I don’t like missing church on Sundays and we seem to have missed a lot lately. Son and Husband were keen to go on Sunday. We went on Sunday.

However, they did compromise, and tell me they were willing to leave early in the morning, early enough for me to attend a church in Nottingham. Which was kind of them, as it meant we all had to get up ready to leave for 7am. We looked online for the postcode of Cornerstone Church in Nottingham, as it’s near to where Son lives, and we know a few people who’ve been there who are relatively normal, so we figured it would be a good one for me to attend. Their website claimed they are an ‘inclusive’ church – not quite sure what that means, but thought I’d find out.

7am arrived, off we set. Traffic on the motorways was good, and we looked as if we’d make it on time. Until we reached Nottingham. Then we ran into traffic, and I began to watch the time ticking past. You know that feeling, when the clock keeps moving, and you realise you’re going to not be early, then you’re going to be late, but still okay to arrive late. Then you start to decide just how late you can be before actually it’s a bit rude to disturb the service. I am used to churches – I have been around them my whole life, so I didn’t mind arriving late and asking to use the loo before going in whilst being assessed by strangers interested to know who I was and why I was there. But there is a limit. Eventually, I began to realise I wasn’t going to make it. Shame.

The problem, which perhaps Son could’ve known about beforehand (not saying anything, but…) was that Sunday was the day of the Nottingham Marathon. Son’s house, and the church, seem to be situated on a small island surrounded by roads that the marathon runs around. We tried several different routes, but it was pretty impossible to reach our destination by car (and I was too late to walk). So we abandoned the car and walked to the Beefeater for an early lunch.

As we walked, we passed lots of runners. I always find the marathon, any marathon, very moving. All those people giving time and effort for something so positive is wonderful, I think. There are the runners, raising money for charity after months of training, and their supporters, giving up a morning to cheer them on. It’s all excellent – if somewhat inconvenient for people wanting to drive on the roads. We even saw a man running whilst pushing another man in a wheelchair – that really made me blink back the tears!

I do wonder, though, who planned the date. I feel next year it would be good if they discussed dates with Nottingham University, and perhaps either the marathon, or the beginning of Fresher’s week could be on a different day. Just saying.

We had a nice lunch though. I like Beefeaters, and in the North, everyone is friendly, so you always get good service. The one in Nottingham is near a sort of marina. Only sort of, as most of the boats are on a car park, and the water is beyond sight. They do call it Beefeater Boathouse though.

Boats always remind me of my dad, because he owned a boat. His brother, Uncle John, used to live near a river, and if he saw a capsized boat, he’d buy it and then mend it. Dad bought one from him, and spent all his free time making it nice. I believe the lovely wooden cabinets in the galley were once church pews (perk of the job when you’re the minister perhaps).

My dad was good at making things, though they did tend to be big. And sometimes not pretty. We still have the solid wooden train station for the Playmobile trainset, which is way too big to fit into any cupboard. And we all remember his kites. I remember a holiday, in Cromer, when Mum and Dad had taken the children to fly kites, and me and my sister were sitting in Granny’s caravan. My sister looked out of the window, looking for Dad’s kite.

“I don’t think I can see their kite,” she said, “what does it look like? Oh wait. Oh no. Oh dear, I think I can….”

There were lots of kites flying in the field next to the caravan, and there, twice as high as all the others, was a big black bin bag kite. It was huge, and ugly, but it flew really well. I miss my dad.

Anyway, hope you have a good week and manage to get to where you want to go.

Take care,
Love, Anne x


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