It’s been a perfect maelstrom of events here in our London lives. All the seeds I’ve planted throughout the year somehow come up as regularly as our June lavender, every year. This particular June some unusual blossoms appeared.
How many people can say they’ve rung bells for an Archbishop of Canterbury? Well, I have, as it turns out.
As part of the ongoing celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, the most recently retired Archbishop, Rowan Williams, came to St Mary’s to offer a sermon. It was a gala occasion. We “rang him in,” and then as I was walking my bike around from the back of the church, where the bell chamber door is, this is the sight that greeted me.
This particular Archbishop is dear to my heart for a number of reasons: his liberal thinking about women and gay bishops, his deep understanding of Islam, his new position as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and: he married William and Kate!
I paused to see the pageantry of his arrival at St Mary’s, feeling self-conscious that I was pedalling away rather than staying for his sermon. But he looked twinklingly at me and gave a slight smile, then entered the packed church.
That was a very cool moment for me.
We’ve had my very last “MIV Sale,” which sounds as if we’re selling the MIVs (first-year students at Avery’s school), but really means we’re selling lacrosse sticks, masks, boots and drama shoes to the incoming MIVs at their Welcome Tea. It’s such a warm, cosy event, at which I traditionally meet the new mothers who will be the latest recruits to Lost Property in the autumn. Many mothers have told me over the years that meeting me at the Tea was their first introduction to the school, and it set the tone for welcome and warmth. I took a moment in the empty Old Library, scene of the Sale, before all the clobber arrived. What happy times I have spent in that sunny, elegant room: Parents’ Guild meetings around these tables, decorating for the Christmas Fair, Parents’ Evenings hearing our daughter’s work praised.
Last week saw John and me in that very room again, sipping sparkling water and greeting fellow volunteers, at the High Mistress’s thank– you meeting with all of us. Seven years of giving time, effort, money, and love to that school have come to an end for us, unbelievably.
I’ve been united with my latest Home-Start family — a big one this time, lots of children who clamor for my listening ear, my welcoming lap!…
Rabbit, Three Ways: Rillettes, Loins and Liver Parfait
(serves 3 as appetizers or a light lunch)<p…