the fran­tic month of June

-- June 27th, 2015 --

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.

ringing for archbishop

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.

whole group archbishop

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!

archbishop royal wedding

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.

old library

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!…