Saturday, 17 January 2015

24 Weeks in Greece

In my last post I talked about our son leaving home, to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, in Greece.. He has now been gone for 24 weeks, reads writes and speaks fluent Greek and does his own Washing !

Its a strange experience when a child goes from being dependent to being independent. We look forward to regular emails and pictures every Monday. The picture above is of him standing on Mars Hill in Athens, famed for being the place Paul the apostle preached. He has also spent several weeks living in Thessaloniki, which again may sound familiar if you know the names of the New Testament books. Below was taken on the waterfront at Thessaloniki.

We have been compiling his weekly emails into a blog.. which can be found HERE

Friday, 1 August 2014

Saying goodbye is the hardest thing...

Yesterday we said goodbye to our 18 year old son, for 2 years...

Having just completed A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry he has a place at Manchester University studying for a Masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
However he has chosen to defer his place for 2 years, the reason? 
He has opted to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He applied for his missionary service around Christmas time not knowing where in the world he would be sent. The application process involves interviews, medicals and more interviews. In April he received his assignment to serve in Greece and Cyprus. He instantly felt it was the "right place for him" and in between studying for A levels has been getting to grips with basic Greek and reading things like
The Iliad and Odyssey.

So yesterday we dropped him at the Missionary Training Centre where he will be spending 9 weeks to learn Greek and missionary skills, then flying to Athens. Once in Athens he will be paired with a more experienced missionary and live among the Greek people.

As members of the Church ourselves we always knew Jacob would probably decide to serve a mission, I did myself 25 years ago. But nothing prepares you for the day you wave goodbye. We know he will be safe, we know we will exchange emails every week, but we will miss him being around. 
I will miss my "best mate" but at the same time I am so proud of the man he has become.

If you would like a peek into the life of a "Mormon" missionary, that is a little less weirdly edited than Chanel 4s "Meet the Mormons" documentary. Please pop over and take a look at the blog we will be keeping of his preparation and adventures.. 

Saturday, 24 May 2014

I married the girl of my dreams TWICE

My Princess

This weekend we celebrate our wedding anniversary.. We have enjoyed 22 years of married life and I think part of the reason for our success is that we got married TWICE.. Yes you read that correctly we had two wedding ceremonies.

On the 23rd of May 1992, Joanne and I married in a civil ceremony at our local chapel in Oldham. It was a regular wedding, we had a best man, bridesmaids a walk up the isle and a reception in the church hall. It was a wonderful day, with all our family and friends around us

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a problem with a regular church wedding, even our own. Every wedding service I have been too included the phrase "For the period of this mortal life" or "Til death do us part" Think about that for a minute. 

We were and are, madly and passionately in love, we didn't want a built in cancellation to our commitment. We believe in a life after death, but as the song by Queen asks "Who wants to live forever, if love must die"

Fortunately death, however far away it may seem, does not have to be an end. There is a place you can go to be sealed for "Time and all Eternity"  Love does not have to die, we can be families forever.
That place is a Temple.

In our case, in 1992 the only temple in the UK was in London and it was closed for an extended period to be refurbished. We didn't want to wait for its opening, so as part of our wedding plans we had organised to have our honeymoon in Franfurt Germany, where the next nearest Temple could be found.
(There is now a second UK temple in Preston)

After our civil Wedding on the Saturday we went home to the house we had bought in Ashton-under-Lyne. Then on the Saturday we drove to London, stayed over night and took a flight to Germany.

On the 26th of May 1992 we entered the Frankfurt Temple and in a room not dissimilar to the one below we knelt facing each other at the alter and were married a second time, by someone holding the authority to seal us together for Eternity.

It was a complete contrast to our civil wedding, we traveled to Germany without our family,
there were no bridesmaids or receptions, just us, a couple of witnesses and our beliefs.

Outside the Frankfurt Temple
This short video with comments from living apostles explains more and shows the sealing rooms better than a photograph can.. Please take a couple of minutes to enjoy it.

Of course being sealed doesn't mean you face no problems, you still have to work at a relationship, you still have trials. However I think having a LONG term ETERNAL plan makes your realise what matters most and gives you a different perspective and perhaps a greater desire to make it work.
Do I love Joanne as much as I did, no.. I love her much more.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Garden Railway

It was a Saturday, the sun was out, the dogs had been walked, the errands run... 
So why not run some trains in the garden

March the 1st 2014... Has Spring Sprung ?

Monday, 3 February 2014

Eighteenth Birthday

No not my 18th Birthday!! (I just think I'm 18)
 Today our boy became a man and turned 18.

Land mark birthdays in the life of your children make you pause for thought, hence the video. Jacob is not our eldest, our daughter Rachel will be 21 this year. It doesn't seem like five minutes have passed since some of the pictures were taken.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Houdapitt Cottages Bude

On the first weekend in December Joanne and I took a short 3 night break in the outskirts of Bude, North Cornwall. We stayed in a beautiful farm cottage that was part of a small group of cottages converted from farm buildings. Only a mile from Sandymouth Bay and very dog friendly, they are an ideal retreat.

We love the beach and were not disappointed by our first "winter" visit to North Cornwall. We had to wrap up warm but in return we had various beaches to ourselves. Much like being the first person to leave footprints in fresh snow, it was fun to look back and see only our prints on the sand.

Max and Jessie had an amazing time, although Max was not to keen on getting wet

Jessie however is a real water babe !

When not on the beach we took a trip to Tintagel Castle and enjoyed a warming bowl of home made soup in the English Heritage cafe (dog friendly) We also visited the fishing village of Port Issac which is probably more famous now as the film set for TV's "Doc Martin" than it is for fish.

As the daylight hours were short we spent the evening relaxing watching TV and enjoying Max and Jessie's new pastime of eating out at local dog friendly Pubs.

Above the dogs relaxing after dinner in front of the London Inn's log fire

Below hoping for a chip, under the table at the Kings Arms


To say both these pubs were dog friendly is an understatement. They are more than welcoming and served excellent home cooked food, at good prices for big meals. 
Both pubs also handed out generous amounts of dog biscuits, Gravy bones being a favourite of Jessie

All in all we had an excellent 4 days to relax, play and recharge, cant wait to go again !

If you haven't seen enough picture already here are the rest in a video

This post originally appeared on our other blog 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Economic Growth

When there are no more resources 
for an economy to grow,

Do the RICH get more 
by taking from the POOR?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...