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A Tale of Two Trolleys

Yesterday, we went and did our weekly shopping.

Not so long ago, that would not have been enough of an interesting opening line to generate much interest would it?

In these strange times however, who knows what might be revealed or adventure encountered by such a journey?

For example, not for the first time, I actually managed to walk into a supermarket via the ‘new exit’. I had wondered for a second, how perfect my timing must have been due to the complete lack of a queue. Only to then be guided to the new entrance that cleverly made use of the shelter, so that waiting shoppers would not get soaked in the rain we’ve had recently.

We typically go in with two trolleys – one for us and one for my parents – so they don’t need to venture out into the invisible and and still only partially known risks that can accompany such a trip for vulnerable people.

Towards the end of our twin trolley supermarket visit, I was doing my best to follow the arrows on the one way system down the aisles (not altogether successfully), when a woman asked if I could possibly lean over and get a pot of paint that she couldn’t reach in a non-food section of the supermarket.

I was more than happy to oblige.

She thanked me and I of course replied, “You’re welcome.”

I carried on down the aisle towards where my wife was waiting for me to go on to the checkout together.

Suddenly a different female voice politely cried out, “Excuse me, can I have my trolley back please?”

I had inadvertently grabbed the trolley in front of me – instead of mine that was behind me – and walked on down the aisle, completely oblivious!

Perhaps I was a bit distracted by the spontaneous opportunity for helping a stranger I had been given and wasn’t paying attention? Or maybe it was the extra concentration required (by me at least) to remember to follow the one way arrows?

Who knows? The truth is, it wasn’t the first time I had accidentally taken someone else’s trolley – if only for a few steps.

We all had a good laugh as the woman whose trolley I had accidentally taken said she would be quite happy for me to take hers to the checkout – given the amount of groceries inside it.

What is my point then?

Maybe that in the midst of lockdown and social distancing, we can still have a laugh with complete strangers – even if it involves getting a bit closer than many people would recommend.

Thankfully, neither of the women who either voluntarily or involuntarily had contact with me felt they needed to grab some anti-bacterial spray from the nearest shelf!

Perhaps my primary point could be that whilst we all need to observe the government guidelines, I don’t think we need to fear helping someone out or accidentally touching someone’s trolley or a door handle.

Imagine if for example, someone tripped and fell into the road as you were about to walk by them.

Surely your human instincts would instantly kick in and help them up or do whatever was necessary to assist them?

I’m certain that all decent people would become a 21st Century Good Samaritan – regardless of the risks.

How a 99 Year Old Man’s Mission Became a True Inspiration

If like me, you have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the daily news agenda – largely due to the fact that it is mainly all bad news, then you may not have heard about Captain Tom Moore but I would be extremely surprised.

You can read the full story by using the link above but in short, the man is a walking miracle – literally!

First of all, he is a relatively healthy man of almost 100 years standing. His birthday is at the end of this month.

Secondly, he wanted to give back to the NHS for what they have done for him in recent times, and so decided to try and raise £1,000 by completing 100 laps of his 25 metre ’round trip’ garden.

In surely one of the best examples of an event going viral, he has today finished his mission but instead of raising £1,000, he has in fact, raised almost £15 MILLION!

With average donations of £20.00, more than 700,000 people around the world have given and at times, the Just Giving page has collapsed due to the huge numbers of people trying to donate simultaneously.

Just Giving has confirmed it is the largest amount of money ever raised in a single campaign and they themselves, have donated £100,000 to Captain Moore’s cause.

What a man! He was a World War Two hero many decades before any of this, so he’s ore than your average hero.

What a legacy to leave for his family and what a way to spend the last few days before your age goes into triple figures in another couple of weeks.

If nothing else good comes out of this extraordinary season we are living in, we should all take stock and remember Captain Tom Moore for the rest of our lives. He’s certainly got some drive and that’s not just the brand of his walking frame!

It seems only right to end this blog with a quote from him yesterday, as he completed his challenge.

“You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right,” he said.

“For all those people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”

Hope Is Here!

There is an Old Testament Proverb that says,

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)

For Christians, Easter Sunday is a celebration that hope has come.

Hope is here, right now and you can receive it if you want.

Inevitably, as human beings, we all come to a fork in the road in one way or another. For some of us, it can happen several times.

It is very often the case that one way is not necessarily better than the other.

But it is different and what follows will be different.

Other times, it is more obvious and the consequences of going one way or the other will be stark in their contrast – especially over a given period of time.

On this particular Easter Sunday – regardless of what you believe or don’t believe – why not choose to have hope.

If you don’t think you have hope, then do all that you can to find it.

And if you don’t where to find it, think about some people in your world and ask them.

And if you can’t think of any people in your world who can point you in the direction of hope, then ask me and I will gladly help you find it.

This is not a time to be without hope.

The slippery slope upon which despair loves to dwell is oiled more than ever before and can oh so easily take you off to a place you would not ordinarily choose.

This could be another one of those forks in the road.

Embrace hope and don’t let go until the true desire of your heart has come and that tree of life has been planted right next to you.

It Really Is A Good Friday!

For the past thirty-one years of my life, I have made an effort to think about the significance of Good Friday before celebrating the happiness and joy that surrounds Easter Sunday.

Whatever faith you may or may not have, I believe everyone appreciates the story of good triumphing over evil. Of dashed hopes somehow finding victory – just when you had given up.

I know I do anyway.

As I take time out to think about all the implications (sorry, no one can genuinely think about all the implications) of this Coronavirus lockdown situation, I keep coming back to my single dominating insight.

We have never been here before. The Government doesn’t know how to tackle this with 100% efficiency. How could they? Who are we to expect them to?

Not everyone who gets caught driving over 100 miles to be with their family is a hypocrite or ‘guideline-flouter’. When you think about it, if said person is getting into their car and driving door to door to be with their immediate family (assuming they all know their current Covid-19 status – almost impossible in itself of course with the chronic lack of testing here in the UK), who can blame them? How are they actually spreading the virus?

I think about all the people who are alone in a high-rise flat with no easy access to fresh air, let alone a garden. Or the person who up until recently, had been doing really well with their weekly therapy sessions that have now ground to an abrupt halt. And they don’t even have a computer or smartphone to continue in the ever-expanding virtual world.

What do we do in times like this?

We do what we can and hope that the end of this comes sooner rather than later.

Some say this could be in May, others say September, or even longer – depending on you who read and believe.

I wrote last time about how this is as much a mental challenge as anything else and I still believe this to be the case.

Just like that very first Good Friday however, when the followers of Jesus were convinced all was lost, we too, can feel that way. Businesses are collapsing, entire industries are on the brink of ruin, the health of the economy will be cut down by a quarter if the lockdown lasts into the Summer.

Again, depending on who you read and what you believe.

I am no expert – far from it – but what I do know is this:

You can act like it all depends on you (follow the Government guidelines to the best of your ability, shop (and drink) responsibly), be kind to those you do get to see and speak with (in-house and beyond) but you can pray like it all depends on God.

Churches up and down the country are all closed in accordance with the aforementioned guidelines and some journalists criticise the Church of England for that. No doubt if they remained open, there would be more than mere criticism coming their way.

The Good Friday service has for several years now, been one of my favourite services of the year but this morning, we had to sit down in front of the TV (thank God for Smart TVs that incorporate You Tube in the same big ‘box’)

It is not the same however. I definitely do not prefer this way of worshipping and listening to our amazing vicar encouraging people with all his heart to draw near to God at this time, despite his irrepressible passion for Jesus.

But there are people all over the world doing exactly the same thing.

There are people all around you – wherever you are – who are doing their thing, whatever that is, during these unprecedented days of uncertainty and yes, faith.

Faith in God, Faith in the Government to lead us out of this crisis. Faith in the NHS to save our life if we need that. Faith in our friends to look out for us. Faith in our family to help us in any way they can.

In other words, there is a LOT of good stuff going on all around you.

If you don’t believe me, try listening to this man singing. We were out walking earlier today and across from a sealed off area in the middle of the countryside, on the other side of a hedge, which meant we couldn’t see him, we heard this man singing, On our way up the gentle hill, he was singing Could It Be Magic by Take That. About half an hour later, we came to the same spot and he was still singing.

Initially, I thought to myself, “Wow, what a lovely thing. Here’s this guy singing his heart out (presumably with his headphones on). Who knows who he is? He could be a man down on his luck and now camping out in the countryside. He could be a man, out and about, enjoying the wonderful sunny weather, and singing one of his favourite songs. He could be some top executive, at the end of his rope, and now as an act of defiance, is singing at the top of his lungs without a single care in the world.”

Who knows? None of us know anything anymore. At least, not as much as we thought we did.

Anyway, for less than thirty seconds, here he is, the Mystery Singer in Storrington

(You will have to listen carefully as the audio quality is not great)

What I didn’t know, until my wife looked up the lyrics that she could make out was that it was a Barry  Manilow song called I Made It Through the Rain.

I don’t know about you but when you read the following words, you might just believe in something more than you already do…

We dreamers have our ways

Of facing rainy days

And somehow we survive

We keep the feelings warm

Protect them from the storm

Until our time arrives

Then one day the sun appears

And we come shining through those lonely years

I made it through the rain

I kept my world protected

I made it through the rain

I kept my point of view

I made it through the rain

And found myself respected

By the others who got rained on too

And made it through

When friends are hard to find

And life seems so unkind

Sometimes you feel afraid

Just aim beyond the clouds

And rise above the crowds

And start your own parade

‘Cause when I chase my fears away

That’s when I knew that I could finally say

I made it through the rain

I kept my world protected

I made it though the rain

I kept my point of view

I made it through the rain

And found myself respected

By the others who got rained on too

And made it through I made it through the rain

I kept my world protected

I made it though the rain

I kept my point of view

I made it through the rain

And found myself respected

By the others who got rained on too

And made it through

And made it through

And made it through

Like I said, it really is a Good Friday.



Viral Vitalities – Day Fifteen – “This is Mental!”

I fully intended to post something yesterday and then plain forgot!

I got caught up in some material that I’m having to absorb as part of my ‘transitioning online plan’ and then finished for the evening. I realised hadn’t posted something when I was dropping off to sleep several hours later!

At the risk of stating the obvious, it is beginning to dawn on me today that this whole period of isolation, social-distancing, call it what you will is becoming an increasingly mental challenge – irrespective of each individual’s physical condition.

We have our wedding anniversary coming up this Saturday, followed by Seren’s birthday the day after.

Hopefully, when I go shopping for our essentials towards the end of the week, there will be some nice treats on the shelves, you know, loo paper, tea bags etc.) as well as the ingredients we will need to cook a nice couple of celebration meals.

I’ve not long returned from a trip to the pharmacy that is thankfully a one minute walk away from where we live. I needed to collect a prescription for Seren but wasn’t expecting the queue with everyone doing their best to observe the two metre social distancing gap.

In all honesty, the most frustrating thing about this was the fact that the sun was on the other side of the street and in the shade, it was really rather cold!

Fortunately, the wait wasn’t that long and pretty soon, I was inside, waiting for the diligent staff to find the prescription. While I was waiting, I was then asked to step back outside, so they could serve the next person in the queue.

I love the addition of the Union Jack flags, alongside the polite notice to observe the new guidelines for everyone’s safety.

All of this is very novel of course.

Until it isn’t anymore.

In a few short weeks I suspect, many of us will be wondering how much longer this is going to go on for. The more discerning among you may well detect that in my tone even now!

It would be unsurprising to hear people declaring on a daily basis, “This is mental!”

Somehow, we must find ways to keep each other positive.

It’s very easy to think of yourself as immune to this thing.

That would be a big mistake.

We took our daily stroll around the village earlier today and overheard a stranger talking rather loudly into his mobile phone. “I can be in a room with someone who has the flu and not get it.”

Of course, we don’t the know the context surrounding the conversation this man was having but it did sound just a bit too gung-ho, given all that’s taking place around us.

I should know, as whilst I wouldn’t boast in the same manner perhaps, I have stated from the outset of this series of ‘daily’ blogs that I just don’t get sick. At least not very often at all.

I’m beginning to realise however, as I wrote to a friend of mine today – in yet another new WhatsApp group to make regular communication easier – that this really is going to be much more of a mental challenge than a physical one for me at least.

I would love to hear back from anyone who has got some ‘road-tested’ (figuratively speaking of course these days!) methods of staying positive, being optimistic, remaining healthy – mentally as well as physically.

When I began this series of ‘self-isolating blogs’ I set out to write something every day for the fourteen days stipulated in the guidelines.

That has all changed of course with the virtually worldwide lockdown but I will do my best to keep you posted of our journey.

In other words, I hope to write more than the once a fortnight I was doing pre-Covid-19 but perhaps not every day from now on.

Stay safe. Be positive. Be kind.

Or as our local church are doing our best to stick to…

Faith, hope, love.

 

 

 

Viral Vitalities – Day Eleven – Harness the Good, Let the Bad Stuff Go

Here is another guest post from Serendipity…

As I relax into a slower pace of life, I wonder how things will change when we get to the other side? Before I start, I want to point out that I am very aware of those who are still working relentlessly – namely those in the NHS and other fields of care-giving.  The nationwide applause last night indicates that I am not the only one who is extremely grateful. I am also aware that many are very worried about loved ones and those who are vulnerable. Please forgive me if this post appears trite in any way – that is obviously not the intention.

However, for many of us, we are waking up to a new dawn.

Until I was rattled by some work-related communication and the tricky relational dynamics that sometimes go with this, I have been largely unstressed. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I am not used to this state of being. In fact, suddenly being put off kilter with worry over a work-related issue, highlighted to me just how used to stress I am – how much of a bedfellow I have allowed anxiety to become.  The uninvited invasion of this creeping worry was like a blight on an otherwise clear and peaceful landscape.  It brought me up short – reminding me of how damaging ‘worry’ is and just how much better I function without it in my life.

Is that really a revelation?  Well, perhaps not… and I know that it shouldn’t be – except that it is not always something that we can actually experience and have the privilege of naturally walking in – daily.

Reflecting on how to take this forward is something that is top of my mind at the moment.  How can I harness this new perspective and carry it with me?  As a Christian, I know all the verses and have had times in my life when I’ve managed to rest in God’s peace and abide without worry… but I can’t help feeling that this time is an opportunity to understand this in a deeper and more experiential way.

There are so many areas of wider life that are being affected for good – areas where peace and positivity is saturating society.

I realised yesterday (although I haven’t looked at any figures) that Road Traffic Accidents must be significantly fewer at present.  We are all probably aware of the wonderfully positive impact that this ‘stop’ has had on the environment. Gradually settling for many (I trust) is the realisation that we don’t need even half of what we think we need… there have been several newspaper articles and posts that show the wartime rations and how these are in stark contrast to the panic bought mountains of toilet rolls and tins of soup.  As we settle into the new routine, I like to think that many of those freaked out alarmists have realised that they probably have enough food in their freezers and cupboards to carry them through at least the next three months… if not longer; and that – in desperate times – there are many ingenious alternatives to toilet roll.  And – I would point out – this perceived need is not exclusive to food and groceries – there are probably many other needless tasks and activities that we engage with on a daily basis that could be replaced with… family, calm, quiet, reflection, peace.

True priorities are rising to the surface; being able to hug an elderly relative has suddenly risen in value over staying at home on a Sunday afternoon to watch that ‘really important’ football game.  I was also reflecting on the fact that – whilst there are myriad issues surrounding the lonely and vulnerable – never (in my living memory) has there been such compassion towards this group of people.  Never have they been more thought about, more highlighted… never have they been as cared about – with postcards, offers of help, neighbourly kindness, special opening times – the list goes on – and that can only be a good thing!

As I think about these things, I sincerely hope that many of them will serve to meter out a ‘new normal’ when we get to the other side. I hope that I – too – will be able to make some ‘new normals’ to carry with me out of this bizarre journey.

Harnessing peace and leaving anxiety behind – whenever possible – is something that I am hoping to master in a way that I never have before.

My husband and I have spent a good couple of hours talking this through today and he has been trying to help me navigate these waters. While. We. Have. Time.

What are my assumptions when I allow worry to overtake me?  Why do certain things trigger me and threaten to steal my peace when others don’t?  Much of the solution (which I’ve always known) is – of course – to do with resting in who I am, knowing to whom I belong and holding onto the inner peace and security that comes with that.  It’s very hard to push someone whose house is built upon the rock.

I’m sure that many of you will also be considering what to harness and what to leave behind.  Wishing you all the best if you are also thinking about establishing ‘new normals’!

Viral Vitalities – Day Ten – Burning Up the Dross

Last night we had a ‘bonfire’ in our small garden.

I love bonfires.

I’ll take any excuse to make a fire and throw all the wood and other bits and pieces on… cardboard, garden foliage waste etc.

The thing that struck me about the fire last night was that whilst it was raging away, we couldn’t get close enough to enjoy the warmth – maybe it was the situation and the location of the fire pit.

We did get close enough for our clothes and hair to stink of smoke!

I love watching the flames lick up the latest item to land on top, as it rapidly disappears into ‘nothingness’…

We managed to rid the garden of every last bit of prickly branch and unfriendly thorn.  Finally the fire had done its job and we could sit down next to it, glass of wine in hand and be warmed by the very hot embers, that rather resembled burnt dauphinoise potatoes.

As the fire approached the end of its natural life and purpose, that was when I appreciated it the most. The evening had turned chilly and my feet were cold.

After just a few minutes of sitting next to the embers, I was warm all over, enjoying the relative peace and quiet – albeit with some relaxing music on in the background.

Life can sometimes be a little bit like the raging fire don’t you think? Lots of activity, noise, excitement and fun – all of which can be good – in and of itself. But it doesn’t always warm the heart.

That can be What Went Well.

But Even Better If can sometimes be about the slowing down, the reflection of what just took place, the deep appreciation of the experience we’ve just had and the slow figuring out of what it all means to us now, going forward.  What is left after all the fuss and noise has gone?

Maybe it’s just me but I’ve already discovered that other people have had bonfires last night and just maybe, people up and down the country, all over the world even, are having similar contemplations?

Happy fire-making!

 

Guest post from my wife, Serendipity – Blessed To Be At Rest

Firstly, a caveat; there is much to be concerned, prayerful and sad about. Please understand that I am not suggesting – for a second – that this is not the case.  However, were we not to look for the good, we could easily get disheartened.

I am also aware that parents of young children reading this blog could feel cheesed off – unable to relate.  Never mind.  I trust that each of you will find something of encouragement here.

Rest.

Even during the holidays, it seems a battle to find rest sometimes.  I have to fight the urge not to feel guilty if we don’t organise at least one or two outings or activities that require getting up early and rushing around preparing ‘stuff’.  The pressure leaks in.

Two days ago, Paul told me he was going to set the alarm.

I was quiet for a few moments while I thought carefully about my response. And then I gave it.

“No.”

I am not usually dictatorial – perhaps a “CF” (control freak) at times… but not dictatorial or particularly direct at home.  Carefully, because we had time, I constructed my explanation.  It started with a question… “Why?”

There are so many reasons why one might deem it necessary to set an alarm when working from home and I get that.  You could argue that it is needful in order to maintain motivation; that it’s good to have a routine and set goals.

Getting enough sleep and waking up naturally is one of the most healthful things that you can do for yourself – did you know that?  It takes me so long to settle into rest that I rarely end up getting sufficient amounts of it even over the holidays.

Did you know that in Old Testament times, the land was farmed for six years and then given a year to lay fallow? To rest?  The Sabbath year.  I can’t stop thinking about this at the moment.  Rest is a beautiful biblical principle. Whether you are a person of faith or not, you cannot fail to recognise that Sundays have lost their ‘quiet’ and that we have lost the ability to rest.  In a story in the New Testament, the disciples are stressed out in the middle of a storm on the Lake of Galilee – note what happens next, they have to WAKE Jesus up… he is sleeping in the boat, in the midst of the storm. He is resting.

I recently had some minor surgery.  This really wound me up.  I am not good at taking time off work.  I hated it and was itching to get off the sofa as soon as I could possibly stop wincing in pain to return to the grindstone.  Imagine my frustration when, two weeks later, I was clearly in the throes of Covid-19 and had to self-isolate.

Now the schools have closed.

However, something magical has been happening.  I have slept.  I have begun to take enforced rest.  Not rest that stops when I am better… or on Monday morning… but rest that surrounds me like a blanket.  Rest that is a balm to my tired soul.  Rest that whispers through the quiet streets.  Rest that cradles the flourishing spring flowers and rest that seems dense in the blue and cloudless skies.  Rest that – when it isn’t whispering – sings the songs of reinvigorated songbirds.

I won’t be supporting a bid to set a regular alarm clock in these strange, unfolding times.

May I suggest that you also sink into the new rhythm of life and stop pushing against the tide?  Find rest and reacquaint yourself with this friend who only has blessing for you.  I have almost felt a very gentle warning for myself ­– this opportunity may not come around again… take it now. If you can go with it (PLEASE bear in mind my caveat at the start) I have even had a feeling that the positive flipside of the very obvious and difficult negatives is that this is almost a Year of Jubilee – these came around every 50 years – after seven lots of seven… a year when debts were forgiven, amnesties made and rest ruled.

I am a teacher and – you will probably know that – we NEVER stop.  I am blessed to have a head who recognises this opportunity and finished her email to us this morning with this:

MOST IMPORTANTLY – take time out.

Thanks, I will.

Viral Vitalities – Day Eight – Virtual is Our New Reality

I have never liked the idea of virtual reality, simply because I’m a bit old-fashioned like that. In the same way, I don’t approve of mass mobile phone-video recording of anything that is supposed to be a valued experience.

If you’re going to video the concert for example, that you’ve probably paid three figures for, why not save a lot of money and video a similar show off the TV is my logic?

Anyway, that is going way off piste.

My point is that currently, virtual is our reality – for better or worse.

Sometimes, you can take what you might have normally done somewhere else and simply recreate it at home.

Is that virtual reality?

Not really but you know what I mean I trust.

Last Saturday, my wife and I suddenly had a genuine desire for a cream tea.

As you do.

It would be wonderful to state here that the above image is of some fabulous home -made scones that we enjoyed in our beautifully large country garden.

I must confess however, that we bought some scones (I know we could have made some and maybe we will next time – provided we have the ingredients in the cupboard), a pot of clotted cream and we already had some strawberry jam in the fridge.

And no, this is not our garden, although we are enjoying sunny days this week in our much smaller mini-garden.

And we enjoyed our virtually ‘home made’ cream so much that we forgot to take a photo. That’s what happens when you refuse to record everything you do for fun.

Viral Vitalities – Day Seven – Thank You Mum

As you may or may not have noticed, my ‘daily self-isolating blog’ was absent over the weekend. So, not very daily really but it was the weekend and I now realise, I need to pace myself in this relatively new lifestyle.

Today, and partly inspired by the wonderful words written by Allison Pearson about her sadness at not being able to see her Mum on Mothers’ Day, I thought I would dedicate today’s blog to my Mum.

Dear Mum,

Thank you for simply being you. Always there for not just me but everyone who has any kind of relationship with you. Dad, me, Joe… we all know the list could very easily become a very long one indeed. Your ongoing, consistent prayers and the huge investment you have made on behalf of others is one that will be richly rewarded – both in this life and the one to come. On earth as it is in heaven. I’m so thankful you’re my Mum.

You are the one who let me practise the art of keeping someone talking when it was “way past your bedtime” – simply because incredibly, you enjoyed the conversation. Just when things were quietening down and you were preparing to finally leave me to sleep, I would suddenly think of another question that would inject at least a further five minutes worth of awake time. I’ve been learning to cut short the conversation when necessary ever since!

You are the one who somehow managed to teach me how to spell difficult words by breaking them down into phonetic syllables, even though spelling is not your strongest point. I still don’t know how you managed to do that.

You are the one who persuaded me to join you at a Christian conference in Bognor Regis exactly thirty-one years ago last Friday. This single invitation enabled me to experience an overnight but lasting, life-changing conversion experience. It took me ten years of your gentle persuasion for me to concede.

I am so very grateful to you that I did finally surrender.

You are the one who when I hit absolute rock bottom and wept for days on end with no sign of abating, you managed to be there all the same.

You are the one who will call me and even if I don’t feel much like talking – for whatever reason – will make the most of the conversation that we do have, and call another day, hoping for a bit more effort on my part. I’m sorry for those times when I’m just not that keen to talk.

You are the one who every single time will say how much you love my writing. It’s a lovely thing to get back and I’m glad most of my words are a blessing to you.

In this time of ‘self-isolating’ and ‘social distancing’ I am so pleased that we managed to orchestrate a forensically safe way of seeing you yesterday – it was lovely to see you both and catch up – even if no hugs and kisses were allowed.

Appropriately enough, I’m still looking up to you both…

I love you!

Paul

Xxx