Hello and thank you for joining us as we celebrate May. Spring is drawing to a close in the Northern Hemisphere and we have been blessed with an extra bank holiday Monday to celebrate King Charles III's Coronation.
On Saturday 6 May, Coronation day, Tim and I visited the Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn, only just over an hour's drive from where we live in Wales. It is on the southern edge of the Snowdonia National Park and the scenery is stunning.
The day gifted us much as we relaxed and watched happy people come together in celebration. The Coronation train was decorated and she left Wharf Station to take everyone for afternoon tea at Abergynolwyn Station. Everyone was smiling, Union Jack flags were fluttering, and there were a few 'royal' waves from the adults, as the children grinned and waved, loving every second of the fun.
We went on to Tywyn Beach afterwards for a picnic and a potter. Children were building sandcastles, collecting seashells and playing ball with the adults. Happy sounds against the backdrop of the waves and seagulls. We left there with no set plan and followed the route of the railway line, walking up to the station at Dolgoch. With divine timing, the coronation train was on her way back and she stopped. Tim is a volunteer on the Talyllyn Railway and has friends there, so we all had a great catch-up. Afterwards, we carried on exploring and discovered Dolgoch Falls (pictured above). Returning home, we sat and watched the recording of the Coronation.
We bought an original oil painting which will hold those loving memories.
As a celebrant, it has been hectic recently and as the lovely souls I work with and I have agreed, there are times when we have no idea what situations we are stepping into or how much time we need. I try to be brave enough to tell my stories and kind enough not to tell anyone else's, so I'll just stick to using the word 'hectic'. Long days and writing ceremonies at weekends have been necessary, and there have been some magic moments in these.
I drove behind a car the other day, where a wonderfully shaggy dog was running across the back seat to an open window on each side. He'd pop his nose out and I could see his tail wagging, then he'd pop back to the other side just to see if the air smelt better there, with more tail wagging. I was returning home after visiting a traumatised family and the joy I witnessed from this happy, furry bundle was loving.
A few weeks ago, I officiated at a service where the chapel was packed and there was a queue of mourners around the building and leading back to the road. There are always nerves before a service, but it is not about me, and I have learned how to carry on through them. A fellow pallbearer and friend, who I am lucky enough to work with often, was among the mourners that day. As our funeral procession entered the chapel, he stepped in beside me, held my hand and we walked in together. His thoughtfulness was loving.
A couple of minutes into a ceremony the other morning, I looked out across the congregation and thought 'There's something wrong.......'. A split second later I realised they were all still standing. Without changing pace, and in between my opening lines of introduction and comfort, I asked them to be seated. Our lovely funeral director said no one noticed, although they may realise now if they're reading this. We all make mistakes and at least this is a loving one I can live with.
After working late the other evening, I came downstairs to a delicious curry Tim had cooked. As I ate the last poppadum, there was a love note on the plate.
My hope is that you all find your loving moments as we go about our daily coming in and going out.
Our love to you all, Jane & Tim X