Yes, I'm back from a fortnight of holidays that makes me sound like a bit of a jet-setter. First to Sydney, to visit Mum (and catch up with a few friends), then on to WA for a week with Mum in tow.
We spent 4 days in New Norcia, attended the Ecumenical Carols Service there (the first Christmas service that I didn't have to lead, or do something up front), did some touristy things around town, and then headed to Perth, where we stayed in a rather flash hotel in the CBD for three days.
In Perth we visited Fremantle, shopped till we dropped (well, actually, Mum shopped till I dropped! ;-) visited AQWA, and had my traditional dinner with Adrienne at Han's Cafe in Belmont (something I always have to do when visiting Perth).
Now I've been home for almost a fortnight, and it feels a bit like I was never away. Trying to get back into the regular rhythm of my work and ministry here, when the weather is still screaming "holidays!" is not easy. I have already conducted my first funeral for the year, which takes my total since arriving up to 8, and now I am procrastinating, because selecting hymns for Sunday morning is the thing I find hardest in worship preparation.
However, this week has been rather special, as on Sun evening -Tues arvo, I shared with some fellow-interns in a pre-ordination retreat at the lovely St Julian's Retreat Centre in Cheltenham (Vic). It was good to take some time out to meditate on the ordination vows we will all be making sometime soon, to spend some solid time in silence and prayer, and to share with each other some of the insights that God gave to us during this process.
Wednesday was the funeral (which was a bit emotionally draining, as funerals tend to be), so I spent some time afterwards wombling around Beechworth, and ended up in the old Schoolhouse Craft gallery where I enjoyed a delightful Devonshire Tea, in the back room.
Yesterday was a treat- in the afternoon, Alan and Chantal arrived, en route from Canberra to Melbourne, and I met up with them at the Gapsted cellar door (Alan has been known to buy Gapsted wines from Aldi supermarkets, so it was nice to introduce him to the source). We then enjoyed much fruit of the vine, with some great Tassie cheese, and then dinner at my local. It was great to have them stay here and see even a little of my local patch.
And now, I think it is time to bite the bullet, stop procrastinating, and pick some hymns!