Friday, 10 April 2015


Today I painted...nothing!  I rubbed down and cleaned, but that is just preparation, so doesn't count.

By lunchtime we were at Alvechurch to ring for a wedding.  Some early arrivals have gathered, easily identifiable by their glad rags.  They look at us askance, wondering if we are 'their' side of the family...Just be grateful I changed out of my painting clothes, ok!

We smile and wander up the church.  The bells are up, six ringers are gathered, so we take hold and ring to announce the imminent union of two lives.  Rounds and call changes are on the menu. The ringing is of a pleasing standard.  I reflect that this is the first wedding I have rung at for over 15 years.  From inside the ringing chamber it is possible to see down into the church, but sound travels, so the ringers take sneaky peaks to see how the service is progressing. We can also hear when the organ plays the standard wedding hymns...

A bell activated by a rope or wire from somewhere within the bowels of the church advised us when to stop ringing for the service.  In the ringing chamber technology has taken large steps forward. Everyone present has a phone, and during the service drinks are available from the ringers Tassimo machine! All this contrasts with the regular ticking of the church clock, and the bells rung by human action, as they have done for many decades.  Our duty done, we slipped away unnoticed by guests or clergy.

Shopping for tablecloths was next on the agenda.  Our brief was very particular - blue, green and cream however we agree on a covering of lemon, lime and white, won over by the wipe clean surface - practicality wining over aesthetics. We all have our own ideas as to how things should be, but we compromise, for often what we think we want is not sensible, feasible, or even possible.

Friday night is ringing, but holidays and other projects took their toll on our number, so ringing was cancelled. Instead I found myself gardening on a beautiful spring evening, putting the local ringing scene to rights over the garden wall....

Today did not plan out quite how I expected, but I have no complaints. The sun shone, and progress made in unexpected ways.  A typical spring day - cleaning and sunshine, with the odd drop of rain.