Life is a Challenge!

By Honeycombebeach


When we were at Church yesterday, Nadine, a friend, who usually goes in to chat with people who come into the Community Fridge, asked if I was going to be there today.  I said it depended on how I felt, so it was left at that.

This morning, I can’t say I felt on top of the world, but I decided to make the effort and go, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do what I normally did.

I didn’t get there until 10.50 and it was good to see everyone - and I got lots of hugs from lots of volunteers, who said it was good to see me after such a long time.  We always have prayers at 10.59 just before we open at 11 o’clock, so I wasn’t surprised when Heather asked me if I would pray!  One thing I prayed for was that all our conversations with those who were coming through the doors would be “sprinkled with love” because it is so important that we show the love of Jesus to those who come in and who are finding it hard to manage in these difficult times.  

I decided that I would take some photographs at the Community Fridge and you can see we had lots of bananas - so wouldn’t be singing the song, “Yes, we have no bananas” today! I think perhaps Dianne and Hameed were counting them, but of course, I can’t be sure! 

We had a lady in from the Swindon Carers Centre, an organisation that supports unpaid carers across the Borough, promoting mutual support, social contact and access to services. They have a Carers’ Support Line - available for carers to call, to ensure they get the right help, guidance and advice in their caring role and I’m sure there are many carers in and around Swindon.

I’m not sure what Carol was doing, but perhaps she was getting excited about wrapping the donuts for people - or perhaps she had been having a taster and was just enjoying the experience!  She did save me a Portuguese tart, which I really aenjoyed as I didn’t have any lunch.  

I had some lovely conversations around a couple of tables where I sat - and it’s amazing how people will unburden themselves when they see a smiling face - and of course, when coffee and cake is only 50p as against almost £7 in the town centre, they know they are getting a bargain.

The English Lessons now take place within the Church sanctuary, so not having to go upstairs was a bonus for me, so I decided to stay for that too and again had some lovely conversations.  I was on a table with a lovely couple from Pakistan and another man from Guatemala, who I remembered from when I was there before;  it was great to know I was helping them in their quest to learn our very difficult language.  It made me realise that sometimes we can get very “sloppy” in the way we speak but when helping others whose first language is not English, we need to be much more careful.  So, all in all, a good morning and afternoon - however, I was quite tired when I got home.  

I was very sad to hear on the News of the death of George Alagiah, one of the BBC’s longest-serving and most respected Newsreaders and journalists, nine years after being diagnosed with cancer.  I was privileged to meet George way back in 2007 - when I won a competition in Swindon and was presented with a signed copy of George’s book “A Home from Home - from Immigrant Boy to English Man” by him.  You can read about it in my Blip dated 26th June 2017.

“Say not in grief that he is no more
     but say in thankfulness that he was.
A death is not the extinguishing of a light,
     but the putting out of the lamp
          because the dawn has come.”
Rabindranath Tagore

RIP George - you will be sadly missed by your family and many others around the world.

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