Saturday, May 14, 2005

Counting Blessings

I met Ruth Anne in my first week in Sheffield, back in 1991. We have been friends ever since. She was an American girl, a tutor in the Hall of Residence I was allocated, and a postgrad in the Department I would transfer into at the end of my first year here. Later (not that first autumn, I think) we discovered that we shared a birthday (9th November), and post a couple of years in Sorby Hall we ended up sharing a house on Pomona Street briefly before she returned to the States. Since then, she's been back over a number of times, but we've never yet made it over to see her in America.

Ruth Anne is getting married on June 18th (as if it is not enough that we share our birthday, she is getting married on my little sister's birthday - I guess there just aren't enough dates in the year...), and we were delighted to hear the news by way of an invitation to be there (there being Wilmore, Kentucky). Jo had already reminded me more than once that I needed to write, saying we'd love to be there, but sadly can't make it, when we were given a gift of £2,000. (Of course I will claim that it wasn't only laziness that kept me from writing; though Jo will probably have none of it!)

Yesterday morning, the money arrived. Yesterday lunchtime (our time; early morning, hers) I had a wonderful conversation on the phone with Ruth Anne. Yesterday afternoon, I got clearance to take the time off work. And today I have booked the tickets. We are having 10 days in Kentucky, over which time we will hopefully get to see lots of friends from our university days, most of whom we haven't seen in years, as a special holiday to mark the end of our time here in Sheffield. God is very good.

Yesterday afternoon I played 'football' in the garden with Noah; then sat on the bench drinking a cup of tea while he fetched a purple plastic flower pot, set it upside-down on the lawn, put his left foot on the top, jumped forward over it, ran round in a circle, returning to the flower pot; put his left foot on the top, jumped forward over it, ran round in a circle, returning to the flower pot; put his left foot on the top, jumped forward over it, ran round in a circle, returning to the flower pot...and could, apparently, have continued doing this ad infinitum. It is fascinating to watch a small child repeat something over and over without losing the wonder in it. I am sure there is a life lesson to be learnt there, if I am willing to become child-like.

This afternoon, all four of us went to Daisy Robinson's third birthday party, at The Centre in the Park, in Norfolk Park. There are great views over the city from up there. Gareth and Lizzy, Daisy and Lucy, leave Sheffield to live in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday. We shall miss them very much. Jo and I have known Gareth since our university days - we were all in the same year, in the same Department - and, more recently, Lizzy has been a good friend to Jo; and Noah follows Daisy around like a forlorn puppy, while she - truly a teenager before her time - studiously ignores his attention; there's a life lesson to be learned there, too, my son...

We watched Dr Who tonight. It isn't only companions of Time Lords who have to deal with the emotional dislocations of travels through time and space...


  1. Ruth Anne? Why, that's *almost* the best name to have. Just one letter out...

  2. Anonymous7:26 am

    I lived in Sorby at the same as you said that you did.

    Once I couldn't be bothered going to the toilet and had a poo in the sink.

    Not sure why though . It certainly proved to be a rather bad idea.