Ministry Team Quiet Day

I was on a Ministry Team quiet day at Carberry Tower, about 9 miles from Edinburgh. After morning coffee (a glass of milk for me) and Morning Prayer (Year 2, Week B) we descended into silence for 3 hours. Well, the other three team members did. I went outside to phone Jane to see if she know of the location of a convenient opticians near home.

When I sat down to say Morning Prayer, I took my glasses off to wipe the lenses and the leg of the frames came away in my hand. I was not pleased. Once I’d acquired two strips of cheap, non-3m, clear office tape to strengthen the legs I was fine… apart from the legs now gourging ulcer-sized holes in the back of my ears!

About two hours in, as I was sitting outside in the sunshine I decided to go for a walk. Thirty minutes later I was standing at the top of Carberry Hill, where apparently Mary Queen of Scots was captures in June 1567 by the Confederation of Lords and taken to be imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle and later Lochleven, before being executed. There is a large carved stone at the top of the hill — I didn’t just sense that historical gem from the atmosphere.

I was standing at the top of the hill, on a small wooden dias, with mud caked on my jeans and trainers. I had climbed the hill like a man possessed. I had no idea where I was going, but I climbed and slid and leapt my way up the hill. I’d seen a map of the estate on my way up the hill so had some idea that if I climbed I might just reach the summit.

I stood at the top, gained my breath a little and had a good pray. The experience reminded me of repentance: literally having to turn around and find my way back, trying to get a little less dirty on the way back down the hill.

I arrived in the dining room at 1:00pm on the dot. Hot, sweaty, tired, and very hungry. I think I overdid it a little, having not been particularly well last week, but it was good to get out and discover somewhere new.

We’ve bought a house

On Thursday of last week Jane and I learned that our offer for a house in Cellardyke, Fife had been accepted. I still can’t quite believe that we will be house-owners.

We’re not moving; that seems to be the first question people ask, along with how can we face to commute an hour into Edinburgh in the mornings. The house is an investment; somewhere to use the money we made from the sale of Jane’s flat in Craigmount last year; somewhere to escape to; somewhere to holiday from.

Cellardyke is a small, old fishing village next to Anstruther, and about 15 miles from St Andrews (my old Alma Mater).

The house is a former fish shop, with character and an amazing terraced garden that reaches high enough up the hill to allow you to sit at the top and look out to sea, out towards the Isle of May.

House 1
The front door from George Street

House 2
The kitchen / dining room, the only room downstairs

House 3
The main bedroom (there are two bedrooms)

House 4
The lounge / conservatory area at the rear of the house

House 5
The garden, looking down towards the lounge / conservatory

House 6
Looking up the garden.

More details and pictures when we get them.