Heaven in Devon


Having just come back from a week on church holiday I've realised a few things in my life that are lacking....no it's not listening to Pastor Ken and Roy competing with each other for the loudest snores. It's girlfriends who are really close to my heart and my home.

I've been so blessed with the loving family I've found through Christians Together and through the church family here in Cwmaman, but I sometimes wish they were all so much closer. I'm already very blessed to have the lovely and much coveted Stacey living so near but I can't help but think that if a certain Californian lady, a certain Illionois(ian?) lady and a certain Harloweian lady were living nearby we'd be having girls nights in far more often and of a definitely louder level!

I've never before had such support from girls and have just put it down to getting on better with boys but it's definitely something I now realise I've missed out on having spent the week with the aforementioned Stacey, the gorgeously golden haired Helen and the ever so slightly mad Jen & Sam!

I remember speaking to Benny about not having any real girl friends a while back and he suggested that I do the obvious (and of course un done) thing of asking God for some girl friends. Sometimes it's the simplest things we forget to do isn't it! Anyway, so I did and I hadn't realised until last week that God had given me these lovely ladies, I just had to see that they were there and they loved me.

Some of the girls I'd not really seen their full character in the setting of a weekly meeting and the week on a whole was a brilliant learning curve. I saw a side to someone that I'd previously neglected and dismissed and I hope now that we can become firm friends and start again.

Whilst I've been writing this, I've been thinking about maybe hosting a girls night in now at my house so I'll ponder that a little more and have a chat with Sam cos she definitely loves plotting (Dale & the tale of the fixed penalty notice springs to mind).

Anyway, now I've gotten that off my chest and I shall continue praying that God speaks into my far flung friends' lives calling them to Cwmaman I had best tell you about the church holiday.

We departed last Friday afternoon among much excitement, apprehension and laden down with bedding, towels, 'goodies' and 26 portion sized tins of beans, for the fair old county of Devon (international readers might need to google that one).

We arrived after a slight detour through Bristol as both myself and Roy outvoted Dus and Sam when it came to sitting in traffic or taking the scenic route! We checked out our digs (fairly spacious 16 & 12 bed cottages) and suffered the jibes of both the current and ex Pastors about mine and Dus' beds rattling...shocking...you just don't expect it from men of God :P

Our cottage

Anyway, those rota'd set to preparing our dinner that evening while the rest of us tried to restrain our excitement at seeing such a huge trampoline just calling....nay shouting to be bounced on!

Pastor Dale & Roy showing us how it's done.

Saturday we all trooped off to Sidmouth to see the sea or in some cases find a chip shop. Dusband acquired a very tasty 99 and I learnt that cheese and pineapple sandwiches are a delight!

Sunday most of our family journeyed the fair old distance down to Torquay for the day as the AOG regional leader was speaking at the church there whilst four of us took advantage of the local church.

Monday was Show Biz night! Pam and Jen had prepared their 'Duck Pond' performance, Ken told jokes, I did the Bee Song.

Dale did his quiz (hmm) and then Jan and the girls did some puppetry. All in all a brilliant night and out of it Sam's learnt that she'd like to learn puppet ministry and later on in the week Jan bought her a chick puppet (I think it's a chick.. I'm not too good with animal identification!)

Tuesday Dus and I were on the rota for cooking dinner and we had a visiting speaker coming at 3pm! We needed to have all the dinner ready and in the oven by the time he started speaking so that we could serve up and eat shortly after he'd finished so that he could have his evening session and get home before the night turned into morning!

We were of course the ideal team for this task....I love organising things and being extra organised! Poor old Dusband has gotten used to things having to be super organised and we dragged Linda and Jeff along with us on our whirlwind of peeling, chopping, frying and cooking!
(Cottage pie and veg for those who're wondering)

Wednesday I can't really remember what we did...oh yes! Cream tea for lunch at a garden centre Stan and Jenny know the owners of and then we went to Seaton.

Roy is 'bearing' with Helen in this pic.

We once again went on the hunt for chips for a certain Pastor (saying no names and pointing no fingers) then gave up when it became too cold to feel our fingers and Roy adopted his sad face.

Thursday was our last day and Dus and I had been extremely frugal with our spending money so that we could hopefully afford to visit the National Trust site Killerton house & gardens and it didn't disappoint.

The exterior of the main Killerton House

The drawing room at Killerton House

The Killerton chapel on the estate

The eagle lectern inside Killerton chapel

The stained glass window in Killerton chapel

Thursday night I developed a cold and by Friday morning I'd all but lost my voice. Saturday I spent on the sofa whilst Florence Dussingale nursed me and by the time church came round last night I almost completely had my voice back to normal I was just slightly deaf. I countered this with asking the lovely Stacey next to me to poke me if I was singing really loudly and out of tune!

And that brings us up to today. Today on my list is going to Wilkinsons and buying some broccoli seeds & crocus bulbs, posting out my sold items, writing a quiz for tonight, going to the docs to get the results of my MRI scan, searching for a pair of daps to replace my holiday damaged ones, writing a proposal for junior church and now it seems organising a girls night in!
Til next time lovelies
Samantha xx

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