Simple Pleasures.

Hello again, I'll bet that you all thought that I'd forgotten about you, didn't you?

Well, you'll be gratified to know that I haven't, how could I when so many of you have shown us so much kindness over the past couple of years? The fact of the matter is that I've really not got much that's worth relating! Of course, we all know that bad news is what sells newspapers, and that people are more likely to want to read the sensational type of offerings rather than everyday 'homey' stuff. That's all I have!

For instance:

Most people who aren't British, will not know what this picture is of. But a closer inspection will reveal, to many English people at least, that it's a slice of 'game pie'. (With a little HP Fruity Sauce, for dipping into!) Now then,while I admit that it's not the be all and end all of British cuisine, it is a lovely change from the diet which we have become used to in Egypt.
It's a simple pleasure!

Being able to see and look into the eyes of our family members, while we are conversing with them, is another simple pleasure. Hearing and seeing young Coco giggle is definitely another:

I could just eat him!!!
Of course, seeing all of our grandchildren is always a very special pleasure as well as a simple one. Where would we all be without them; those children who give us so much pleasure, while not having the responsibility of their full time care?

Yet another simple pleasure came by way of an email just yesterday. It was another award from our advertising company 'FlipKey'. For the second year running, they've awarded us the 'Top Luxor Rental' accolade, and a badge to display on our blog. You can see it on the right of this page, just below the same award for 2011. The 'simple pleasure' is just to know that someone appreciates the work that we put in!

As I'm sure you're all aware by now, I love singing! Along with singing in our local Chapel each Sunday, I also attend South Shields Folk Club on most Sunday evenings while I'm at 'home'. Here, I join with sister Susan and brother-in-law Roy, offering some ditty or other which we used to sing more regularly in our youth, forty or so years ago. We aren't all that 'good' but we are better than some, I can assure you! On Sunday last, the club had the family singing group known as 'The Wilsons' from Teeside, as guests. They're quite famous (having performed for the 'Proms' at the Albert Hall, as well as being sought after to appear at many of the major folk festivals up and down the land) and are really very good! I took a few short videos of them, just to give you one as a taster:

Last Friday evening, we were at the north east's most prestigious music venue; 'The Sage' at Gateshead. Our Susan has, for several years, been giving those of us who enjoy this particular style of music, tickets for the annual Christmas show performed by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band. This year, there were Susan and Roy, Alice and I, and Benjamin, Bridget and Benjamin's daughter Kezia, who's 11. (Kezia was actually being born while New York's 'twin towers' were being crashed into by the 11th September terrorists.)  

You might have heard of Maddy Prior; she's the lead female singer in Steeleye Span, of 'All Around My Hat' and 'Gaudete' fame. The Carnival Band are probably less well known, but certainly not short on well qualified and exceptionally talented musicians. Their 'leader', Andy, specialises in playing medieval instruments. Together, they usually make for a highly enjoyable evening of music, some of which is familiar, while some of it can be really quite obscure, but enjoyable, nevertheless. This years show was perhaps a bit specialist for much of the first half, and consequently less entertaining for the more casual members of the audience, although the Transylvanian dance tunes in the middle of it were magic, and the second half was excellent, and as entertaining as usual! 

Although the following video wasn't taken at that particular concert, it is typical of  one aspect of their wide-ranging repertoire, enjoy!

I hope you liked that.

On Monday evening, we had the usual 'Community Carols' at chapel; always well attended and enjoyed. This service reunites many people who have moved away or moved churches, or who have 'ceased to meet', as has traditionally been the term used in Methodism.. For most it's another simple pleasure as well as a reminder that Christmas is not just about presents over-eating and 'good works', but about living an extraordinary life, with God at the centre!

I'd better shove off now, as duty calls.