Sunday, December 1
I had the strongest urge for church today and tried to get everyone to come with me. Martin said he wouldn’t as he wanted to go out with his gun again and Stephen said he would help him. Anna didn’t feel well, but Jane came and Linda joined us.
It took a good half hour to walk there, but it was just as well we walked briskly as the church is very cold now there is no heating. There is no organ either as that relies on electricity too, so we sang accompanied by piano. There wasn’t a huge turnout, but I think fifty plus is quite good when it’s so cold.
They used to serve coffee after Sunday services, but that’s not possible now. So we mingled for a while afterwards until the cold began to seep through our layers. James, our rector, said he is hoping to hold all the services he would normally have during Advent and that gives us hope. If there is no earthly help for us, apart from what we can manage for ourselves, we need to pray. I would like to go to the beautiful evening Compline services he has organised in previous years, when the church is silent and lit only by candles, but Martin won’t be keen on any of us walking that far in the dark.
When we got back home, we were rosy and warm, which was just as well as no one had minded the fires in my absence and I had to start all over again. But I wasn’t too cross as the service and singing the first verse of Oh Come Oh Come Immanuel, which we shall add to week, by week, made me feel hopeful and able to anticipate Christmas with some joy.
In the past, even though the children have been grown up for some time, I have refilled the drawers of our little cardboard Advent Calendar in the shape of a Christmas tree every year. So I went up to the attic to find it and decided that even though I cannot buy gifts to fill it this year, we should maintain the tradition. The drawers now contain miniature Christmas cards, messages of hope and useful things like safety pins and buttons. Tonight we shall decide who opens the first drawer.
Today was so grey and dull the hens have been less inclined to lay well and I only found two eggs.