What’s Occurring?

What’s Occurring?

For those who need it, I’ll explain the title presently.

May I tell you why I’ve been rather quiet on the social media front – and even missed doing my blog last week?

Well, there have been a few health issues, although they seem to be under control now. But waiting around in hospitals takes up the time and energy. I have been lucky that I could still work and did not have to refuse any funerals.

There was a more pleasureable reason for my quietness.

We are so glad that, apart from three nights in Essex last year, we managed to get away this summer for the first time in three years.

We made two short trips.


The first was something of a mixed blessing. We had been booked to fly to Lisbon for 6 days, but, due to the COVID restrictions, we reluctantly decided to cancel. Our son (probably partly with a view to having the house to himself!) persuaded us to go away anyway, given that we had booked the time off. As a result, we organised a last-minute stay on Jersey.

Although it was only for three nights, it felt like a real getaway, because we used airports. (Better still, there was no lost luggage and not even any delays!) I had never been to Jersey before (only Guernsey, to conduct a wedding), and I was charmed. The weather helped – beautiful, warm but with a nice breeze. We didn’t pack anything for wet weather – how often can you do that?!

We had some friends on the island. It was lovely to see them again and they treated us very well. They showed us round and fed us. We also took an organised coach tour. The roads are so narrow! The scenery was spectacular and the time passed quickly. I need to point out that we also found the food plentiful and delicious.


Our other trip was to Bath, to see Rob Brydon on tour, which was hugely entertaining. We also had the chance to wander (again in perfect weather) through Bath and appreciate it at our own pace. We then took the train to Cardiff for three nights.

Cardiff and around

We found the Welsh really friendly and helpful. However, Cardiff appears to be a building site, and it was also gearing up for an annual event that meant several attractions were closed. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the castle and took a wonderful day trip, full of historic treats, by minibus that went as far as the stunning Brecon Beacons.

I was not aware how glorious the scenery round there could be, and now I understand why the Welsh are so proud of Wales!

A different sort of trip (courtesy of one of Isobel’s friends) was to Barry Island. That was a “Gavin and Stacey” pilgrimage (another nod to Rob Brydon!), and, although the beach front was pretty, we didn’t really feel safe, so the stay was brief.

Incidentally, do you recognise the title of this blog? “Gavin & Stacey” aficionados will!

Well, we were really grateful to have had the chance to take two mini-holidays. We were lucky that they turned out so well (not just the weather). We are looking forward to our next break, whenever and wherever that may be!

For restful holidays, don’t become a celebrant!

For restful holidays, don’t become a celebrant!

My summer holidays this year have been relatively tame (not that I didn’t enjoy them a lot): a couple of nights in the Cotswolds and then a couple more with friends near Cologne.

One oddity, when I do go away, is that – however quiet business has been up till then – enquiries suddenly descend on me.

A few years back, the Gordon family were literally on the doorstep with our suitcases, about to go away (also to Germany), when the phone rang. My wife ordered me to take the call, and it turned out to be an inquiry for a job I was later to get. So that worked well.

Similarly, this year, the day we left, I was contacted about putting together a wedding ceremony in Hertfordshire for a Chinese couple. The downside is that I have incredibly little notice, but luckily I have become quite proficient at coping with “lastminute.com” ceremonies. I think I’m going to manage it!

While we were away, I was also contacted about a small wedding in someone’s home in just over a month. Well, that would not normally be too much of a challenge to me. However, what I omitted to mention was that my correspondent seems very laid-back about responding, and this ceremony is supposed to take place in Wisconsin! At the time of writing, I don’t know if this will come to pass at all.

I was also asked to do a burial service on the one day I had between my two trips – I guess that timing is king!

And just before our holiday, I was booked for another last minute ceremony for a couple of weeks from now.  Holiday or no holiday, business could be worse …

Strange, perhaps, but that is typical of the flurry of activity that seems to accompany my modest holiday plans!

Mind you, if it’s going to bring me more work, maybe I should be taking more holidays!