This morning I went off to our church to help with a coffee morning. The three local Baptist churches are sending a team to India this summer to help with a school and various other things, and so a lot of fundraising is going on – today was a sponsored bike ride or walk around Draycote Water, a local reservoir, with coffee and cake at the church afterwards or throughout the morning for anyone who simply preferred cake to exercise. When I arrived at the church it turned out that there were about 30 cakes, and about as many helpers, and about half that number actually cycling or walking!
Well, I may be exaggerating a little, but it was obvious that the coffee morning was going to get along very well without my help, so I went back home, dug out my trusty Dutch bike (back-pedal brakes, no gears, sit up very straight) and completed two laps around the reservoir (5 miles each), the second lap without getting off my bike to walk up the steeper bits *yay!*. I even overtook two of our teenagers on their whizzy modern bikes – although I will admit that this was probably because one of them had some chain trouble.
It was a lovely ride, with gorgeous views over the surrounding countryside, oodles of swallows or swifts or martins skimming the water for insects, a duck with a train of ten ducklings behind her, one of the girls from church doing part of the lap on a unicycle, a wagtail and a crested grebe; I really ought to do this more often!
I came home feeling very virtuous having done all that exercise, and for a good cause too (if anyone would like to sponsor me retrospectively, drop me an email!), and picking up the post on the way in I noticed an envelope from Australia. What a lovely surprise: Stitchinkitty from the Cross Stitch Forum had sent me eight skeins of lovely Australian hand-dyed perles! The brand is Minnamurra, which she tells me has been discontinued; a shame, of course (the more thread hand-dyers out there the better) but it does mean I won’t feel guilty if I don’t use them in some new design – I can just use them for my own pleasure and enjoyment. Aren’t they lovely?