There's no doubt about it, I am very fortunate to have so many wonderful friends. Lots of my friendships are long-standing, folks I have known for a great many years and although we don't necessarily see each other that often, we rally round at the right moments. Just as Jane came to help us last weekend, Clare and Frank have helped this weekend.
And what a stormy weekend it has been. Saturday morning we once again headed to Wales, the skies were already starting to darken, but just as we approached the Severn Bridge, the sun shone and lit the bridge piers (the uprights) giving them an almost eerie glow.
The sunshine didn't last too long and by mid morning the rain was lashing down and the wind speed had picked up to around 45 miles an hour. This made unpacking the car and moving our belongings into the house a somewhat damp affair. I think that I got the better end of the bargain though, as I made a roaring fire in the wood burner and made hot drinks, Mr J battled in the wind and rain to collect more of our belongings from lock-up at the nearby self-storage facility.
My daughter, who had planned to visit us at the smallholding, text to say that she was stuck in traffic and I advised her to head home and come next weekend instead. There wasn't much to see except dark skies and driving rain and that's not much fun for a 4 year old grandson.
Today has been a busy but gentler day, which both Mr J and I have appreciated. That is until late afternoon when Clare and Frank arrived with their van to help move some of the heaviest items. I was reminded again, that I don't much like standing and watching others do the jobs that I feel I should be doing, but I am also learning that I have to accept help and do so graciously. So in the dark, wet, windy early evening, the cooker, fridge-freezer, washing machine and a sink unit (for the bathroom) were loaded onto their van with a few other bits and pieces and we went once again along the M5 and M4.
I'm looking forward to Clare being able to visit us again, but in daylight hours to be able to show her around properly (waving a torch around really doesn't show a garden off to its best advantage) and to catch up with all her news. She doesn't live too far away from our new home, so it will be lovely to see her more often. I met Clare when my son was four years old and before my daughter was even a twinkle in my eye and we used to see each other regularly (almost daily at one point), but life moves on and we move in different directions and in our case we moved to different sides of the UK. And now, for a while at least, we will be close to each other once again.
Tonight we are spending what we think may be our last night in the rented house that has been our home for the last two and a half years. There will still be tidying up to do and giving it a good clean before we hand the keys back but I am looking forward spending tomorrow taking the last of our furniture to our own home.
So this evening no doubt will have a contemplative and reflective moment or two and one of those thoughts will be about how pleased we are to have so many good friends.