Douglas Spencer (dougs) wrote,
Douglas Spencer

Of Appledore, acquisitions, AIDS and Advent

So I went to Appeldore in North Devon to see my mother this weekend.
I arrived at her house at about half past nine on Friday night, and I ate, we talked, I went to bed.
In the morning she got me up early to go to Torrington for the Methodist Church's Christmas fair, an event she'd spotted in the local paper. When we arrived in Torrington the lights were out and the doors were closed -- we suspected that we had got there a week early, a suspicion confirmed with later research. Instead she led me round all the antiquarian and charity bookshops in the town and I found myself several books richer and several pounds poorer.
Home and lunch, and then upstairs to play with the computer as requested. Her computer is fine, but her scanner is up the spout, permanently knackered. She claims she doesn't use it very often, isn't sure if she wants to replace it or not. We'll see what happens at Christmas, then.
As we were shutting down the PC, we saw my brother and his girlfried coming up the drive, so we hurried down to greet them and further chatting ensued. Ever the anarchist, he raided the Christmas supply of liquorice allsorts and rummaged through looking for the good ones. They left and mother and I settled in front of the telly for an evening of Scrabble and terrestrial programming.
Sunday morning (today) Mum was preaching in her own church for a change, so I thought we'd get a lay in as we wouldn't be driving across the fields to a chapel in some other village. Wrong! the service was at 9:30 so I still had to get up early. Half past nine! We might as well be Anglicans.
Today is Advent Sunday, the fourth Sunday before Christmas, but it is also World AIDS day. My mother, being a former secretary of the Methodist Division of Social Responsibility before she left London, has been trying hard ever since she moved here to help the local churches realise that there's a real world out there, and today she was doing her best. The readings appointed for today (Mark 23, Matthew 24) seemed to match her mood, although she claimed to have struggled with the issues during her preparation, tying together "Can ye not read the signs of the times" and "Lord, when did we see you sick, and care for you?" with World AIDS day and the coming of the kingdom. She did well.
Early home from church means that there's some time before lunch, so she took me up the coast to see the dismantled railway which runs up the southern side of the Taw estuary, and then back to her house for lunch, further telly and further Scrabble. I'm posting this just before I leave.

Mother says "Are all your friends on the Internet, then?"
"How long will you be on that laptop, how long before I get to talk to you again?"

Oh, and I did end up with a haircut.

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