Leamington, Lamington and Burns Night

Leamington, Lamington and Burns Night

Over the past weekend I attended a residential meeting of the Methodist Church’s “Ministries Committee” in Leamington Spa.  The committee is a group of about 15 dedicated folk who come together three times a year to oversee just about everything relating to ministry in the Methodist Church – presbyteral, diaconal and lay… yes, it was a long agenda!  It was a good time, however, with excellent colleagues in a very comfortable venue (with the best decaffeinated coffee of anywhere I have ever stayed!)  With such a wide-ranging brief we always receive a large number of papers to read in preparation for the meeting, so perhaps it was just as well that my journey was also long…

Storm Frank, at the end of December, damaged the Lamington Viaduct, between Carlisle and Lockerbie, and since then all trains heading south from Glasgow have had to use an alternative route, via Dumfries, adding around 90 minutes to the journey.  So instead of a direct train to Wolverhampton on Friday (where I was over-nighting in order to get to Leamington on time) I had to change at Carlisle and Preston as well – but I have to commend Virgin Trains on their excellent response to the difficulties and very helpful staff at every juncture.   Wolverhampton is, of course, my birthplace and still the home of my sister so I was able to enjoy not one but two leisurely evenings and breakfasts with Catherine and Chris either side of the meeting.

Haggis, neeps & tattiesOn Monday I undertook the journey in reverse and spent about seven hours travelling on five trains to arrive back in Glasgow in time for Burns Night!  Our first such celebration since moving north of the border.  Of course we had haggis, neeps and tatties (I forgot to take a photo, but it looked a bit like this, except that I had the haggis as the top layer!  Still learning…) and Andrew had memorised Robbie Burns’ grace especially for the occasion, which he rendered in a passable (??) Scottish accent…

“Some hae meat and canna eat, and some wad eat that want it, but we hae meat and we can eat, and sae the Lord be thankit.”  Amen to that.



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