Summer Greetings from our DP!

16th June 2023

Dear Fellow Members
We have at last reached ‘Summer’. The weather has been very warm, perhaps too warm for some of you, and as I write we have recorded 24 days without rain. Not good news for the gardeners amongst us! Traditionally it was the time when people took an annual holiday. In Northern Ireland that was generally during the ‘Twelfth Fortnight’ and perhaps many of you worked that system.
Now of course, if you are retired, every day is a holiday, and we perhaps don’t need the holiday as much to recover our energy levels which have been sapped by our working lives. You take holidays for different reasons now. Many of us get tired of our daily routine, whether retired or not, and that can mean going away somewhere for a change of scene.
It is great to have the flexibility to go away at any time of the year. Those of you with young children, or who have ongoing grandparent duties know what it feels like to be tied down to the School Holidays to get away for a break.
Many of us look forward to our holidays to see new places, to meet new people and to get better weather. That can be refreshing but exhausting at the same time. Some people cannot afford to go on holiday and there are people who have not been away for years for that reason. Some members of the farming community cannot leave their occupations to take a well-earned break. Sadly also, there comes a time when people would like to go away on holiday but who are prevented from doing so for health reasons.
Let’s not forget that in the ancient world holidays were actually ‘Holy Days’. The only chance you got to break routine, was when there was a religious festival, such as Passover. Jesus and his disciples found that the only way to ‘get away from it all’ was to head out into the wilderness, where the people would not follow.
I wish you all a restful, peaceful and restorative summer, whether you go away or not. I trust that you will remain in good health and in good spirits and you can approach the autumn buoyed up by memories of relaxing summer days well-used in good company. I leave you with the Celtic Blessing:
‘May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.’
With my love,

Sally x

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