March 19, 2010


Since I last wrote over a month ago now I have been in Tanzania, East Africa staying with my daughter who is working out there.    I came home last week for one day and one night and then went up to  the  Lake District returning on Monday. .  It is extraordinary how the human body can cope with such a change of daytime  temperature from 32 degrees with equal humidity  to a temperature of a dry cold  7 degrees.  Even more extraordinary is the ability of the mind to deal with the culture shock.  In Tanzania everyone greets everyone with a smile and a genuine warm ‘karibu’ which means welcome.  I found no such smile from the newly named Border Agency officer at Heathrow.  His colleagues were on strike and the line went up and down and round and about.  Perhaps one can cope with this all because some things remain wonderfully the same.  I speak of the view of the River Dart from above East Cornworthy.  When I  first see  this after a long journey home I  think it is actually as beautiful as anywhere I have been on this planet. A russet sail tacking across to Stoke Gabriel shell ducks flying in formation  equals malachite kingfishers darting across the heads of hippos on the Wami River.  The muddy banks of Tuckenhay creek with a one legged heron as lovely as the  white flour beaches in Zanzibar with sandpipers scampering along the breaking surf..  No one really seems that interested in a returning travellers’ tales.  They pretend to be and politely ask a question but soon move on to village news and I will do the same.

The daffodils were still in bud for Mothering Sunday  but pretty posies were given out by children to mothers and grandmothers.  The children had been invited to make a portrait or paint a picture of Mum.  Charlie Dafforn-Jones aged 8 wrote :

‘She’s red haired and sassy

She’s blue-eyed and classy

She’s my wonderful, gorgeous MUM’

All the children received a prize for their efforts.

On church matters Roger Hickman is now chairman of the PCC.  There was a meeting on Tuesday, March 16th.and in the absence of a vicar services are now well covered by lay ministers.  On Good Friday April 2 at 6.00pm  there will be readings and music in the church. Paul Vincent would love to receive ideas of prose or poetry that is meaningful to you be it secular or religious.  Please call him 722 227. Dates long in the future but good to know are that the Dittisham Regatta will be on Saturday, August 7th.  The biannual Arts Festival is the weekend of August 21 and 22.  Details of Easter activities will be in next weeks village voice.  It’s good to be back and the daffodils are slowly being brave enough to pop out their heads to welcome me home..