Late afternoon on Friday I drove down through beautiful, sunny countryside to Cornwall to stay on the night with dear friends from our first parish just outside Truro, Johnny and Jenny Keeler. The roads were lovely and clear - probably due to the Murray semi-final being played at the time and therefore watched by watched by half the nation. The Keelers gave me a wonderful welcome, as always, and we reminisced over happy times together - when Graeme was their parish priest and our many visits since having moved away from Cornwall. Their youngest, Graeme's goddaughter Mary-Mo, was there busy organising her boyfriend's 30th birthday celebrations and then we were joined by Louise (daughter no 3 and who I believe was G's fav - sorry to embarrass you Lou!!) with her hubby and their three daughters. Saturday morning started rather damp but our spirits were lift not only by parting clouds but also with eight little 5 week-old Labrador puppies just waiting to be played with. Caroline (daughter no 1), with her two children, also played with the pups before all the youngsters took a refreshing dip in the pool. Note just the youngsters swam!!

I then headed further west to have a delish crab lunch with the lovely Patsy Collins in Penzance and catch up on all her news while watching the Wimbledon Lady’s final. Patsy’s late husband, Bill, was an honorary curate when we were in Newlyn. He had a wonderful singing voice and much enhanced the musical life of the parish and West Cornwall. It was then on to see Jim Whitlock to imbibe his wonderful view over Newlyn harbour and Mounts Bay towards St Michael’s Mount. Jim is busy painting for an exhibition in Truro Cathedral later this year – an exciting project on The Transfiguration. There was time for a good cuppa and cake before returning home in the early evening to avoid the Sunday queues exiting Cornwall!

Monday I had the sad duty of attending the funeral Joan Checketts. Ron and Joan were parishioners from Newlyn with whom we have shared many of their 'landmark' celebrations over the years. Like Graeme, she had Cancer, which she also bore with great fortitude and I was fortunate to be able to visit her in hospital just a few days before she died. I had been warned that I might find it a bit 'difficult' so was fairly well prepared and was fine until Graeme got a mention during the eulogy - tissues to the fore. Adrain (their son) organised the occasion beautifully for his mother and ladies wore hats!!! The funeral was held in the beautiful Priory at Christchurch, Dorset - well worth a visit if you are in the area.