25 October 2015

Extraordinary people

Have met some extraordinary people this week. Most of them I can't type about but I am currently sat next to one.

We are crammed together in a little plane flying between the Canaries and the Sahara desert. I'm glad I struck up conversation with him because through photos, hand gestures and 3rd year Spanish from 30 years ago, I have learnt how interesting he is. He is a Spaniard from Seville, married with three kids and owns lots of horses. He is visiting our neck of the woods for the first time with his mate who is a regular in order to buy camels. I have tried to ask how they are shipped but couldn't make myself understood. Of course buying and selling camels is pretty standard for where I am but think what a wild idea this would be to his neighbours!!

At first I was miffed because sitting next to him meant I couldn't get to talk to Hannah. Now I'm enjoying his chatter, singing and tray tapping. Don't be put off by appearances & negative expectations, Joy

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18 September 2015


You've heard of NFN, normal for Norfolk, but my hashtag means normal for North Africa.

Just now, Hannah yelped and I thought she'd had an electric shock. I jumped up and called to see if she was ok. Half way to her room I hear; there's a lizard in my bed!
Just a teeny one; very cute. Not often in the house but we have seen them several times.
Love being reminded I'm abroad!

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17 August 2015

Speaking well (1)

A friend of mine recently blogged an amazing tribute to her husband because why wait to say these things?

I love the sentiment of saying good about people before you have to. Ya know, like at a funeral.

Many years ago I said to my Dad that I wanted to say some things to him while he was still young enough for him to know I was just showing appreciation rather than getting in kind words because I thought his days were numbered. Kinda brutal introduction to an early eulogy but we get each other in this way.

I'm not claiming this blog has much of a readership but inspired by my friend Helen and an ongoing desire to speak well of the living, I thought I would write some premature eulogies. The first one is for my Dad.

In certain circles, mentioning 'Bill Summers' is like having a skeleton key! When I was younger, hearing 'Oh you're Bill Summers' daughter? usually meant I'd better behave otherwise my misdemeanours would be getting back to the old man. As time went on, I realised it meant they had probably been praying for me and my siblings for many years and I owed them a debt of gratitude. In fact, it was only a couple of months ago someone said to me that they were showing me a kindness because of who my Dad is. I could take it as a back-handed compliment or be grateful that I have a father who commands so much respect that I'm a beneficiary of his character.

So what qualities does this man have? He is, above everything else, someone who loves the Lord Jesus and cares for nothing so much as knowing him more and encouraging others to do the same. He is a faithful father and husband. He is highly intelligent despite spending most of his school years gawping out the window at the cricket field and leaving with no qualifications. His thirst for truth, understanding and knowledge has taken him round the world. He is a natural teacher. My son and I joke that it's possible to say; 'So Grandad, the Bible...' then sit back and enjoy an extemporised sermon! He is also the man who used to chase us kids up the stairs to bed at night pretending to be a gorilla.

He Ioves to laugh. He loves to be in touch with his family. He loves gardening and swinging an axe to chop wood. He loves crosswords. He has read hundreds if not thousands of books. He loves words. He loves the outdoors and bird watching. He loves the Bible. He also loves winding people up and I'm no exception!

He is shockingly generous and intimidatingly sharp. He's a keen observer of human nature and doesn't suffer fools gladly. He is fiercely protective of his loved ones.

Whoever you are, I wish you could meet him. He is inspirational. He makes you want to be a better person. I love him.

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6 May 2015


Dear intermittent readers,

Today's silent podcast comes to you from the heartland of idiocy and having to state the screamingly obvious over and over again.

Yes! I'm on a coach and having to engage with the local upholders of law and disorder.

At every stop we give out sheets with every detail of who we are short of vital statistics and yet, even after reading our forms we are asked about our jobs, nationalities etc.

For some reason they are obsessed with finding out which location we entered the country. Yes, it's on the form. We entered at our home town. Unless you have arrived by paraglider or submarine, you can ONLY have entered the country via the airport.

AND YET, almost without fail we are asked if we entered the country at the airport. Bearing in mind how much we travel and that a journey such as today requires EIGHT stops to make sure we haven't had a change of date of birth between one pile of sandy rocks and the next, this process gets more than a little irksome.

Today our friendly 'pillock of society' insisted that there were other routes in. Our ire was up and we began a polite but assertive rebuttal of his palpable dimwitedness.

His logic ran thus; he knew of three people who entered the country in another place and arrived at our town by car. We pointed out the flaw that if that were the case we wouldn't then say that our point of entry was not our town but the other. Maintaining his civic duty of standing his ground in the face of being thoroughly disproved, he pushed back the frontiers of common sense and extended the boundaries of arrogance by saying we could have arrived on...bicycles!

Not since E.T my friend, not since E.T

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26 April 2015

Things I saw this week;

Man picking his nose with a stick

Cars with rectangles of tyres blacking out the headlights

A horse drawing a partially made rowing boat down the Main Street

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10 April 2015

When vocabulary turns bad!

Was on a plane today with a child who had yet to learn the rudiments if aeronautical jargon. So instead of commenting that we are coming in to land we end up with a situation where a small child is screaming; 'We're going down! We're going down!'

Speaking of planes, mini-me is in one at the moment. Probably somewhere over Asia. He is headed Oz-wards .

Am in a hostel on Gran Canaria myself. Tried somewhere I've not been to before and further across the island than previously explored. Loving the cute Fiat 500 I've hired and overlooking the extra 100€ they charged that I still haven't really gotten my head around. Hostel took a bit of locating but once I got there I was rewarded with puppies!!!

A pretty harbour, a bird I have yet to identify and pasta pesto for tea all make for a good first evening.

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1 April 2015

In a restaurant so funky I almost don't want to tell you where it is. It's in a cave. Quite a long way back and we were given home-made a garlic & herb butter with freshly-baked, warm caraway bread on the house while we waited for the starter to arrive

Mushrooms - a treat for desert dwellers and tour guide recommended pork for mains (pretty much a pile of pork and fries)

Unfortunately it's on Gran Canaria so a little out of your way perhaps

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