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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life

  • When Negative is Postive!

    Recently, it became popssible for anyone at all to obtain, free of charge, lateral flow testing kits for Covid.  This is not mandatory or compulsory, though in areas of higher prevalence it is encouraged.

    It's certainly true that I can go for days on end without seeing another human being 'in the flesh', and mostly when I do it's for a few seconds, to pay for something with contactless payment.  Even so, there remains a small, and finite, risk.

    Although Glasgow remains in Level 3 for a week or more, things have opeend up quite a lot, and I have begun to meet up with people in cafes.  Whilst I limit this to no more than one 'group' per day, it means I increase the risk.  So, I took a conscious decision to start doing twice a week, lateral flow tests at home.  So far, four tests/two weeks later, so negative - which is good!  The photo is today's (with identifiying marks blanked out).

    The bottom line is, I would hate to take the risk, however small, of  passing on the virus to someone who is vulnerable, unwell, immunocompromised, unvaccinated or EoL, when a quick test could have prevented that.  It's worth a few moments of my time, and a little bit of discomfort to know that, no more than three days ago, I was 'negative'.  For sure, the tests aren't perfect, but an imperfect test is better then no test at all.

    Doing the swab takes a matter of seconds.  I have a strong gag reflex it seems, and touching my tonsils makes me gag, but I have learned to breath deeply, do the four swipes on one side, then take a moment before swabbing the other side.  Swabbing my nose is a bit uncomfortable (if it hurts you have probably gone too far up) but way less so than the so-called 'discomfort' of a smear test (sorry men) and no worse than the MRSA swabs were a few years ago.  It's worth a few seconds of unpleasantness for the measure of reassurance I get get thirty minutes later when a single red line next to the C is a 'negative'  result, and I am 'good to go' for a few days.

    On Thursday of this week I will get my second dose of vaccine, and two to three weeks after that will be as 'covered' as I can be, at least until/unless boosters are needed. For now, and unless/until someone declares there no longer to be a need, I will keep on testing and keep on reporting, as, together, we do our best to negotiate the complex journey to the 'Beyond' of which we dream.

  • Out Out!

    As the relaxation of Covid restrictions continues, I have begun to gather small groups of church folk (who wish to) to meet up for coffee and a chat out of doors - we are permitted up to six people from six households outside.

    On Sunday, the first group met - it was cold, and I took a blanket with me to keep my legs warm!  But it was really good to see actual flesh and blood people rather than boxes on a screen.

    Like around 30% of people int he UK,. I live alone, and having no-one with whom to form an 'extended household' the past fourteen months are so have been such that most days I don't speak to anyone face-to-face.  Indeed, at one point I sat down and reflected that the only indoor conversations I had, the lasted more than a minute to pay at a supermarket till, were with the medical professionals who checked my teeth or eyesight, took blood or injected vaccines into my arm.  What's sobering is that that is the 'normal' and unchosen experience of so many older people.

    Last Friday, I met with two ministers in a garden to plan a joint 'blended' service; Sunday, as illustrated with three folk from church; and yesterday, I took a train to meet one person in an indoor cafe setting.

    At one level, I smile at the absurdity of considering these as being 'out out', at another, I simply delight in the possibilties that are becoming possible because most people have kept most of the rules most of the time.

    For food, and friends and fellowship, God's holy name be praised!

  • Twelve Years On...

    Today it's twelve years to the date since my first preach at the Gathering Place.  One way and another, I think that adds up to the greater part of 500 sermons/reflections/whatevers by the time evenings and special services are included.

    This might explain why I sometimes wonder what there is left to say... though I have long since forgotten most of what I have said!

    It's been an adventure for sure, and one that, DV, still has a way to go.

  • Context is All

    Two outings, two branches of the same coffee chain, two different ranges of treats...



    One was Milngavie, the other Cambuslang...
    One was a fancy lemon tartlet, the other a gingerbread Easter bunny

    I enjoyed them both equally, but as the saying goes, context is all!

  • Back on the Train!

    Now that the restrictions on travel have been relaxed, and as I am on leave, I have taken the opportunity to venture a little further afield - though still starting for my own front door, and until this afternoon all on foot.

    On Friday I took along walk along the River Kelvin and Allander Water to Milngavie, where I had a take away latte and a sweet treat before walking home the short way.

    Today I walked eastwards along the River Clyde for around 12 miles to Cambuslang, where I repeated the coffee and treat thing, before opting to catch the train home, as I had something I needed to be back for, and it would have been too much of a rush to walk, even by the shortest, road-based route.

    The train arrived late - which made me smile, some things don't seem to change - was fairly quiet and generally clean and tidy.  It was nice to be back on a train after such a long gap, and it was a positive experience. Well done to ScotRail.