Sometime in the coming week it will be exactly a decade since I moved into the manse after almost five months in temporary accommodation. Unusually, I don't have a record of the exact day, but I have a vague sense that it was probably 22nd or 23rd, so today's 'near enough for colliery work' as the saying used to go.
I recently discovered that some of my neighbours are leaving to move to the south coast, and that I am now about the fourth longest served resident in this close. That in itself is quite strange and quite sobering.
So much has happened in those ten years, so many people have come through my door, slept in my spare room, eaten at my kitchen table, watched my TV and much, much more. I recently reflected that sometimes I am quite amazed that my house guests seem so very much at home when they stay here - and that's a good thing.
Last weekend I had a missionary stay one night and a placement student and her family the next... it is, as the missionary said, 'a busy manse'.
I love my home very much. I still delight in the views across the city and in the 'magic' hills that appear or disappear according to the weather. I love that peeople feel relaxed when they come here and I love that when I have the place to myself it is cosy and secure. I love that the kitties are able to wander safely amost anywhere, and that my neighbours can't count to 'one cat' any better than I can!
Ten years on, I can look back with much happiness and contentment, that we chose a good manse, and that it has been - and continues to be - a well-used manse.