A desperate last minute 'phone call from the Vicar yesterday morning led to my early rising and a car journey out to Pontyclun to be stand-in guest preacher for their Remembrance Sunday Parish Eucharist. It was parade Sunday for local air and army cadets. The local firestation team also came in uniform, so the church was full, about a hundred and twenty people altogether. As ever, people were warmly welcoming. Some of them recall my visits to preach in the Parish as far back as 25 years ago.
After the service I went with the Vicar down to the cenotaph at the other end of town, for the Act of Remembrance. Thankfully, there was no rain. It was chilly, but the sun shone. During the wreath laying a grandfather, father and son laid wreaths side by side, and a class of year ten children from the primary school scattered poppies around the monument. It's good to see how the significance of the event is still being transmitted down the generations.
I went back home for lunch. Clare had invited niece Anneke and Stefan her three year old son for the weekend, so it was very much a family occasion. Then James and I went down to the Bay, to take photographs of Wales GB Rally cars at the end of their gruelling week, all queued up for the prize winners ceremony. HMS Monmouth was in dock for a weekend visit, and we succeeded in being the last two to go aboard for a walk around at the end of visiting hours - a new experience altogether for James. After a short stay, we headed back for the car, and drove back to Bristol, for James to visit his mother in hospital and prepare for school. I'm not often sleeping in my own bed at the moment.