I celebrated and preached again Sunday morning for the congregation at St Saviour's Splott and then drove straight up to Kenilworth for Rhiannon's seventh birthday celebration. I arrived at the little St Barnabas church hall, not far from where they live, to see Rhiannon and a dozen little friends, all dressed up as wizards and witches, in mid party. I was just in time for the presentation of the cake, a Clare creation in the form of a wizard's hat, as the party decor had a magical theme, and for the final game of musical chairs.
Then yesterday we drove with Rhiannon over to Stratford on Avon in the rain, and used the very efficient Park and Ride service to get right into the town centre, hassle free. Our destination, a butterfly farm, on the opposite side of the river from the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre. The place was very busy with children and parents as it's half term term week. We had an enjoyable hour wandering around, with all manner of exotic species flitting around us, and posing for photographs on vegetation or on special small tables dotted about the place. I was delighted with the quality of pictures produced from my new Sony HX5.
After a snack lunch in a nice tea room set in the old converted timber mill nearby, it was necessary to head for home. It was chillier walking around town than we'd anticipated at the outset and Rhiannon started to feel the cold. She seemed happy enough to get home again and play quietly. She has such a prolific imagination that she never gets bored. Little ones these days get so stretched and stimulated in school, that there are everyday time constraints on their use of free imagination, so weekends and holidays become important for them to resume natural creative development at their own pace. She enjoys reading and loves books, either borrowed from the library, or as gifts. It's such a delight to see.
Today was actually her birthday, and before breakfast, the table was decorated, and laden with cards and presents from the family for her to open. By the time breakfast was over it was time to pack and make our way back home to Cardiff. On the way out we stopped at Currys-PC World Coventry super store, where I'd tracked down a large size computer monitor with the right specifications for use in the CBS office, at a bargain price. Before buying, I asked if I could see it running. The salesman took it and connected it to a running laptop, but seemed not to know how to switch the display from laptop to monitor. I had to show him. The monitor was powering up and self testing OK but failing to display a picture, probably because of a faulty cable adaptor. It was impossible to persuade the thing to work, so I gave up on the purchase. I wondered what would happen to the monitor after I'd left. Would it simply go back on the bargain shelf, and the buck get passed to another unsuspecting staff member?