Friday, 30 December 2016

The rest of June 2016

On Sunday 5th June, while the others were still traveling back from France, Tom and I went to Northampton for a devotional with Elder Oaks (one of the twelve Apostles) and Elder Kearon. The talks were good, and Elder Oaks spoke in a very informal and relaxed manner. 
Afterwards I was in the foyer when Elder Kearon came over to me, asking how 'our fire fighter' was doing! (We'd chatted a few months before at a meeting in Watford). He asked if I'd met Elder Oaks yet, and I hadn't, so he went and bought Elder Oaks over and we shook hands. I also got to catch up with Elder Kearon's wife Jennifer, who I've got to know a little bit. She's so lovely.

Back at home we were all together again! The kids loved telling me everything, and giving me the wondrous fridge magnets they'd bought and sea glass they'd collected for me, and I loved showing them the improvements on the house!

On Wednesday 8th, Donna invited me over, and she, her American friend Jen and I sat out on the patio and had a wonderful time talking about all sorts of things, such as Feminism and religion. I was able to explain more about my beliefs and go into some depth which is not normally possible. I know Jen has very different views, but there was such a lovely spirit there, and I know we all went away feeling closer and with broader minds.

Some 'sugar art' I found on the stairs following a Tesco delivery!

On Thursday 9th, I was down at the fire station with a few others for a Playgroup visit, but they didn't turn up!
In the evening, I went to Northampton to teach an Institute class, which seemed to go really well.
The next day, I was back at the fire station again for a driving assessment (basically so that I am able to drive any of the normal Fire Service cars including the co-responding car). I drove Mick the instructor around for about 2 hours (including to Peterborough B&Q so he could buy some paint!) and we chatted. He told me about the time he was car-jacked by a gunman, and had to drive him for a couple of hours! I passed the assessment anyway.

Lucy in the garden on 10th. She was fairly stressed out in the run up to her A levels, and was taking a 'moment' here!

On Saturday 11th, I spent the day at the Rural Museum with some of the other firefighters and the fire engine, for a show. We showed a couple of kids around it, but mainly chatted with each other and some of the visitors. I got talking to a guy I'd seen before from the fire fighters charity, who was keen on photography and we had a good time looking at photos on his phone.
In the evening I went with Lucy and Jack to Northampton for Seminary Graduation. Jack has finished two years, and Lucy has finished all four!

On 14th, Scott, Tom, Harry and I had our vaccinations for going to Asia next month.

On 17th June, Jack finished his last GCSE exam! He thought most of his exams had gone well, and was pretty confident! We let him celebrate by going with Lucy to get their vaccinations! (They'd not wanted to come at the same time as us, because didn't want to risk getting ill for the exams they had that week.)

On Saturday 18th, I met Martin the other probationer, down at the fire station, and he drove us to Huntingdon for a Breathing Apparatus course. Just as we'd got our breathing apparatus on and were ready to go in the smoke house, the instructors (who are Wholetime fire fighters based at Huntingdon) got a call-out and ran off, so we just had to take everything off and hang around. We went in the station and could see that they'd got called to an AFA (Automatic Fire Alarm), so might well be back soon. They were back soon, so we could carry on with the course! I was a number one on the BA wear, and it went reasonably well, and I was happy.

On Sunday 19th it was Father's Day, and we went for a lovely walk from Broughton.

Most of us felt a bit rubbish around this time - this is me on 21st June after about 2 hours sleep... bad night = big hair!

On 22nd June, Jack got round to burning his school uniform and papers! We couldn't pass the uniform on, because the school has bought out a new uniform now.

Also on 22nd June, I put this on Facebook, regarding the referendum on whether or not the UK should leave the EU:

''There seem to be a lot of people still undecided about the vote tomorrow. If you are undecided, you are basically saying that you don't hate being in the EU enough to want to get out right now (if you did, you wouldn't be undecided - you would be definitely voting out). If you are undecided and vote tomorrow to remain in the EU, you are keeping the current benefits of being in the EU, but retain the option to vote out if things get more unpleasant as a consequence of being in the EU, in the future. Of COURSE we can still vote out in the future, if we choose not to do so tomorrow. If being a member of the EU becomes significantly worse than it is now, any future PM can call a referendum if a clear majority of us want out (and they won't stay in power long if they don't). Tomorrow is not 'all or nothing' despite what the Outs want us to think. I put this on here, because I hate the thought of people rushing into something they're not sure about.''

Scott and I were pro-remain, and while I didn't have a problem with people voting to leave if they had a genuine well thought-out reason, I was fed up at the thought of people voting to leave as a kind of general protest to the establishment, but with no real thought for the possible implications. I was surprised actually at how strongly I felt about it.

Thursday 23rd June - another Facebook post:

''So proud of Lucy and happy for her!!! Last A level exam finished today, and last day of school! She's been hard working and diligent since her very first day!''

Lucy felt her exams were a pretty mixed bag! Some she felt had gone well, and a couple she thought had gone badly (one of her History exams she just got home from and sobbed!)

Also on 23rd, Lucy and I went to vote (remain) in the EU Referendum.

In the evening I went to Northampton for Institute Graduation, and afterwards had a committee meeting, which was a bit long and frustrating - we are still trying to get the structure sorted out. President Hirst had rung me in the week to see how I was doing, and we'd talked about my calling and other stuff. After the meeting I stayed talking with President Hirst again till late.

That night Lucy, Jack and Scott stayed up late watching as the referendum results started to come in.
I found Lucy like this the next morning.

I'd gone to bed at the point that a lean towards Leave was emerging, and so wasn't totally surprised at the final result, but felt still felt very cross!!

On Saturday 25th June, Lucy and I went to Northampton for the evening session of Stake Conference. I sat next to Claire Clayton, and we were both still feeling pretty fed-up about the referendum! Conference was good though, and I ended up staying late talking to Emma Corre and Gill Barstow. We miss being a YW Presidency together, and have such fond feelings for each other!

The next evening we had YSA FHE as usual, and celebrated Jason Solomon's 25th birthday (which was the day before).

I got out my nail polishes and the girls (and Scott!) enjoyed them!

29th June. My summer reading collection! I'd been reading reviews and buying them cheaply on Amazon for a couple of weeks. (With hindsight, this wasn't a great lot of books - quite disappointing really, though I always like Barabara Kingsolver books, and the Orchardist was good, and the Life Changing Magic of Tidying - but more about that later!!)

Also during June, Lucy worked on getting the medical papers for her Missionary Application filled in, I had my first co-responding call, though the lady wasn't having a heart attack but some kind of fit. I applied oxygen to her, and by that time a paramedic had arrived and took over. I did another clear-out on Ebay and made about £600, and we've rented both of our houses in Leeds out now for the next academic year. Also Harry seems to be happier at school again. He went through a bad patch with some of his so-called friends, wasn't enjoying his teacher and was pretty down about school for a while. I even considered moving him to a different school for a bit - it just didn't seem worth the upset to keep him where he was, but that decision never quite felt right. I'd even rung up another school to see if they had a space for him, which they did, and spoke to Mrs Wilkinson, his current teacher about it.

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