The dry weather also allowed us to catch up with clearing spoil dug out of ditches during the wet winter months, and tidy up trees felled during the winter storms. Some very substantial trees, the roots of which have disturbed the foundations of a neighbours’ property, we have at last attended to. For months his insurance company has been nagging me to get the work done. Hopefully they will now relax knowing the house is no longer at risk from our lovely trees.
None of these jobs were possible while the ground was sodden which it has been for the past six months. We would have messed up the ground and wearing my ‘elf & safety’ hat, being a responsible person, I was not prepared to risk lives. Propping John up at maximum boom height above the Merlo, to get a wire hawser around a 40 foot tree when the ground was soft and slippery, would not have been wise.
John is without question the farms’ most valuable asset, and however keen the insurance company were for the work to be completed, I was not prepared to risk his neck.
The rain on Easter Day was good for the crops but not for the ground work project or the great Easter Egg hunt. This was relocated indoors rather than down in the bluebell wood as planned. However, we managed to keep seven kids happily entertained and eating far too much chocolate until at last the sun crept out again during the afternoon.
The church in the morning was packed. We were wedged so solidly in the pews that we had to all stand up at the same time. The Vicar was as always in good voice and his sermon interesting but baffling.
His message was that if we work hard to gain prosperity or even popularity, we should be rather ashamed of ourselves.
We should not aim high while here on earth, but should aspire to achieve greater things in heaven where we shall meet up with people, including those who have been bad or lazy as it is they who will be forgiven.
He said, we should be meek, mild and happy with our lot so those who are failures in this life won’t feel inferior!
I have been taught, little is achieved without working very hard, including throughout our education and in our working life. I believe this is the message we should pass onto our children.
The Vicar’s sermon telling us to idle our lives away being nice and happy with our lot, and lacking ambition, so that when we get to heaven, if we do, we won’t meet anyone we have offended is perplexing.
However, perhaps not when in his Easter message the Archbishop of Cantebury said: ‘In this country, even as the economy improves, there is weeping in broken families, as people are ashamed to seek help from food banks, or frightened by debt.’ Some plainly are not.
And the Bishop of Truro warned that the government’s current benefit policies which are encouraging people off benefits and back into work had ‘sinful elements’.
No wonder our vicar lost his thread in the middle or his sermon if this was the message from the Bishops. This was all about the number of people receiving emergency food parcels from food banks, which the clergy blame on the government’s ‘back to work’ benefit policy.
It goes without saying that if a charity or organisation is handing out free food, there will always be those prepared to accept it.
There are of course some genuine cases of hardship, often the elderly who find it hard to make ends meet; there always will be. However, it is regularly reported that many of those who claim benefits and free three day food parcels, and anything else freely available, have cars, colour TVs, washing machines, buy take away food, and smoke and drink heavily. Many support their own or a family member’s expensive drug habit.
It is no doubt comforting to some, when the clergy to tell us that those amongst us with little ambition, who choose not to work and believe the world or at least society owes them a living, will be welcomed into heaven with open arms. They of course can never be accused of being vane or proud of their achievements. Bully for them!
I think most of us are prepared to risk receiving a frosty reception, if we make it up to heaven. It is however, worth considering that just maybe on this one the clergy have got it wrong, and we will find that a lifetime of hard work and taking responsibility for ourselves and our families, not only rewards us on earth but we may also get to rest peacefully with a clear conscience when the time comes.
Carola Godman Irvine