Today saw our Canadian guests leaving us for London. Just before they left, I gave them a souvenir booklet on Lake Windermere to remind them of their time in the Lakes. I also gave them some lovely handmade chocolate truffles to take back to Dr Bligh, my former thesis supervisor at the University of Guelph, whom they know. In return, Martin and Nancy gave me a lapel pin in the shape, UoG. I was most touched. What a thoughtful gesture on their part.

The view of Lake Windermere and its surrounding mountains from The Fairfield, Martin and Nancy’s room at Blenheim Lodge.

Martin knew that I was unsure if Dr Bligh would remember me. After all, I was only one of the many hundreds of students he would have taught over the long years of his tenure. So Martin suggested that he take a photo of me to accompany the chocolates.

This morning, our Canadians were sitting with some Scots and English people in the dining room, lingering over their cups of tea and coffee after breakfast. We have a relaxed atmosphere at Blenheim Lodge, and guests are welcome to make themselves at home. As we had already finished serving all our guests, Hubby and I began to clear up and I had my apron on since I was washing the dishes.

Five minutes later, there was a tap on the kitchen door. Martin was standing there with his camera in hand. ‘I want to take a picture of you and your spouse,’ he said. I demurred. ‘I’m in my apron and I look messy. Dr Bligh has never seen me messy before!’

Meanwhile, Hubby had moved up behind me and Martin was all trigger happy. ‘This is fine in the apron,’ he said and shot a picture. Then he relented, asked us to smile, and took another shot.

The next bit had everyone in the dining room in gales of laughter. Loudly and teasingly, Martin asked,’ Now John will want to know whether this is your second, third or fourth husband?’ Before I could answer, all our guests in the dining room erupted in raucous laughter. I am smiling now even as I write about this piece of cheek.

Well, Martin and Nancy will be back soon in Canada and both Hubby and I are pleased that they had a nice stay with us. Before they left, Nancy told us that if we ever went to Guelph, we would have a bed at their house. ‘And,’ she admonished, ‘don’t leave it too long if you want to see John. He’s not a young man anymore.’

Don’t I know it! I am certainly getting older. And the older I get, the more nostalgic I get over days gone by. It’s all a bit silly on my part, but I can’t help it.

I suppose I will grow into one of those old folks who will, at some point, hark back to the ‘good ole days’, when things were simpler, people were kinder, and a belief in God was common practice. It seems to me that the 21st century encapsulates a very self-centred egotistical age, where integrity has almost become a thing of the past. Perhaps this has happened because the fear of the Lord is no longer a reality for many people.

When I think back of my days as a young girl, then a student, then a young adult, I find that with nostalgia comes also the realisation that God has looked after me through thick and thin. To fear the Lord is to love and worship Him, and walk in His way. His care for us is a template for how we should care for our fellowmen; thus, when we serve Him, we also serve and care for those around us. (Photo courtesy of

Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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