Officially it is spring, there are bluebells!

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One of the things we are unlikely to see on our Camino journey are the bluebells in this picture. Noel has loved bluebells for years and whenever we are in the UK we walk into bluebell woods and are always overwhelmed with the wonderful carpet of flowers laid out in front of us. Their season is very short and so we were glad that they had come into bloom before we depart these shores and journey to Porto on 25 April. The picture was taken at about 7.30pm and was the best of about 20 pictures that we took. The trick seemed to be to avoid direct sunlight, rather to take the picture in the cloud and dim light of the evening. Our other pictures looked pale by comparison.

We are nearly complete in our travel plans. We complete our current live-in care role on Saturday 22 April which give us two days before we leave Verwood at 0030 (half past midnight) to get the 1am coach to Gatwick, then we fly at 7am to Porto.

Our preparations for fitness continue with daily running and walking as well as ensuring that we are mentally and emotionally prepared for the journey. Noel was mentally exhausted when we returned to the UK in January, having become sad and angry at many things, which he couldn’t explain. Clare was able to support him, but only Noel could re-balance himself emotionally. Now three months on he believes he is more ready for the long journey. Some of his recovery and healing has come from meditation, exercise, reading about anger and sadness and ways of overcoming it. One of the other things that has been most helpful for us both has been prayer. We have taken time to pray twice a day specifically about wellness and well being and it has been of great benefit to us both. The main prayer we thought we would like to share with you is Clare’s evening prayer;

Receive our thanks for night and day,

For food and shelter, rest and play,

Be here our guest and with us stay,

Saranam, Saranam, Saranam.

For this small space of woods and land,

On this small space on which we stand,

For those we touch with heart and hand,

Saranam, Saranam, Saranam.

Make our hearts grow as great as thine,

So through our hurt, your love may shine,

Our love be yours, your love be ours,

Saranam, Saranam, Saranam.

NB Saranam means God is our shelter in the storm.

We hope you like the prayer and whatever your belief or faith we hope you have an enjoyable and restful Easter.

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