The move to Lydney was after 18 months of job searches in Worcestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire. In the space of three weeks, he suddenly had three interviews. That summer, we had our first camping adventure as well and had bought a tent from a supermarket that you may be familiar with here in Lydney. It had a chronic design fault in that it was in no way waterproof and we had a miserable couple of nights with our then two year old, trying to keep him and us dry and warm. It was a fun time with friends during the days though and we weren't put off. We decided to return the tent with the holes and bought a decent one. With only one weekend of the summer left, at the start of September, we decided it was time to visit my Godson and his family. We camped at Woolaston, next to a field containing Rosie the cow and friends. Rosie liked campers and did her level best to come and join us on a daily basis, giving my Godson a shock when he joined us for a night and went to use the facilities. He didn't wake us up to tell us though and calmly pointed out the large red bovine visitor happily munching a breakfast of daisies next to our tent in the morning.
We asked our long-suffering friends if we could use their shower and headed to St Mary's church for the first time. It happened to be the morning that the church were honouring their new vicar, Sarah Fenby, and we were very impressed when the children all lined up to present her with a dozen red roses. How lovely! We never thought that we would be coming to live here and would be members of the church one day, but here we be.
The novelty has not worn off. We still love driving through the Forest in all seasons. We still love that feeling of flying that you get and the wide open spaces as we cross the Severn bridge. We still make piratical noises as we drive along the A48 past Awre. (Arrrr!) We intend to make the most of it until our son becomes embarassed by his parents. Recently, I learned that Awre does indeed have a piratical history. During the hard times following the Enclosure Act, food was scarce and they were selling dock and nettles for a premium in Gloucester market. Boats plied a trade up and down the Severn and a grain ship stopping at Awre was too much of a temptation to those independent Foresters who were struggling to maintain an existence. They boarded the ship and started to offload the cargo of grain. Unfortunately for them, there was a troop of soldiers along the road to Newnham and the ringleaders were caught red-handed, tried at the Assizes in Gloucester and hung.
Here we are again, in times when it is becoming hard if not impossible for famlies to find enough money for food. Lydney Food Bank is the latest Food Bank to open in the Forest and will be opening on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings at Lydney Christian Fellowship. It will be great to find out how the project is run and take part as a volunteer, as it's a big team and I'm looking forward to meeting those I will work with.