23 June D&D declared the car mended at midday so trooped along there, complained about some odd noises, but they said it was nothing and I'm off once more heading north. About 20 miles south of Cambridge on the M20 same thing happens, only this time going slow and talking kindly to China doesn't do a blind bit of good so I eventually drive onto the hard shoulder under a bridge (raining heavily). Get out of said car and huddle under the bridge to ring Green Flag. They declare the last time I had an account with them was in 2009, I give them my policy number, every detail under the sun, including the fact that yesterday there had been no problem - meanwhile I can only hear every other word because of the noise of lorries in the rain. After half an hour and just as the girl is about to cut me off she announces they had the postcode wrongly listed, a service operator will be with you in 30 minutes. Actually it was closer to 45 but a lovely cheerful Irish chappie. A pipe had bust, corroded away.
Meanwhile I'd rung Graham who agreed to meet me at Stanstead Services and we'd swap cars. Amazingly enough we both arrived there at the same time, I moved my files, laptop etc into his car and he returned to Kent with the Green Flag man. I finally arrived at Thornton 9pm, very tired and hungry.
24 June with mother who was not too happy that she was only seeing me for a day!
25 June arrived at Film Farm only to discover that huge triffid like plants have started marching down the drive to attack said house.
We finalise the Reyntiens film and discuss our next project. Having clipped the wings of the new stock of hens they are allowed to range freely over the garden. Charles has 4 now, a Rhode Rock, Coucou, Copper Black and Columbine (which lays pretty little blue eggs) and I bought myself a hen which he looks after - a Chicken House Blue (2nd from left) which doesn't lay blue eggs! I rang Father Hingley and he kindly agreed to show me his church (St Albans) on Thursday.
30 June I left at the crack of dawn to arrive in Romford by midday. Father Hingley is an amazing character, his church is full of wondrous art works, a mural by Cazalet in the chancel, five windows by Patrick at the east end (the photo shows both of these and the inimitable Father Hingley), a baptistry window (detail below) and rose by Patrick, candlesticks by Alex Brogden, a Christus Rex by Peter Eugene Ball (very similar to the one in Southall Minster) etc etc. He's only too happy to show people round (01708 473580)
He then took me along to Frances Bardsley School where he is head of Governors to show me their Reyntiens window on the main staircase and introduce me to their delightful Headteacher, Suzanne Philipps.
And then I dashed over to Brentwood to see the Sion Community church, rather wonderful abstract, pale coloured windows which blur the lines between inside and outside as the illustration indicates - the reflection of one window is seen through the other against a background of trees.
Postscript: 1 July my spirits were feeling much raised by the delights I'd seen the previous day and I drove off in a mended China to Aylesford to see a rather unusual Brangwyn item (in a Hospice no less) only for the car to break down again - the protective cover under the engine had dropped off and was dragging along the road. Boy was I furious! Yet another 2 hours wasted - a guy from D&D autos came out and took offending cover off completely and suggested I took the car in at my convenience to get it fixed sometime. I exploded - I don't have time to spare - I work 8am to 10pm nearly every day (what with housework, tending 1/2 acre of garden, cooking, washing, ironing, shopping let alone the day job!). Grrrrr!