CONTACT pagesCONTACT is the name of the Ewell magazine which is published for the Church at the beginning of each month (with the exception of August and January).
From time to time items that might be of interest to a wider audience, rather than the more in-house things like flower rotas etc, will be published here too. The Church Diary and the preachers are already published elsewhere on this web-site and they appear in CONTACT
SHORT STORY COMPETITION
Mike Westbrook and I are delighted to have been awarded second and third places in Epsom URCs short story competition devised by Jonathan Broder. Here is the very poignant winning entry, submitted by Tony Dunn from the Epsom area followed by our two stories:
Mud was both the man's friend and his enemy. It cooled him now but he knew his sweat would eventually freeze or the rising levels would drown him. He looked across the crater at his sergeant, grotesquely twisted.
Sarge had always said this was a bloody silly war. "Nobody will care if we get home or not," he'd said. As the night set in and the mud chilled, the man knew that Sarge was right.
Drifting into his final sleep, his hand slipped in the mud pushing up a seed. One that would grow to be a bright red poppy.
"There's always tomorrow":
One hundred words eh? Or even less. Easy; piece of cake; doddle. Give me a deckchair, sunshine, shade, babbling brook, glass of Chablis, notebook, pen then leave me with my imagination. Where to start? - beginning, end, middle? It is nice here, though, under this tree with just the stream, cool breeze and birdsong disturbing the otherwise quietness. Ah!, thought of a storyline then, but now it has gone. Back to work on it. It is peaceful, though - tranquil and still. Feeling tired, comfortable, drowsy, satisfied. What happened to inspiration? - Eureka! There will be another day for my one hundred words! By Malcolm.
"An Unexpected Bonus"
The runner beans were long finished; the ten-foot green stack he took down gently, lovingly, stowing their skeletons with the potato stems as compost. Only Busy Lizzies surrounding the plot held any colour still.
What next?" he mused, while inspecting the shed "contents, taking down his trusty fork, before starting to re-dig that ground in preparation for winter.
The first delve pierced something. "Must have missed that potato," he muttered
aloud. And his second, third, until there were five kilos worth beside him.
"That'll keep an old pensioner in mash for a couple of weeks," he smiled delightedly.
We all look forward to learning what Jonathan has up his sleeve for us next!
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"HOLIDAY AT HOME" WEEK
From Monday 13th August through to Friday 7th August many of our folk and guests enjoyed a variety of social events at our church which were designed to encourage as many people as possible, not just those who attend our church, to come along and enjoy themselves!
The week began on the Monday morning with George Pearson's quiz which proved to be enormously enjoyable. For those who did not attend this particular event, please do not be put off by the word "Quiz". We worked in teams and George
designed his questions to be of general interest. At the end, there was very little difference between the teams which proved that George's questions weren't that difficult!
Tuesday afternoon was "Film Afternoon" with the showing of "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" on a big screen (provided by Jonathan Broder from Epsom URC) in the Church Hall. Wednesday morning comprised an Arts and Crafts event
when members of Ewell URC's Art Group led by Dennis Sexton. provided a master class in watercolour painting. Many who attended, who had never picked up a watercolour paintbrush previously,
produced very creditable results. There was also colouring in to do arranged by Jean and Gillian Jones taught us how to do lots of things with wool. A tasty Ploughman’s Lunch rounded off the morning.
On the Thursday afternoon everyone joined in with a singalong of songs we all know and love, ably accompanied by our Minister, Roger, on guitar. There were also poems, readings and sketches performed, based on Malcolm’s “Poetry Please” afternoons which he introduced three years ago. The final events of the week took place on the Friday morning with a round of “Bingo” hosted by Dennis and Malcolm, a “Holiday Drive” (a variation on a Beetle Drive) presented by Roger, all rounded off with a lovely curry lunch so kindly provided by Indra, Raj and their friends.
The week was not intended to raise funds for our church, but it did—£240—thanks to donations for refreshments and the proceeds from the two raffles held.
Everyone who attended throughout the week seemed to enjoy themselves and we are incredibly grateful to all those who contributed and helped in any way whatsoever.
Following the success of this year’s programme, the organizing committee, Elders and church meeting have all agreed to repeat the event in 2019, probably during the same week in August. There may be changes in timings and the activities offered this year, so watch this space; full details will be published in due course, most certainly well ahead of the starting date.
Jean and Malcolm.
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The seasons come and the seasons go,
but Autumn's not the time to sow.
Spring's the time to spread the seeds
to hopefully, later, meet our needs.
The nights draw in - it's getting colder.
Is it me or am I getting older?
Autumn seems to come round too fast.
It'll be Christmas ere it's passed.
Leaves that were green have fallen down
having turned into their hue of brown.
Clocks forward or back in September?
Or is it October - can never remember!
Many of our birds have flown away
to warmer climes and there to stay
till next Spring arrives, all too soon.
But for now let's enjoy our Harvest moon.
The next season in our calendar
Is Winter-can be too cold by far.
But farmers, growers, gardeners all
Are harvesting their crops this Fall.
They love this time, when things have grown
to maturity, for us all to own
and enjoy from supermarkets in town .
Let’s get there—come on down!
So it’s Autumn, with all it’s charm.
Warm jumpers and wellies down on the farm.
For us, heating on and warmer bedclothes;
Pick blackberries tomorrow—from the hedgerows.
Autumn afternoon, darkened sky.
A storm is coming - I wonder why?
Don't knock it - got to be a reason.
Let's just enjoy our current season.
LONG HOT SUMMER IN THE SUBURBAN GARDEN
We’re back after a short break – sorry about the lack of an article last month but family circumstances intervened I am afraid.
Phew!! What a summer we have had and hasn’t it been hot, hot, hot!! Mind you as I’m sitting here writing this it’s actually turned quite cold – the English weather, we are never satisfied are we? Well it has been some time since we have updated you on what has been going on and even though it has been hot, quite a lot has happened.
I have dug up all of the potatoes that have grown and Jane and I now have enough to see us through to the end of autumn. We have had tomatoes throughout the whole of summer and many of the vines are still ere were loads of mini aubergines and, because of the heat, many of our courgettes grew and turned to marrows very quickly!! We have had an abundance of salad produce as well, with radishes, spring onions, lettuce leaves and cucumbers all doing well. I have just picked all of my chillies and they are now sitting in the kitchen gradually drying out to be used over the winter. Because of the hot weather I haven’t had to cut the grass for two months and the new hose that we had fitted has really saved the day for us.
All of Jane’s flowers have done really well, with only a few of them suffering because of the heat. She has started tidying them up ready for the winter and is planning a whole ‘new look’ for her part of the garden next year. I think she is planning to cut back on the annuals as they take so much looking after and planting more perennials.
It has been a good summer for wildlife in the garden. A family of starlings and a couple of pigeons have been regular visitors to the bird bath and a frog has been in permanent residence in the wild garden. There have been about 12 sparrows playing on a daily basis in one of our bushes and a family of foxes have been out sunbathing on the roof of a neighbours shed – all of this provides a wonderful spectacle for Jane when she is working from home.
So ………. THE BEAN RACE ………………… whilst the plants are still growing – there aren’t any more beans and at the end of the season I am pleased to be able to report that the bean race was …………… A DEAD HEAT ………………. we had as many beans from both sets of seeds!!
Jane and Kyle
A HOLIDAY IN CROATIA
When we booked our holiday in Croatia we felt we were breaking new ground, but it turned out many of our friends had been there already, so forgive us if you are one of those!
Our trip divided neatly into three episodes: four nights in Solin, a village outside Split, then a week on the island of Brac, and then three nights in Tucepi, a village on the coast between Split and Dubrovnik.
Our experiences in Solin were a mixed bag: an earthquake on the first night (yes, really!), trudging round some Greek/Roman ruins in incredible heat with a guide whose English matched my Croatian, and a fantastic brass band concert by the Bosnian Army Band. During our stay in Solin we also went to two spectacular historic cities, (Sibenik and Trogir) both with breathtaking cathedrals, and to the Krka national park which comprised numerous waterfalls bursting out of the hillside – a mile and a half long boardwalk meant we stayed dry-footed and could marvel at the stunning vistas.
The trip to Brac involved a coach journey to Split harbour, an hour’s ferry-ride, and then another hour on a coach over mountainous roads, so after that I was happy to do all my exploring of Brac on foot, although George, a more robust traveller, went on a couple of half-day trips. The island was beautiful, covered in pine forest and with isolated little coves, each with a simple stone chapel. A lane we walked along several times had stations of the cross at intervals, each with a stone plaque of one of the events of Jesus’s journey to Calvary, and we were told the olive and grape farmers would stop at each one to pray for the success of their harvests.
Our hotel in Tucepi was right on the coast of the Adriatic, so we simply had to dip our toes in a couple of times, and we really enjoyed watching children frolicking in the clear blue waters – no sandcastles though, the beach was smooth pebbles, not sand.
Visiting Dubrovnik was a highlight of the holiday, but involved a three hour journey in each direction (yes, I survived), and a half-an-hour stay in Bosnia-Herzogovina, which divides Croatia into two halves, and demands that visitors go through their passport control. Dubrovnik Old Town was staggeringly beautiful, with narrow lanes between ancient dwellings, a picturesque harbour with a building where people were quarantined to prevent plague entering the city, and of course many glorious churches. St. Blaise is their patron saint, and he is believed to have saved the city from a devastating earthquake. So a minor earthquake at the beginning of our musings and a major one at the end – how appropriate!
Barbara and George Pearson .