Sunday, 31 July 2016

News about a Special Day Trip, as well as our new Baby Mobile Project

Good afternoon Everyone - this week's bulletin is going to be a joint effort on Cy Bear and My part, and in two sections as it were.

Component parts for the New Baby Mobile Project - more below! 
Early in the week, Cy Bear was left  "on guard" in our flat while I joined Clare, Alan and GrandsonE on a day trip to a really special place - in our lives at any rate.  We drove nearly 300 miles - there and back in the day.  That distance for those of you in the States who are among our regular Followers - and other far flung places, is not that far.  Believe me, in the UK with our much narrower roads, and much heavier traffic (some of our motorways can resemble City Traffic in rush hour, all day at times) that distance is a TREK!

Our destination was the Shrine of St. Winefrede at Holywell, in Flintshire, North Wales.  So, not only did we do 300 miles, but we also visited another country at the same time!  St Winefrede has a well-deserved reputation for healing (in all its forms) and the Shrine is also known as the Lourdes of Wales.

St. Winefrede became a Saint by virtue of  being martyred - as most Saints are!  In her case, she had dedicated herself to God, but the son of the local Lord of the Manor at the time wanted her for himself.  She refused his advances, and in the presence of the local priest (who happened to be her Uncle) the thwarted young man cut off her head with his sword.  The priest picked up the separated head and placed it on the young maiden's neck, it "took", and St. Winefrede was saved.  She lived for at least another 25 years (in the 6th Century) becoming a well known and respected Abbess in the process.  Where the head fell, though, a spring appeared - and it has been "springing" ever since.

Over the years, people have visited the Shrine and it's one of the few religious sites in the UK  that survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII  at the time of his argument with the Church in Rome.  The story goes that when the soldiers arrived to do their destructive best, they were warned "don't mess with St. Winefrede"- so they didn't!   A shelter was placed over the spring, which over the centuries has become what it is today - 

We went there on a coolish, Monday morning, and reached it in time to participate in the daily Prayers over a relic of St. Winefrede (not obligatory if one is seeking help of any kind, but one which we like to be able to attend when we go there). The congregation (numbering about 20 on the day we were there) stand around the Spring, which is clearly visible in both these photographs) and the services lasts about 10 minutes.  

The adults in our party all had their own  reasons for visiting the Shrine, and mine in particular was to repeat the experience of holding my increasingly arthritic hands under the tap which has been erected.  It saves one immersing oneself in the bathing pool one can see in this photograph (the water is very cold - as genuine spring water is, but it also enables visitors to take bottles of the water back home for use as and when needed.)  The tap is located just on the left of the photo below, and one can either pay for bottles from the Shrine's Shop - through which one enters the holy area - or one take's one's own bottles and fill them up (without charge) for use back home.

 This visit was the third time I had immersed my hands under the tap (having done it twice - at the beginning and end of our visit -  on the only other occasion I've been able to go three years ago).  The brave couple in the photograph were just attempting to put their feet in - and clearly weren't enjoying the experience.  Although when I showed them my improving hands, they were emboldened to carry on for a while more!

On both occasions I have experienced immediate relief from the swelling and discomfort associated with osteo arthritis, and look forward to a third visit ere long,  The story goes that if one goes three times, the sought-after cure can be permanent.  In between the two visits, though, I've been able to gain relief by sprinkling the contents of the bottled water collected on my first visit. (Clare and Alan and brought me back further supplies in the interim).  Not being too sure if one can say that two immersions in one trip equates to three different visits, I'll hope to be going back sometime in the future!.

This time too, though, I collected some small bottles from the Shop, filling them up to give to several of my fellow residents in Old Chapel Close.  Already one has told me she has had "the best night's sleep" she's had in months, so one does not have to be a Catholic - as my family and I are - to benefit from St. Winefrede's help.

Now over to Cy Bear for a brief update on matters pertaining to our Shop -

Hello there, Everyone!

Having completed the Blue Plush Monkeys we told you about in last weeks' bulletin, Isobel is now busy on another Baby Mobile project.  She's almost finished the four Toys which form the hanging bits:  she's still cogitating about the colour ribbon she will be using to cover the circular frame.  She's purchased some sea green satin ribbon to which the Fantasy Bears - as we're going to call them - will be attached.  Three of them are finished and ready for their ribbons:  the fourth just requires his/her second ear to be attached.  Allow me to introduce them to you.

Floral Print with a Apple Green background
Pink background with Blue and Red Floral print
White Backround, with Blue and Green Floral print
And here's the fourth Fantasy Bear - they've been made using the same pattern used for our Polar Bear Baby Mobile by the way. (

Another White Background, with  a Blue Floral print
Hopefully, we'll have the finished article to show you next week - so this is Cy Bear signing off on behalf of both of us.  Have a good week, Everyone!