last weekend we dumped the kids with friends for sleepovers and headed off to arkengarthdale [conjuring up images of tinker's rucksack- "it's not all walking!"] and a night away in a rather fine inn.
the occasion was simon hall's 40th birthday celebrations.
i first met simon when we shared a house in oxford one brief summer back in the late eighties, and we hooked back up with him and his family when we moved up here... we also joined revive, which is the baptist community that simon founded and led for many years. most of the really great things about revive are attributes which it shares with simon - creativity, vulnerability, honestly, humour, open-ness, thoughtfulness, generosity, reflective-ness, a degree of organisational and administritive chaos [!], humility, warmth, intelligence, a big-heartedness, a love of music... he's a unique and remarkable bloke, in so many ways...
on the saturday evening we shared a meal with sixty-odd other guests; speeches were made, songs were sung [simon covered low's 'when i go deaf' - top stuff] and wine and beer and champagne were consumed. it was a lovely evening.
a book was passed around too, with an invitation to write a message to simon - i'm useless when those things come round; my mind goes blank, so i ended up just adding my name to sue's entry... i'd really have liked to put something more meaningful, so maybe i'll do it here - simon, you're an amazing bloke and it's a privilege to be numbered amongst your friends... happy birthday mate!