Dear Gardener’s World, why does my dog insist on standing on all of my daffodils? [219]

[ Lake District Woodland]

Hello, hello, hello, hello, and hello! It is Bertie here, your friendly and strangely well-informed Churchmouse- and remember it’s not gossip- it’s information which I have faithfully and persistently pursued, cornered and carried home rejoicing. I have the persistence of a St Bernard and the nose of a Bloodhound. Only I’m considerably more handsome than that makes me sound, as my photo attests. See, here I am:

Here is the News which I am able, now to exclusively unveil and reveal and report. Let’s get going because there is a lot to cover…

Bong. Don’t forget to join in in whatever way with the Day of Remembrance tomorrow, focused around midday.

Bong. Here is the Zoom link you need to join in with Deanery Synod on Wed evening at 8pm, with Bishop Olivia talking for the first hour around flourishing and well-being.

Meeting ID: 870 8862 9276 Passcode: 463407

Bong. There are still several rounds to be delivered around the new Emmbrook housing estate encouraging people to book their baptism or wedding. Please do take them soon. It’s a great way of combining helping people and doing your daily exercise.

Bong. Richard has captured the recent conversations at Woosehill about planning for the next six months by focusing on three areas of Church life- rebuilding the congregation, re-engaging with people on the fringe of the Church, and music and worship. Even if you’re not part of the Woosehill family it might help you think about this timeframe and this process as it relates to your Church- and it will help us all to pray for each other. Enjoy- and do send any comments or suggestions to Richard or Louise in the Office. Not me. Don’t send it to me. I’m a mouse. A very handsome and charming one but a mouse nonetheless.

Bong. Also, do read all of the exciting new Woosehill Magazine which is available on Facebook and the Woosehill website for your delight and delectation.

Bong. I have to confess that I have let the gaff go a little of late and I could do with some friendly folks to help clean St Paul’s Church. You can offer to do one section of the Church whenever you feel like it, checking with Teri first that it is an area which is a priority, or you can turn up with others at 10am on Monday the 22nd of March with your own cleaning equipment and work alongside others in different parts of the church. I will be there too, trying to make everything beautiful, but you might not notice me- only the speed of my duster, like a blur of yellow lightning.

Bong. What I’m listening to at the moment is Max Richter’s Recomposed- The Four Seasons, Spring 1 which is a joyous and beautiful portrayal of Spring coming to life. The rest of the album is a bit meh, to be technical, but it is a super piece of music and I can’t stop listening to it.

Bong. Message from my good friend Vanessa in the Parish Office about collecting clothes and stuff to raise money for Emmbrook Infant and Junior Schools:

“Emmbrook Infant & Junior Schools Bag2School Collection on Thursday 25th March! Please can you help with donations?

Raid your cupboards and wardrobes, ask your friends and neighbours if they are having a sort out!  This is a great opportunity to raise money for the schools, look after the environment and find new homes for your preloved items. PTA fundraising opportunities are really limited right now so we are relying on our Bag2School collections even more than ever. Bags can be dropped at the School  or at the Parish Rooms. More details attached”.

Bong. Diocese of Oxford sends out message encouraging people to fill in the Census Form on Sunday, which you’d be keen to do anyway- I wonder if my mousehole is registered as a residence?- but which will also delight the Bishop of Oxford and that is always a good thing to do.

Bong. Jean Vaughan says thank you so, so much to everyone who has been donating food and drink to the people at the RBH (and beyond) but she’s taken the last boxes to the RBH for the time being so we are pausing the collection- but please do keep looking out for people who work in stressful and difficult and vital places and do keep checking in on them.

Bong. Webinar to help older drivers keep driving safely for longer– do register if it applies to you- sadly, I can’t go because I could never reach the pedals with my paws while standing on top of the steering wheel and turning it with my feet.

Thursday 25th March – 10.30am to 12pm – ‘Advice and Support to Older Drivers’ (Open to all)

The chair and founder of the Older Drivers Forum, Rob Heard, said: “In these difficult times we wanted to be able to still communicate with the mature motorists and help them, especially when getting back to driving after the lockdown, so they can carry on driving safely for longer.
“We can all become complacent about our driving and often pick up bad habits, which if not addressed can increase our risk of an incident on the roads.
“These two webinars will help give advice on a number of subjects from confidence building appraisals to safe driving tips like dealing with roundabouts and night driving.“ This is the second time we have run webinars, the last were in November 2020, which were very popular, and feedback was excellent.

“These webinars were recorded and are still available to view on our website. One person who attended the webinar in November said it was ‘Extremely useful and informative. This is definitely one of the better webinars I’ve attended over the past few months, both in presentation and content.”

The webinars are FREE and have expert speakers as well as participants being able to ask questions. People will need to register their place for each webinar and this can be done by visiting

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