A Community Farewell


Well, it had to happen eventually, didn’t it — time to leave this community. people who have welded themselves into our hearts, who know us well, have seen us in pajamas and no make up hanging up clothes, have lived through our tragedies and us theirs.

Friends who have shared the ghoulish parts of our lives, in confidence, who supported us through. Friends whom we awakened at 2 a.m. because our frozen water tank was about to flood the house, and had the knowledge to fix it – or anything else we couldn’t fix, day or night.  Friends who unwittingly bolstered our confidence on bad days, just by a greeting on the street.  Friends whom we knew were just there that anchored our souls.


Neighbours who’d sneak over to cut our hedge, weed our garden, or plant beautiful flowers in our borders while we were away.  Friends who were part of a larger community, and by knowing them we too were welcomed by their friends.  Neighbours who made our own street a special place to live, a community in itself.  Friends who prayed with us, stayed with us, and gave us confidence, comfort and a home.

Real human beings with their own loves– the butcher who won medals in ballroom dancing, the guy in the shop who was also a magician, the plasterer who could identify every bird song in our district, the nurse who cared for her husband all the way through his death, in their own home, the ex policewoman whose saxophone jazz melts the heart, the (probably) 12 year old who works from a shed in a redundant orchard and can fix any terrifying computer glitch I brought him.  All of them woven into a tapestry of love around us.

We arrived here 43 years ago, raw with fear from living in the fomenting revolution of Iran, not knowing a soul, not understanding the Bedfordshire accent nor its culture, penniless, with a three year old and a two week old baby. It has been a wonderful, wonderful adventure.  With deep, gut-wrenching sadness we say good by.

And hello to What’s Next?


Courgettes and Marrows

skin or unskinned?

August is the month when you lock your car for fear of being the recipient of yet another home grown courgette (zucchini) or marrow sneaked in on your back seat.

Here’s a totally Vegan dish that perks up the courgette considerably and probably a rather dull meal as well. I served this to a courgette-repellent family and they still love me. [Note: I seemed to have lost the photos of the end product, but it takes little imagination to visualise a cooked courgette!]

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds for a few seconds, until they start popping.  Add one chopped onion and a clove of chopped garlic.  When tender add a teaspoon of curry powder ½ teaspoon of coriander powder, ½ teaspoon  of ground turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon chilli powder or less) and saute until they smell cooked (just a few seconds).  Then add one courgette (zucchini) in cubes.  I did half with skin on, half without, but with skin on it keeps its shape better.  When tender, stir in about one tablespoon creamed coconut.  Season to taste. Nice with rice.

chuckling away in olive oil




  1. Dearest John and Judy, what a beautiful way to say goodbye – if only you knew how many lives you’ve touched, inspired and guided along that 43 year journey. You are two of the most special people we know, and with your move nearer to us (aren’t we the blessed ones!) we hope it won’t be long until we see you again 😘 God bless you and your new life, with all our love, Nicola, Peter, Ellie and Madeleine xx


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