Ice Cream Dream
Saturday, May 9th
Criccieth Castle, North Wales
It's a Bank Holiday! Let's go to the caravan, shall we? It's been sitting there, waiting for us to visit since last year. We could call at our favourite little cake shop as we arrive. Helena's home baked cakes are to die for. Not to mention her bare brith. Then we could pop over to Criccieth and see if Cadwalladers is open. Love their ice cream.
Careless of us to lose your parents, eh kids?
On the way home, we could pop down to Bodnant gardens. The Laburnum Arch must be glorious at the moment. Stop at Llanfairfechan for fish and chips and give Buzz a run along the coast. Sounds perfect.
Dream on. Ecclesfield Park to exercise Buzz and a much healthier diet here at home. Well, it would be if Jenny stopped baking and I stopped eating the results. No harm in dreaming.
Except that some poor folk are wondering where their next loaf of bread is coming from - never mind an ice cream.
We now have food banks stretched to their limits, as well as schools providing food for some of their children's families and other local initiatives providing meals for the homeless, the cash-strapped and NHS staff. We all knew the Universal Credit system wasn't working. Little wonder, then, that the promised grants and loans are coming out in dribs and drabs and food vouchers are just not being delivered.
So, instead of dreaming of my next holiday, I'm going to dream of being the next Chancellor!
Increase taxes so that we can all have a decent health service, social care system for the elderly and disadvantaged and so that those who can afford to pay a higher rate, increasing to the super rich. Stop tax havens and tax avoidance by the big businesses. A basic minimum income for families. Fair pay for all workers to reflect their true value to society rather than the economy. Pay a parent to stay at home with their children if they so choose.
The list is endless. And I dare say unrealistic - unless we become a caring society based on the highest values eschewed by people of all faiths and none. For too long, charities have been supporting the casualties resulting from governments and communities who have been too focussed on a better lifestyle for those who can rather than a decent lifestyle for all.
Learn to do right;seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
That was the call of the prophet Isaiah, nearly 3,000 years ago. And I've no doubt it is echoed by other prophets and visionaries - even occasionally by politicians. But like Jesus himself, they usually get a hard time from those with most to lose. When he spoke out in his own home town, echoing Isaiah's words, they threatened to throw Jesus off a cliff!
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good newsto the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
What we need today is a few less dreamers and more visionaries. And for people like me to give up some of my visits to Cadwalladers and share more of my time and resources with those for whom a holiday is pure fantasy.
Mother, Father God,
Give us a clearer vision of our calling to be Christ to each other.
Help us to give and not to count the cost.
Show us the worth of our neighbour in the value you placed on us in Jesus Christ,
who gave everything that we might know the things that make for peace.
Laburnum Arch at Bodnant Gardens, Conway Valley