Well, we're finally settling in up in Manchester, so I thought I'd better at least try and get back in to updating the ol' blog.
It's only been 4 months since I moved up (3 since Lorna joined me) but it feels like we've been here for ever. We've settled into a town called Altrincham, just south of Manchester city centre, which has trams into the city but it's own little town centre which is very well serviced for restaurants and bars. That might explain why we were so attracted to it!
We've joined a church, Altrincham Baptist Church, which is a large, vibrant family church with lots going on. We're slowly getting into going to house group and getting to know lots of new people who all seem very nice. I think I'll hold off getting involved with doing too much for the moment, until we get more settled, but we have already helped decorate a new community centre which the church is taking over.
Work is busy as ever! I'm based at Wigan hospital, working in the theatres and intensive care unit. I'm also sitting postgraduate exams (the Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists this time) - I recently passed one, quite miraculously, and I'm sitting another at the end of January which I don't have high hopes for (as always!)
Lorna is currently locumming as a GP, so spends lots of time trying to navigate around greater Manchester finding GP surgeries, which are usually in really obscure places! She starts a permanent job in February in Warrington in a lovely practice, so that's a real answer to prayer.
On a sadder note, my Grandad fell recently and broke his hip. Fortunately, Broomfield patched him up and he's on the mend now, but we're not really very sure about the future, whether he'll cope living with mum and dad, etc. That happening really made me miss Essex and being close to everyone.
We often wander how all is in Bicknacre and St Andrew's, and we continue to pray for everyone. In many ways we miss being so close, but we're so blessed in lots of other ways and joining another exciting and vibrant community and absence definitely makes us realise how much we love everyone down in Essex. Life really suits us up here and we can't wait to get involved in more stuff (and try out Altrincham's Michelin starred restaurant, Juniper). We've already had some visitors from Essex and we're looking forward to loads more, we've made an offer on a house near where we're renting a flat, and we're starting to make some friends here. The next step is to start to explore some of the amazing scenery up here, like the Peak District and the Lakes!
Thanks for all your prayers through what has been a busy and emotional time - I'll try and update a bit more regularly from now on! God bless...