This is the time of year when many of us would be going on holiday but this year is so very different.

 Some have been prepared to face the virus and quarantine and have taken flights to other countries.



I love the hour before takeoff,

that stretch of time, no home

but the gray vinyl seats linked like

unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall

be summoned to the gate, soon enough

there'll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers

and perforated stubs - but for now

I can look at these ragtag nuclear families

with their cooing and bickering

or the heeled bachelorette trying

to ignore a baby's wail and the baby's

exhausted mother waiting to be called up early

while the athlete, one monstrous hand

asleep on his duffel bag, listens,

perched like a seal trained for the plunge.

Even the lone executive

who has wandered this far into summer

with his lasered itinerary, briefcase

knocking his knees - even he

has worked for the pleasure of bearing

no more than a scrap of himself

into this hall. He'll dine out, she'll sleep late,

a little hope, a little whimsy

before the loudspeaker blurts

and we leap up to become

Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.

                                                                          Rita Dove

Probably rather more people are taking a "staycation" and  those who are staying put may at least dream of holidays of long ago.

To step over the low wall that divides

Road from concrete walk above the shore

Brings sharply back something known long before -

The miniature gaiety of seasides.

Everything crowds under the low horizon:

steep beach, blue water, towels, red bathing caps,

The small hushed waves' repeated fresh collapse

Up the warm yellow sand, and further off

A white steamer stuck in the afternoon - 

Still going on, all of it, still going on!

To lie, eat, sleep in hearing of the surf

(Ears to transistors, that sound tame enough

Under the sky), or gently up and down

Lead the uncertain children, frilled in white

And grasping at enormous air, or wheel

The rigid old along for them to feel

A final summer, plainly still occurs

As half an annual pleasure, half a rite,

As when, happy at being on my own,

I searched the sand for Famous Cricketers,

Or, farther back, my parents, listeners

To the same seaside quack, first became known.

Strange to it now, I watch the cloudless scene:

The same clear water over smoothed pebbles,

The distant bathers' weak protesting trebles

Down at its edge, and then the cheap cigars,

The chocolate-papers, tea-leaves, and, between

The rocks, the rusting soup-tins, till the first

Few families start the trek back to the cars.

The white steamer has gone. Like breathed-on glass

The sunlight has turned milky, if the worst

Of flawless weather is our falling short,

It may be that through habit these do best,

Coming to the water clumsily undressed

Yearly; teaching their children by a sort

Of clowning; helping the old, too, as they ought.

                                                                                                Philip Larkin

To the Sea


The holiest of all holidays are those

Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;

The secret anniversaries of the heart,

When the full river of feeling overflows; - 

The happy days unclouded to their close;

The sudden joys that out of darkness start

As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart

Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!

White as the gleam of a receding sail,

White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,

White as the whitest lily on a stream,

These tender memories are; - a Fairy Tale

Of some enchanted land we know not where,

But lovely as a landscape in a dream.

                                                   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Enjoy the summer wherever that may be.

The life of Peter North will be commemorated in church on Tuesday the 11th August

before a limited group of family and friends.

There will be a memorial service for Jim Parrish on Friday the 14th August at Emmandjay Court

Remember them.

Ben Rhydding Methodist Church is open daily from 1.00 to 4.00pm as a quiet sanctuary 

and is now working hard to open its doors for services in September