I havn't done much pastoral visiting of late....the term implies that you are doing good, visiting someone who needs a visitor to make them feel better...
Over the last year or two I have had quite a lot of people paying me a pastoral visit...or David. We quickly found that some visitors were more welcome than others....my husband had a fairly low tolerance to some people and I was instructed to repel boarders at times!
Too much sympathy offered in lowered dramatic tones were a definite turn off, he much preferred a good crack...lots of laughter or gossip went down very well!
I am now getting out and about again visiting old friends not seen in years....it's not pastoral in any way except that it's doing me good rather than the visitee.
I learn weird things as I go along...and am asked odd questions...."Once ashes have been buried can they be recovered to be put somewhere else? "
"The lady down the road is moving....why don't you buy her house?"
"Is the sea temperature safe to swim in yet?"
Lots of offers of food and drink come my way and it's very hard to explain that my appetite is still that of a bird and a small one at that!
I am astonished that several people I've visited recently have got postal votes and have already voted....I suppose it makes sense if you can't easily get to a polling station!
Getting around the villages here is always pleasant....and one day soon I will resume an old habit....I will put on a swimming costume and go to sit on the slipway in the next village with all the other old ladies to take the sun, swim a little and listen to all the village news (code for gossip)
It's remarkable what you learn in that situation...and as the election is now close it's fascinating to hear who people are voting for or have voted for already...
One of my widowed friends has recently acquired a new bloke in her life....courtesy dictates that no one asks too many questions...but yesterday she finally gave us some information...
"All I'm going to say is.....he is Cornish" The replies to this can not be repeated here but this news will keep an entire village in speculation for days! Viva la difference!