Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

I have been pleasantly surprised by the comments that have been made to me regarding our garden. Over the last 16/18 months this has been a great help to Pat as she loves her gardening. We are still enjoying fresh raspberries and blackberries, sweetcorn and a small amount of courgettes. The spring bulbs have been planted, we have quite a few of these in different varieties and sizes. Wild birds have graced the garden, including gold finches, many sparrows and some robins. The other day one robin flew into the dining room area through the open patio door, Pat gently caught it and released back into the garden. Unfortunately all is not rosy as a cat has the habit of stalking birds in the trees and caching them, leaving many feathers on the lawn. Pat is upset by this but that is nature. The lawn was beginning to show signs of dryness but thankfully to the recent rain it has returned to a healthy green.

I have attended masonic meetings over the last few weeks, always there has been a very warm and welcoming ambience but very noticeably, numbers appear down from normal. This is understandable as some brethren are still cautious in meeting together and wish to stay safe. Patience is the order of the day touched with tolerance and understanding. Hopefully things will seem better in the spring, some are not looking towards the winter when colds and flu are to the fore. Let us hope that there is not too much of this around though.

Thankfully Pat and I have received our flu jabs and our booster vaccinations. This does not make us immune but it has done much for our confidence. We still have brethren, their spouses and families who are suffering sickness both in mind and body, some for long periods.  They are in our thoughts and prayers and where possible we offer best wishes for a speedy recovery. On the bright side, Official Visits have recommenced so that the Active Officers of the year can take the opportunity to meet with you face to face once again. The reception of such teams has been excellent and appears to be appreciated by all. I am looking forward to see as many of you as I can over the next few weeks.

I will be in touch again soon, in the meantime, look after yourselves and your loved ones, keep safe.

Best Wishes to you all.

 Malcolm Lloyd, G.S.D., Prov. Grand Almoner