Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Having mentioned the damage to the fencing, the garden is coming along nicely, the aconites are in bloom, together with the snowdrops, at last. Daffodils are raising their heads and we can see the flowers forming, I hope that these winds have not caused too much damage to them. Buds are forming on the bushes and there is colour appearing once again so we look forward to a nice spring. To try and advance my knowledge I was a guest of my wife at the Chilbolton and Wherwell gardening Club in the week. A talk was given on dahlias by a gentleman who is a dahlia grower in Sherfield English. I did not appreciate that there are so many varieties and shapes of dahlias. It was also interesting to learn that in some areas the tubers are used as food.

During this week we have watched some of the Winter Olympics and have admired the skill of the competitors taking part. I do not think that Pat or I will be having a go at these disciplines at all. One has to admire the speed in which the ice skaters manoeuvre around the rink, the skill of those involved with the curling in being able, most times, to place the stone exactly where they have been asked. Then we come to the skiers who, like everyone else, give of their all, even to the extent of being able to shoot well during their events. There are some who are not just content to ski, they actually throw themselves into the air and carry out acrobatic movements, I do admire their skill and dedication.

It is still necessary to be cautious in looking after ourselves. Understandably some do not feel confident in attending meetings and wish to protect themselves or family. Numbers are down in attendance and most meetings find themselves at the last minute having to fill offices due to late cancellations through covid. This is, I suspect, going to happen for quite a few months yet. It does though bring homed to me, having witnessed this, how much masonry is a team effort with everyone trying to give of their best in testing circumstances, and in a friendly manner, We are all in this together, where have I heard that before!!

Please, please, keep up the communication with other brethren, it is so important, that telephone call can mean so much.

Look after your selves and your loved ones.

Best wishes, will be in touch again soon.

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