Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

The rain showers have been welcome over the last week to enable the garden produce to flourish, although my lawn in places is still very brown. All the vegetables are coming along nicely, with the potatoes ready to be harvested. The soft fruits are coming along now so in the week we enjoyed some stewed gooseberries with ice cream. Black currants are being saved up to make jam, I find this one of the most popular jams. Pat has made a small amount of mixed fruit jam, which I think will be given away to the family. The blackberries are forming well and should be ripe perhaps at the end of next week. Courgettes are appearing, I know that some of you in the south of the Province will tell me that you may be harvesting these already but we are about four or five weeks behind you in the growing season.

As usual, we have been watching the tennis from Wimbledon, which I find entertaining at times. Pat gets carried away, especially when the British players are on view. I hear, “ What a twit, why do want to play that shot,” Or maybe, “ Oh Andy, why did you miss that sitter.” And many others on a similar line. It does enliven the proceedings though. All in all though the standard of tennis is very high and worth watching.

During the week I was able to purchase a napkin which has been designed for the 2026 Festival, it looks good and the proceeds will help to boost the Festival funds. If you would like one I am sure that there will be someone at one of the Mark or RAM Lodge meetings who can supply your want. I understand that the Festival funds are still accumulating but in my opinion the regular giving is perhaps best, It does not suit everyone but I personally have now reached the next level of honorific without feeling it a burden. Only a small thought which I pass on.

We are now over covid but I keep hearing of so many of you who have picked up the virus. Please, oh Please, be as cautious as you are able in order to try and avoid catching covid.  I repeat the old record, please keep those lines of communication open, pick up the phone and give someone a call. If possible take a brother that you have not seen for a while out for coffee or invite him to your home.

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