This evening we arrived at the home of Sr Frances and her little dog Sioni. I felt very tired as we had travelled to a place called Cardiff.
It was a misty evening but the house was warm and we were made very welcome. We tethered our donkey and watched St Frances decorate a tree – it seems a very strange custom having a tree inside a house.
Sr Frances explained that the tree was a spruce and it came from a country called Norway although it reminded us of the cypresses on the banks of the River Jordan.
We rested whilst the tree was decorated with lovely coloured lights.
Sr Frances gave Jospeh a warm drink called mulled wine and I had a glass of milk. There was a sense of a great celebration that would soon be happening. As the night closed in we sat quietly and I looked at the star twinkling at the top of the tree and thought to myself that I would see this again very soon.
Joseph and I settled down to a quiet night wondering what tomorrow would bring.
Today was a lovely sunny winter’s day.
We spent it relaxing before moving on to our new hosts.
We arrived at our next stop just in time for tea. The donkey was stabled and fed and the hosts showed us a picture of the donkey they have ‘adopted’ called Timothy. He looks a lot like ours. It reminded us how hardworking donkeys are around the world, often providing essential help to poor families. I don’t know how we would have managed this trip without ours.
We spent the evening cathing up with a dance programme called ‘Strictly’. Very loud and sparkly!
We arrived at our next stop after Sunday service. We were a bit delayed because we had stayed at church to help our hostess with the Sunday School’s talents – something called a Lucky Dip.
There is a little girl living at this house who keeps asking if we are going to Bethlehem. She also has lots of questions about why Joseph has a stick to walk, and why we have no shoes on. I wonder if my son will be so inquisitive.
We are being well looked after. We shall rest here for one evening before we travel a short distance to our next stop.
After our much needed rest and sleep, this morning we have to get ready to start our long journey to Bethlehem. We had a lovely breakfast, then helped to feed to beautiful wild birds in the garden of the Heath household, among them there was one white dove.
Joseph and I have stayed in many warm, welcoming houses in the town of Newport and saying farewell to them all is sad, but my time of giving birth to our very special child, I feel, is drawing near.
We say a fond farewell to our hosts and carry on to our next place of rest.