Mid June and the garden is taking on its height and thicket-like Summer look.  It is so easy to miss things that last a few days and then are gone.  But, the obvious elements of the deanery garden are its soft fruit and the herbaceous bed.  The first is going to be very productive this year with an excellent set on all bushes, being rounded off by the busy bees working the raspberries to good effect.  Helen wonders how we will cope with such largesse in the weeks when we are busy with the move.  We shall see.

Just now, at 6.15 a.m. on a cool early morning 16th June, I am sitting on the garden bench considering the strawberries ripening around me.  We’ll have one or two of those with the breakfast cereal.  It’s the noise that is so prevalent at the moment.  There are magpies and pigeons periodically seriously competing with the traffic on the Malone Road as the prominent sound, but behind, and continuously are the songbirds.  Our own family of blue tits, some days from the nest, but still feeding together with much twittering, but in the bushes and trees that surround the small patch of open ground at the back of the deanery, there are robins and great tits and other small birds.  A jackdaw rests on a redundant satellite dish as blackbirds move from tree to tree, and still a dozen or so bees work on from flower to flower, undisturbed as a high-powered vehicle exceeds the speed limit by some way, unseen, but 100 m away.

6.30 a.m. and the traffic noise is increasing.  The first planes will be taking off soon from George Best Airport and another day begins.  This is my 400th blog, I recall, as a motorbike zooms up the road, a train in the distance announces its presence and I type on; on what has become an almost indispensable tool – my laptop.

What complex lives we lead; what activity there is around us; how many words written and spoken do we get through every day?  Even at this hour there is so much happening – yes, the air is rent by the first flight.  I can’t see the carrier, the cloud is too low. but it will be full of business people, family visitors, holiday-makers, wondering have they got everything, who will be trying to get them on their phones – and for some, and let us spare them a prayer now – they will be carrying a burden of personal sorrow or worry.  Yes another day begins.  Pray God it brings happiness to lives too; and fulfilment; and thankfulness for the amazing world of which we are a part.