This picture of a beautiful Christmas flower arrangement attached to one of the ancient pillars in our church was taken before I heard that my so-called friend has signed us both up to the flower arranging rota.
I love professional, flowers through the post, delivered flowers, flowers online, whatever - you know, where they come ready arranged in a basket or vase or their own clever water reserve in the plastic.
But I am no flower arranger.
Apart from the uneasy feeling that simply by being on a flower arranging rota I am properly middle aged now, I am terrified that on my weeks the congregation will not be focussing on the sermon but instead will be gazing at a badly arranged collection of mismatched shrubs shoved willy-nilly into oasis and wondering what muppet was let loose on the flowers this week. Yes, that would be me.
But I will do it. Partly because I know me and my friend will have a hoot even trying to make our arrangements look halfway OK but mainly because if not me, then who?
Jobs like church cleaning, flower arranging and churchyard tidy-ups and non-church jobs like hospital lifts, hospice visiting, charity shop volunteering is traditionally done by older people who maybe because they were wartime and post-war babies, grew up with service and duty as very much part of their culture.
But we are different. Our lives are busy. Seven day working, seven day shopping, 24 hour entertainment on tap - it's easy to forget that someone has to give up me-time to do this stuff. I grew up through the me-me-me boom years where it was all about amassing property and "stuff". Thankfully we seem to be coming back round to appreciating "old-fashioned values." Community is important, especially to me, so I will do my bit.
So if you happen to be on a day trip and you pop in for a wander round a pretty country church and notice drooping daffs amidst browning privet in the arrangements - be kind - it's probably my latest creation!