Kimberly's fault. Let's invite Scottish Episcopal bloggers to Dunoon and take them to see the bluebells. I suspect the bluebells might have been an excuse for an alliteration, but they also gave us a starting point for a walk, and a picnic.
Of course, nothing goes entirely to plan. Who could have foreseen that Maximilian ( a dog) would decide to go back to the car, so that Rosemary and Kimberly had to go with him? Who would realise that Kelvin was fallible and would end up heading for Strachur? And why was this the first cloudy, damp day in two weeks so that the midges would attend our jaunt? However, undaunted by such setbacks, a good proportion of the SEC's finest viewed the bluebells in Kilmun Arboretum and ascended the Indiana Jonesworthy upper reaches of Puck's Glen (pictured).
It was great, as always, to put faces and voices to the names familiar from blog posts and comments. Many of us had been contributors to an Advent blog and a Lent blog in the past year, in such a way that we had learned more about each other than many people do in years of actual contact. And of course there was the repeated amusement of someone you feel you don't really know telling you they know all about what you've been doing recently or what you think about Christian Aid collecting - a right conversation-killer, you'd think, but no. Conversation flowed, except when the breath failed.
And at the end, a eucharist. Today was, apparently, St Catan's day; the site I've linked to is much less informative than was Rosemary's address but is the best I can find right now. However, it was also the first time I've ever felt so strongly the community connections made by blogging, as we came together in the wonderful exchange that is the eucharist and was the name of the blog where many of us comment. The church needs to embrace this form of communication far more ardently than it does at present, when too many of its senior figures shy away from the medium and seem to fear the openness and immediacy it brings.
But today we were blessed - by each other's company, by the bluebells, by sharing a picnic together and by our shared communion. Great idea, Kimberly - where to next?