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Friday 30 October 2015

Deep joy

Friday evening in my house is usually a very special time.  Fridays I dash around trying to get up-to-date with the housework but sometime around four or five o'clock I will draw the curtains, go through to my bedroom, put on a clean outfit (sometimes just fresh nightclothes) and let my Sabbath begin.

I have always been fascinated by the rhythm of activity and rest - indeed when I was training for ministry my dissertation was "Is to retreat to advance or to escape?"  When I retired I thought that my life would be mostly about quietness and structured periods of withdrawal would be unnecessary.  To my surprise I have found a new depth, a new joy in these Sabbaths of  intentional seclusion.  

We all need to "have our souls restored". For me that definitely involves taking time out just to be with God.   For some it might be playtime with children or grandchildren, it might be kicking leaves or collecting conkers, it might be baking a cake or painting a picture.  We need regular times to look forward to as "me time" and to look back on as time well spent.  For busy mums the idea of playing with children being "me time" might provoke hollow laughter or for those who are lonely and housebound a day of seclusion may have little appeal.  

But the idea of seeking joy, that deep emotion beyond mere happiness should never be lost in the humdrum-ness of everyday life.  So in a few minutes my Sabbath will begin

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Place names

On my recent holiday to Cornwall I was intrigued by some of the place names.  Not far from where I was staying there was the delightfully named Indian Queens.  The most likely reason for that place name was a pub of the same name but of course there are other stories with a bit more romance about them.

I passed by Playing Place.  Doesn't that sound a fun place to visit?  My imagination ran riot imagining endless hopscotch or merry-go-rounds!  It wasn't far from the King Harry Ferry.  I wonder if His Majesty was ever the ferryman

Who would have expected to find a Camel Trail in Cornwall but there it was!  It was originally the site of two railway lines but now it's a trail for walkers and cyclists to follow near to the River Camel.  It would be lovely to imagine it as a silk route, with ships of the desert carrying exotic wares deep in the Cornish countryside.

Don't for a moment think that Cornwall has the only odd place names though.  My last parish included the less-than-delightfully-named Spital in the Street.

And it wasn't far from New York!

Sunday 25 October 2015

Name that anniversary

It's been quite a year for centennials.

18th June  was the Octocentenary of the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215;

14th November will see the Tricentenary of the Battle of Preston when the Jacobite Rebellion under the Old Pretender was ended in 1715;

18th June was the Bicentenary of the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 and thus the end of the Napoleonic Wars;

and 16th September was the Centenary of the first meeting of the Women's Institute in the UK at Llanfairpwllgwynyll. 

But today is the Sexcentenary of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. 

I wonder what 2015 will be remembered for?

Saturday 24 October 2015

A lovely Saturday

I am well and truly home from my holiday now so today I went to Mandy's for a day making cards.  The theme of the day was trees.  Here are the results  although I think I am better at making cards than I am at photography!
Stars and trees

Greetings of the Season
Trees in the snow
A peaceful scene (my joint favourite)

A new technique for me (looks better as a card than as a photo)

Winter scene (my other joint favourite)

Thursday 22 October 2015

Back to Eden (2)

According to Genesis Adam and Eve didn't have any children whilst they were in Eden.  When I visited the Eden Project I wished I had children with me!

There was a story teller who told wonderful stories of mermaids and of spices.

There were exciting little paths, far too small for boring old grown-ups to enter

and muddy paths, just right for little feet.

There were sculptures to stimulate a child's mind

and traditional games to exercise their bodies.

so even if the grown ups wanted to look at boring old plants and trees there are things dear to young minds in Eden.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Back to Eden 1

There are some welcomes that you remember for ever and the welcome I had at Eden Project a few days ago was truly memorable!

The welcome from the humans was good - but the welcome from the birds was great.  I decided to have a late breakfast of coffee and Danish in the terrace restaurant in the Mediterranean biome and I soon had several twittering friends demanding their share.

The cheekiest of course was the robin.  He came right up to the plate.

The blackbirds weren't far behind.  The females especially were very determined to get their share and they saw off several other feathered diners.  

Shyest of my table companions were the finches.  For a long time they sat on nearby chairs and watched the shemozzle at the table but when the others weren't looking they too came and shared my Danish pastry.

The waitress told me that the birds had been born in the biome and never left it.  I felt that I was the guest, invited to the birds' table but that it was a bring-and-share meal.

I have to confess I had a second Danish - but only because I wanted to share it with the birds.  Honest

Thursday 8 October 2015


No posts for a few days.  Things are happening.  Life and all that.  But it's all nice!