Tomorrow’s “reflection” – Assumptions

January 4th, 2014

Just in case anyone might be interested, here is the text of my sermon for tomorrow.
The readings are: Ephesians:3:1-12 & Matthew 2:1-12

In the interests of honesty, (& so he doesn’t get cross with me!)  I must admit that I have rather over egged Mr D’s use of GPS. He’s not really like this, but I thought it good to give a more “personal” tone to the anecdote.



I’m sure that many of you know the story of the devout Christian who was caught up in a terrible flood. As the flood waters rose, & edged over his front step, he sat in his living room prayed that God would save him. Shortly after, his friends came past in a 4×4 car

“Do you need a hand?” they called

“No, it’s fine! God will save me,” he replied.

The flood waters continued to rise, and the Christian retreated to his bed room on the first floor, where he doubled his prayers. The rescue services came past in their boat

“Come on, sir!” they entreated.

“No, it’s fine. God will save me,” came the reply.

As the flood got higher, the Christian was forced to climb onto his roof, still praying, still trusting that God would save him. A helicopter hovered above, a rope ladder dangling.

“Sir! Climb the ladder!”

“No, it’s fine. God will save me.”

Soon after, the man was engulfed by the flood, and drowned. Standing before God, he asked:

“Lord: I trusted you. I prayed and yet you did not save me from the flood – why ever not?”

And God sighed deeply, and said: “My child, I sent you a 4×4, a boat and a helicopter. What more did you want?!”


The problem was that the Christian had made an assumption about how God was going to save him, and when things didn’t pan out the way he expected he didn’t recognise that it was still God’s work. God’s hand was there in the 4×4, in the boat, in the helicopter, but the man did not see it. He wanted to limit God to saving him in one particular way.I’m sure we all do this: we assume that God will work in the way we expect, and in so doing our eyes are closed to all other possibilities.


Early Christians unfortunately fell into this trap: they firmly believed that the saving power of the Messiah, the Christ, was for the Jewish people only. All through their history, the Jews had lived, sure that they were God’s chosen people, and as Jewish people accepted Jesus as the Messiah, they had developed this conviction into the belief that to be a part of the early church meant that one had to be circumcised and follow the Jewish Law.


They tried to keep God’s love and grace in a box, tied up firmly with the label “Just for Us”. And on the other side “Not for You”. They wanted to limit God, because they were sure that God would only work in the way that they expected Him to work… Early Jewish Christians took it for granted that God-become-man would be the fulfilment of God’s promise to the Chosen People – and no-one else.


Paul however was convinced that this was incorrect: he was sure that God’s saving grace was open to all, Jew, Gentile, man, woman, slave and free. Paul was open to the limitless possibilities of God’s love. As verse 6 of the reading from Ephesians says: “The mystery (made known to me) is that through the Gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together with one body and sharers together in the promise of Christ Jesus”


Unfortunately, if we make assumptions about God and about what he wants there are usually consequences: for our Christian in the flood, the consequence was drowning. For the early church, the consequence was a rather ugly and unedifying dispute between Paul and Peter, with the early Christians taking sides and possibly not showing themselves in a particularly good light.


For the Magi, making their way to welcome the newborn King of the Jews, their assumption meant that they almost lost their way, and that the terror of a powerful despot led to the needless death of many children.


The Magi had started on their journey probably many months previously, having seen a strange star, or some mysterious activity in the heavens above. We know little about these men, save that they came from the East, that they brought three gifts and that they were Magi – though exactly what this means is a mystery. Possibly they were magicians; possibly they were astrologers who made their living through studying the stars. But whoever and whatever they were, they knew that they had seen something important, and they followed the star to find this King of the Jews.


So far, so good. But it appears that, wise as they were, they started to make assumptions about this King, and this led them into trouble. I can’t help feeling that if they had kept their eye on the star, and believed what they were seeing then they would not have got lost, but instead they decided that they knew better, and so they veered off track.


It sounds rather like my husband and the sat-nav system in the car. He types in the destination, and begins to follow the instructions; however, the GPS gives him a direction that seems to defy all logic, and so Andrew decides that it must be wrong, and he starts to go off on his own plan of action. Of course, within minutes he is either hopelessly lost, or caught up in a traffic jam that the sat-nav system, with all its technological wizardry and access to up-to-date traffic news knew all about and was trying to avoid.


So it was with the Magi: the star was taking them to some small, nondescript town called Bethlehem, but “Oh, no, that can’t be right. This is a King’s star we’re following; we must be meant to go to Jerusalem.” They didn’t believe what they had seen, they took their eye off what was leading them in the right direction and they ended up being duped and almost giving Herod the opportunity to kill the newborn child who he feared so much. And he feared the child because he presumed that anyone with the label “King of the Jews” must be a threat to his throne.


Herod, and the Jewish people, and the Magi and so many other people had all made assumptions and they had all got it wrong. Suetonius, a Roman historian wrote of the time “Throughout the whole of the east there spread the old and persistent belief that destiny had decreed that at that time men coming forth from Judea would seize power and rule the earth”


They all took it for granted that anyone born King of the Jews would be all- powerful, and for Herod this meant his reign was threatened. No wonder he was terrified when he heard the news that the Magi brought. No wonder he wanted to find out more about this child, and called all his advisors together to consult their knowledge. Herod made the assumption that this baby, foretold by prophets throughout history, was going to usurp him – and he was sure he was going to stop that from happening! So, he showed the Magi that they were mistaken, and set them on their journey once more. And, miraculously it seems, as soon as they left the palace, as soon as they accepted that they had made an error, there was the star again, the sign from God, showing them the way they should be going


And when they arrived where God wanted them to be, they found that all their beliefs and speculations about this child, born to be King of the Jews, were turned on their heads. Instead of a rich palace, hung about with silks and velvets, they found a poor house; instead of a prince, waited on by servants and nursemaids, and clothed in beautiful fabrics, they met a mother and her child, wrapped in nothing more than any other ordinary baby; but instead of turning away in disgust and saying “That’s no King” they fell to their knees and worshipped him. Once brought face-to-face with the Truth all their assumptions meant nothing, everything they thought they knew was turned upside down, and they recognised that being King of the Jews didn’t mean seizing power and ruling the earth, as Suetonius had imagined, but rather it meant something much more incredible: it meant God becoming human and living among us.


And this is what God does: he takes our assumptions and he challenges them. For the early church, so fixed on the idea that all who followed Jesus should also follow the Levitical Laws, God sent Paul to preach and to teach that God’s love was not limited to one particular group of people; for the Magi, believing that the King of the Jews could only be born in a palace, God led them to a mean house, and a baby by whom not just the Jews, but the entire world could be made whole – and on seeing this child, they fell to their knees in wonder and in reverence.


And you? And me? What assumptions do we make about God and his plan for the world? Do we look at other people and think that they don’t deserve our concern because they are poor, or drunk, or drug addicted? Do we imagine that because oppression, and violence and injustice are happening in another country then it is no concern of ours?


And what assumptions do we make about God and his plan for us? Do we try to limit God because we are scared, or because we don’t like the direction we are being taken in? Do we think that words from the Gospel that make us feel uncomfortable are not directed at us? Do we take our eyes off God, and imagine that we know what he wants of us – only to find that we have gone in the wrong direction?


If our flooded Christian had not been so sure he knew how God would save him, he would have been rescued. When Andrew finally accepts that his GPS is guiding him in the correct way, and trusts in its technology, we quickly find our way through the countryside to our destination. When Peter and the early Jewish Christians stopped trying to limit God, listened to Paul’s words and opened themselves to the truth of God, they understood that God’s love was not confined to one group of people, but instead was open to all. When the Magi followed the star to its resting place, without thinking that they knew better, they discovered the son of God in human form. When we keep our eyes on God, and listen to him, instead of assuming that we know what he desires of us, then that is when he can finally start using us to bring his Kingdom to earth. Let God challenge you, instead of you trying to limit God.

Wishing you…

January 1st, 2014

… a 2014 full of love, laughter and blessings.

With thanks to God for work, for health and for enough to live on… for friends and family here and across the world… for dear Mr D and our lovely cats…for the beauty of this world…for forgiveness of past failings, and blessings to come…for the strength to see through the pain and sorrow…for love, for laughter…


It’s beginning to feel a bit like…

December 30th, 2013

…back to normal, again!


This is a funny time of year, between Christmas and 31st…It seems almost like a week of Sundays, and I get a bit confused about what day it is. All the hype and excitement about Christmas is over, and as we don’t really celebrate New Year, we are almost back to normal. There are a few bits and bobs to use up – some escargot vol-au-vents in the freezer, a packet of smoked salmon, the end of the Christmas cake, a small box of luxury biscuits, half a box of chockies – but mostly we’re done. I may buy something special for tomorrow night – maybe a nice piece of steak – but otherwise 31st will be like most other days/nights.

Perhaps I should do a retrospective of last year, as some bloggers do; perhaps I should look forward to 2014, as Ange from my Opening Doors weekend is encouraging us to do – choose a word ! make a promise to yourself! define your goals! I get a bit squirmy when asked to do things like this, but maybe I’ll try to do it tomorrow. Ange pointed us towards something developed by Susannah Conway, called “Unravelling the Year Ahead” which is a guided workbook-type-thing which focusses your thoughts on the year ahead…When considering doing it I felt rather apprehensive: all a bit touchy-feely, too “egotistic”, perhaps? I can’t really define how I feel about it, but I think “reluctant” is certainly one word I’d use. I wonder why?!


Anyhow, today I wrote a sermon – the first for a good few years! – and went for a walk. It was a good walk: I had to force myself a little, but once I was out in the fresh air it was good. I didn’t see much of the scenery around me as I always have to watch where I’m putting my feet, but when I paused to puff it was good. There were a lot of trees obviously uprooted by the wind, so I had to do quite a bit of scrambling over tree trunks, pushing my way through branches, or diverting myself around root balls. I’m glad I went.


For dinner I’m going to make a pie with the last few bits of wild boar, plus mushrooms and onions. Not much meat, I fear, but hopefully tasty all the same. I thought I had a pork steak in the freezer that I could add to the mix, but it appears I was mistaken. Never mind – a bit of meat and lots of veggies – nothing wrong with that!



A breath of Christmas air.

December 26th, 2013

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Day. Ours was very quiet, but enjoyable, spent together, enjoying good food, each others’ company and some radio listening and some TV watching. I meant to go for a walk but never quite managed it!!


My planned Christmas Eve post of an extra poem was published, but not here, as the Wibsite was being uncooperative. I posted it on my other blog, so if you didn’t find it, you might want to go over to Fat Dormouse to read Dorothy Parker’s beautiful poem “Praer for a New Mother”. I think it is so sad, and thought provoking, and catches the haunting beauty mingled with fear that I’m sure would have been in Mary’s heart throughout her life as the mother of the God-become-man who was Jesus.


So, for a breath of Christmas air, here is a photo of the Santon collection of a friend of mine:


Every year we send them a new Santon. As thery have all the main cast – Holy Family, Shepherds, Kings – I’ve been sending animals (you can see this year’s sheep and cat combo in the photo) but I think that next year I will start to add the more traditional Provencal figures to the mix. The photo was taken before Christmas Day, so the Christ child has not yet arrived.



Our Festive cheer continues with a lunch with Monique & Michel across the square, and then evening drinks-and-nibbles with friends up the hill. I have a haunch of wild boar marinading for another festive lunch on Saturday…And I wonder why the doctor tells me I have to lose weight?! (Actually, I don’t wonder at all – but that’s to be considered another time!!)




And finally, for a little bit of Christmas romance, you need to pop over to read Kezzie’s blog. 

Just married, her Honey is giving her 12 Christmas gifts…yesterday was a partridge and a pear tree (ready-to-cook & ready-to-plant). Today has been a Christmas decoration in the form of two turtle doves… I can’t wait to see how he interprets the rest of the song. I think it is just wonderful and romantic and lovely!

A Pause in Advent N°4: The Wicked Fairy…

December 22nd, 2013

Oh, I’m a happy bunny! I was at church this morning – for those of you who don’t know, I’ve recently started going to the American Episcopalian church in Clermont Ferrand each month. Unfortunately it’s too far to go every week, but when I go, it makes me happy! – for the Christingle service…lots of children doing a nativity (with a real baby! And a plump little Angel Gabriel, who leant over the pulpit with a baleful glare at the congregation)  prayers led by the youth group, and rousing carols. Anyway, Father Rob (or Rob, as I call him from my not-quite-that-high church background) is on holiday after Christmas and has asked me if I will preach on 5th January. I’m so happy to be able to do so. Big smile. I’m already thinking about it!!

Pause in Advent Logo

Anyway,  we are here to pause. And for my not-quite-final poem I have another by U.A. Fanthorpe. This really is one of my favourite Christmas poems. However, I found another last week which I also love, so I woud like to share that with you on Christmas Eve…so I hope that you will find time to pop in sometime on Christmas Eve to read it.


But for now:

The Wicked Fairy at the Manger

by U.A. Fanthorpe

My gift for the child:

No wife, kids, home;

No money sense. Unemployable.

Friends, yes. But the wrong sort –

The workshy, women, wogs,

Petty infringers of the law, persons

With notifiable diseases,

Poll tax collectors, tarts;

The bottom rung.

His end?

I think we’ll make it

Public, prolonged, painful.

Right, said the baby. That was roughly

What we had in mind.

Really there’s not much more to say, except Thank You.

Pause in Advent N°3: BC-AD

December 16th, 2013

I’m so glad that so many people found the poem last week so resonant – different people commented on different phrases that rang out for them in particular. It wasn’t a poem I knew, but it has already become quite a favourite for this time of the year. When I have a little more time over Christmas, I may try art journalling it, so I can keep it.

This week and next week I am sharing two poems with you by the same author. Next week’s is an absolute firm favourite, but this week’s is one that is becoming loved. “This was the moment when Before turned to After” – a line resonant with mystery, but which refers to an event which for so many at the time was really a non-event:


by U.A.Fanthorpe

This was the moment when Before

Turned into After, and the future’s

Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.

This was the moment when nothing

Happened. Only dull peace

Sprawled boringly over the earth.

This was the moment when even energetic Romans

Could find nothing better to do

Than counting heads in remote provinces.

And this was the moment

When a few farm workers and three

Members of an obscure Persian sect

Walked haphazard by starlight straight

Into the kingdom of heaven.

This was the moment when a few farm workers and three members of an obscure Persian sect walked haphazard by starlight straight into the kingdom of heaven.

I love that line . It rolls on the tongue. But also it reminds us that those who first visited Jesus weren’t the high and mighty of the land, but rather lowly farm workers, who had been shivering out on the hillside, and three – well, three what? We don’t really know: were they rich Kings with a large entourage, or were they astronomers? seekers after truth? Whoever they were, they had followed a star that had led them somewhere unexpected.

They had gone, all confident that they knew the right place, to the palace. They had a prophecy, they knew that the baby born to be King would be born in a great house, and so – maybe ignoring what the star was telling them (“No, that can’t be right; it must be here”) – they followed their own line of reasoning.  But they were wrong – and, in fact, their mistake had tragic consequences, as Herod learned of a possible threat to his throne and made sure (or so he thought) that the “false” King was slaughtered.

And then they were led to an unexpected corner of a misbegotten town, where God turned everything upside down, challenged belief that Kings mean power, and pomp and circumstance, and led them “haphazard by starlight” into the Kingdom of God.

If we allow him to, that is where He will lead us too: in our bustle and hurry, and panic, and our long-held beliefs that we must have this and this at Christmas, that it won’t be right if we don’t do this, we need to let God lead us, haphazard, into the moment of peace and stillness and quiet in that dark stable when the Kingdom of Heaven was made open and accessible to all.

Pause in Advent Logo

Pause in Advent N°2: Bells Ringing

December 8th, 2013


Another Sunday in Advent; another poem. I said I was going to share some of my favourite poems: well, this one is not a poem that I knew before yesterday. I was searching for another poem when I came across this one, and something leapt from the page and made me say “Yes!”

So today I bring you:



by Leonard Clark

I heard bells ringing

Suddenly all together, one wild, intricate figure,

A mixture of wonder and praise

Climbing the winter-winged air in December.

Norwich, Gloucester, Salisbury, combined with York

To shake Worcester and Paul’s into the old discovery

Made frost-fresh again.

I heard these rocketing and wound-remembering chimes

Running their blessed counterpoint

Round the mazes of my mind,

And felt their message brimming over with love,

Watering my cold heart,

Until, as over England hundreds of towers trembled

Beneath the force of Christmas rolling out,

I knew, as shepherds and magi knew,

That all sounds had been turned into one sound,

And a single golden bell,

Repeating, as knees bowed, the name EMMANUEL.

“watering my cold heart”…”the old discovery made frost-fresh again”…”the winter-winged air”…”rocketing and wound-remembering chimes”

What beautiful words, knitted together to form a poem that shakes me a little from my torpor, that starts the chiming of that one insistent bell to echo through my insularity: Emmanuel: God with Us. The time of his coming is near and we should shake off our world weariness and ready ourselves to welcome him here. Let us tremble “beneath the force of Christmas rolling out”… Let us recognise that once more the Lord of Life comes leaping and dancing into our world to bring joy and peace and vibrancy.

Wot you said, over ‘ere

December 5th, 2013

I’ve already managed to address people’s comments over at Fat Dormouse, but I’d like to address some of your lovely comments here too.

So: Pompom, Elizabeth and Mags commented on my Pause in Advent post – Mags enjoying sitting with the animals, and remembering again that God accepts us and uses us just as we are, Pompom contemplating our need to learn to love, and Elizabeth appreciating the simplicity and message of “Eddi’s Service” Although, on the face of it, it is a fairly dum-de-dum poem, I find there is something that lingers in the memory.

It’s funny how blogging every day in November took hold of me – I was determined to do it, but as I said on “Summing it up” I did feel rather banal at times. Kim thought it was an achievement – I’m not sure it ranks that highly, Kim, but still…! I hope you enjoy my Pause in Advent too. Faithful Mags & Pmpom told me how much they appreciated my posts; well, I certainly appreciated their comments!


My new snow boots post rang a bell – Angela contemplating her lack of snowboots, & both she and Mags agreeing that in the depths of winter bedsocks are a necessity. I would definitely sign up to that! If I have cold feet I can’t sleep, and I am more prone to cramp. I have a wide choice of bedsocks!


Mags told me about her love for Murder Mysteries.  I belonged to a theatre company (The Really Horrid Production company) who acted out (and involved the audience!) in Murder Mysteriers in restaurants around Milton Keynes. I loved it because (a) it was acting/ improvisation (b) we got paid (c) I didn’t need to learn lines (d) we got given food. What’s not to like?!


Mary Katherine & Mags commented on my exploding tin of condensed milk story – Mr D certainly wasn’t amused. And we are still finding blobs of toffee sauce in odd places! The latest was on November’s page of the kitchen calendar – only discovered as our fingers stuck to the page as we turned to December! I think Mags’ suggestion of the patisserie for next time is a good one – I went to a very posh patissier yesterday. The cakes were NOT cheap, but they were absolutely gorgeous!

Here’s the display of cakes


Here’s the shop

Mags & Pompom commented on the photos of my walk with Cathy…Mags even made the tiniest suggestion that she’d like to be there in person. Well, let me say here, Mags, we’d love to welcome you here!  Blogging really has made me feel that I am friends with people I’ve never met – and then when I do meet them, I discover that they are even nicer that I imagined them to be!

So, there we have it. Some of my comments on your comments.

How true that is! Forgive me for not being as faithful in MY commenting.

A Pause in Advent #1: Eddi’s Service

December 1st, 2013

Pause in Advent Logo

Like several people, I’m joining in with Floss’s “Pause In Advent”. You can go to her site to read other blogger’s takes on the Advent season – some thinking about their family traditions, others taking a theme to follow through the weeks leading to Christmas.


Over the past years I have taken various themes – last year I blogged about my favourite secular songs, plus associated art journalling, other years I chose a word, or a decoration to blog about. This year, I have decided to blog about my favourite seasonal poems.

Today I want to introduce you to Eddi’s Service by Rudyard Kipling.

Eddi, priest of St. Wilfrid, in his chapel at Manhood End, ordered a midnight service for such as cared to attend.

But the Saxons were keeping Christmas, and the night was stormy as well. Nobody came to service, though Eddi rang the bell.

“Wicked weather for walking,” said Eddi of Manhood End. “But I must go on with the service for such as care to attend.”

The altar-lamps were lighted, an old marsh-donkey came, bold as a guest invited,and stared at the guttering flame.

The storm beat on at the windows,the water splashed on the floor, and a wet, yoke-weary bullock pushed in through the open door.

“How do I know what is greatest, how do I know what is least? That is My Father’s business,” said Eddi, Wilfrid’s priest.

“But — three are gathered together — listen to me and attend. I bring good news, my brethren!” said Eddi of Manhood End.

And he told the Ox of a Manger and a Stall in Bethlehem, and he spoke to the Ass of a Rider, that rode to Jerusalem.

They steamed and dripped in the chancel, they listened and never stirred, while, just as though they were Bishops, Eddi preached them The Word.

Till the gale blew off on the marshes and the windows showed the day, and the Ox and the Ass together wheeled and clattered away.

And when the Saxons mocked him, said Eddi of Manhood End, “I dare not shut His chapel on such as care to attend.”

I first came across this poem when I was searching for inspiration for a school play. It lent itself well to a narrator, and a few actors, with the others being Saxons, wassailing away in the background. I think I also used it for creative writing as well.


I like it for the imagery, for the picture of a quiet, wind swept chapel with guttering candles, welcoming world weary beasts into the warmth. I imagine Eddi a little like Derek Jacobi in “Last Tango in Halifax”* (incidentally, that is a series well worth catching up on, if you don’t know it) –

(though, obviously not in a suit and tie!)

Actually, I’ve just realised that this reason I picture Derek Jacobi as Eddi is because he played Brother Cadfael in the TV adaptation of the novels. And there he played a monk:

…so I wasn’t far wrong with my mental picture!

An old man, a gentle, white haired monk, with cassock hitched up and work-worn hands. Disappointed that he was not preaching to the pagan Saxons, who were not interested in hearing about the Christian God, he instead opened his church and his heart to those who came looking, humble as they were. He gave them the Word that they were looking for: that they too are important to God, that they too were able to serve him, that they too were as welcome to come before Him who was born that night as any other.

Isn’t it strange how Christians, who claim to follow the source of all Love, often seem to be all too willing to spend time judging others and deciding who is and is not “entitled” to enter God’s Kingdom. How many of us would have shooed away the ox and ass as not being “worthy” to receive God’s love and largesse? How many of us today look on others and judge them, as being “worthy” of our time, our money, our charity?

“No-one can come to the Father but through me” is something that Jesus said, and so often, this is taken to mean that only Christians will be welcomed into Heaven: only those who have accepted Christ as their Lord. But what if it meant something different? What if it means “No-one can come to the Father except by my say-so, except those who have been welcomed by me”…

And what if God welcomes everyone? What if Christ says “Yes! You’re here! Welcome to everlasting glory!” to everyone. What then?

And this is how I see my God: welcoming to everyone who comes searching for the Truth, whether they are Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, agnostic… I cannot imagine a God who is all-loving, who is justice incarrnate, who has a heart full of love and forgiveness and compassion turning anyone away from Glory, because they didn’t have the opportunity to hear the Gospel, because they were full of questions, because they were brought up in another faith, because …because…

Eddi did not judge whether the ox and the ass were “worthy” of knowing God. He welcomed them, saying: “How do I know what is greatest, how do I know what is least? That is My Father’s business”

We are not put on this earth to judge. We are put on this earth to serve.


Summing It All Up

November 30th, 2013

The wibsite is behaving itself today, so I shall post my last Blog Every Day In November post here.

How has it been? As a comment to one of my very rushed posts, Mags asked:  I am sorry if this daily blogging is a pain?

No, it’s not been a pain; in fact, it has been the opposite. I have enjoyed (generally) carving out a few minutes (or half an hour) to post, on days when I wouldn’t usually do so. A few days last week were difficult, as I had lots of work, not much time and a disinclination to go into the cold study in the evening, when it is much nicer to stay warm (-ish – our granule burner isn’t working at the moment) in the sitting room.


I fear though that my posts haven’t been very exciting, unlike Ang who manages to come up with something worth reading every day as a matter of course, and Kezzie who I didn’t know, but who I’m delighted to meet,  but I really like Mags’ (again!) picture:

It’s like walking along a path together, talking about everything and nothing. So companionly. Walking towards Christmas together, like pilgrims on the road to Bethlehem.

When we meet with friends we do chat about everything and nothing; sometimes the conversations are serious, and thoughtful, sometimes they’re funny, and sometimes they’re just about every day happenings. And that’s what I’m taking away from this BEDIN “event” – I don’t know how many people have visited and read my offerings, but I have shared with them a bit of my life here.  I have enjoyed people’s comments – thanks particularly to Pompom and Mags who have commented faithfully on practically every post (even when there’s not been much to comment on!)  – and I hope people have enjoyed popping in to see what I’ve been up to. I have enjoyed visiting other bloggers too, even when I’ve not commented, and finding out more about their lives.


I don’t think I will carry on blogging every day – during the week it can be difficult to find the time – but I am joining in with Floss’s Pause in AdventPause in Advent Logo

I have decided my theme too – as Advent Sunday is tomorrow, I will unveil it then. Goodness me, does that really mean that there’s only 4 Sundays until Christmas!? That’s hard to credit. I feel all at once both very organised (most presents bought, wrapped and taken to the UK to be posted by Cathy) and very disorganised (other last difficult gifts to buy and send, Secret Santas to pull together, no cards written, and Stuff to think about.) But I hope that the Pauses will help me, at least once a week, to focus on the other things that matter.


Like Mags and her family, I will be reading (if I can find my copy!) The Christmas Mystery

A wonderful Advent Calendar of a book!


Thank you for being my companion on this part of the pilgrimage to Bethlehem and the child lying in a manger. I look forward to chatting with you again…