Sunday, 27 November 2016

Mixed Feelings at Advent

This year Advent brings as much sadness as joy for me, and I suspect for many others.

World events and National events, political, financial and Acts of Nature have all played their part in turning the world on its head.

Added to this two of our small church family have suffered the loss of a spouse, and in one case the death of a lodger in really tragic circumstances.

This morning I read a blog from a regular visitor to my site who had not blogged for a few weeks, to discover that her husband had died suddenly two months ago.

She is a quiet reticent  blogger who writes (unlike me) when she has something worth saying, and is clearly in very deep distress.  It is at these times when I would like to be able to simply turn up on a real instead of a cyber doorstep and offer at the very least a hug and a shoulder.

On this occasion I can't even light a candle and offer prayers at St. M's for her since I am out of action due to a beast of a cold.

Obviously I have and will continue to pray for her (and those others I mentioned) at home but feel the need to go somewhere where the very stones are  steeped in the prayers of centuries.

Yet, under all the weight of sadness I can't help feeling the stirring of  (possibly quite unjustified) hope.

May the peace of Advent enter into the darkest of places this and every year.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Enough of the serious stuff - let's have some trivia

On the left are two roses which once graced my garden, top is "Twice in a blue moon", below is
"Just Joey".

Both were very beautiful and had gorgeous perfume, most of the reason I chose them.

All my ;life I have loved roses and started growing them as soon as we moved here and had a (tiny) garden of our own.

Driven by my passion for the wonderful perfume I added more and more roses to my collection, At one time having 28 roses altogether.

Sadly, since John's death and my subsequent neglect of the garden there has been a gradual loss of one after another of my most precious plants.

Some obviously needed pruning feeding and in dry spells watering which they didn't get.

Only the toughest have survived, despite my neglect to remind me of my duty of care to helpless and beautiful living things.

Inevitably I feel both guilt and real sadness at the loss of some of my lovely old friends.

This year, as those who are regular reader's of this blog will know, I have found a gardener, and very good he is too.  So there is hope that when the last of the weed jungle has been cleared, and some pruning and space-making has happened there may be the chance to plant some replacements for my lost treasures.

Each time he spends a couple of hours clearing some space I am mentally filling it with some new roses but it will actually be some time before this actually happens.  In the meantime I have my remaining survivors to add colour and fragrance to my days.

These are just two of the few I have left and lovely as they are cannot begin to fill the gap left by my lost ones.

Sorry about the strange format, my computer skills are not getting any better.

Half my photos seem to be hiding from me currently so have to make do with those prepared to show themselves.

That's quite enough drivel for now.  Back soon/

Thursday, 10 November 2016

What does it take to make a Christian?

The events in America in the past 24 hours have presented me with a dilemma of mammoth proportions.

Shock and disbelief have been quickly replaced with fear and revulsion.

Never an admirer of Hilary Clinton yet the worst I feel for her is a wary, cynical unconvinced acceptance that she would be better than this alternative.

So much bile, vitriol and verbal abuse has been the main feature of both campaigns that it has been increasingly difficult to see the wood for the trees (assuming there is any).

Nevertheless what I have read and heard of Donald Trump has contained no single shred of hope for America's huge mixed race population, no way forward for it's aspiring female young and a very real danger that sensitive delicate negotiations between Europe and America will be trampled underfoot in the power struggle.

Our Rector who is an American has remarked that we must, as Christians keep hope alive and pray that the hectoring rhetoric of the past weeks will be replaced with a more balanced and reasoned approach when the new President takes office.

I find this very hard to do.

When I was baptised (in the 1180's font pictured above) I was made to understand that the past was just that, and that this was the beginning of a new and better life.

Part of that better life was to be the way I behaved to others, not just those I met face-to-face, but all those who impacted on my life in any way.

This I strive to do - though it is very much a work in progress- but the  thing I find most difficult is to restrain my angry reactions and violent verbal criticism of those I perceive to be wrongdoers.

Never known for my tact and diplomacy and far too outspoken for my own good, biting my tongue has become a way of life, but, every now and then I feel the need to rant.

So utterly dismayed am I at the result of this election that I have to remain silent.

Once started I would never be able to finish.