Sunday, December 30, 2012


Having over the last few days, read horror stories of the weather conditions in  the US and seeing numerous photographs being posted of snow and icicles, I decided to share a particular picture which is a long time favourite of mine.

I couldn't be bothered to dig out the memory stick with the pictures  so I googled it and was most surprised when Google took me to my own website right here on Blogger.  I had posted in 2010.

For those of you living in cold climates and who may be in doubt as to how your icicles are made, here is the answer!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Birthday Girl!


I celebrated a birthday yesterday!  When I was growing up it was a disadvantage as far as I was concerned.  Christmas presents rolled into birthday presents! It fell during the school holidays so once I was away at boarding school and home only for holidays, there were no parties. 

When my husband and I were first married he threw surprise parties for me - a quiet dinner for two at a favourite London restaurant would turn into anything from a party of six to a busload of twenty plus!  It was fun at the time and being with friends I loved was most enjoyable.  Those times are no more but that's fine with me.  They were happy times and we are still in happy times but things change, people change.   Fortunately family, even with its ups and downs stays constant and that is what is important to me.  That and the fact that I still have good friends - different friends. 

Yesterday, apart from my daughter packing madly to leave for New York later in the evening, was relatively quiet.  Her  boyfriend gave me his very own homemade Red Velvet cake which is to die for! I cut it before they left!  I had a ball on Face Book where my cyber party was in full swing.

I don't need parties and  diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire  jewelry designed by my husband and made by bespoke Jewelers.  I need only peace of mind, a happy family, good friends and the ability to thank God for life.  

So whilst I fly from my imaginary chandelier, I thank God for all the experiences I (good and bad) that have made me into who I am today.  People may not like it at times but what you see is what you get!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Happy and Joyful Christmas 2012

I know I haven't been here for a while and my only excuse is the handing over and winding down on the job - which for many reasons, was not easy.  It seems that I will have much more time in 2013 although I do have plans to keep my hand in!

To all who come to my page, in case I don't get back to here before Christmas, I wish each and everyone of you a warm and beautiful Christmas filled with love, laughter, joy, peace and many, many blessings.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Countdown and Karma

Well it's almost here.   The dreaded day could be this coming Friday but I'm now in the situation where I just cannot wait for it to be here.  I have absolutely loathed what has taken place over the last few weeks so it's far better for my loved ones, my health, peace of mind and spirit that we get to it as quickly as possible so that I can let go, smile and walk away!  Imagine after everything that has happened, being told in all seriousness, to make myself available next year as my successor will need my expertise and help!! 

So when I'd picked myself up from the floor, I just shook my head and decided that someone must have a screw loose!

I will probably write about the traumas of it all after my departure when I will be in a position to tell certain people publicly, where to get off.  Names will not be mentioned but they will know who they are.

In the meantime, I can see that karma is already at work!  

I shall pray for those who stabbed me in the back and ask for them to be blessed.  It's the only way I will be able to deal with the unnecessary hurt. 

"Forgive them for they fouled up."


Sunday, December 2, 2012


 Today is the First Sunday of Advent in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican calendars. Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30 (the Feast of St Andrew the Apostle) and ends on Christmas Eve, 24 December.  If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent.

The word 'advent' is Latin for 'a coming or arrival' so Christians look on Advent as a season of preparation.  It is a time to get ready for the birth of Jesus Christ.

Practicing Christians do special things to mark the holy purposes of the Advent season and many churches have weekly services with a lot of praise, joy and song.During the Advent season many families start making their own creche or manger scene. It has been said that St Francis of Assisi popularized the creche. 

The Advent wreath is part of the long-standing tradition but the actual origins are uncertain. There is evidence of pre-Christian Germanic peoples using wreathes with lit candles during the cold and dark December days as a sign of hope in the future warm and extended-sunlight days of Spring. In Scandinavia during Winter, lighted candles were placed around a wheel, and prayers were offered to the god of light to turn “the wheel of the earth” back toward the sun to lengthen the days and restore warmth. 

The symbolism of the Advent wreath is beautiful. The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering; pine, holly, and yew, immortality; and cedar, strength and healing. Holly also has a special Christian symbolism: The prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns, and one English legend tells of how the cross was made of holly. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ. Any pine cones, nuts, or seedpods used to decorate the wreath also symbolize life and resurrection. All together, the wreath of evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and the new, everlasting life promised to us through Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, who entered our world becoming true man and who was victorious over sin and death through His own passion, death, and resurrection ( Thanks to Fr  William Saunders - The History of the Advent Wreath - Arlington Catholic Herald). 

The four candles that decorate the wreath represent the four weeks of Advent. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken during this season and the rose candle is lit on the third Sunday marking the the midpoint of Advent. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world.

The light signifies Christ, the Light of the world. Some modern day adaptions include a white candle placed in the middle of the wreath, which represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Eve. Another tradition is to replace the three purple and one rose candles with four white candles which will be lit throughout Christmas season. 

Since Advent is a time to stir-up our faith in the Lord, the wreath and its prayers provide Christians with a way to augment the special preparation for Christmas.  The tradition helps us to remain vigilant in our homes and not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. 

For those of you celebrating this wonderful time of 'waiting' I wish you a joyful Advent season.

A note!  When my son saw this photo on my desk top last year he asked in typical  British humour fashion: 'so what happens to the next candle when we get to week two"!!  You think it's easy?!
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