Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year greetings

After a very enjoyable and rather memorable Christmas visit to DD and her family in Yorkshire, DH and I made our way home across the Pennines yesterday, but only for a couple of days.  After doing the laundry and making extra supplies of mince pies to take with us, DH and I are off again tomorrow, heading south this time, to see the New Year in with his mother and brother and then to spend a few days with DS and his family.

I have a post about our eventful Christmas brewing, but no time now to commit the thoughts to keyboard. So before I head upstairs to pack the suitcase again, may I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year. Here’s hoping 2016 will bring the UK rather more sun and considerably less rain.

Image via Google

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas wishes

The presents are wrapped, the decorations have been hung and I’m about to start packing for our journey tomorrow to spend Christmas with DD and her family. Outside, on this shortest day, the sky is leaden and the ground sodden, and from the forecast we are likely to arrive in Yorkshire with a very clean car.

Before I go, I would like to wish you all the happiest of Christmases and a peaceful and healthy New Year. When I come to look back over 2015 on New Year’s Eve, I will have to admit to having become a somewhat erratic blogger this year, but I am still extraordinarily grateful for this wonderful activity and all the lovely people it has brought me into contact with. I wish you all everything you could wish for yourselves and look forward to continuing our friendship in 2016.

Image:  Nativity, an illuminated capital from a Book of Hours in Dutch. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA.
Carol:    O Holy Child (Cantique de Noël)
                 Words by Placide Cappeau (1808–1877), translated  by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893).
                 Music by Adolphe Charles Adams (1803-1856, arranged by John Rutter.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A temporary lull…

…metaphorical as well as physical. After yet another bout of high winds, heavy rain and raging river, today is still, grey and drizzly and the hills around our valley are shrouded in mist. Indoors it is warm and rather untidy, with the dining table piling up with presents to be wrapped and cards to be hung when I get round to it.

In my study the card-writing table has been put away until next year and I’m taking a break from sermon writing and service preparation before going out again to a service of carols by candlelight in the smallest church in our group. First I need to head off to the kitchen to make the soup for supper, which will simmer gently as I sing carols.

As I go, I’ll leave you with a somewhat different carol, sung by the inimitable Tom Lehrer, who as ever can be relied on to put his own idiosyncratic slant on the activities of the festive season.