expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Farewell 2011.....

Well, here we are on the last day of 2011, and time to reflect on the last year. Tomorrow is about looking forward, to-day about looking back.
So, for a start I thought I'd share with you a few images from 2011.

Boxes.....we moved house -I can't believe we have not been here a year yet!

Beautiful walks....I love going on walks and capturing the beauty of nature, this was a particularly beautiful bluebell wood. I love the way the light leads you through the trees.

Thailand..and the gorgeous D, who gives her life selflessly to work with the children at the Orphanage each day.

A wedding!!! Yes Kate and Wills got married....and bunting was needed.....

This shot was taken at a wedding I went to this week, I love the way the light captures the glass, simple, clear and beautiful.
This year we have done so many different things, and had many new experiences, things as I have said before I would never would have thought possible. It has been good to be stretched, challenged and have had all the many opportunities.
One conversation that has stayed with me all year is the one Em and I had on 'the landscape of life'. It has been very apt for this year, as both Em and I have written about different parts of the landscape we have faced. I have continual struggles with time, not having enough, wanting more space, not knowing what to do when I have space, and trying to know how God wants me to spend my time. I have learnt even more the importance of having time for people, of making yourself available, of the small connections with others that can mean so much. It has been a year where I have strived to live better, to find rest in God and to be different. I have learnt to step outside my comfort zone and that has felt good.
It has also been a real battle in places, but that is part of the landscape, and of learning to walk within in it. Days are for making the most of the time you have- and sometimes it is the small things that count the most.


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas.... It's a real stir on the emotions. Last night we had a party for Christmas, and invited all the people we care about to come. The house buzzed with noise, music played, wine (and gin was drunk) and we danced. It was carefree, fun and one of those times when you forget all your concerns and have a good time. Christmas, a good reason to party. Tonight Ellie wrote her letter to Father Christmas. She knows he is not real, but the magic continues. She told Father Christmas the very important fact that we had moved house, so he knew to find her room. Tonight at 5 I realised that I should be doing things like stuffing a turkey. I've bought the sausage meat, but don't really know what to do with it. See that was my mums job, she did it every Christmas as she knew I hated touching raw meat. That's thing about Christmas- as well as the fun times it emphasises the gap were people were, the people we love and miss. My lot is not hard, and many people have a very hard Christmas to face, but I still feel the sadness. Christmas is about hope and joy of the baby born out of chaos, who as a man led the way to God for us, to help us live our daily lives of opposites. Serious stuff over, I need to go and find Delia to tell me how to stuff a turkey.....


Monday, 19 December 2011

Chance Meetings

I blogged earlier in the year about a chance meeting..well it happened again to-day. I was bag packing in Waitrose, and it was my turn to have a break. I sat down on the bench, and as I did so an old man came over. He was slightly bent over, and pushing one of those shopping carts old people have. He stopped by me, and told me that he always sorted his shopping after he had bought it into the right order in his bag.
He had a nice smile, and I asked if he needed help. He went on to tell me how 40 years ago he had been in Bethlehem to see the crib, how quiet it had been, and how he didn't realise at the time how lucky he was. Here was someone else, who on the outside looks just like an old man struggling with his shopping, but on talking has had an amazing life. He carried on telling me more, I listened. As he was about to go he turned round and said-' I shouldn't really says this- but I didn't think I'd be here for Christmas, I've got cancer and they told me I wouldn't make it.' He told me his wife had died 3 years ago, they'd been married 52 years, and the day after the funeral he had been told he had cancer. Wow....how hard must that be on your own after 52 years married. I wanted to talk to him more, visit him, but all I could say was 'God Bless'. Days are about having time for people, those chance meetings, that show you again not to judge by the outside, and to have time for people's stories.


Saturday, 17 December 2011

Messy Christmas

Well this week has been the normal whirl of work and life, so much so that at the end of the week I am exhausted. I started off quite organised for Christmas,Ive now got a week to go and no presents wrapped, run out of Christmas cards and a small matter of a party to organise. I was reading the paper yesterday and there was an article about a talk the Archbishop of Cantebury had given. He was saying that Christmas from Mary and Joseph's side was not perfectly planned, they had to make an unexpected journey, had no where booked to stay and lots of unexpected peope arrive. In yet within that Jesus came. I like that, it's a really good reminder that I don't have to be perfectly organised at Christmas, it can be chaotic and messy, but God is still there. So I'm going for the messy Christmas and it will be ok. One of the best bits is going to be spending time on my home territory with Em. Time for friends, perfect.


Saturday, 10 December 2011


Alot can change in a year. A year ago I was in the middle of clearing out my mums house, and still very raw with grief. The thought of going to Thailand during the next year was not even in my mind, and other things were my focus. Tonight I held a fundraiser to get some money for those beautiful children I met in Thailand. If you had told me a year ago that I would have organised a fundraising evening I never would have believed you, and never would have believed that I would go to Thailand. That's the amazing thing about God, he knows the plans he has for us even when we can't see it and have no idea it is even on the horizon. He can take us, and just turn us around. My job is still really hard, I miss my Mum and sometimes my head feels like it wants to explode, in yet God can still take me and turn my life around, taking me to unexpected places and situations. Amazing,it makes you wonder what will happen in the next year....