Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Christmas update

After Sunday's disappointment when I couldn't go out with the rest of the family we did manage a joint outing yesterday - we all went together to the doctor! A variety of chest, throat and ear problems had struck us down over the holiday but at least I can say my chest infection is improving - slowly!

Sunday, 27 December 2009


With only a visit from my sister-in-law and family to go tomorrow I have survived Christmas. This may not seem much of achievement to most people but this year, for me, it is.

Firstly this is our last Christmas as a family; by next year my daughter will be married and celebrating Christmas with her husband. There were just the 4 of us as our usual Christmas guests, my father and my wife's aunt, both died last year so it was fairly quiet.

Secondly I developed a bad cold the weekend before Christmas which then turned into a chest infection. I'm on antibiotics and steroids and have managed most Christmas events although I missed the midnight service and going as a family to see the Wasps v Harlequins match at Twickenham today. (RATS - Quins lost so my Wasps supporting daughter is going to be insufferable)

Finally this has been an alcohol free Christmas for me but not the rest of them. At the beginning of November I had some sort of breakdown and I'm now on medication which seems to be helping but does mean I can't have any alcohol - a shame as we had some good claret from father for Christmas day and I was on non-alcoholic wine.

So I survived and now look forward to a new year with some trepidation as there are going to have to be some major changes in my life and, as yet, it isn't clear what these will be. What I do know is that God will be with me guiding me and prodding (shoving?) me in the right direction.

Thursday, 24 December 2009


Today, Christmas Eve, I have been listening to a lot, I mean a lot, of carols on the radio and have been very puzzled by one thing - why to the cathedral choirs and their ilk, have to sing everything so slowly?

The word carol means to dance and celebrate but some have been so slow that they would have been more suited to a funeral than celebrating the most important birth in the history of the planet. While I agree that singing slowly can be more dramatic if you over do it you lose the line of the music as it becomes disjointed notes.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

A White 'Christmas'

I mentioned that I had been in hospital - in fact it was a psychiatric unit after I had some sort of breakdown. I don't want to say anymore at the moment partly because this is a public blog and partly because I still have a long way to go before I can say exactly what happened.

While I was in there I took part in a couple of Occupational Therapy classes on creative writing and during one about weather related stories I also wrote a poem. Those of you as old as me and in the UK will remember the winter of 1962/3 when it snowed on Boxing Day and was still on the ground in March; the only time in my life when that has happened. As was often the case we spent Christmas on my uncle's farm near Battle and this poem is my recollection of Boxing Day 1962.

Boxing Day 1962

I woke up, it was light,
A strange light.
Had I over slept?
But the world was lit by a magical light.

Clambering off the camp bed
I rushed to the window.
I saw a new world outside.
A white world.
A world of snow.

Outside the farm was swaddled in snow,
The white drive was decorated
with tractor tracks and foot prints.
The fence posts wore hats of snow
And the trees stood proud in their new white coats.

Christmas had come.
A day late
But to me it was Christmas.
The best Christmas ever.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Being brought up in a Baptist church I was taught that praying to the saints was an old fashion superstition that had nothing to do with 'proper' Christianity - we prayed directly to God / Jesus without the need for an intermediary.

So what do I make of this article which I read just before I went into hospital?

This got me thinking how many times had I asked someone to pray for me and, if I can ask my fellow living Christians to pray for me, why not those who have, in the words of the Salvation Army, been promoted to glory?

I know this is rather controversial for a Baptist but it makes rather worrying sense to me.

Any comments?

Blog Light

I haven't posted anything on here for nearly 4 weeks for the simple reason that I was taken into hospital the day after my last post and, although I have been out for a week, it's taking a while to get back into normal living. I hope, sometime, to be able to post about my illness but I'm not ready to do so at the moment.

In the meantime I am back and hope to have some new posts up very soon.