Monthly Archives: December 2019

Terse verse


Seen outside a charity shop in Canterbury. What’s your New Year’s resolution?


Christmas Greetings


Here are the Shepherds greeting the Infant Jesus, and the dog came too.

Many blessings to all our readers this Christmas, and a peaceful and prosperous 2020.

The window is from Switzerland, but in the unlikely spot of St Mary’s church, Patrixbourne, Kent.

In the grey Mancunian midwinter.

north pole

A railway journey across Manchester on one of the darkest days of the year. Since I was visiting my mother for her birthday, I resisted the temptation to continue towards Blackpool North (Pole), but the humour was welcome on a bleak morning.

ok not okIt was also good to see this note from Sam on behalf of the Samaritans, who are well aware that this season is not festive for everybody. Sadly, the railway is often a suffering soul’s chosen suicide spot. Sam’s message may persuade someone to ring them, as may the message on many train tickets.


samaritans.ticket nov2017By the time I was making my return journey, the weather had turned from a saturated mist to a greasy drizzle. Walking to the local station with LED headlights shining in my face was no joy.

But Saddleworth Catholic church of the Sacred Heart already had their crib on display in the porch. A reminder of the hope that is in us.

Christian or not, we are given the virtue of hope to see us through the dark times. Christian or not, a helpless babe is not hopeless. He or she reaches out in trust. ForĀ  those whose ability to trust has been eroded through others’ inhumanity, a word, a smile may make a difference. Few of us will ever find ourselves stepping in to prevent a suicide at the last moment, but we may, all unknowingly, help to do so before that.

From across the main road, my view of the crib was no better than the photo, but I knew what I was looking at: even in the darkest, murkiest times, there is hope.

crib saddleworth.jpg



Starry night?



A London night sky.

AS we in the northern hemisphere enter Advent and the darker days of winter, here is a thought-provoking article about light pollution, dark skies, astronomy, and being human and humble creatures. And what we miss through our obsessive use of street lighting. Read and ponder. Would the wise men have seen the Christmas star today?