“I can feel a new book coming on”

So says the little tin I got for Christmas!  A money box for future books.  Along with the “fetch me a beer” socks….different givers, but both unusual ideas that made me smile.

I don’t know why, but I rarely get books for Christmas. Possibly this is because if I am given a book I will stick my nose in it, read until my eyes are sore and emerge, blinking, for meals and grunt instead of making conversation! So I create book lists in goodreads and then try to find the recommends on devon library catalogue.  1 out of 11 so far success rate.  So I am grateful for the little book tin and will need to fund it out of one of my budget categories….thanks to a previous work colleague, I have one called “fun and frolics” for books/films/coffee/spontanteous anything!!

I’ve just achieved my goodreads reading target.  I guess it gives me something to aim for and I can snoop on others books and rob good ideas to read.  It amazes me how different people’s reading habits are.  I gave up making new years resolutions years ago, but I try and target my spending and set a few “it would make me happy if this happened” goals so that I have something to talk about with my friend Sandy when we walk up a big hill and she’s asking me deep and meaningful questions while I am trying to simply breathe!

I love that my friends push me and encourage trying different things – and books – otherwise I would follow the same happy pattern until boredom forces me to try something different and challenging!


“What kind of throne”

Joel Payne’s song “what kind of throne” has been played at church.  It’s been the song that got under my skin this Christmas. (I’ve quoted the song, the reflective bits not in quotes are not his.) It always amazes me as a non musician who can’t sing too well, that songs have the power to smack my life around and make me take notice – secular ones as well as obviously Christ centred ones like this.

“What kind of throne is a manger of hay,
no majesty shown there, no dignity claimed,
for one who deserves to be
crowned and enthroned on our praise?
What kind of king is so modestly born,
when glory unmeasured is humble and small?
This is the hope of the world
and the true light of all.”

This song makes me cry. Each time I hear it. The highest of kings who deserves everything.  Who so often gets the left over bits of the day and fairly scant thanks and praise.  Like Jesus, I want to grow in depth and stature.

“So I’ll bow down to worship the humblest of kings
and I’ll bring him the best that I have;
I’ll say that I love him, and that I am his,
and I’ll give him the throne of my heart,
I’ll give him the throne of my heart.”

“What kind of Saviour makes weakness his strength,
in frailty depending on those he would save,
and veiling the power
that always belonged to his name?
What kind of child causes heaven to sing,
with angels proclaiming the hope that he brings?
This is the glory of God,
this is Jesus, the King.”

The line about Jesus depending on those he would save blows my mind.  A vulnerable baby, a defenceless refugee, a man needing to learn scripture and a trade.  He didn’t get a “matrix style download” even he learned wisdom.  The words speak of a humble king who deserves so much more than hype and tasteless adverts.  He deserves my life.


Christmas Songs

Listening to “Christmas Songs” (well I was…..)

Jesus honouring, word centred, heart challengingly beautiful

I have a God who is “the humblest of kings”

Who understands.


I am still amazed I get day to day access to the 999 call centre

A lowly fax collecting temp, with an access all areas pass.

Watching and listening to the frailty of the call handlers,

Stretched, green uniformed, dark officed, quietly gentle.

Despatching scarce resources, 24/7.

Life savers.

If my job hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t know how the system works.

I’m privileged.

Don’t ever abuse ambulance 999.



Thank you and chocolate log

Big thank you’s to the lovely people (more than I realise) who read this.  And who have asked if I’m ok.  I really appreciate it. And to chocolate log for making Christmas accessible to someone who can’t eat dried fruit (what a pain for Christmas and Easter but I can eat 99.9% of everything else) Ok I know it’s not Christmas yet but I had to buy my parents a chocolate log and this sneaky icy branch slipped into my share of the shop too.

It’s not classy, not special, certainly doesn’t contain “ganache” or real anything.  It’s ordinary and I like it.  And to the people who have made me laugh – unintentionally – sparse vegetarians you know who you are!

I need a Christmas break from writing so don’t panic.  In the classic words “I will be back”  (They’re not my wellies – just liked the picture)DSCN2916


Animals sensibly hibernate in winter. A thick winter coat and summer weight hopefully gets them through.  It’s not guaranteed I guess. As a bookgroup we are reading “those who wait” by Tanya Marlow.  It’s suggested that we do this as a meditation for advent.  So far I have read my way through the bible bits and enjoyed them and binned the idea of the reflective exercises as too challenging.  She suggests drawing a small clock and writing around it’s face the things we are waiting for.  Today, the light has chinked it’s way through – walking in the morning on the beach, and I have tried the exercise suggested. (with a good deal of coffee in a very noisy pre Christmas coffee shop)

It’s fair to say it looks more like a Christmas tree bauble than a clock! I had red, green and pink biros with me in the rucksack depths. No one said it had to be boring monochrome.  Waiting – I am appalling at this at the best of times.  Active by nature and easily bored.

Waiting for new lenses to sort sore eyes, waiting for the eyes to sort their perceptual issues out and stop behaving like one of those irritating “is it a young girl or an old lady” perception drawings, waiting for a new job that isn’t data entry, waiting to feel a tad useful; other things that I can’t write down in a blog.  I’m too English says my German friend!

There are things on my list that I can wait for all I like but they won’t happen, but there are things there that I need to have hope for.  And maybe plan for and even talk about?

Advent waiting.

Black & White

Facebook is filled with black and white, so, as I have a little time off……I am enjoying the chance to relax and refill extremely depleted emotional batteries.  Thank you winter and job issues! I am admitting it here because I am stubborn and it’s taken me four years to realise that each winter I get increasingly blue.  Add temping to the mix and I steadily realise that it’s rest and be honest or go down the slippery slope to more solid depression.

There’s no way I want that – my last encounter with that monster was 20 years ago.