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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A winter break!


Over a number of years now we have taken our main holiday in January or February. After a period of illness we had a winter break and enjoyed the benefit of holidaying in the dark winter days. I personally prefer to go somewhere sunny and warm. The vitamin d taken in by the rays of the sun really bring brightness into our life.


Since taking our main holiday in the winter we have been  to such places as Vietnam, Sweden (including the Arctic circle), India, Teneriffe and Majorca. We have also had a number of breaks in Wales. Each holiday has had it's own special highlights and I could wax lyrical about them forever.
Vietnam was spectacular.
My favourite photo of the holiday:





Hard working woman:







Amazing sunrise over Mui Ne Beach








  
It doesn't get better than this!

Teneriffe is always relaxing:







There is always time to take inspiring photo's














India was manic but wonderful:



Some old feller I met at the airport!








In the Himalaya: who would have believed it?






Fantastic company.






And finally Sweden:





Aurora








Amazing experience










The best picnic ever 









Pam and her mate Guben











I love my winter break! But what of this year? Will it be the Bahama's or some exotic place?
Let me show you what my winter break is this year. Get ready for it. I hope that it will not leave you too jealous!









I have a broken foot, a fractured cuboid bone!!













That means feet up for a while and time to reflect or book up somewhere as soon as is possible.
This is the day that the Lord has made, I am doing my best to rejoice and be glad in it. thanks to all who are so supportive for you prayers and help in our time of need.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Looking for the winter


Winter in the UK is a rare thing these days especially in the south west. We have now lived in the south of the country for nearly 25 years. Formerly in South Wales and now in Cornwall. 

The problem that I have with this is that I love winter weather and we do not get it here! 

Our experience of winter is summed up perfectly by the title picture. I always hope for a prolonged spell of the cold white stuff. I never bother dreaming of a white Christmas as a dry cold one would do. What we normally get is high winds, unusually warm temperatures and ridiculous amounts of rain.

The popular media weather people infuriate me over a number of issues and winter is one of them. The seasons have always been marked by natural occurrences. That is the solstice etc. Winter begins when the light hours reach the shortest and summer when the daylight hours are at their longest. Spring and Autumn follow suit. hat has always been the case and so round about the 21st of December denotes the first day of winter, 21st March is Spring, 21st June Summer and 21st October is Autumn. That has been the case until now when our weather men and women are telling us that winter begins on the first of december and so forth.

They usually tell us that extreme weather conditions are the result of man's activity. Now please do not burn me at the stake for heresy but weather conditions change from season to season and year to year. The earth has warmed and cooled since it's creation and it is still doing so. I do not believe that man should pollute our beautiful planet but he equally should not arrogantly think that he is the source of all that is good and bad about our world. There are natural forces that abound which will cause most of the atmospherics that we experience. 



This year we are experiencing the strongest El Nino on record which for us means possibly the most extreme winter conditions ever. 



This time the effect has been wet, windy and warmer than average weather that we have been in the grip of. 




This winter so far and as yet (according to my old fashioned thinking it is less than a month in) we have had no real winter weather. We want snow! But the jet stream is wound up by warmed up seas in the pacific and that means that we are being bombarded by storms from the Atlantic. there has even been a hurricane in the south Atlantic which is only the fourth ever recorded. 


But 
We did last week benefit from the jet stream dipping south which in turn brought arctic winds down over the country. Looe even experienced a couple of frosts with the temperature dropping to the depths of minus 1 degree. That gave me the opportunity, winter must be somewhere and by chance I heard that somebody was snowed in on Dartmoor. so off we went onto the moor and we were not disappointed, we almost very excitedly got stranded but a grtiiting lorry came to the rescue. We did enjoy our winter:








I am sorry for the rant but it was so nice to enjoy the beauty of a snowy landscape. We are now in the grip of wet and windy weather for which we are grateful in many respects. Our water supply is once again secure for months to come which many countries never experience. The UK is one of the most amazing and beautiful countries in the world. It is a stunning part of God's great creation, we are blessed in so many ways and sometimes even the weather is not a hindrance to normal life and activity.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Now let the New Year begin:



Out with the old and in with the new is the motto of all New Years Eve! As we wandered around Looe and watched others passing by our window one thing constantly came to mind:

There was a town full of people wandering aimlessly all day long waiting for just one second in time.



It all began around 10:00 in the morning with just 14 hours to go. At that time the weather was being very kind which was most unusual for this El Nino and Jet Stream controlled winter. There was a clear air of expectancy but yet people were wandering aimlessly.

Looe is a lovely place but I do wonder what on earth one can do for 14 hours when the beach is not available. Even as a coffee-holic I could not spend more than an hour or two wandering the streets. There is a limit as to haw many coffee shops and cafe's that you can afford to frequent as we all await the bewitching hour of midnight!



In my humble opinion this is the very best in Looe: Thanks Martin for your coffee!

The shops are great but there is a limit as to how much time you can spend trailing from one to the other!



You can buy all that you really need in the Co-op's (yes we have 2!) and at the fish and fruit market.

There are the toys and trinkets shops that attract the customers in.



And of course the restaurants that point the way to gastronomic satisfaction:


There was much available but very little to do. There was no street entertainment just a constant wandering of thousands of people all waiting for one split second that makes all of the difference. You see tomorrow would be 2016 and that is what it was all about!

The change was about to be brought about by a count-down from 10 seconds and then a brief Happy merry new, a snog for the lovers and a very worthwhile aerial display of pyrotechnics that always leaves ma jealous of those who can make such magnificence! 



But what is it all about? 


A moment for reflection as I wandered along with the multitudes reminded me:


New Year is a time to remember. There have been good times and bad times. A very dry and warm April, a summer that really did not get going as far as the weather was concerned.The warmest and wettest December on record. Babies were born, people died. Illnesses came and went. Wars never ceased terrorists played havoc. There were smiles and tears, marriages and divorces. In fact all was pretty normal really. There were lots to remember about 2015 but so much to forget! 

There is a book in the bible written by King Solomon, in it he writes that all is futile, a chasing after the wind. Things come and go and all of us are in that number. there is not one of us that can know if we are going to make it to  2017. 
Happy New Year!!!!!
 Am I being depressing?
Maybe.
But
There was something else that I saw on my wanderings:

Nobody seems to know why it is there but on the side of the fish market is this illuminated cross. Solomon in his writing of Ecclesiastes (the book the I referred to earlier) was depressed when he looked at all that was happening in the world around him. he could only see difficulties.

BUT

When He looked up and considered God then all things were good. Why not look up more this year and consider what God has done for you and me.  Life is more than just one second in time but life can be changed an a moment. Eternity can be gained or lost. That cross on the side of the fish market says it all:

Love came down at Christmas as Jesus was born. 
Love was displayed at Easter when Jesus died. 
Love is on offer to all who will look up at Him who died on the cross!
Why not take a moment out of your busy schedule and consider what the purpose of Christ's coming is all about?