December 2018



The first Christmas card arrived

on a dull dismal day.

It had been raining steadily

both during the night and in the

early morning.

It was indeed a pleasure

to know that we, as a community,

are remembered by friends.

Deo gratias.



Light -bearing Christ, come down to us

And light in darkness sow ;

Come down and save our fallen world

Whose sinful ways you know.

Prepare us for your light and truth,

Who watch and wait for you;

Restore lost dignity to man:

Come down and make us new.

Almighty Father, speak the Word

Your children long to hear,

And with your Spirit dwell with us:

Lord, God of love, draw near.



Advent means ‘the coming,’

and refers to the four week season

of preparation for the birth

of Jesus on Christmas Day

and the anticipation of His coming again.

Advent begins on the Sunday

nearest November 30th

and continues until December 24th.




The Advent we keep is not a poetic

make belief,

or a nostalgic historical pageant,

or even an exercise in

remembering our roots....

The coming of God in Christ

still continues .....

We are an Advent people.

The season of Advent celebrates

in symbolic form a reality of our own lives

and of all men’s destiny with God,

because he came in Bethlehem

 he is who will come again.

Dame Maria Boulding O.S.B.


Tuesday 4th of December

It rained heavily during the night

and sunshine was rare during the day.

The gulls clamoured for food,

shrieking for it with determination !

The sky was overcast by mid afternoon

and silence descended....


Some years ago I copied a picture of a herring-gull

waiting on a derelict roof somewhere ....

They are less raucous than the gulls and more patient.


The deciduous trees in our garden

are almost completely bare and so

we can just see the faded Welsh Hills in the distance.


Feast of Saint Nicholas

6th December

The rain ceased during the night,

leaving our garden soaked in much needed water.

Perhaps that was a gift  from Saint Nicholas ?

His feast is celebrated

on the Continent on this day.


  During the Second World War,

when my brother and I were children,

and there was a general scarcity

of food, let alone chocolate,

 our mother  made us a raw potato  beast,

with match sticks for its legs ....

There was nothing else she could give us.

After the War, one of our young apprentice servants

gave me two pieces of milk chocolate

which an English soldier had given to her.

I did not enjoy that, either ...... !


Season’s Greetings