DUCKS AND GEESE AND LONG-LEGGED BEASTS!

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Summer is well and truly here in England. The temperature got up to 28 degrees in the shade today (probably hotter in other areas), and it’s set to be even warmer over the next week or two. I’ve never liked being out in the hot sun in the past, but, for some reason, I’m enjoying it this year. I’m not out in it for too long unless I’ve covered myself with factor 50 suncream though.

This afternoon, I walked back home from my church through the park and along the river. I just took in all the beauty of our nature, the bright blue sky with hardly a cloud in it; the green leaves on the trees there and the vast assortment of plants and beautiful flowers growing everywhere. As I walked across the park, I spotted a small group of geese (I think the term is a gaggle of geese). I snapped a photo even though they were a bit distant (below). You can see how dry the grass is – it’s almost yellow – we need a good downpour (preferably when everyone is in bed).

my geese in the park Central Park summer

I watched the water splashing down the weir and flowing into the river, and the ducks bobbing up and down searching for food. Nearby, there were a couple of robins and collared doves pecking for insects in the ground for their lunch.

male & female ducks in water Bing image

It wasn’t so long ago, I spotted a male and female swan with their cygnets (below). There were eight of them and recently, I saw them in the distance with seven babies. It was lovely to know that so many had survived as, being so little, they get attacked easily by bigger creatures.

Swans and cignets (cropped photo) close up

As you know, I don’t usually share photos, but I thought I’d make an exception as I’m enjoying the summer so much this year. Nature is quite stunning, and I’m really struck by its beauty. However, when I got home, I went into the kitchen, and there sitting in the corner of the room, underneath the worktop was the most enormous spider! I’m not a fan! We eyed each other up – he was all hair and long black legs – ugh. [So, what happened to the beauty of nature, I ask?]. It’s not that I hate them; I’d just rather them not be inside my house. As there was no-one there to safely dispatch it to the garden and I couldn’t reach him, I tried staring him out – he won! And I ran (well, wheeled) into the living room. When I went back out later, he’d gone. Where!? I’m worried now … will I have a long-legged ‘friend’ accompanying me to bed tonight?

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Night-night, Harry! Sweet dreams.

 

THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

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Well…..here we are again! It’s nearly Christmas and the country has gone mad! Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, people are pushing and shoving to get last minute bargains or expensive gifts to give to their loved ones and fill the childrens’ Christmas stockings. Food is selling so fast, the supermarkets can hardly keep up with filling the shelves quickly enough. Millions of trees are being chopped down to become fairy lit trees, and processed into cheap Christmas cards that will be hastily written, expensively posted, arriving at their destination only to be dropped into peoples’ rubbish bins (or if they’re really lucky, the recycle sack), after a few days of gathering dust on the mantlepiece! All for two days! Two days! And all that waste…. and for what?  For the sake of commercialism and ‘feeding’ the ‘fat-cats’ who are at the top, making all the profit and doing little of the work in most situations. Come the 25th we’ll all be sitting down and stuffing ourselves with turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, chipolatas, pudding, cake, mince pies, chocolates and sweets, alcohol and so much more and then complaining we’ve all got bellyache! It’s all so much and yet there are hundreds or more hungry and homeless people in the country. To say nothing of the rest of the world which is another story entirely!

Christmas-Dinner-dp

I’m far from perfect. I know that and I include myself in the above but I am not sending numerous cards; instead I’m giving what I can afford to charities of my choosing and will probably send some e-cards to those fortunate enough to have technology at hand. I will chatting on the phone to those family members that I am still have contact with and to close friends (a privilege I appreciate); I have an artificial Christmas tree and Christmas dinner and ‘trimmings’ will not be over-extravagant. And you may cry “bah, humbug” at me but, truly, what on Earth has happened to Christmas?

I mean the real Christmas. I mean the real reason for the season? Where does Jesus fit into all this? Yes, many churches will be holding Christmas services and that’s when the churches are bursting at the seams, (once a year!). What about the rest of the year? Christmas is for giving – giving of ourselves to God as well as giving to those less fortunate than ourselves in every sense.

Where in the bible does it say “thou shalt stuff thyself with turkey”, or that “thou shalt have more Christmas cards than thy neighbour”?

What about the birth of Jesus? In the bible it reads (Luke 2:4-7, 10-11)

Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger—there was no room for them to stay in the inn.10 but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. 11 This very day in David’s town your Savior was born—Christ the Lord! 

This is what we need to be celebrating – the birth of our Lord and King who was born and came to save us from our sins and who died in order that we may have eternal life. I know for me, as a believer, that this fact brings me a lot of comfort and peace.

nativity

But….don’t get me wrong! I am just speaking from my own point of view and beliefs. I respect the fact that everyone has their own ideas of what is right and what is wrong; what is true and what is not. I don’t intend to ram what I believe in down everybody else’s throats – I’m not really a Scrooge but I’m just saying….ok?!