A Day of Change and Constancy

Far from the crowded pavements of London, I woke to watch the sun rising over the ancient cliffs and timeless shores round Lyme Bay in Dorset.

Walking along the promenade at Lyme Regis, usually so noisy with the scrape of cafe tables and chairs being set out for the day’s customers, the silence was profound. The deep silence I normally associate with waking on Christmas Day marks out today as something special.

The Unusually Quiet Promenade

The cafes are closed and the promenade and beach are quiet. Not quite deserted: one group of people have taken over a beachside table. Its white cloth topped with union flags, they enjoy a patriotic English breakfast cooked on a portable grill.

The local swimming club enjoy their daily meet; earlier today, perhaps, before returning home to watch the only Queen they’ve ever known being laid to rest. Dogs are still being walked, as dogs must be, however great the national pageantry about to unfold.

In the harbour, fishing boats bob gently on the high tide, shifting thoughtfully on this unusual day, freed from their usual risky voyages.

And, all the time, the gentle susurration of the waves ebbing from the shore. Later, the tide will turn and come in again, then go out again and so it will continue, as we so fervently hope our monarchy will.

I’m privileged to be in this beautiful place on this special day. Yesterday evening I joined locals and other holidaymakers in a candlelit act of remembrance on the seafront. Pillar candles surrounded a picture of our late Queen Elizabeth as everyone lit a tealight before we joined in the national two minute silence. As we stood, heads bowed, the silence was broken only by the continuous lapping of the waves on the shore. A powerful reminder that some things are unchangeable and that, even after the most violent of storms, some things just continue without our intervention.

Watching the television coverage of Her Majesty’s funeral, because of my poor hearing, I sometimes struggled to hear the words of the service yet I heard the ebb and flow of the waves coming through the open door of our seafront holiday apartment throughout.

Though the crowds of day visitors were smaller today, there were many families on the beach throughout the funeral. I wonder how many of the children were building sandcastles, castles in remembrance of the Queen?

When the two minute silence was held I glanced out of the window and it seemed as though a number of adults in the sea, paddling with children, stood still for a short time. Perhaps it was coincidence or perhaps they were following the service on a phone but it was a fleeting, yet powerful image.

By mid afternoon, there were many more people walking along the promenade, keen as I was, to get some fresh sea air after hours watching television coverage.

By late afternoon, with the television coverage finished and the sky increasingly overcast, I walked along the promenade again. The day visitors were packing up to leave the beach and head home, dogs were still being walked and an air of calm hung over the town as the tide began its next return to shore.

Tomorrow the cafes and shops will be open again, work or holidays will be resumed and the tide will still flow in again and out again. A reign has ended and another begun and yet we have continuity.

In years to come, I’ll remember staying at this place – which is so special to me – when Queen Elizabeth’s funeral was held and, in particular, the soothing and supremely reassuring music of the sea which accompanied this historic day.

Finding the Perfect Space

I’ve always enjoyed driving, despite the ever-growing volume of traffic on the roads (highways.) Sometimes, I even find it relaxing.

On regular journeys, I have landmarks I look out for as a way of making the journey pass more quickly: simple things such as a particularly attractive building, a strangely shaped tree or a favourite quickly glimpsed view.

However, the bit of any journey that I dread is when I arrive somewhere and need to park my car. I dislike the tight turns in multistorey car parks (parking garages) and the way that the size of spaces hasn’t kept pace with the way cars have got larger over time.

I can, very occasionally, drive straight into a space and position myself centrally at the first attempt but if I decide to reverse into a space, I simply don’t have the coordination to turn the steering wheel the correct way to manoeuvre the car backwards, while, at the same time, checking my mirror.

When I collected my current car from the dealers, the salesman was very keen to show me how to use its self-park feature to reverse park into a space parallel to a kerb. This involved stopping beside the vehicle in front of the chosen space, selecting P then taking my hands off the steering wheel completely and letting the car reverse itself into the space.

I found this so disconcerting when I tried it with the salesman beside me and on the dealer’s forecourt, that I’ve never attempted it again since that day five years ago!

There’s so much to consider when parking. Am I in the centre of the space between the (often faded) painted lines or am I at a crazy angle which stops the driver or passengers from getting to the vehicle in the adjacent space? Will I be able to open my door to get out without scraping the paintwork of the neighbouring car? Will I actually be able to get out of the driver’s door or will I need to manoeuvre myself out like an unwieldy octopus, via the passenger’s door?

I’m on a journey in my Christian life. It’s full of twists and turns, adventures and challenges as I try to find that one space in God’s kingdom that’s been prepared specifically for me.

I sometimes feel as though I’m driving endlessly round a car park searching. Which space is the most accessible? Is the ‘easiest to get into’ space necessarily the one I should choose? Am I (or more specifically my ego!) too big to fit into the space? Or do I see myself as too small to warrant taking up a space?

It sometimes feels as though I cannot even reach the spaces. I know they’re on the levels above – and below – where I am but I somehow keep following the routes which lead to dead ends.

When I think I’ve found a space which I feel I might fit into, can I really trust my sensors as I park myself there? They’re telling me I’m safe but it can seem as though I’m getting closer and closer to an obstacle which could damage me.

I need to have faith that I’ll be brought into just the right space at the right time. The perfect space. A place of total safety. It’s even safe (though still scary!) to take my hands off the steering wheel and allow God to take over the steering. In fact, that’s the very safest way to park.

While others round me screech round the tight turns, move forwards, reverse, move forwards again, occasionally abandon spaces or scrape the walls or block the paths of others, I can simply glide into that one place where God wants me to be at this time in my journey with Him.

I know that I need to move on to emptying the boot (trunk) of the car and sorting out all those things which I carry with me and which can weigh me down. But for today, I’ll simply sit quietly where I am and give thanks for this space and this journey.

A Box of Delights

Image by Monique Carrati at Unsplash

Who likes eating chocolate? Most of us, probably, if we’re honest.

My love affair with chocolate started with the simple ‘one finger of chocolate’ bar that I was allowed after lunch in early childhood. Since then, I’ve always enjoyed tearing open the wrapper and the shiny foil inside and sinking my teeth into that delicious, melting softness.

A few years ago, when I took an exam at the end of an Open University course, I couldn’t believe that I was allowed to take some chocolate in with me. (At school and college, we weren’t allowed to take any food or drink into the exam hall.) I bought the largest sized bar of my favourite fruit and nut chocolate and started unwrapping it before the exam started ready to take full advantage of this situation.

Unfortunately, I realised immediately that the rustling and tearing of the foil was going to be too distracting for everyone near me: the quieter I tried to be, the louder it sounded. I went through the three hours with the chocolate so tantalisingly close yet so unobtainable. When the exam finished, the man sitting in front of me turned round and said, “What did you think of that?” to which I replied, “Would you like some chocolate? Take as much as you like”, now desperate to get rid of the sticky, melting block.

I have an even more fraught relationship with boxes of chocolates. Recently my husband, Paul, arrived home from playing in a bowls tournament with not one but two boxes: his share of his team’s prize for winning the competition.

While I was pleased that he and the team had been successful against the odds (being one team member short), I wasn’t as overjoyed with the prizes as he was probably expecting.

Although I enjoy bars of chocolate, I struggle when someone offers me an open box of chocolates and I’m given the chance to choose one. Why? Because, looking at all those squares and rounds, sometimes in individual fluted paper cups, some with decorative chocolate icing on top, I can never decide which one to take.

Looking at the card or leaflet which shows the flavour of each doesn’t help; it only makes things more difficult. It’s not that I’m indecisive, rather I’m afraid that I’ll be swayed by the appearance, or even the name, into making a choice which will prove disappointing.

How often in everyday life we have to make a decision or decisions based on selecting from a range of options. So many of these can seem attractive but prove to be disappointing, even dangerous, once selected.

If I see my spiritual life as a box of chocolates, full of options, some immediately tempting (the gooey, melting soft centres) and some more challenging (those dreaded hard centres) which ones do I pick and which do I avoid? Which ones should I pick and which should I avoid?

It’s so much easier to go to a joyous Easter Day celebration service or the packed candle lit carol service, with its cosy familiarity and friendly faces, than work through an Examen or Lament prayer practice alone.

Yet, each is important. The variety of the chocolate box is one of its strengths. There is something for everyone and it’s the same with our Christian lives too. What appeals to one person won’t appeal to another. We have our own strengths and weaknesses and together we make up a perfect selection. We all have the same coating through the Spirit and we’re all equally attractive and desirable to God.

Perhaps, from time to time, we need to step back and look outside those things we are naturally drawn to – our first choices – and try something different. Let’s be willing to be nudged towards things outside our comfort zone. Sometimes we may damage a tooth on an unexpectedly hard centre but we may also develop a deep love for something we didn’t expect to find to our taste.

And, as an extra incentive, there’s no calorie counting required! There’s no limit to the amount of treats we can take from God’s box. He delights in us taking as much as we can of Him.

Pass the chocolates ….. Oh, and mine’s the coffee cream!

Don’t Lose Your Place

My Favourite Ornament

I love reading and have done ever since I was first able to turn those strange shapes on the page into the gateways to new and absorbing worlds inhabited by fascinating people.

At any period, I’m usually reading two books: one chosen by majority vote of the book club I belong to and the second being my own choice.

As well as what’s written in the books: wonderful worlds to explore and characters to meet – some of whom will become life-long friends – I love the physicality of the books. The smells they release of newly inked pages and the first crisp crack in the spine of a paperback (soft cover) never fail to delight me.

But, wonderful as pristine new books are, I really prefer second-hand (used) books. As well as carrying one of my favourite scents: musty yet deeply intriguing and some of my favourite stories, they carry so many unknown histories. Histories of the bookshelves and tables they’ve rested on and, most importantly, histories of the lives of their previous readers.

We sometimes get tantalising clues from a dedication written inside the cover. What is Vincent who was given this book from his Junior Church in 1972 doing now, I wonder.

Did Susan appreciate this Christmas gift from Auntie Mary and Uncle Don in 1980 or would she have preferred to have been given a book token and allowed to make her own choice of story?

Even more intriguing than these dedications are the things people have chosen to use as bookmarks. Where did the person wear the dress, the receipt for which marked their place in this second-hand murder mystery?

Why was the person who marked their place with a train ticket travelling between those particular stations on that day? To a wedding or funeral? To a job interview? For a hospital appointment? To visit family? To go on their first date? Were they frustrated that the train pulled into its destination at a key point in the story? I do wish I knew the answers.

Bookmarks, whatever form they take, are one specific kind of place marker. We have a need to physically mark the beginnings, middles and endings of our own chapters. What do we use to keep our place between the pages of our lives?

Sometimes we use specific ceremonies such as weddings, graduations or milestone birthday celebrations. But for much of the time our days follow one another with little variation and we can be so overwhelmed with busyness for a period that we lose our place completely.

It can be difficult then to remember or to recognise exactly where we are and we waste time skimming through the pages of our life, trying to get back to where we think we were, or are, or indeed think we should be, so that we can pick up the story again.

Yet in Jesus I’ve found the perfect bookmarker. He knows exactly where I’m up to in my life’s story: both how far I’ve come and how far I’ve yet to go. I can always find Him, however dog-eared the pages I have to search through. He’ll show me where I am and, if I’ll let him, gently guide me through the next chapters.

He’s my constant companion among the memory markers: rejoicing with me during the happy chapters; sharing my sorrows during the sadder ones; renewing our friendship, which unlike that in a physical book, will last far beyond the final chapter; always ready to blow the dust from the pages I feel are soiled and to add a clean page when I need one.

Most importantly, He can never be lost as so many paper bookmarks are. May he be your marker of choice in the story of YOUR life.

Current favourite reading: Sensible Shoes A Story about the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown. pub: InterVarsity Press (2013) ISBN 978-0-8308-4305-3

Peeling Back the Layers

A few weeks I visited the Museum of Brands in London’s Notting Hill Gate area. It was fascinating to look at the many packets and tins spanning the decades from Victorian times to the present. (There are also fashions, household appliances and toys to see; it’s a great, nostalgia fest if you’re in London.)

Almost every packaged item I saw was either a cardboard box with a simple tuck-in top, a metal tin with a lift off lid or a can for which a can opener would have been needed. Although the old style can openers with sharp ‘teeth’ which were operated using a sawing motion could sometimes be dangerous, they were easy to use and generally effective.

This got me thinking and asking myself why practically everything we buy now is such a challenge to open?

Recently I was faced with a plastic envelope printed with a clear line across its flap, along which I was instructed to “tear here”, only to find the plastic stretching and stretching but still denying me access to the contents. How I was supposed to return the item in this same envelope if I’d decided not to keep it is a mystery, very little of the envelope being intact once I’d finally opened it.

Cans with a ring-pull opening might look easy to open. However, I generally find that the lid only pulls back to halfway across the can, meaning that the contents have to be dug out with a fork or the lid bent into the can then out again several times before it finally lifts away, shooting liquid in my face if I’m not very careful.

Then there are the vacuum packs. I’ve lost count of the times that opening a vacuum-packed filling for a ‘quick’ lunch has led to a broken fingernail or a cut finger as I’ve resorted to scissors or a knife in my attempt to prise apart the thick plastic layers at the corner of the pack so clearly marked “peel here”.

Opening vacuum-packed fish is a particular bugbear, as frustration sometimes leads me to apply a burst of almost super human strength, resulting in the pack finally opening and covering me in fishy smelling liquid.

My worst packaging nightmare though, has to be the very thick, hard-edged plastic cases around new electric toothbrushes. While I understand that they need to be packed hygienically, I’d almost rather pull out all my teeth than face having to try and open any more of these brushes.

If I find it hard to release these foods and household items from their secure packaging, how much more difficult do I sometimes find it to release the real me from the protective layers I sometimes feel I need to build up, especially when depression heightens my vulnerability. 

When I’m at my lowest, I feel trapped inside thick, impenetrable layers, unable to move or to shift to get just slightly more comfortable.

Times like that are when I really have to search for the Sunlight Through the Shadows. For the messages and prayer support from concerned friends and the sense that, however deeply I feel I need to bury myself, God still sees me, loves and values me and will help me, in time, to break out from the place I’ve been trapped in, to emerge with renewed energy and commitment.

Some of those packets and cans in the museum are now empty but others remain unopened; their contents never seen or likely to be seen, hidden and unused though possibly still intact.

As a result of recent Quiet Days I’ve attended, I’ve begun to understand and to claim my ‘belovedness’ as the core of my personality. Being opened and opening up (that peeling back of the tightest layers) takes time, especially when trying to avoid the jagged edges of the packaging but it’s also a beautiful and exciting process.

I give thanks that there is still so much more to come, so much more I can show and achieve. I’m definitely not going to be left on a shelf!

Do you remember any of these?

Welcome to Sunlight Through the Shadows

Always fascinated as a child by church buildings and what might be inside them, though I didn’t go to church then, at different times I’ve been part of a Baptist church (in my teens), an Anglican church in town and two rural parishes.

In my current parish, I’m on the Parochial Church Council and head up a small Generosity and Giving Team. I’m also passionate about helping to raise the profile of our three parish churches within their communities.

Like many people I found the various Lockdowns on 2020 and 2021 very difficult and they cast quite a few shadows over my life and mental health.

However, the strong bonds forged through a small group of female Christians in the parish, meeting first on Zoom for an Advent group,* then two Lent groups** and then forming a Creative Writing Group, have truly brought the sunshine streaming through the shadows as we’ve begun to develop our writing and continue to support each other prayerfully as we follow our individual faith journeys and grow as Christians.

I’m retired following a very varied working life including secretarial work, working as a teaching assistant in a primary school, as a tutor helping adults improve their literacy skills, writing and delivering volunteer training, working for a charity for the Deaf, freelance editing and proofreading and providing domestic help care for mainly older clients.

Much of my time now is spent working on developing Generous Giving ideas for my parish and giving as much emotional and practical support as I can to my mother who is in a care home.

In my free time, I like to read, garden and write. I belong to both the church-centred and a non-Church centred Creative Writing Group and enjoy writing short stories, memoir and poetry, usually on one of the chosen themes for each of these groups’ meetings.

*following “At Home in Advent” by Gordon Giles, pub. Bible Reading Fellowship 2020

**following “At Home in Lent” by Gordon Giles, pub. Bible Reading Fellowship 2018 and “Sharing the Easter Story” by Sally Welch, pub. Bible Reading Fellowship 2021

Days at the Beach

Today is a ‘beach’ day. I’m not actually on a beach, though it’s certainly beach weather: a lovely early summer’s day with blue sky, light cloud and the warmth of the sun.

Photo by Sean Oulashin on Unsplash

It’s Monday and by 10.30 a.m. I’d been able to achieve things from both today’s and tomorrow’s To Do lists. I’d done the fortnightly food shop, had my car cleaned while I shopped and filled it with fuel.

However, as I drove home basking in what had been completed, an all too familiar wave of depression raced up my happy beach, spoiling the view and threatening to overwhelm me.

Then, closer to home, I unexpectedly found a car space near the station, which meant I could buy my train ticket for an eagerly anticipated day trip to London later this week. The waves dropped back a bit and I could start to see the pleasant view again.

Just as I returned to my car, I realised that I’d parked outside the eye care centre where I planned to collect some new reading glasses tomorrow. I was able to collect and use them a day earlier than expected! Even without the help of my new glasses, I could see the waves retreating further; almost out of sight.

My beach was now golden, warm sand on which I could relax; two days’ worth of domestic tasks having been completed so easily. The sound of the distant waves was no longer the threatening sound of an approaching storm but the gentle susurration of water pulling stones gently into itself then carefully carrying them and leaving them in another place.

Unfortunately, I know that, following the pattern of recent weeks, another wave of depression may swamp me at any time, with no obvious trigger. But the image of the beach is helpful.

Just as one tide can bring storms, another will bring calmer times when I can just relax and enjoy the rest and the beauty of where I am and who I am: a beloved daughter of God.

This beautiful song Rest in My Love by Marilyn Baker is one of my favourites, both for the sunny beach days and the days when I’m huddled under an umbrella with the wind blowing sand in my face. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b7EY3_YwRU

Holey, Wholly, Holy

What is the point of a hole? A hole represents the lack of something; for example, the appearance of a pothole in a road often represents a lack of, or poor, maintenance.

I know that driving over, or dropping into, a hole in the road leaves me feeling very shaken and insecure if I haven’t spotted it in time. Sometimes dropping into a pothole can cause lots of mechanical damage to a vehicle and physical damage to its passengers.

And who wouldn’t feel insecure if half of their garden, or worse still, their home, suddenly disappeared into a sinkhole which had opened up in their garden or in the road outside? Larger, often highly publicised sink holes, which swallow up numbers of homes and vehicles almost literally take away the foundations of the lives of those affected. Fortunately, that’s never happened to me!

Image by Kurt Cotoaga @ Unsplash

Smaller holes be very frustrating too, as anyone who has found a hole in a favourite jumper or in their tights on the way to an important meeting or job interview will confirm.

Aren’t holes just annoying? We like and want things to be complete and a hole represents an absence – a lack of – something. It can also represent an emptiness. When someone dies, we talk about their passing having left a ‘hole in our life’ that seems impossible to fill. Holey things (things having holes), are not generally something that we want.

What about wholly though? A slight change of spelling and surely a much more positive word with its meaning of entirety and completeness? After all, a baby or young animal is wholly dependent on its mother during the first weeks of life; being nurtured, fed, cared for and protected.

Image by Hu Chen @ Unsplash

Despite my ‘butterfly brain’ which always wants to rush on to something else before I’ve finished what I’m doing, sometimes even I feel I’m wholly engaged with something. Usually that makes for much better results than I’d otherwise see!

Being wholly involved and focussed is a real positive for me and, when my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is causing problems, can stop me thinking about the SAD and preventing the depression from building.

So, while a hole can often be annoying, giving attention or care wholly can be a good thing.

What, then of holy which represents neither a lack of something nor a completeness but, simply, utter perfection? What connection do I have with that? What connection can I have with that concept?  How can I begin?

Holiness seems to imply a setting aside; a reserving of the best of myself for God yet with an appreciation that I will never achieve holiness through my own power.

I can see clearly the holes in my life: the weaknesses, the times I feel I’ve failed myself and others both past and present and the times when I’ve been too distracted to be wholly devoted to the pursuit of holiness. I’m such a very long way from utter perfection!

I’ve realised that while I can do little or nothing in my own strength, God can do everything. The more I’ve trusted in Him, the more I’ve begun to notice the holes in my life being filled by His Holy Spirit: the holes are always God shaped! It’s an ongoing repair job and there’s always a danger of my falling into sinkholes appearing from nowhere but life is a whole lot more interesting than it’s ever been!

(Do check out two brilliant ‘Holy’ songs: Exalt and Holy is the Lord from the amazing Martin Smith)

The Things We Carry

Image by Pascal Bernardon at Unsplash

Walking through my village over recent weeks, I’ve noticed how few people are empty handed. Most people walking along are carrying something.

One man carried a reel of electrical cable over his arm. Was he an electrician by trade going to work in someone’s home or was he going to repair or replace something in his own? 

Another man carried a sheaf of what looked like official documents. Perhaps he was on his way to a solicitor’s or accountant’s office?

A woman carried a child’s scooter, its handlebars hooked over her arm. She was probably taking it home after her child had ridden it to school. No doubt she’d be carrying it in the opposite direction later, to meet its owner at the end of the school day. Perhaps she’d even sneak a ride herself when she thought no one was looking?

Someone else carried a plastic cage containing a cat, its furious face pressed against the bars on the door, as it neared the veterinary surgery.

A man carried a newspaper folded under one arm and another man a tennis racquet, while a woman, on her way to the sports centre, had a rolled yoga mat.

Someone carried an envelope towards the mail box: a birthday card? The response to an invitation? a letter of condolence? acceptance of an exciting new job offer?

A young mother with a pushchair (stroller) full of shopping carried a toddler on her hip, possibly the result of pestering by the child, seeking a different view of the world from a higher vantage point.

Someone exited the local florist’s shop carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Who and what was that intended for? A present for a loved one? The means of apology?

Inevitably I saw several people carrying take away cups of coffee from the local deli and the various cafés.

I could go on. These were the things I noticed, almost without looking, that people had with them. Things representing working lives, contact with officialdom, family and leisure time, care and relationships.

But, I wondered, what else were they carrying? What invisible things? What joys, what successes, what sadnesses or grief, what challenges, what boredom and frustration, what feelings of helplessness or worthlessness?

I thought about the things I sometimes carry visibly: a yoga mat, an envelope, a cup of coffee and then I began to think about the things I carry which are invisible to others and which I sometimes struggle to think about or even acknowledge.

Yet Jesus, who is always walking with me, knows what I’m carrying deep inside and, if anything gets too heavy or overwhelming, I know He will carry it for me if I share it with Him and allow Him to take it from me. Nothing is too heavy or too awkward a shape.

I wonder how many of the people I’ve passed recently know about Jesus and how fully he wants to share in and can help carry our burdens: the small everyday ones and the larger more complicated ones?

As I walk, I try always to smile at everyone I pass and, if it seems appropriate, say something. The smile and the words are silent prayers and greetings I carry to them and for them, from Jesus. Whatever else I may be carrying I carry His love. 

What do YOU carry? What COULD you carry to others?

Let’s Have a Think

Image by Sage Friedman at Unsplash.com

Today, 22nd February, is World Thinking Day. First celebrated in 1926, it was chosen to mark the birthdates of both Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the scout movement, and his wife Olave, who became World Chief Guide.

It’s many years since I was a Girl Guide but every year when 22nd February comes around, for some reason I always remember that it’s ‘Thinking Day’.

It’s a special one for Girl Guides and Girl scouts worldwide. A day when they’re encouraged to think of others across the world who belong to these movements: now numbering over 10 million young people.

They may find out more about other countries and cultures and, increasingly, focus on global issues. According to the Girlguiding (UK)’s website: ‘Previous World Thinking Days have tackled the subjects of poverty, gender inequality, environmental sustainability and access to education.‘ (https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/what-we-do/events-and-opportunities/regular-girlguiding-events/world-thinking-day/what-is-world-thinking-day/)

Donations are invited for a Thinking Day Fund which, among other things, helps increase the girls’ confidence and gives them skills to develop as leaders and take action on things which are important to them.

So, what will I do on World Thinking Day? I’ll pray for Guides and Girl Scouts everywhere, for an expansion of the Guiding movement and for more leaders to come forward to support these young people.

I’ll also give thanks for the fun and laughter I had when I was a girl guide, despite some of the memories reminding me of just how ‘mature’ I am now. (Does anyone else remember having to make and receive a phone call in a public phone box with its somewhat sinister Buttons A and B?) Or polishing silver to complete a House Orderly badge? Different – but very precious – times.

With ever darker news stories, I’m determined to keep 22nd February as my day of thinking about good times. Will you join me?