Monthly Archives: December 2021

Things I Don’t Understand

‘‘Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.’’ C. S. Lewis ( 1898 – 1963 ) I suppose this could be …

Things I Don’t Understand

Another Year On

A World Apart

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
whispering, it will be happier.”

Alfred ,Lord Tennyson. English Poet. 1809-1892

As another year draws to a close, it’s time to think about what went on in the past 363 days.

Of course, uppermost in everybody’s mind is the pandemic. And what a pandemic it turned out to be.Each time we thought we were getting the better of it, a new strain showed itself, creating panic and distress in its wake.

Here in New Zealand, while we have been very lucky and have not had the numbers of cases of Covid as other countries, we have still been impacted. Plans have been changed, remade, and changed again. Families have been apart for months; weddings have been celebrated with far fewer people than originally expected; new babies have been born and until a few days ago, many had not been…

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Another View of Christmas

A World Apart

“Hope is being able to see that there is light
despite all of the darkness.”
Desmond Tutu – 1931 – 2021.

I first posted this in December 2012. I reblogged it in December 2017 bemoaning the fact that five years had passed and still nothing had changed. And so to December 2021. Nine years since that first post and yet nothing at all has changed.Wars are raged, people are injured or die, homes, sacred places, and relics are destroyed and for what I ask.

We all know Einstein’s quote -The definition ofinsanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

But as most of us don’t know or understand the reasons the wars are being waged in the first place therefore, we cannot know the result the perpetrators are expecting to gain.

So once again, because i am a dreamer, I look back at…

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Hogmanay – not canceled – well not the tradition anyway

A World Apart

In this time of the Big C many things are being canceled, including flights and street parties, group gatherings, but there are still traditions to be carried out.

You might remember my Mini-Me, daughter of my mother’s identical twin born with-in ninety-six hours of my birth, who lives in Edinburgh, the city of my heart. We chat every day face-to-face, and the conversation this time of year goes to Hogmanay. I told her I thought I would embrace those traditions more fully this year so researched a bit more of this uniquely Scots holiday. The facts below are from

Only one nation in the world can celebrate the New Year or Hogmanay with such revelry and passion – the Scots! But what are the actual origins of Hogmanay, and why should a tall dark-haired stranger be a welcome visitor after midnight?

It is believed that many of the traditional…

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Boxing Day

A World Apart

Christmas Day came and went in a flurry of excitement, many gifts, much good food and wine, and family get together Friends of various family members called in, sometimes individually, sometimes three or for at a time. So a busy, happy day for us all.

The rain managed to hold off until about 10.30 pm, and this meant most of the day was spent outside.

“Do not be angry with the rain
. It simply does not know how to fall upwards.”
Vladimir Nabokov.  
Russian-American novelist and poet, 1899 – 1977

And here I must make mention of Chris who is now bundled up in winter woollies. And because of our friend/enemy Covid, she will be having a solitary Christmas Day. I wish you were here Chris.

.and now it is Boxing Day.

Here in New Zealand, we have Boxing Day as a Statutory Holiday. Boxing Day is…

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Yesterday JB told us about Christmas in NZ and the beautiful Pohutukawa and Drinking White Wine in the Sun. Ah, southern climes and the opposite side…


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Thoughts for Christmas

A World Apart

Here in New Zealand, the Pohutukawa is our Christmas tree.Maori Lore has it that if it blooms early then we will have a good, long, hot summer. Well, suddenly the weather has changed in Wellington and it looks as if the Maori were right.

Then I thought of other things to wite about today. The song that has been my favourite Christmas song, for some years -Drinking White Wine in theSunby Tim Minchin.Do you know this song?

And then I thought about the Christmas story, of the boy child being born in a manger, and of the three kings who visited bringing gifts. That then brought me to Norma Faber and her poem The Queens Came Late

The Queens came late, but the Queens were there
With gifts in their hands and crowns in their hair.
They’d come, these three, like the Kings, from far,

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Christmas is Coming

A World Apart

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny,
aha’pennywill do. If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!

Old English nursery rhyme.

In Victorian London, when Dickens wrote the Carol, Christmas day was commonly celebrated by consuming, not a grand turkey, but rather a humble goose. At that time, the turkey was an exotic bird, too expensive for the common person to purchase. Did you know that?

As my son will tell you, his mother is a fund of useless information and to confirm it…
Did you know?

Decorated evergreen trees have been part of December celebrations in Europe for many centuries reminding everyone that spring is just around the corner. The decorated Christmas tree became accepted in the UK when Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the children were depicted in the “Illustrated…

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Genetic Traditions

A World Apart

Probably a silly title as genetics can only be by tradition. Hmm now I wonder if that makes sense at all. But I know what I mean.

This is the time of year we talk a lot about tradition and reminisce about traditions of the past. These can be filled with comfort, sadness, longing, or joy.

Yesterday I visited with 3 of the 4 most important men in my life and then I came across this:

My two sons. Taken about 40 years ago. Eldest is what we call a Strawberry Blonde, though the light here makes him look redder. The youngest who was about 6 at the time is a darker auburn red.

And I looked back at G1 & G2:

Now this was taken about 10 or 11 years ago *I won’t post current photos of them or anyone without permission, but G1, the eldest, is the same…

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Christmas Traditions

A World Apart


I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old, familiar carols play.
And wild and sweet the words repeat of Peace on Earth, Goodwill to men!”Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We all have traditions that we follow blithely and sometimes blindly, each Christmas.

In our family growing up we always opened gifts on Christmas Eve.I have no idea why or when the tradition started, I only know that it was so.

Christmas Day always started with a visit to church by the three girls, followed by a visit with Father to his family.I don’t remember there being much in the way of exchanging gifts.We grew up during. and after World War 2, so there was little to be had in the way of presents. I think we each got an orange or maybe a mandarin, both of which were only available at Christmas having been imported from warmer climes.

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