CHRISTMAS MAGIC

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Today was the Christmas play of my four year old grandson.  It’s a yearly wonderful event.  Organised by the two lovely women who run the playschool.   My grandson is special needs and he did very well indeed.  He was one of the shepherds in the nativity play.  After the play and after some carol singing, all the little children walk around the room with a lighted candle in an orange.  It’s such a lovely sight to behold, it warms the very inside of your heart. ( I took the photo out of focus on purpose because we do not put a child’s photo on the internet.)

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RED SKY AT NIGHT SHEPHERDS’ DELIGHT

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As the evening drew in over a very productive day,  the sky became very pink and red, I could not resist taking some photos of the hills beyond the little town of Skibbereen.

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Seen through the trees of the garden.

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My youngest granddaughter’s Christmas present is totally finished now and wrapped up ready for the day.  The little sheep to go with it I also found in a charity shop, washed it, and all done now.

A WINTRY DAY

“…freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night…” John Geddes – A Familiar Rain
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It’s early yet to decorate the tree, but it’s been such a dismal day here that I thought it a good idea, and yes it does add warmth and cosiness to the room, and after all winter goes so quickly and Christmas comes and goes so fast, that we might as well make the most of it.  So I had a lovely hour or so this morning and carefully put on the ornaments, I so don’t want our little tree to be damaged.  I also gave it water so it does not dry out.  The grandchildren will love it, next week we have a Christmas story reading here for them, I have some lovely books ready.  One is “Step inside the Nutcracker” a fairy tale, after the ballet, and there is “The Gift of the Magi” by O.Henry, “Angelina’s Christmas” by Katharine Holabird, and of course for the youngest there are some of the Thomas and friends Christmas specials.  The illustrations are beautiful in all these books, and the Nutcracker has got 3-dimensional pages, wonderful!  Can’t wait for the story reading day to come, brings me back to when I used to do the story reading in the library.  Children just love it.

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MEETING WITH TREES

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Meet the trees in my garden.  This is the Birch that we grew from a small little sapling growing alongside the road some twenty years ago.  Its grown into a beautiful tall tree and it gives much protection to the birds, the rooks sit in it every winter’s morning waiting for me to feed them.

Hawthorn tree

The silhouettes of the Hawthorn tree, this tree came to grew here by itself, the little seedling grow right beside the old Lilac tree that was getting very old, I had to consider cutting it down, and letting this Hawthorn take its place.  This tree is most in use by the small birds, from Sparrows, to Finches, to Blue Tits, they sit and twitter and keep a keen eye on the birdfeeder to see if it is free from the Rooks, so that they can feed carefree.

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And here is the Mediterranean Oak, that grows in the back of the garden, it believes in keeping its large brown leaves most of the winter, though secretly it has buds ready for spring hidden in between.  This is the Robin’s favourite tree, high up so that it can look down on where the best worms are to be found.

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It’s comrade is this fine Pine tree, we also picked it up on the side of the country road a long time ago.  Sometimes it throws a few large Pine cones.  Often in the evening the Blackbird sits on the highest branches singing his heart out.

Chestnut tree

And finally this is the winter appearance of the Chestnut tree.  When my daughter was in her early teens we started it off from a conker, it grew in a flower pot at first but soon we transplanted it into the garden where it has been ever since.  My grandchildren climb in it these days, it’s a wonderful tree, very sturdy and strong.  The Doves love this tree and perch there every morning.

My trees give me lots of pleasure, seeing the buds during winter, the first tender leave in spring, the abundance of lush foliage in summer, and the beautiful colours in autumn, they make the garden a place of hope, of restfulness, of beauty, and of meditation.

NEIGHBOUR ON OUR JOURNEY THROUGH SPACE

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Full moon and it’s freezing outside, the two of them often go together here in West Cork (and perhaps elsewhere).  I never get tired of watching the moon, and the stars too for that matter.  They fascinate me beyond any reason.  They make me feel as if we are not alone in this universe, they are like kindred neighbours that travel with us throughout time and distance, distance into the unfathomable cosmos.  It is both awe inspiring and so incredibly interesting to look up at the night sky, especially of course with a telescope, but even a pair of binoculars can give a lot more than the naked eye can.  Both beautiful and fascinating!