Sunday, 25 December 2016

It's coming to an end

You know, this is really a remarkable story. Its so complete...why update it? Why try and modernize it? I am going to phone Mr Dunwoody. Grrrr!  voice mail! Oh well, I will give him a letter. This is what I ended up writing to him. "Dear Mr Dunwoody, I've come to come the conclusion that the nativity story is perfect the way it is. It doesn't need to be updated. The kids will understand it just fine. God got it right the first time. Thank you for letting me do some advent writing this year hopefully I can do it next year. With warm regards, Rebecca"

The end. No, wait. The beginning.

What a story. The God of Creation voluntarily becomes a helpless baby. This really was the beginning.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. The government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called…

The Mighty God.
The Everlasting Father.
The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end.

Well hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Have a little merry Christmas.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Are you ready for Christmas

Well it's getting close to Christmas. Are we really ready for Christmas and welcome Jesus? Your probably busy getting things all ready so today it would be a small poem. 

"Ready for Christmas," she said with a sigh,
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high.
Then wearily sat for a moment and read
Till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.
Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream!
"Ready for Christmas!  What do you Mean?
When only last week
You wouldn't acknowledge your friend on the street."
"Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge!
Perhaps you better let God be the judge.
Why, how can the Christ child come and abide
In a heart that is selfish and filled with pride?"
"Ready for Christmas, when only today
A beggar lad came and you turned him away
Without even a smile to show that you cared!
So little he asked, he could have been spared."
"Ready for Christmas! You've worked, it is true,
But just doing the things that you wanted to do."
"Ready for Christmas, your circle's to small.
Why, you are not ready for Christmas at all."
She awoke with a start, and a cry of despair.
"There's so little time, and I've still to prepare!
Oh, Father, forgive me, I see what you mean;
To be ready means more than a house swept clean."
"Yes, more that the giving of gifts and a tree,
It's the heart swept clean that he wants to see,
A heart that is free from bitterness, sin,
Ready for Christmas means ready for Him!"

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Shepherds story

 So we had Mary story, Joespeh, and the sheep tale.

Yes Mr Dunwoody, I know you told me to write a story for the children and young adults. Though don't we want the adults to take something from Advent.

Bernie the Shepherd told me wanted to tell a story. I cannot say no. (It means I can have a day eating Christmas cake well actually make a last minute one and lick the bowl.)

Good morning, or when ever you are reading this. I asked Rebecca really nicly if I could write a stoty for you. I haven't introuduc myelf yet, well it's a bit complicated. I am called Bernard though my friends call be Bernie though I hope I can be friends with you.  I'm a Shepherd and I must admit that this is kind of a new experience for me. I am seldom asked to speak to a group of people. You see, where I live nobody really cares what a Shepherd has to say. In my neighborhood, a Shepherd occupies one of the lowest rungs of society.

People don't trust us. They think we can't tell the difference between "mine" and "yours". Now, it is true that some Shepherds are less than ethical in their dealings, and some ARE scoundrels, but most of us are honest, God-fearing guys. I guess it is kind of like your politicians. A few are crooks and so all are seen as being dishonest. The tax-collectors have the same problem . . . but they deserve it!

Anyway, most people stay away from us because we aren't thought of as being as good as everyone else. You see, we aren't able to observe all the prescribed ceremonial washings that the religious elite observe. We can't maintain that sense of purity they insist on. So, we are disqualified from many of the religious opportunities. This doesn't make us pigs! We can't help our situation. . . we're Shepherds. What are we supposed to do?

Most of the people think we are odd. The truth is, we Shepherds probably are a different breed of person. O.K. maybe we are a lot different. Our closest friends are sheep! They are special to us. We are committed to protecting them. (Haven't you ever had a pet?) Sheep are very vulnerable, you know. They are easy prey to wild animals and they aren't very smart. If you don't keep an eye on them, they'll wander off before you know it. They need us. (Remeber what happend in the sheep tale?)

When I say we are committed to our sheep you need to know what I mean. A good Shepherd would not only risk his life for his sheep, he would give his life for his sheep.

We take great pride in what we do. My friends and I have a very special job; we care for the sheep raised for temple sacrifices in Jerusalem. Every morning and evening a lamb without blemish is offered in sacrifice. Those lambs have to come from someplace. That someplace is my flock.

At Passover time we are as busy as Turkey farmers at Thanksgiving. It's important we not only protect the sheep but keep them in the best of shape. If we don't do our job, others will be unable to worship.

Most of the time we work alone. So, we talk to our sheep a great deal. We develop a relationship with the sheep. I know, it sounds like we're one bagel short of a basket, but, haven't you ever talked to a family pet when no one else was around???

We talk to our flock so much that it gets to the point that our sheep recognize our voice. All I have to do is call the name of one of my flock and he or she responds instantly. (SURPRISED) You mean you didn't know we had names for all our sheep? We do. You could call their name and you wouldn't get any response at all. They don't recognize your voice. They will respond instantly to my voice. That's why at night I can combine my flock with several other flocks and can take turns at watch. In the morning we simply call for our sheep and they follow their own shepherd. If you've never seen it before, it's really quite an impressive demonstration.

Well, anyhow, the night Messiah was born we had combined our flocks and were taking turns at the watch just outside of Bethlehem. A few of our group were already asleep. I and a couple of others were sitting by the fire enjoying a late night snack of cheese and lentils and swapping a few sheep stories. What happened next is something I will never ever forget.

Suddenly, standing before us was a figure that was radiant and unlike anything we had ever seen before. Instantly, we knew it was a messenger from God and just as instantly we were all petrified. We didn't have to discuss this . . .we just knew. We couldn't even swallow. I think we may have been holding our breath!

We were afraid we were going to be destroyed. Everyone of us knew that no one can see God and live. It was as if we had been turned inside out. Everyone was fully awake and we were so afraid we couldn't move a muscle.

The angel spoke and said, "Don't be afraid! I come to bring you good news, news which will bring joy to everyone. Born to you today in Bethlehem is the Savior, he is Christ the Lord and you can find this baby wrapped in cloths and laying in a manger."

"Born to us?" the Messiah? Was this some kind of Heavenly message to the wrong address?

The sky was suddenly filled with angels who were chanting, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests." It was incredible. I'm sure we all stood their with our moths open and our eyes as wide as saucers. I'm still not sure any of us had taken a breath. It was unbelievable, and yet none of us doubted it was really happening.

We could have sat mesmerized all night, and yet, at the same time  it was so intense it was almost painful. And just as suddenly as the angel had appeared the host of Heaven retreated into the sky.

For several minutes we were silent. No one spoke, no one looked at each other, we were all numb and completely absorbed by what had just happened. We were all standing close to each other and felt warm, wonderful, loved and . . . . changed.

The silence continued until, Zarius broke the silence by saying simply, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." What followed was what could best be described as a brief time of worship.

I spoke out next and said, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see the Messiah. I think that is what the angel wanted us to do." And we began walking. It wasn't at all strange then, it was the natural response to what had happened. But looking back, we realize how out of character it was for us to just get up and leave our sheep. Normally we would never leave our sheep without someone there to protect them; but we weren't worried about that then. Maybe we knew instinctively that the God who summoned us, would protect our flock.

It's really not that strange you know. I'm sure you know what I mean. When you meet God; time, other concerns, even your own self fade into the background; you become consumed with the glory and majesty of God. The only thing that matters is Him. And the only response is obedience. I suppose for you who have the Holy Spirit dwelling within it is a common experience, but for us, it was unique.

Most people think it strange to walk off like we did, but, if you knew God wanted you to do something, wouldn't you do it?

It was late at night but we found the manger with little difficulty. It was strange, as if someone was guiding us to the child. I suppose that is exactly what was taking place.

When we walked into the stable there was a strange sense of God's presence in the place. It looked like an old dirty stable but it was also like stepping into Heaven itself.

We were startled in some respects by Mary and Joseph. They seemed so young, so ordinary to play such a prominent role in such an awesome event. Mary looked tired. Joseph was beaming. The baby had just finished nursing and was now asleep. In so many ways the baby was ordinary: rosy cheeks, little tiny fingers, eyes unfocused and seldom opened, arms stretching. But at the same time, we sensed that this was something beyond an ordinary birth. I can't explain it. I guess it would be like that moment when you first realize that Jesus was not THE Savior, but MY Savior. It is an instant that only comes from the Spirit of God.

Mary and Joseph were surprised, maybe even a little frightened to see us. But maybe it was the way we looked at the baby; they relaxed almost immediately. It was like we were all a part of a very special secret.

We asked, "Is this the Christ child?" They looked startled at first, but then smiled. We told them about our experience in the field and they listened with rapt attention. They wanted all the details and wanted to hear the story several times.

I don't know how long we were there. It seemed like minutes, but I'm sure it was hours. All I remember was the profound reluctance to leave.

As we left to return to our flocks, we couldn't help but stop everyone we saw and tell them about the baby. Yes, we shy uncultured shepherds were walking up to strangers and telling them our experiences. You should have seen the looks on people's faces! I'm sure most of them thought we were crazy. But their looks did not stop us from telling our story. We have been telling the story ever since. I mean, when you meet the Savior, the joy is not something you can keep to yourself. . . I know you know what I mean.

I can't imagine anyone who would not be transformed by what we had just witnessed. We had to tell them . . . it was too good to keep to ourselves, "The Long-awaited Deliverer" had come! We had a responsibility to share the news.

Many people looked at us like we were drunk. Some laughed. Others called us ignorant. But it didn't matter. There were some who did listen and some of them went to the stable and they looked, they saw, and they were changed.

When we went to Jerusalem we told people about our experiences as well. Most of them laughed. One man, named Simeon, asked many questions.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Shepherds and Angels

I better give the shepherds names otherwise it get's a bit confusing. So you have three shepherds which are called, Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar.

So after the story with the inn keeper it's the shepherds and angles than come after. But for some reason the sheep fancied being in the story. I know have that song in my head,  'I saw three sheep come sailing in, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day…'. I will be singing it all day that is if I don't get told to stop singing.

OK, three angel. Now........please bare with me while I just consult the bible.

Boo! Gotcha. You know bear's they play peekapoo with you and I said bare which sounds like bear. Anyhow the bible says, ""And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night."

Balthazar asked the other Shepherds asked the other guys if they counted the sheep yet Though Melchior replied back saying "I keep trying, but I fall asleep every time!" Now that's kind of funny because when you cannot sleep during the night you get told count sheep. You can tell I am having far to much fun writing this?

Balthazar asked the other shepherds this question, "Are you guys ready to cut the wool off the sheep tomorrow?" Melchior replied back saying, "It will be a shear pleasure. Yuk yuk yuk!"  Balthazar said, "anyhow I will be moving the flock in the morning." Melchior said, "So I herd." Get it herd. Fine I will stop doing the puns and jokes. I'm only using them so I can practice for my English as you have use techniques like puns to make the reader enjoy the story better. Fine I will use them less that I am doing.

Caspar said said to the other shepherds this question, "Gentleman, I have a question....." Nope that is far to formal. Too polite. Come on think a little bit informal, Rebecca.

Ah, informal. That is not my cup of tea. But I will try. How about "All right…listen up, bozos…" Nope that is far too harsh. Who uses that as a greeting? I did say speaking informal is not my cup of tea. So don't expect me taking informal. Formal, yes. So, good morning, please to meet you. Is what I would say when I greet people.

Right, so I am getting formal and informal. I just need to think of the three bears. You know the story. The little bear is just right.

Ah, the little bear would say something like this  "Hey guys, can I ask you something?" That's better. We should rely on the little bear more.

Melchior replied back to Caspar with this, "sure what is it?"

Caspar said, "Have you ever an angle before?"

Balthazar said, "No why do you ask?"

Let's see.... in the original, it says "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."

Writer: Hmm…let's tidy that up a bit here…

Angel said to the Shepherds, "Relax fellas"

Oops…Took it too far…try it again here…Why do I keep going to far? Any ideas would be appreciated!

How about this, " Don't be afraid…I bring you great news. It will change the world. The Savior has been born tonight in Bethlehem; he is Christ the Lord."

Balthazar said to the angel, "How will we find him?" The angel said, " I'm getting to that part!" People these days, need to patient. Yes that includes you. You just have to wait for another day to see how they find the savior.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Sheep tale

What a commotion there was out on the Bethlehem hillside that night! Bright lights, heavenly singing and that amazing message! God's special rescuer had come. Everyone in those days knew that Messiah was coming one day, so these local shepherds realised straightaway that this message was important.

History was coming to a huge turning point. This really was a special moment and they, mere shepherds, were the first to know about it! They would be first with the news - what a scoop! Can you imagine their excitement, amazement and joy? They were just nobodies - in fact more than likely just hired shepherds taking the night shift for someone else - but God had chosen to speak to them. Mind you, I don't think it was by chance that God chose to go to shepherds first. Shepherds have always been very important to God and a shepherd had of course long been a picture of God's character.

So off they went to Bethlehem - running, dancing, tumbling and… leaving their sheep! It must have been important. Fancy leaving their livelihood behind - unheard of!

And I wonder what the sheep thought of all this? Let's use our imagination.

Take these three for example. They look pretty puzzled, don't they? Let me introduce them to you. They have names. Yes, listen:

30 Megabytes [of Ram]

Potters [Bar]

and Lionel [Blair]

Well, they're certainly upset at losing their shepherds. Who will feed them and protect them? What should they do? There was no question about it. They would have to follow… a very predictable thing for sheep to do. So off they trotted down the hill.

In fact it was so steep that they fell… almost flew… down the slope. So much so that one local neighbour, who saw them tumbling past his window, was inspired to write the first Christmas carol ever! You know the one: 'I saw three sheep come sailing in, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day…'.

They arrived in the outskirts of the town. Well, where next? Where should they look for their shepherds? They hadn't really understood the angels' message, except that they had gathered that someone special was in town somewhere. So, if they found that someone, then they were sure to find their masters, wouldn't they?

30 Megabytes ruminated: 'If this special person is some sort of new god, then he's bound to be in a holy place. Perhaps we should try the local synagogue. Come on, let's go.'

Off they went to look, but they had no luck there. It was shut up, dark and empty - no one at home.

Then Potters baa-ed: 'If this special person is some sort of new king, then he's bound to be in an important building. Come on, let's try the town hall.'

So off they went, but it was no good. That was all shut up too: closed for business till next Tuesday. Typical!

Then Lionel bleated: 'If this special person is a new leader of some sort, then he's bound to be with the soldiers at the guard post. Come on, let's go.'

But they had no luck there either. They found just a few centurions warming themselves by a fire. No sign of any special visitor and no shepherds.

Where can their shepherds be? Where should they look next? They wandered about for a while like… like… like… lost sheep!

Eventually Lionel sighed: 'I'm hungry. Let's find a place to eat'.

So they began sniffing around for some animal food. They left the main streets and went down the back alleys instead. All of a sudden an old cattle shed caught their eye. It looked rundown but some lights were on and people were talking. They drew close and peeked in at the door, and guess what? There were their shepherds.

Lionel pushed in first and when his master saw him, he picked him up and held him close to a straw-filled feeding trough. 'Ah, food at last,' thought Lionel. But no - there was a baby lying there!

The three sheep, however, were missing the warmth of the camp fire on the hillside by now and were getting rather cold. 'We could do with something to wrap round us,' said Lionel. 'I wonder if there's a Woolworths in town?'

Friday, 16 December 2016

No room in the Inn

Joseph goes to check on a room at the inn. Let's see what bible says. Bare with me please.

BOO! Gotcha haven't I. Bear goes boo and I said bare. HA! Right back on track, if I eat another cake please tell me to stop otherwise you would receive bad jokes. It a joke or a pun. Oh I don't know. The bible doesn't describe the exchange where Joseph knock to see if the inn's have any room for two people. I guess I'll have to wing it.

Joseh asked an inn keep this question, "hello....are you the inn keeper?"

Well who else would open the inn door, certain not King Herod! Hmmm........well, Mr Dunwoody said to add some humor. Don't look like that at me.  The Christmas cake is still intact. Mum must of hid it so I cannot turn anymore crazy than I am.

Maybe adding some humor here would work? Joseph could of said "We just flew in from Nazareth.....and boys are our arms tired!" No.....that's ridiculous even Ron Wesley would agree with me on that.

How about.............Take my wife please! It's better than the previous idea. Though it is still very rude to the inn keeper if the Manners Man would be very unhappy with me.

Let's get to the point here......are you the Inn Keeper? There we go that is more polite in case it was a one of the guest that opened to the door for Joseph you can not make assumptions. That would lead to you trouble.

Now that the greeting is done. How can Joseph kindly say "I am in need of a room because Mary is having a baby soon." That it, "I'm in desperate need of a room because my deer wife is having a baby." Though Mary wants cable for some reason, best known for herself.  No, that won't work. Just leave it as the question ask it is polite and not to ridiculous.

The Inn keeper replies back to Joseph  with,  "I  wish could help you, sir. But we have no rooms left. Christmas is our busiest time of the year. Unless you have a reservation, you'll have to go elsewhere."

GRRRR! No, no, no! Man, humor just doesn't seem to fit here. I told you adding humor is rather difficult to such a serious story. I told Mr Dunwoody we should of write an advent story with Joseph perspective for adults to read so they can get engaged with the story and the story for children from sheep perspective. That would make sense. Though it is far to late to get another story made. I just have to suck it up and keep going.

Let's try this....... "Well, we have no room in the Inn left, but we do have a stinky barn in the back. £31 a night." That not to bad. It's quite reasonable not like £100 pound a night a hotel charge or even more because it's a Christmas.

Though Joseph thinks the inn keeper thinks (got that) they Joseph and Mary look like Cattle.

It's just not a funny story! How can you take this story and try to make it funny? It's too serious. It's not supposed to be funny. It has to be funny, or children won't read it? Come on, that's not giving today's children any credit. I can keep it serious.

Joseph tells the Inn Keeper this, "Well, can you at least call me a cab?" So the Inn keeper, thought to himself maybe it was harsh to call Joseph and Mary a cattle so he said to Joseph, "'re a cab." GRRRRRR Why does it have to be so hard to write the dialog between Joseph and the Inn Keeper?

Right obliviously I am no good at writing the dialog. Hope your imagination skills are good. Lets test them. Imagine Joseph help Mary walk, as they approach the Inn Keeper. There is no dialog, Joseph "talks" to Inn Keeper, motioning toward Mary. Inn Keeper shakes his head, and points to manager, then leads them over, with arms crossed, shrugs shoulders in a kind of "take it or leave it" gesture. Then the Inn Keeper walks away. Joseph and Mary stand looking at the manger. Mary covers her face and weeps on his shoulder, he consoles her briefly. He helps her sit down.

 Ok, that will work. I like that without dialog. Ok, what's next?

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

How would Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem

OK, so Mary is pregnant and just about to give birth. How can they go to Bethlehem safely?

How about an their own private airplane? That won't work as they don't accept Mothers to be unless they are less than 7 months pregnant. Though I wonder if that law would be entitled to Mary if she used a private jet? Who knows. But that won't work.

How about walking? OK, they cannot walk all the way as that is crazy! In fact why I am saying walking is crazy especially when I walked to college to and from. Well it was a sunny day and I wanted to explore Newcastle countryside. But still! That was four miles and Mary would have to walk nearly 100 miles. So you get my point.

I know, a hoverboard. Hang on, that's not invented. Who says it has to be invented? It's a story it can be made up. By no means, is the nativity scene made up though is real. Yes honestly.

We just have to use a donkey then.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Just a random update

As I got a few minutes of doing nothing. I thought I got upload something that isn't part of my advent writing. So here you go, I did tell you it was going to be random.

Last Sunday was the third advent. I had a different minister speaking the sermon and we watched a short film of children doing the nativity scene with  different approach where God want a son. And you have a comment that God makes than the children playing different characters and they don't go "they won't expect that!" That was the phrase for the sermon which really made my ears prick up. I started thinking about my personal life. A year back, I was at Farnborough college of technology studying level three health and social care. Now I am at Newcastle college studying digital design. I was expecting that last year. Last year I was living in Olwsmoor surrounded with my close friends. Now i'm in Westerhope not surround with close friends but I'm making wonderful relationships with people i.e. Alex from college. I was expecting that. Then on a public note, we had the EU. Most people thought we would stay in though the outcome was very different. We weren't expecting that. Then you have the US election. Donald was elected. We weren't  expecting that. You think you know what life throws at you. You prepare but something else throws you off guard and you didn't see that coming.

I have no more boxes to unpack. Yeppe! In fact, I was getting fed up leaving my book on the floor and waking up to turn that buzzing alarm off I kept tripping over my book. Least I was awake. So I thought, well no side table. Why not turn a box upside down and use that as a side table? As its a box least you get extra storage. So boxes might be annoying to unpack though at least they have there uses as a side table.

I have watched films. And actually watch them. Not knit while I watch them. Or cross stitch. Actually watch them. OK I watched films at my college. It's part of my college course. How cool is that? I watched Fantastic beasts and where to find them with my parents I truly enjoyed it. I might even watch the new stars wars with my Grandma or with my friends. I'm getting to enjoy watching films just stare at the screen and go on adventure. Normally I get really bored and have to do something to keep watching them. You never know, I might start watching films like I do reading my  books. Though don't bet on it! I love reading.

Right, that is all the time I have. Now I'm going to have a drink of coffee and read my book. Though I won't trip over my book. Not tonight anyhow.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Who is exactly Caeser Augsustus?

I asked Mr Dunwoody, the question "Who is exactly Ceaser? As, if I don't know the chances are the children or even you don't know.

Mr Dunwoody very kindly decided to go for walk by the river tyne with me in the chilly morning.

2000, years ago, everyone returned to their hometown to register and it was Caeser idea he gave the decree that all the world should be taxed.

After our very cold walk, Mr Dunwoody and I fancied a coffee to warm ourselves up. That carrot cake looks so lonely on it's on. Even better when someone else is paying for it, and since I ate the carrot cake it counts one of you five a day because it contains a vegetable.

We got our bibles out and read Luke 2:1-5. In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

OK, I now understand why Caeser is important character in the play but was did he ordered to for the census.

Mr Dunwoody, replied back to my question by saying, " It was done because the Roman government wanted to make sure that everyone in the Empire was paying their taxes correctly. The census was carried out all over Empire (most of Europe): but in Palestine, it was carried out in a Jewish way rather than a Roman way. This meant that families had to register in the their historical tribal town rather than where they lived. This also meant that Joseph and the very pregnant Mary would have had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, as this was town that Joseph's family (the royal family of David) originally came from - a journey of about 70 miles (112 kilometres)."

I think it might have been quite good for the family to go to Bethlehem as no one there knew them, so people would not have talked about the fact that they were not married. It's also possible that Joseph had distant relations in Bethlehem, but they still wouldn't have know Mary and Joseph very closely.

So there you go, I learned something new. Hope you did to!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Joseph's perspective

Mary came to me one day with disastrous news. She was pregnant. Now I know that you young folks don't think so much of something like that anymore, but in my day, sex before or outside of marriage was unthinkable. And a betrothed woman who turned up pregnant before marriage was totally disgraced, especially if her husband to be was not the father. Her life was ruined, and any chance that she might have had for marriage was done for. She would be socially marked, outcast by friends and family, and treated as little better than a common harlot by anyone who knew about it. And thanks to gossip, everyone who was anyone would know.

At first I was furious, my wife to be had been with another man. I was also heartbroken, both because I felt betrayed, and because I knew what would happen to her because of it. I would be expected to break off the betrothal and put her away from me in a formal divorcement. I stood there speechless, looking at her, wanting somehow to change the world so that we could still be together.

While I stood there speechless, she begged me to permit her to explain. I was shocked. How could anyone 'explain' this I wondered. Any other woman in a situation like this would be begging forgiveness. But not her, she seemed certain that if I heard what she had to say, that I would understand. Unable to say anything, I simply sat down and looked at her attentively. Mary told her story. Quickly at first, almost in a panic, trying to get it all said as fast as she could. She told me of meeting an angel, who told her that she was to bear a son, and that this child would be the son of the most high.

To say that I couldn't believe her would be an understatement. I could only believe that she had lost her mind. We were both quiet for a long time. The only thing I could think of was that I would have to put her away, but because I still loved her, I decided that it would be done as quietly as possible. There was no way that we could be married now, but I couldn't bear the thought of destroying her as this so easily could. My decision made, I went home. Sleep came slowly that night as I turned this over in my head again and again. I didn't want to do what I knew society would expect. I wanted to scream at the world, "I don't care what you think! I love her and I'm going to marry her!" But I knew that if I married her anyway and this came out that I would be every bit the pariah as her. My career would be over. No one would do business with me, my family would abandon me like I had social leprosy. Life would quickly become very difficult. Finally out of sheer emotional exhaustion I slept.

I had one of those really vivid dreams, the kind where you know you're asleep and dreaming, but cannot do anything to change it. I was working in my father's old workshop. The smell of fresh-cut wood filled the air. Suddenly all sounds of the workshop faded as the air was filled with music like I had never heard before. The beautiful music faded into a quiet background as I saw him. He was tall, with a large powerful build. Dressed all in white with a large sword sheathed at his waist and wings visible over his broad shoulders. "Joseph, descendant of the house and line of David," he said. "Do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife because the child is conceived in her by the power of the Holy Ghost. She will give birth to a son, and you will call his name Yeshua, because he will save his people from their sins."

Friday, 9 December 2016

Mary visit Elizabeth

This story can be found in Luke 1:42-45

It all happened a very long time ago, but I remember how happy I was when God told me I was going to be the mother of Jesus. I just had to take a trip to see Elizabeth, my relative and friend, and tell her my exciting news!

Elizabeth was going to have a baby. We were both going to have babies! Her baby was going to be called John.  John would become Jesus’ relative and friend.

 I could hardly wait to see Elizabeth. As I walked into her house, she was very happy to see me! She said that when she heard my voice, her baby jumped inside her! (Luke 1:42-45).

There was so much to talk about, and so much to do to get ready for our babies, that I stayed at Elizabeth’s house until it was time for her baby to be born. I enjoyed being able to help Elizabeth with her work. I was so glad I could help my friend. We had to carry water from the well every day. We cleaned the house, washed the clothes and cooked the meals. We also prayed together every day and worshiped God. Many times we visited with Elizabeth’s neighbors, talking with them about our happy news and about God. We loved our long visit together. We loved being friends.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A visit from heaven

I thought wouldn't it be good if adults can get involved with the nativity story. So I wanted to try and be in Mary's shoes when she had the angel saying to her,  “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”  This passage can be found in Luke 1:30-33

It was during this time of waiting that I had the strangest visit. An angel who called himself Gabriel suddenly appeared to me. “Greetings, you who are highly favored,” he said, “The Lord is with you.” To say I was greatly troubled at his words would be a huge understatement, and I wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to me, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” I asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” I said. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left me.

Well what do you say after a conversation like that? I was stunned! Speechless! And anyway who could I tell? There was only one person in the world who might have even an inkling of what I was going through; my cousin Elizabeth. Though much older than I, she was just now experiencing a very similar shock. Having been barren all her life, a huge embarrassment for a woman in my time, she was going to have a baby, too. And it was also the Lord’s doing. I had to go and visit her, even though it was several days journey in a time when travel was a major undertaking.

Monday, 5 December 2016

What would Mary say

Mary says, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word." No that is far to formal that reminds of William Shakespeare yes my dear friend. The way he speaks makes sense. But young people in our society doesn't agree with me. Though the problem with William plays it's a play not a book. You are not meant to read his play it is meant to be watched.

Right back on track, hmmmm let's see. Nowadays Mary would say, "I'm your lady!" Nope that does not sound right and anyhow who speak like that.

How about this, OK, where do I sign? Nope that sounds far to blunt. Don't look like that me, I am not that blunt. I tell what you that is blunt is that knife over there, that I spread butter on my toast for cheese and toast this morning. I thought I would have few days where I don't have any sugar as that might help me make this story more focused and I might be able to think better.

So if where do I sign is to blunt how about bring it! Come on, man! Let's try not to be disrespectful here! How would she accept the idea..........

I cannot stay focused this morning, maybe I should go for a walk. You are more than welcome stay here and make yourself like home. If you like you can go with me.

Oh look at the cows they are so big. Oh no! There are exactly where we want to be. Let's walk back and go home. What you think we should we carry on walking straight ahead where the cows are? That's a stupid idea.

Oh hang on, if it was God's idea than it should happen.

Ah I got it. so Mary should reply back saying this, "Behold God's servant. Let it happen according to his will." Fair enough, probably best not to tamper too much with the original there.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Monthly Musings: November

I have straight hair!

Another month zoomed past.

 I looked at my camera and found no pictures been taken nor my phone apart from when I went to Jesmond Dene. So I have to remember what I did. A memory like a gold fish is going to tell you what I have been doing.

This month involved lots of walking, one weekend a trip to Jesmond Dene. (another blog post, one day) Another weekend I had Rachel from Germany over and we had a trip to Durham Dales. It's was very cold though worth it despite walking eight miles. And Rachel as got a photo of me having a chocolate mustache though that won't be in public view. Told you the cold walk was worth it.

I have been doing some magic in the kitchen while my parents went away. I had a dozen of cupcake brownies to myself. Result! Though they did had cherries in, so it did count to my one of a day.

Don't Dad and I look adorable?! (This is what you get when you have Grandad and Mum with her phone)

I had a evening out with my parents and my Granddad at Chiquitos. That meant one thing! You can free sombrero, it counts entertainment if you have two hats on instead of one right? Even better, you have to wear a sombrero and a wholly hat on, on a bus. Now that is what I count entertainment! I didn't even know my Dad put my beanie hat on my sombrero until he looked at me and started laughing. I saw him putting his grandpa hat on top of his sombrero.

I received feedback for my unit one and unit two project and got outstanding. Been watching films as part of my course. Good films and films that is not my cup of tea though it was entertaining.

That has been it. Or shall I say, that is about a goldfish memory can actually remember. Next month would have lots of photos. Hopefully a picture of snow.

Make Christmas A Part Of You

I haven't been doing any poems recently. I thought it's about time to do a poem. 

You might be part of Christmas
But is Christmas a part of you?
It’s fun to run with Santa
With friends and family too.
But the magic part of Christmas
Can make your heart brand new
So please be part of Christmas
Make Christmas a part of you.
Have fun, go on and decorate your tree
Eat, drink, be merry, generate some glee
Then think just why you celebrate this day
And join with us to say
The magic part of Christmas can make your heart brand new
So please be part of Christmas, make Christmas a part of you. 

Mary heard the greeting

"Mary heard the greeting, and was bothered by it, wondering what strange type of greeting it was."

Angel said to Mary, "Don't be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive and have a son, and his name will be Jesus. He will be great......

Grrrr! Think Modern! How would he say it today? Mr Dunwoody want it to be more modern even though I keep thinking the old story is far to good to change it. But I got to  do what Mr Dunwoody want to otherwise he won't to share it with the church congregation and my creativity time would be wasted. Well not really, as I am actually having fun writing if you haven't already noticed.

I think I got it it, how about His name will be Jesus. He will be bomb! Nope, that is far to informal to say that to young girl with an unusual greeting Mary just had with the Angel.

How about this, then? He will flat our rock! No, no, no that is still to informal to say to a young girl. How hard can it be, to modernize a nativity story? Right, I'm going to have a nice strong coffee.

It's surprising when you drink coffee you actually think better. Oh, just me then. I think I got it, the angel should say this to Mary. "He will be seriously great! It's nearly there. See drinking coffee helps. I wonder if I should drink more, you never know I might get more work done which means that I won't get any sleep.

Right, I keep getting side tracked today, it's all the mince pies and cupcakes I am eating. Overly indulging but who cannot resits those red velvet cupcakes with a lovey cheese frosting white as snow.

Come on, Rebecca. Stay focused If you take out a 'seriously' out for a second here that I guess that would be idea.

So it would be the following "His name will be Jesus. He will be great, and be called the son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.

See I can stay focused. Right I'm off for a run to burn all the sugar and more.

Friday, 2 December 2016

The angel greets Mary

Now it's time for the angel to greet Mary.

Angel might wish to say, "Hail, thou art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women." Well first, off, sorry king James, but no one talks like that anymore. We might use the word thou because it’s  in song Be thou my vision. That is probably it and anyhow children don't tend to sing hymns for enjoyment they listen to other music. Oh what it that person called, unless you are 18 and under you might know it? Don't bother even ask me. I think it's Melanie Martinez.

Let's try this, "Hello, Mary you are..... Highly favored?" What would he say today? "Highly favored". Hmmmmm I don't think the young people talk like anymore.

Let's try, "Hello Mary. You are greatly esteemed." No that still doesn't work. Oh come on Rebecca. Try harder. About about "you're just great!" Well no but Mary is great. How about Awesome, young people still do use that right. Seriously do they have their own dictionary or something so adults cannot understand them. It's like they are speaking in a different language. Oh hang on. don't they use that text speech. I remember I have google  the meaning of tbh (to be honest). Don't look at me like that.

So if awesome won't work how about "a cool women." You know get cool for the children. OK, I will get real! At least try to.

Right so far I got. "Hello Mary. You are highly favored." Actually, I kind of like the original. "Highly favored" it is. See I said to you I will get real.

Ok... "Blessed art thou among women." hmmmm

Though the angel just cannot say that. He needs to say something else. How about "you are seriously blessed!" No..... How else can you say it?

Oh, you think the angel should "When it comes to blessings. lady, you take the cake" No I don't like at all.

How about, "among women, you are the cats' meow" Come on, Rebecca, think, think. Think like you are serious.

This has to be it, "Hello, Mary. You are highly favored, and the Lord is with you. You are truly blessed among all women.

Once again the original sounds good to me.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

How would the angel tell Mary about the good news?

How do young people nowadays contact each other? Yes, I know I am young adult though I am very old fashioned I much prefer writing a letter to my dearest friends and relatives.

Mrs Troublefield, asked Mr Dunwoody "Who is Joseph and Mary." He responded, "Joseph and Mary are two young people who were promised to each other, but not yet married. This means that Mary was still living with her parents. They were unimportant people, known only to their relatives and friends."

What comes to you mind when you think of an angel? Maybe an image of a white-clad, young man. Well that is how angels traditional portrayed. Which explains why we find it difficult to imagine Mary and the Angel as anything other than two separate figures facing each other in a simply furnished room.

Mr Dunwoody want this story to be engaging for children and young people. So how would the angel talk to Mary? Well you can never see young person not holding that mobile phone? Look at those two girls in the coffee shop talking to each other by texting! Young people these days! No manners have they? Angel can phone Mary and tell her the good news that way? No, that is ridiculous. So the phone is out of question even text messages, what is that other thing young people use, how about Facebook. No! That won't work!

What other ways to contact people? Skype that's like seeing a person face to face, and most people have an account. You can speak to people from the other side of the world surely that would work. Won't it? What no it won't.

I think I got it, how about Instagram it. Surely that would be better than other ways as the young ones who pose silly faces of themselves surely Mary cannot resits opening her notification to see what it says. Though pulling a face won't be much help especially if the wind change as you will have that silly face forever unless the wind blows in the opposite direction.

Well technology does have it glitches so how about a telegram. What you never heard about them? You know the message send by telegraph and then delivered in writing form though they only used in the UK only for international messages since 1981. Elizabeth started working out what to put in the telegram and then give the draft for the Angel to read who began to read, "Hail Mary. Stop. Blessed art thou." Stop, that is no good.

Oh come on Rebecca, I should be able answer the most simply question. So the telegram won't work. I got it, no honestly I have. Is it not obvious? It's staring at you. Well looks like Gabriel we have to visit Mary in person after all. OK, in the original version, what did the Angel say. Let's see..........

OK, now for the serious bit. Miss Calaway asked a very good question, "What did the writers of the Gospels mean when they used the term 'angel;?" Now that is what I call a good question. Now please do give me a moment to think about this. Would you like a coffee or tea when I just think?

Right, here is my answer Miss Calaway. The term 'angel' were speaking of a message from God. It could come in a dream or a vision. However it appeared, it was powerful enough to shake the person to their foundations.; the person who received/saw the Angel/message was convinced they had received a message directly from God-it was, in fact, God-Given.

Luke 1 26-27 reads the following. 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

Monday, 28 November 2016

The beginning

Mr Dunwoody, made me a do a project. Modernize the nativity story. Mr Dunwoody doesn't want to recite the Nativity scene as that is boring according to him he want to do something a bit different. Though not out of the ordinary, as the story is best as it is but want it more engaging so the the children understand it.

I know it sounds impossible, right. Though don't tell Mr Dunwoody that. Though I am writer so I should give it a go. You never know what might happen after drinking hot coco and a mince pie.

Yes, Mr Dunwoody, I understand the undated, modern version of the Nativity story. One the children can understand, in their words. Gotcha. Now when you say updated, do you mean set in modern times? In present day Bethlehem? Well, sir, I can't exactly picture Mary and Joseph toting around with magic wands...I'll see what I can do. Yes Mr. Dunwoody. I'm on it. Goodbyee

OK, let's see... a modern version of the nativity story... "Spice it up. Give it some ommph, some humor. Make it so children will enjoy and understand it!" How hard can it be? I watch it every year without fail. I have good imagination otherwise Mr Dunwoody wouldn't ask me to do it. I should be able to bring this story up to date. Add a little 21st Century into the mix. No problem. OK... Where should I start? Nativity. Hmmm

OK, Mary and the angel. Let's see, the first, the angel tells Mary she will have a baby. Now, in the original the angel visited her in person. How would he tell her today? Would he visit her in person or try another method? How about....

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Christmas advent story calender

It's exciting time. Christmas is upon us. Is just me, though I am getting Christmas songs in my head. Already been playing some of the hymns on my mini keyboard. It's been ages since I played so I am very bad at playing them. But soon the magical Rebecca would be back.

I have been very busy this week though I still had time to do Advent story. It was after the young people evening event at my local church that I thought, I haven't been doing anything creative things this month just been getting through a day. So I thought, December is a time to reflect and think about Jesus. If everything else fails, at least put him in the center of Christmas. So I deiced to do some story telling. I thought If I get all them done, then I plan when to upload them and stick to it. How hard it can be? Staying up all night just to get them done, well not really, I haven't been sleeping very well so done them when I cannot sleep and counting sheep and shepherds.

There is a schedule thing where you can tell blogger to upload the post and time. I'm not good with technology which is very apparent in my story telling.

Though I thought you might want to know when I am uploading my story. Therefore, you are not constantly refreshing your browser or saying this "Oh Rebecca hasn't uploaded anything." By all means, I am not a daily blogger as we learnt last year.

So grab a hot coco and a mince pie and read this story.

I will be uploading the advent stories on these dates without fail.

Monday 28th November
Wednesday 30th November
Friday 2nd December
Sunday 4th December
Monday 5th December
Wednesday 7th December
Friday 9th December
Sunday 11th December
Monday 12th December
Wednesday 14th December
Friday 16th December
Sunday 18th December
Monday 19th December
Wednesday 21st December
Friday 23rd December
Sunday 25th December

See you tomorrow!

Time for celeration

Can we see time flying? I never have but that could be really interesting

What is time? Time can be about a moment, an occasion, an interval, a season, a measure, a schedule.... the list goes on. 'Time' becomes very precious to us when we are with family and friends, especially if don't see them often.

At Christmas we are grateful for that 'time' to pause reflect and be thankful for what faith means to us. There are a few sentences in the Bible that speak of 'time'. My two favoriute are 'a time to love' and a 'a time for peace'. God wants us to know that He loves and cares for us and that will never change.

Knowing that we are loved by our families, friends and God means so much to us, and this is where peace cab be found. And we all want peace: for our work, our families or simply in ourselves. Peace brings, harmony and freedom from strife, with 'time' to bring joy to our lives.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Advent writing again this year

Another year doing advent writing. Me! Think again.

Well I didn't actually write the other advent the hope is on the way series. Thank goodness I got nice friends who helped me out. Though I liked writing and it prepared me to actually celebrate Christmas. It made me ponder about things what it is we really really want to think about Christmas not the latest book (though that would be good). For many people, including me I think it's the time to think about Jesus Christ as a baby in a manger. While the birth of Christ is a special and miraculous event, it isn't the primary focus as I learned that the center of Christmas story is the Child of Christmas is God. See already got you thinking, haven't I?

I don't have to do those pesky assignments anymore, which I am glad about. Though I don't want to commit myself writing everyday during Advent. However, as Christmas is on a Sunday this year which means Advent is earliest as it can be, speaking about that, does that mean we get extra chocolate. NO!!!!!!!! You tell me, worth a try! So I thought I haven't been doing much thought and pondering recently. Maybe I should write a story during advent about Christmas. Though it won't be uploaded on a daily basis. Though it will start on this Sunday.

Advent starts this Sunday, I have five days to do some magic. I have no idea the plan and don't want to give it away. So if you want to read my thoughts then please feel free to stick around. If you want some structured readings then go over to Martha's blog

Watch this space, for some magic. You never know what might spark on here! Do you?

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Mental health wisdom from Winnie the Pooh

Now this may seem like an odd title for a blog post, but bear with me (no pun intended, I promise.)

Despite it being nearly two decades since I've actually read Winnie the Pooh book (something I need to rectify), I've often found unexpected inspiration and affirmation from stumbling upon quotes from A.A. Milne books when browsing online. I also found find that a lot of the quotes can be great reference points for those who struggling with mental illness, but of course are not restricted to that demographic: they relate to the human experience in general.

Here are five of my favourite quotes from Winnie the Pooh books, along with what they mean to me:

"I don't feel very much like Pooh today," Said Pooh. "There there," said Piglet. "I'll bring you tea and honey until you do."

The exchange between Pooh and Piglet that everyone can go through a period of not feeling quite right-whether it be because a bad day or anxiety. But it also reminds us it's Okay to sometimes feel that way, and that it can be remedied. It's scary to wake up and suddenly not feel like yourself anymore, but by knowing that even Pooh has felt this way you can be sure you are not alone with it. Importantly it also highlights the facts that it's as necessary to be looked after when feeling mentally unwell as it is when one physically ill.

To me the quote also suggests that simple home comforts can often ground us and let us feel like 'us' again. Have you ever spend a day or evening somewhere, or found yourself doing something, that had left you with that niggling feeling of 'this isn't right for me'? And then maybe you've come home, still with that feeling of deflation, to then find your family waiting to greet you warmly-or you find you have a message from an old friend wanting to catch up? and then, just like that, you suddenly remember who you are again and those bleak feelings disappear? Well, this quote makes me think of that. It's a reminder that it's okay to be with people and surroundings that we're most comfortable with and that reflect our true nature, away from the pressure of feeling the need to be people we are not. It highlights the importance of good friends and family and wherever it is that we call home.

'By the time it came to the edge of the Forest, the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was it going, and it said to itself, There is not hurry. We shall get there some day.'

I often struggle with high stress and anxiety, and usually when it's very unnecessary. I write down every passing thought in my notebook in case I forget small park of my daily routine, I have a constant nagging in the back of my head if I haven't responded to someone message and I walk to fast to fast even when I have no where I need to be. But this quote comforts me with the knowledge that with age comes a retrospective realisation. A realisation that all those times you've replied to an email the next day- or forgotten to buy milk on the way home, or were five minutes late for a lecture-ultimately none of that ended up mattering. Because everything turned out okay in the end. And that there will also come an acceptance and understanding that, but living your life in a slower pace and with lower urgency, things will be okay too.

That's my personal take, but more simply the quote also suggests that the buoyancy of childhood is replaced with a more structured temperament and lifestyle when one reaches adulthood. Not because of any loss, but due to the wisdom and understanding gained along the journey.

"What day is it?" Asked Pooh. "It's today," squeaked Piglet. "My favortire day," said Pooh."

This quote helped me a lot when I experienced anxiety last year and this year. As a result of this-as extreme as it may seem-I spend a lot of time getting severely anxious and down at the prospects of dying and simply about ad things that could potentially happen in the future. But this very simply exchange is a reminder to appreciate what we currently have, and to live in the moment. Pooh's favourite day is today, because it;s the only one that is actually happening! Whenever I read this I adopt Pooh's innocent approach to life, which holds no anxiety or apprehension about the future. And he right to think in such a way. After all the future hasn't happened yet: the present is the only thing that exists. And the ideal frame of mind is to actually live in the present, instead of constantly and anxiously trying to leap ahead.

'You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.'

Sometimes we isolate ourselves without even realising it, and this quote exemplifies that. Before you label yourself as being lonely and claim defeat always first make sure you're doing thing to actually combat that loneliness. I've often found myself upset about specific people contacting me, or sounding even feeling that no one at all is making the effort to reach out to me. But i'm also the type of person who refuses to contact people first. See the problem here? Someone has to make the first move. And it's very likely that the people you want to connect with are thinking the same about you not contacting them, or will at least be happy to connect once you give them the nudge by reaching out first. Friendships and relationships can't start or be maintained unless someone is willing to be the one to make the first move.

And whether or not you yourself are feeling isolated, it's likely that some other people you know are feeling that way. So if you don't already, then why not try reaching out to people you wouldn't normally think of reaching out to, or to someone who you think could need a friend? The result will likely be rewarding for both parties.

"Promise me you'll always remember; you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think"

I'm not sire if this a common belief in others, but I've never been able to consider myself brace. In fact, I often think to myself worriedly; I'd probably be a Hufflepuff, 'cause I sure as anything couldn't be a Gryffindor.' But despite these thoughts, many people I've known have called me 'brave' due to the fact I've faced facts a lot of struggles. And thought I always have shrug off being labelled as such, the truth of matter is that we are all brace. It's only that one normally doesn't realise how brave they are until faced with a difficult situation, in which being brace is the only option. Everyone of us has that in us. That is also true when it comes to strength, as the two go hand in hand. The quote also highlights that no matter what we look like on the outside-whether it be physically small, clinically anxious or physically ill-it's no representation of the vast inner strength we encompass. In fact, the weaker one may seem on the outside, the more strength is likely being put to use on the inside, due to them having to fight that much harder.

And this can also be said for being smart or funny or any other positive trait. Because at the end of the day, as humans, it's almost impossible for us to see ourselves as we really are. And the majority of us will unfortunately play down our positive attributes due to insecurities. The quote tells us that the people who see us how we really are, they are the ones who will think the highest of us.

This post I wasn't intending to write, the post I was trying to write was explaining why this week is hard for me though I just couldn't get words so I thought I would give myself a pet talk and thought you might want something to read. Ta ta for now. Surely you must get that reference.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Lots of cooking

This week ended up with a stack of washing up. Thank goodness I own a dishwasher though for some reason I didn't use I just end up making lots of mess and tidying it up.

I thought you might like the clean pile of washing up
I don't know why over a sudden I'm into a mood where I want to cook lots of things and even try something new. I had no friends or relatives over so no entertaining which means no cooking different things or cakes. The main problem was that my folks went away meaning I could to what I wanted to do within reason. Which means I can have carrots and ice cream for dinner! Though I didn't think it was a good meal to have so I decided to use my student cookbook that I got. Which means lots of washing up across the worktop. Though never mention that!

Welsh rarebit
I think the star of the menu this week was the welsh rarebit cheese on toast is my favoruite either for breakfast or lunch. It's quick and easy to make, and so delicious. After some research, it turns out Welsh Rarebit is a specialty recipe for cheese and toast (originally named Welsh rabbit, but probably had a name change to make it a bit more fitting since there's no rabbit in it) Who doesn't like cheese and toast?

Spicy risotto
My other problem is that I haven't been cooking for such a long time. So I flicked through the cookery book and looked at the lovey picture and found a something that I would like to rustle up in the kitchen, Which is the spicy risotto.

Sausage pie
Then I thought well I fancy doing something different but comforting. I decided to make a sausage pie. After all it was a Saturday which means all you want to do is find a recipe which you can eat with just a fork whilst curled up on the sofa and which a good film. Right?

Chocolate cupcakes brownies
Oh and earlier in the week I rustled up a half dozen chocolate brownies cupcakes, which were entirety necessary, I assure you. They used up the remains of some egg whites just perfectly. Plus I really have been craving brownies real ones you know the crispy outsides but insides they are so moist and with some fruit? As if you have fruit in the cakes they count 1 in 5 a day?

Pasta with spicy sausages
I had two sausages left over from Saturday well the other two out of the six went in my spaghetti for a lovely breakfast which kept me through right until my coffee and cake later on the day. So I thought make a spicy pasta with the left over sausages. Which was very yummy and meant that I could read a book while eating.

Misty vegetarian spicy soup and hereby dumplings
I thought before I turn into a sausage, I better cook something else than sausages. I thought about having a vegetarian dishes not because I am one. Just because it's something different. I fancied something warm as it was rather cold but want something to fill me up. I decided to do spicy soup and hereby dumplings. It was extremely spicy I though I picked up a measuring spoon of half teaspoon turns out while I was washing up a half tablespoon. Also don''t stir the soup too much or you will break up the dumplings.

Cauliflower and broccoli cheese
After all I am flexitarian, nope its not a made up word. It is where you or a vegetarian but have days where you like meat. So I cooked cauliflower and broccoli cheese and for some reason the cheese sauce just wasn't thickening. So I phoned for help and while on the phone it manged to thicken up.

Have a hot coco with a cake, it'll make you feel better if you are covering from a cold and if not still have hot coco and cake. And next month is December-it will be snowy. Yes it will. Won't it? Surely?

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Monthly Musings:October

Autumn is my favourite time of year. With all the lovely colours of the trees from green to these lovely orange and redish colour with a bit of colour. If I took this photo a bit earlier I could enter this photo in the elements competition. I like Autumn not only because of the lovely colour of nature  but that it is socially acceptable to decline to meet up with people as it is to cold and it is more inviting to stay at home with a nice hot coco and read a book.

I was thinking of not blogging until I am more settled in my house. Though it means my lovely friends and family and any other readers that read this blog (which I say hello to) wouldn't know what I have been up to. Unless you ask me, What did you get up to in October? An answer might be something like this, nothing much really had friends over and family this is a rather vague answer and this month been hectic right from the 1st.

Dad posing as the angle of the north

This month been full of seeing old friends and seeing my lovely family. I had my grandparents over for a flying weekend get to see some of Newcastle gems. Unfortunately I won't be telling you them I like Newcastle far too much without the tourists. Though I did get to see the Angel of the North. I had my boyfriend though not together because of the move though we are still very close together.

This is what you get when you have a friend (Hanna) take over the laptop. Mind the quality of this image!!!!

 I had a week back in South at a lovely time catching up with my close friends one of which is called Hanna some odd reason she wants a mention on this blog. Don't know why. As I put a mention on this blog as requested I better also mention Alex on here from my college course. I just can't resist to put this quote from Geoffrey Chaucer “Patience is a conquering virtue.”

Grandma and Seth deciding on what Caravan to have!
Had a lovely time with my mischievous Cousin Seth who is aged three. Had a morning out in playing soft play as the weather was to cold and wet to play in the play park. Does 18 count as child or an adult? Does that mean I am still OK to play in soft play or have a drink of coffee and watch my cousin playing? Hmmmm, I had a Latte and a cookie which we shared between us three. I also decided to play with my cousin in the soft play and had fun counting from 3-2-1 when I say the number 1 my cousin jumps off the step and into the balls pit though if you ask Seth what he did he will tell you "I jumped off and into the swimming pool." Trying to get a three year old to come out of soft play for lunch is bit of a nightmare. So I thought I will make it a game, who can see Mummy the first, it worked until the very end where Seth decided to come down so I made a deal with him, down we go we have to go upstairs and see Mummy then go. Finally it worked without tears.

Auntie Clare and Tired Seth
I had a lovely evening with my Auntie Clare, went to her house and helped my Auntie Clare and Uncle Stuart to get little, tired Seth to bed. Then Auntie Clare and I went to Farnborough to go to the pictures. I don't normally like Thrillers and never watched one I don't get enjoyment when reading so never watched one until this month when I watch Inferno which is about Robert following a trail of clues tied to Dante, the great medieval poet. When Langdon waked up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna a doctor he hopes will recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a virus that could wipe out half the world's population.

I had a good morning/afternoon with my friend Hanna which we had a shopping trip to Baskingstoke no books in hand. It had to happen someday.  Though I managed to get two designer clothing without even trying one jumper and one top from charity shops. Why spend a fortune when you might only wear once? When you can get something from charity shop that is designer for less and you doing your bit for charity.

Oh I do like to be by the sea side

My Grandma has a sister who lives in Bournemouth (where the picture above is taken). Which was a lovely afternoon. Granddad and I went out for a walk and left Grandma and her sister talk. When you are by the sea side there is two rules you have to abide to do 1) have fish n chips 2) have ice cream. You have to abide at least one of them. As we already had lunch we abide to number two. I shared my ice cream with Granddad and there is no such thing as too cold to have ice cream.

I had a lovely time with my friends which you can tell as I forget to take a picture. It was weird to pass the house that I lived in for over 10 years that is no longer my home. Though home is where the heart is. I met up with Tia and Lawrence and had a lovely hot coco (sorry for the mess I made Tia) then went out for lunch in local pub that I used to live then had a walk up to Crowthrone for a deserved coffee then it was time to go back to my grandparents.

Quote of the month

Auntie Clare: "Seth where did we go shopping, Seth?
Seth: "Tiddles" (Meaning Lidl)

What I am thankful for this month

  • Having lovely friends 
  • Been to the Dentist with clean dental health 
  • Having a garden though the weather is not right to be siting outside
BOO! Ha, gotcha. I can't believe it's the end of October. I just can't. I'm kind of sad as October is one of my favorite months. I must say though, i'm really looking forward to November, because then it is practically December which means CHRISTMAS, it's the best! Also, is it socially acceptable to start singing Christmas songs yet? PLEASE SAY IT IS!!!!!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Why I like autumn so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was going to have a short break from blogging as I just moved house and everything is very unsettling. I just cannot resits doing a blog post.

There is nothing like the season of fallen leaves, rainy days and hours spent at home with a warm drink and a good book. While most people complain about the rain and long for summer cheerfulness where as I truly thrive in the fall season.

First reason why I like Autumn because it is less crowded outside. I am not a fan of going out in the common sense of this world such as clubbing or hanging out with a company of friends. However, I like the outdoor activities too-they are just different from what most people prefer.

If you are like me an introvert, you would probably love to take a walk in a shady park or sit in a quiet cafe near by, enjoying a cup of aromatic coffee and reading your book. Still, in Summer, a peaceful walk often turns into a struggle for survival among the crowds of noisy kids and loud teenagers.

In autumn, things change: children start a new school year and people of all ages spend more time indoors. How fascinating it is to roam deserted streets on a rainy day and watch colourful leaves fall.........

Second reason I like autumn because I have a good excuse to stay at home. The fact that people now spend less time outside has one more benefits for those introverts. It becomes more generally accepted if someone prefers to stay at home, which means that I don't have to explain myself all the time. Also it means that I don't get invited to social occasions the same often as in summer. But even where I am, there is always a good and plausible excuse, such as bad weather or being sick with a cold. So I can enjoy the quiet of my house and get involved in my favorite activities while listening to the calming sounds of falling drops.

Another reason why I love autumn because of the special atmosphere it brings. This season has long been a source of creative inspiration for poets, writes and artists. Watching nature's gorgeous transformation is enough to give me fresh ideas and new insight, no matter what way I use to release my creative energy. I.e. taking a picture of the tree and write a blog post about why I love autumn.

Autumn provokes reflection and teaches us important life lesson. It reminds me of the eternal cycle of existence and inspires me to embrace the change. It shows me how important it is to let go in order to make a fresh start and teaches me to accept the transition to a different stage in life. All these lesson we can learn from nature in autumn are great food for thought and reflection-something that I do certainly appreciate.

Lastly autumn is a perfect time for solitude and solo activities. Loud summer with its open parties, group activities and crowded beaches is over. Autumn is a realm of thoughtfulness, solitude and beautiful sadness. It's a season when the time seems to slow down, just like everything in nature. And that's exactly why I love autumn-it allows me to recharge my batteries after the summer adventures and enjoy alone time doing my favorite activities.

So what are you waiting for? Make yourself a cup of herbal tea, take a book you've long wanted to read and enjoy the coziness of your home this autumn.🙂

Friday, 7 October 2016

Monthly musings: September

Good heavens, I can't believe autumn is upon is upon us once again.

This month was the most difficult month settling in a new environment and getting my bearings. I know the metro center, Eldon square, Ryton of course and the next village along from where I live which is Crawcrock, Winlaton and Blaydon. Any where else is a complete mystery to me apart from Corbridge and Hexham. This month is where we get back to normality apparently! Though is there really such thing as normality?

I started my new college course. I thoroughly enjoying it. Getting the hang off Abode Photoshop. I have had a workshop doing a Low poly. If you're not familiar with the term, you've certainly seen the style. Simple geometric shapes placed side-by-side to create angular minimalist compositions. The "poly" from low poly comes from the word "polygon," which is a merely a 2-dimensional shape made of straight lines and angles. I have been getting messy with paint by doing Jason Pollock Art. And much more great fun. Plus I met some lovely people and made great friends.

I have days where I finish early so use this time to explore the city or go for a walk by the Quay Side. My Fridays is where I try out a new cafes or coffee shops and read my book. I have been reading books like there is no tomorrow.

I have entered my first ever photo competition and received positive feedback. It was good to see other people photo's and how I can improve to become a better photographer. Well you can only go up!

Well done! You have found a snowdog. 

My Dad had a weekend away doing kite bugging at Camber Sand with his friend from work. Yep that's a thing! So Mum and I had a lovely girly weekend to ourselves. Which involved, going to the town and doing the Great North Snowdogs trail with my Mum friend from school and her daughter. Where you have an app on your phone and you become a tourist in your own city. You have to find 50 snowdogs some are big and small which are dotted around Tyne & Wear, Then we decided to watch a film on Sunday. Whatever you do, do not trust me to pick a film for you to watch!! As my Mum found out. It was between Bridget Jones or Bad Mom's. I decided to watch Bad Moms now I think Bridget Jones would be a better suitable choice. Then had dinner out and my favorite place to eat Wagamama's.

When the great north run happened this year. Parents and I went to Open Heritage, we went to to the old power station for trams called CastleGate though it used to be called Manors Power station.
I won't bore you with the history. Though if you wish to look into it then here it the website. 

Quote of the month:
Me: Next year I am going to do the Great North Run
Mum: Me too
Me: Dad are you going to do the great north run?
Dad: yes!!!!!
Dad: We are talking about the helicopter. Right?
Me: No!!!!!!!!!! The actually running the half marathon.

Right, if I put it on here it means I got no where to back out. Right! I love running and doing my bit to help others in need. I am going to run the great north run marathon next year. It would be a shame not to since you get to the beauty of Tyne & Wear especially when the event is right on my door step. I already started training to get ready to run from nothing (haven't been running since some time in winter of 2016) to running a half marathon. Watch this space for my updates on my running process.

September was the month where I was between three houses. You don't hear that often. Do you?

I just got settled in Ryton and now it time to move across the river to Newcastle in Westerhope. I'm looking forward to put some roots down and being all settled completely. So watch this space for another tour around the house with Roger. Though this time you wouldn't see random things in weird place or boxes.

Now if you could please excuse me, while I just finish the packing. For my last move for a while. So you might find yourself refreshing the browser a couple of times before another blog post makes a appearance.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The manifesto on how to be interesting

My recent trip to the library I picked this book as I previously read Holly Bounre "Am I normal yet" I thoroughly enjoyed that so thought I might enjoy this one. And I certainly did, it's one of those pick where each teenager can relate to and a book you cannot you put down. Thank goodness I don't own a book light otherwise I would have no sleep for serveral nights. Though my next treat I might just buy one. So I don't have to turn the light on and off which is another great way to get those 10,000 step a day.

Apparently I'm boring. A nobody. But that's all about to change because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you're very welcome.

Bree is a lose, a wannabe author who hides behind words. Most of the time she hates she her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.

But when she's told she needs to start living a life worth writing about, The manifesto on How to Be Interesting. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.

Sometimes books have impressions on you. Sometimes you read something which is so raw and real that when you finally, finally finish it you have to put it down and just sit there for a few minutes, letting it all sink in. This is one of those books.

The Manifesto On how To be Interesting begins with the life of Bree, a rich teenage girl who could be pretty if she wanted but chooses not to be. She is close friends with geeky Holdo and doesn't seem to care about her social reputation; all she wants is to be a published author. However there is a near constant stream of rejection letters and, doubting her skills immensely, she turns to her English teacher and close confident for help; he tells her no uncertain terms that her current life is boring which is why all her writing is boring, too. What experience is she supposed to write from is she has none? And thus the story begins.

"What' my purpose? I'm going to become interesting. I'm going to become somebody you want to read to about." Chapter 6

Usually if I don't like the main character I will not like the book, especially if it's one which delves so deeply into Bree's psyche. What's interesting about the way Bourne characterises her lead is that she's written to be unlikeable-we are supposed to read the book and slowly let her become a sour taste in our mouth. That's the point. And it works, it absolutely works. Bree is a character you will love to hate because she's real and she's flawed and she makes mistakes so many of us to but are too scared to admit to. She falls into the traps of vapidity and seeking revenge and manipulates those around her so easily. It almost feels unreal. Is she any better than the stuck up bitches she gores tow to two with? That's for you to question.

No fear, though Bree is not only the flashed out character in this beautiful world of lifelikable people. Plenty of the other characters have depths I did not see coming and intricacies to their lives which were not expected. It's not a black and white tale, easy to categorise the people within in. It's very complex and ambiguous and draws upon the realties of all humans. Even the most shallow of people are human underneath.

"I'm terrified that my journey won't tie up all the loose ends nicely. Because this a life, not just a story, and life doesn't always go the way stories tell you."

So, whilst working her way up the social ladder through means of make overs, rare lipsticks, and interesting new stockings, Bree infiltrates the mean girl posse of her school. It's not an easy fete and I was glad to see not all of the girls were enamoured with her as Jasmine first was. Whilst on many levels it really was quite simply executed there were always ongoing nicks that separated Bree from the other girls and likewise. Blogging about their exploits as she uncovered the truth about what it meant to be 'interesting' (aka popular), Bree enacts a quest to bring down the Queen Bree.

 And yet, though a lot of her time seemingly filed with lying her way to the top of the social chain, she still has time to run the Creative Writing club with her favourite teacher. The reader is very quickly introduced to the idea of Bree and Mr. Fellows as a romantic pairing but their romance doesn't actually develop until a later on. If I'm honest it's actually aa little.....of putting. I don't quite se the need for it. Whilst I recognise the implications of Bree caring for him, the reciprocal feelings were not necessary to the overarching themes of the novel. It would have made me far more comfortable as a reader for this to have been axed.

"If we were more interesting, we would be having sex right now. (...) They should be having sex! That's what people cared about. That's what interesting people did. (...) If she and Holdo ended up sleeping together tonight that would be a very interesting thing to have happened!." Chapter 5

In a similar vein I felt that Bourne slightly neglected the friendship between Holdo and Bree. I thought he might be her respite, I thought she might indulge him in her experiment, let him know what was happening, but I was wrong. Neither the big reunion scene or the interesting parallels I expected to be drawn happened. Not in the way I wanted or anticipated, anyway. I think Holdo could've been utilised more as an antithesis to the others.

What did work exceedingly well was the inclusion of self harm. It's constantly important to discuss serious issues like these within YA novels particularly and I'm glad that Bourne is so driven to include mental health in her works. What I like about it in The Manifesto, though, was that it was rather low key. I'd like to make it clear that this is not a book about self harm but its a by-product of how Bree reacts to the events of the novel. It is by no means a focal point of the story but it's not sugar coated either.

Ultimately I loved this novel. The themes it explored, the characters, all of it rolled into a story I just couldn't put down. With each book I read by Holly Bourne I become more convinced that she is one of the most important YA writes of the age. It's impossible to read Bourne's writing and not come out on the other side a changed person. This book will change you.