I knew a new series was being written, but to have it written, filmed, broadcast and out on DVD before the new year seems VERY speedymcSpeedy from the clan speedy to me! Anyway, I’m pleased that Mark and Dobby appear to be getting together, but think that Mark’s attachment to Jez will ultimately win out! Whether Dobby can put up with living with the two of them remains to be seen, and dealing with Mark’s baby too! Was surprised that the Royal Family allowed Sophie Winkleman to reprise Big Suze, even though her part was small this time. I know she’s a junior royal by marriage, but enough kicking off happened when Marina Ogilvy had a baby outside of marriage! You may think I would have a problem with that personally, being a Christian. There’s not a lot I have issues with actually, simply because I feel that God has placed me on this planet to help people, definitely not to judge their actions. This isn’t always easy, because there are some things that people do that I cannot get my head around. Causing hurt or abuse to people, like children, the disabled or the elderly, and the same to animals, is something I just cannot comprehend. I have never understood how people can decide that they hate people simply due to religion, skin colour or sexual preference. None of this changes what a person is like inside. I know finding comedy funny is always a subjective area. It always will be by its very nature. I know I generally watch peep show cos of the divine Mr Mitchell. Super Hans is a character so cartoonish almost that you do find him funny. I find it hard to find any sympathy for either him or Jez or the scouser that Mark and Sophie used to work with. Or Johnson. They’re all quite funny though, because they are all equally moronic! Unfortunately we probably do all know someone who is like one of those characters. Scary!
Bethlehem Is Bleeding
There are walls
Lots of walls
And some pray and hope
That they can get through
Some walls are moving and beautiful
Some are divisive
Some are heartbreaking
They are scars on a country’s land
Separated from family and livelihood
By a huge, gaping, oozing
A wound cutting deep into the heart
Of a baby and his mother
Can it ever be healed?
People all across the world
Each hoping and praying for love to win
Aching for a sense of quiet and calm
Caring for land and persons around them
Each hoping and praying for love to win
I’ve probabaly blogged before about making my own greetings cards. the Headmaster at my school has allowed me to run workshops as after-school activities. I’ve done three now, I think. We did one for Christmas, and I hope I’ll be allowed to do more in the spring term. The most touching thing that can happen for someone who works with children and young people is when you receive a gift or something from one of them. I received four cards from learners this Christmas. Two were hand made, one in the workshop I ran. A member of staff joined the workshop this time, and made a card. That card turned out to be my christmas card, which was really lovely. My cards are given to family and friends, and are also used for good causes, mostly raising money at church.
During November and December, I volunteered for a local Cards for Good Causes shop. Cards for Good Causes is an umbrella charity, with over twenty charities involved in selling their christmas cards through these shops, set up across the country in libraries, museums and churches. The managers are paid, and then the other staff are volunteers. This was my fourth year, and I love doing some volunteer work and seeing the cards and the new designs!
A while ago I blogged about wanting to do more locally to help people in need. I discussed this with our Team Rector. He knew of some significant plans to tackle homelessness in our town. I already knew it was a problem but I didn’t know where it was happening. He got me some information about all the most pressing issues, from a meeting of council representatives and other important agencies, including charities and church groups. I haven’t decided what to do yet. I know that planning permission has recently been given for a short term housing centre in our town, but obviously that still needs to be built. There’s one in a town nearby that is up and running, but there are no soup kitchens, no hostels (Biirmingham and Worcester for those. St Paul’s Hostel near Worcester Shrub Hill Station, is one that our team rector and his wife support. Our Salvation Army don’t do anything to my knowledge. Their big centre is in Brum). There are no facilities, particularly in these challenging weather conditions we have had recently. I’ve considered filling my car boot with blankets or sleeping bags, tea, coffee, and other hot drinks, cup-a-soups, flasks of hot water, and going to the haunts I now know about to see if people are there and need help. My parents wouldn’t like it, but is that what stopped me? Some more praying is needed. I’ve also thought about visiting St Paul’s Hostel. Again, what is stopping me? Maybe its because night time is the problem time for homeless people, and I, selfishly, like my warm house and comfy bed too much?
The one thing about being involved in my church is that Advent was guaranteed to be busy, especially as we managed to fit the Crib service on Christmas Eve, and a Christingle service as well, earlier in December! The carol service was cancelled due to the weather, as well as one of our carol singing expeditions. We did do some singing at a local supermarket on the weekend before Christmas though! We raised £180! Also each parish has to pay its quota to the Church of England. Each church within each parish pays its share, depending on the size. We have struggled to pay our share for several years, but this time we paid it without any problems! Woo hoo! If you don’t know what a Christingle is, the tradition dated from 1747 in the Moravian church. check out the Children Society website for more info; http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/. Just in case you were wondering the services went really well, with my friend dressed up as a human Christingle in that service, and me playing a stressed cook in a busy Bethlehem inn, during the crib service.
Christmas Day itself was lovely, with many surprises as ever. You can guarantee that if I see something I like and think to myself “no – that’s too expensive”, my parents will present me with the exact same item on Christmas Day. Last year and this year, it was necklaces. I’ve got a black maxi dress which is very flattering considering how big and fat I am. I love the style, and knew there were other colours available. Dad bought mum the green one (I’m jealous) but couldn’t get it in my size (You see why I’m jealous!). On Christmas Day he presented me with a red one! Woo Hoo! (I’d still like the green one though…good grief! how shallow I can be sometimes). I had lots of presents, because I have lovely, generous friends and colleagues. Went shopping today and spent a book token, given to me by my aunt, uncle and cousins. I do like shopping, though I prefer it if its for other people. Buying for myself I find difficult, always.