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In my mid twenties I worked as a Children’s and Families Worker for a group of churches in the suburban towns of Gerrards Cross and Chalfont St Peter, not far from London. Generally, it was an area of privilege, the kind of place with well-regarded schools, good train links, green spaces and a lot of…

Small Things

I had a letter from our sponsor child in Guatemala last week: a page of Spanish brimming with childish warmth and gratitude. Where do we lose all that? At what point do we grow out of all that heart-full, joyful exuberance? I want it back. He, who lives so far from me on the slopes…

Hope

I love how, in May, the yellows of Spring give way to a cadence of white. I love the pollen fairies lilting like music on the breeze, dandelions catching the evening light and the sweet, soulful daisies that spring up everywhere. On the river this week, white water flowers stood up on their stems as…

Catching Up

I wrote a few months ago about not wanting this blog to become a desert, and here I am again, writing at least a month since the last post. It seems that a catch-up is in order. On Wednesday evening, Andrew and I walked by the river and I can only describe the scenery as…

On Giving

I have wracked my brains for a better word than ‘giving’, looking for something edgier, something less nice, less bleurgh. I don’t know why, but writing about giving feels uncool, prim and proper, old fashioned. Perhaps it is because of my years of staring at those discreet Anglican Gift Aid envelopes left in church pews and politely…

Identifying with Easter

Easter time: As a teacher, the Easter holidays are for me a much needed, well placed fortnight away from the classroom. Unfortunately, this tends to mean cramming in a lot of activity: household chores, catching up with friends and family, getting some sleep and exercise and healthy food – and so on. My creative brain…

The Present

At school, my class of 5-7 year olds, my colleague and I are learning about the power of the present progressive tense, thanks to Mini Grey’s wonderful Traction Man books. While many stories are told in the past tense, these quirky comic-book style adventures are relayed as happening here and now, like a running commentary:…

Worthwhile.

My brother has the art of being coolly and casually profound. With one word from a letter of his, I have been sustained and heartened for weeks. The traditional greeting for a birthday is, of course, Happy Birthday. But this year, as my birthday approached I began to wonder, what on earth is happy anyway? Happy seems…

Fair Trade Fortnight

Happy Fair Trade Fortnight! I’ll be honest, I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake this year, but it’s happening NOW and I’d encourage you to get involved! There are all kinds of events going on around the country, so there are lots of ways to get involved. If you’re not sure what the Fair Trade…

35 Days of Giving (Because I started Lent late…)

It began back in January: this nagging fascination with the magic of giving. It was when I was reading Ann Voskamp’s gold-mine of a book, The Broken Way. As I read of how Ann and her family traipsed around their town putting dollars in dollar stores for her birthday, I was at once curious and hopeful. I…

Books to Start the Year With

Books are not like buses. They always seem to find their way into my life at exactly the right time and place, almost as if by appointment. Last summer, it was an Agatha Christie for summer afternoons in the hammock. There was also the script for the latest exploits of Harry Potter, keeping me gripped…

Life Lived

This blog has become a bit of a desert in recent months, with new posts few and far between. I’ve neglected my tiny corner of the internet, left it to become a ramshackle shack. Once well loved, the wood is beginning to creak and what was once a brimming home now stands subdued in dust and empty space. For a blog…