Christmas Nights

As a child the most magical of times were the nights before Christmas. The Christmas tree with its multicoloured lights, I imagined had a thousand places within its boughs where tiny arboreal people lived, the wall decorations cast sparkling reflections from the open fire and bedtime was less of a chore as each sleep got me closer to ‘the night’. Christmas Eve itself was succession … Continue reading Christmas Nights

Pennies from Heaven

It’s strange how memories flood back with the smallest of provocations. One from childhood spirited itself up when I was trying to find a new idea to centre my Sunday worship’s children’s talk upon. One suggestion was to get the kids to play a real fruit machine. In other words they get handed a bag of mixed fruits and the have to draw out three … Continue reading Pennies from Heaven

Le Gentleman

Bradley Wiggins is a winner. By that I am not daring to presume he will win the Tour de France. But yesterday when his arch rival Cadel Evans had his bike’s tyres sabotaged by tacks, he eased off the pace. The result was everyone had a sporting chance. No wonder the French press are labeling him ‘Le Gentleman’. Now Britain at the moment needs gentlemen. … Continue reading Le Gentleman

Ghost on Royal Deeside

There can be no more beautiful stretch of country in Scotland than Deeside. And there, presiding over its eastern end, is the ancient fortified tower of Castle Crathes. With its estates almost ‘check and jowl’ with those of Balmoral and one of its rooms still displaying the splendid  bone horn given to the family by King Robert the Bruce after the Battle of Bannockburn., this … Continue reading Ghost on Royal Deeside