Reading My Way Around the World

Monday 19 December 2016

Tis Winter Now

Although the temperature has gone up a bit again, and there is no real sign of snow yet, we are having the most beautiful Winter sunsets, all quite fitting to go along with a long bout of flu and a delay in all my Christmas preparations.  Hence my absence from reading and commenting on blogs over the past while.  For ages I"ve been longing to have a day in bed to catch up on reading - be careful what you wish for - I had 8 days in bed and wasn't fit to read a thing.  And still feeling very precarious.   However, there's been lots going on around here, and now that I've finally got the Christmas tree up , I feel a bit more festive.  Time to bring in more greenery over the next few days. 

Around Here - the Holm Oak

I write often about stuff going on in the village here - and our latest escapade has been the Tree of the Year Competition.   Remember I asked you to vote for our Holm Oak a few months back?  Well on Channel 4 on Saturday night, it won the Northern Ireland heat - and now goes forward to the European Tree of the Year competition ... so I'll be back looking for more votes :)
Our Holm Oak won the Northern Ireland Tree of the Year on Saturday night.
Photo Courtesy of Light 2000 Community Group

The First Christmas Card

Amy from Love Made My Home organised a Christmas card swap back in November and I was delighted to be paired up with Tracy from Sunny Corner Farm. And this lovely card arrived in right at the start of month bring some sunshine into proceedings.  I love receiving mail from around the world and still send lots of Christmas cards, so it was a delight to hear from her and to hear a bit about her family.  
Amy has also been doing a crafting countdown to Christmas and has lots of really cool simple ideas on her site ... Had I been even vaguely fit, I'd have been trying more of them - as it is I think lights are going to be my limit.  

These delightful koala bears came all the way from Australia
for my first Christmas card of the season.

Happy Holidays 

In case I don't get a chance to post again over the holiday season, let me take the opportunity to wish each and every one of you a gentle, peaceful holiday season - it can be a lonely time for many people and for others it is a time of great devotion.   For me, it's the mid Winter season - the lull before the light starts to come back, the time to rest and reflect and to enjoy the pleasures of winter - cosy fires, the scent of pine trees and spices, soppy movies and time with friends and family.   
I cannot convey how much you all mean to me, those of you who read and comment on these ramblings of mine - I love hearing from my cyber penpals around the world.  

Some music

Let me leave you with some music - first a laugh - I just adore this little girl - I'm sure you've all seen her before but it's worth repeating ...

And finally a carol - in Irish and English 
Oiche Chuin, Silent Night
Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Eleanor Shanley, Geantraí Na Nollag TG4 2009

Happy Holidays.


  1. Happy Holidays to you too! Lovely sentiments on Midwinter - exactly how I think of it. Lovely pictures of the Oak tree. So majestic. We have had snow here, quite a lot of it and there isn't a lot of colour around. Even the small lake nearby has snow covering it now.

    Love the Koala card!

  2. Oh that was cute...a little personal grooming followed by a singing duel. Have to admit that I am sitting here chuckling over that video.

    Yes, indeed, be careful what you wish for. Seems as if you must be doing doubletime to catch up this week. Hope that you are feeling much better each day.

    Cards from other parts of the world...koala bears travel to Ireland to bring Christmas greetings...wonderful! Now I shall visit your recipient and see what you sent her.

    1. And the second video was lovely, peaceful, and with beautiful harmonies. Thank you!

  3. What a cute card. I can't remember the last time i recieved any post from overseas. The swap has been a lot of fun to be involved in.
    Have a wonderful Christmas. 🎄 X

  4. What a thrill to receive such a lovely card from Australia. Hope you are now on the mend and you can enjoy the season. The children singing were a delight, I am still smiling.

  5. Thank you for joining the Christmas card swap and sharing your card with us! I am glad that it has bought some Christmas cheer your way, it is a very cute card isn't it! Happy Christmas!

  6. Such a cute card with the Koala bears. I hope you continue to recover your strength and enjoy the festive season. Merry Christmas and Zhappy New Year.

    1. That should say Happy. Not sure what Zhappy is, maybe zappy happy?!

  7. That is a great Aussie card :) Hope you feel completely better by Christmas!
    Wren x

  8. Hi Fil - sorry about the illness - strikes us at times ... now enjoy the Christmas cheer - gosh that little girl ... I'd have loved to see the aftermath clip - must have been even funnier. But thank you for the next clip - life is calming down ...

    I saw the Holm Oak win ... let's hope you win the European tree of the year ... lovely trees ... and give us so much ...

    Cheers and have a very happy and peaceful time ... blessings for 2017 ... Hilary

  9. Dear Fil, it's so amazing that telepathy works - just yesterday I wrote you and today I got your post in my Inbox! Wow! I am sorry that you have been in bed for 8 days, but it's lovely to know that so much is going on there! The Holm Oak tree, count on me on voting! How lovely it is to receive such a sweet card, from Australia! And you put a smile on my face with the little girl singing :) The lovely ladies singing in Irish are amazing, but I couldn't listen to the whole piece, cause I am feeling very emotional these days. Up to the 18th I feel very joyous and loving Christmas time. Then from the 19th on I feel really the weight and meaning of it for some people. Dear Fil, you are an amazing friend and I hope you have a beautiful Christmas time, full of love and joy, may it be a time for reflection, also for attraction - to attract more love, more friends, more luck, more of everything that is good and beautiful! Many hugs and kisses, Merry Christmas!

  10. I love the cards that Australians send, it is still strange to think of them in the heat of summer, whilst we in the northern hemisphere suffer with Barbara! I hope you are well enough to enjoy Christmas.

  11. Thank you all for your kind wishes - I'm feeling a lot better now - still a bit tired, but this is the right time for that - lots of sitting around to be done :)

  12. Hello Fil..
    What a lovely post! I have had you on my mind to come by and say hello before Christmas. And I'm sorry to be late! I'm sorry you had a bout in bed but glad that you were able to get your tree up and enjoy your Christmas celebration. I hope your Christmas was filled with wonderful warmth, love and merriment. How delightful to share in swapping Christmas cards. Making friends and getting cards from around the world would be so special. I need to start my sending earlier next year. My husband and I talked about doing a Christmas in July card mailing to help with that. I love sending cards. That's so wonderful about your tree. Congratulations! It is very beautiful. I missed the initial vote. I will check to see if I can sign up for e-mail delivery of your new posts. Thank you for sharing the songs. It's nice that we share the love of music. I was so happy to see that you came by to visit and thank you for your kind
    words. Your comments mean so much. I hope that your NEW YEAR is happy, healthy and very fulfilling~

    Tamara x

  13. I hope your holidays were wonderful Fil and that you're totally recovered now. May 2017 bring much joy and goodness to you.


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