Tag Archive | Christmas

Second Sunday of Advent year A


Psalm: 72:1-7, 18-19
OT Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10
NT Reading: Romans 15:4-13
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12

Very belatedly now, I’m looking at the lectionary readings for the second Sunday in Advent.

Often it is quite a challenge to perceive a connection between the readings. In this instance, there is the repeated refrain of Christ as ‘the root of Jesse’, the king of righteousness whom the gentiles (nations) will seek. But how does the passage in Matthew relate to Advent?

I picked up volume 2 of the new Northumbria Community’s Celtic Prayer: Farther Up and Father In, and glanced through its readings for Advent.

It says “This is the path that John marked, whose voice called in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’.”

That is it precisely. As we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord (which Christmas is supposed to represent), we need above all to repent; that is, to ‘make teshuvah’, to turn away from those things in our lives which distract us, produce negativity and unhappiness in ourselves and others, and embrace the Kingdom life in which love rules, and righteous justice for the poor, the weak, the vulnerable is brought to bear.

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,  who only doth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory.

Amen and amen.


Birthday Fun


We have a birthday coming up this week, and we’re heading out to a second showing of Star Wars as one of the birthday treats. It’s always a challenge to organise presents and parties for birthdays so close to Christmas, and it’s difficult to make them memorable, as they’re normally quiet, family affairs.

When birthdays fall during the ‘school’ week, though, it is nice as home educators to have the freedom to take time off from academics to go on outings, or just to chill out for the day.


I thought I would share this birthday memory from the Svengelska Hemskolan archive:

We’ve been gearing up for a birthday this week, so we have managed only to get very little formal ‘schooly’ work done. On Tuesday we received a CD of stories and nursery rhymes from a toddler-group we used to go to (produced and recorded by the group and the Library service), which proved to be really popular. It reminded me that we used to sit down everyday and have music-time with nursery rhymes and action songs, but we haven’t done it for a long while.

On Wednesday, the birthday boy got to choose all our activities, so we ended up watching “The Blue Planet” on DVD (one of his presents) most of the morning, and in the afternoon we went for a walk in Salcey Forest with a group of friends. The children particularly enjoyed running and jumping along the tree-top ‘Elephant’ walk and jumping in muddy puddles! (Mummy was slightly less enthusiastic!)


More recently, I have tried to re-introduce music time or circle time as part of our ‘Morning Time‘ (see Cindy Rollins’ lovely Ordo Amoris blog for details.) But right now all our music books (we love the books from A & C Black such as ‘Okki-Toki-Unga’ and ‘The Jolly Herring’ amongst others) are all in storage so I’m not sure what shape our music time will take from now on. Dragon-tamer has discovered that he loves the Beatles, so we may learn some of their songs to sing, just for fun. I remember learning ‘Yellow Submarine’ at school myself. Thank goodness for the internet! I don’t know how we ever coped without it!

Free Tickets to the Panto (Boo, Hiss)


I can think of very few things for which I have less affection than Pantomime. Let’s see: male comedians dressed as women behaving badly (am I alone in feeling that it’s disrespectful to women?), rudeness of all kinds disguised as humour, crass innuendo, a theatre full of screaming, laughing kids? Well that about sums it up for me! (Bah, humbug!)

I realise that I’m in danger of sounding very ungrateful as well as grumpy – after all, our next door neighbour’s daughter was very kind and generous to provide all six of us with free tickets for the second year running. And in fairness, this year’s Aladdin was a vast improvement on last year’s Cinderella.

But really and truly, I’d really prefer a packet of biscuits and a quiet night in.

(He’s behind you!)


My kids seem neutral on the subject. They’re happy to go out to the theatre for whatever’s on offer, but they wouldn’t be vastly disappointed if we’re not invited again next year.

What I would like to do this year is see if we can get to the theatre at least once or twice to see something that isn’t pantomime.

What about you? Are you seeing a pantomime this year? Do you love it, or hate it, or can you take it or leave it? Is theatre part of your homeschool experience?

Finding New Favourite Places

I’ve lived in north Cornwall for coming up for 5 years in March 2016, but I haven’t really properly investigated my local town or much of the countryside or coast around north Devon and Cornwall. I wanted to love the place, but I haven’t enjoyed being here nearly as much as I thought I would. But I know it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I’m incredibly lucky to be here, so I want to learn to fall in love with where I live.

I’m a city girl who has found the learning curve of the cultural shift from city to the countryside and a country town a big challenge, and I haven’t got settled at all.

So this year, one of my New Year’s Resolutions will be to thoroughly investigate all the best things about Devon and Cornwall in general and Bude in particular, and discover some new favourite places. To keep myself to this fun resolution, I thought that I could use the accountability of posting reviews, and it might be a fun record of my discoveries.

I will aim to post at least once a week, but since I have other blogs, I can forewarn you that it might be somewhat erratic. But I’ll do my best. I didn’t get a new camera or phone for Christmas, sadly, but I’ll do my best to try and get some good snaps to post, and a better camera/ phone is top of my list of things to buy for myself when I can.

So I hope anyone reading has had a great Christmas, and I wish you all a very happy and productive new year.

Over to you:

I would love to hear from anybody with local knowledge with recommendations of places to visit.

What are your new year’s resolutions?