Cordial Cards   #Christmas #cards #celebration #message #post #ChristmasWindows #season

This must be the most busiest time of year for the post. Red and green Christmas cards dropped into post-boxes and post-offices, all ready to be distributed near or far. Some with long annual messages, some with short friendly catch-ups, some just a name and some just a corporate slogan.  
Pretty pictures, holy pictures, poems and phrases; charity collections, carol singers and chestnut roasters. Everyone is coming out into the streets, spreading cheer, goodwill and celebration, each in their own way.

Christmas lights and Christmas windows beaming bright and bringing smiles.

Wherever you are in the world this is the season that brings people closer together more than any other annual, worldwide event. 

Yes, there can be difficulties and yes there may be difficulties. Get an address and write a card and make a start at the end of the year.
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Drumming up support #RNLI #charities #lifeboats #pirates #Hastings #Shakespeare #TheTempest #parades #drummers 

In this photo The Drumskull pirate drummers are drumming inside the Hastings Lifeboat Harbour Building (RNLI Hastings. Saving lives at sea since 1858). The echo of the beating drums is defiant; a pounding and thunderous roll.

A small sense of irony in that pirates are raising money for lifeboats, but what a wonderful thing! Hats off to anyone and everyone who raises and contributes money for charities big and small.

William Shakespeare is said to have derived some of the inspiration for his play, ‘The Tempest’ from a shipwreck that began on this day in 1609, as described by Silvester Jourdan, “… we were taken with a most sharpe and cruell storme upon the five and twentieth day of July, Anno 1609, which did separate us from the residue of our fleet…”

Luckily for the crew, on their way to Virginia, they fell upon ‘the islands of Barmudas’ where they remained for 9 months, ‘fruitful and inchanted.’

Back in 2016 it’s time to enjoy the summer season whether on the English coast or abroad or maybe some exotic island.  

Remember to pop a bit of money in a charity box; a few savings.

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Street Party #TheQueen #celebrations #London #birthday #RoyalOccasion #Euro2016 #anthems #flags

This weekend The Mall, opposite Buckingham Palace, in London will be lined with a long table. A table for 10,000 guests representing the 600 charities of which The Queen of England is patron. It is known as The Patrons’ Lunch and a lot of sandwiches will be made and many an English afternoon tea will be poured. It is the chance to chit chat and celebrate.
The lunch is in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, the oldest monarch, and the longest reigning monarch the British nation has ever had. Three cheers! Two toasts (for two birthdays the natural birthday in April and the official birthday of June) and One mighty wave of the flag.

This weekend also marks the start of the Euro 2016 football games in France.

Therefore lots of flags are flying, anthems are being sung, hope and expectation is in the air, the sun is close by and the atmosphere is warm. Security is, and will always be, tight and rigid but all nations never felt more proud or in need of uniting under a patriotic banner of pride.

Let the games begin and the tea party commence. Milk and sugar?

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A Square Tree #Christmas #London #Norway 

“This tree is given by the city of Oslo as a token of Norwegian gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during the years 1940-45.
A tree has been given annually since 1947.”

In Trafalgar Square, stands a 50-60 year old Norway Spruce. It is shipped across the North Sea, travels up to London and is adorned simply in the Nordic style with 500 white lights.

Around this tree congregate Carollers (singers of traditional Carols), happy school children, rockers, onlookers and fundraisers, proving that under the protection and beauty of green, spiky branches all sorts of people can come together safely.

Each year new poems are displayed on banners about the base.

‘Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree thy leaves are so unchanging…’

Here she will stand until 6th January 2016, if you are about come and take a look at Trafalgar Square’s perfect triangular Tree for 2015 – day or night! Follow the star

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Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please! #OperationSmile #Christmas #charity

Christmas is the time for giving and sharing and smiling.
I have been discussing a particular charity Christmas event since early July…so do not tell me it is too early to start ‘talking about it!’

The children’s charity Operation Smile is holding a Carols by Candlelight evening in two beautiful, old London churches:-

One in the heart of the city, St Boltolphs without Bishopsgate, Liverpool Street on Tuesday, 15th December, 2015.

The poet John Keats was baptised here in 1795 in the present font. While the city of London continues to grow higher and higher, allowing modern and expensive skyscrapers into its midst, this dear little church, the fourth since 1212, has suffered two World Wars and continues to stand its small ground.

And one in The Mayfair Church, South Audley Street on Wednesday, 9th December, 2015.

This church resembles a New England style church and was the American allies choice of worship and prayer during the 1939-1945 War. It also happens to be close to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square.

So there you have two perfect English churches, with two different personalities yet united in presenting an evening of merry-making and money-raising for Operation Smile.

We have traditional carols, live music and special readings (poetry, prose, verse and books) by celebrated (I prefer this word to celebrity) guests, all by candlelight in these two-tiered, charming churches.

Then afterwards join the happy crowd for mince pies and mulled wine.

In the meantime the money raised from these evenings will continue to provide children born with clefts in the developing world the free, safe surgery they need.

So, in a (chest) nut shell! you are allowing these children to live and to smile; you have the opportunity and the ability to change their future forever. What could be better? The more the merrier.

Please come and join us, meet wonderful, dedicated people, and let’s raise the roof (metaphorically), raise a glass (carefully) and raise lots of money (literally)!

Thank You for reading, listening and sharing…

http://www.operationsmile.org.uk/carols
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