Thursday 31 December 2009

A 'Wee Folks' New Year's Eve.

It is a quiet and gentle New Year's Eve.  The glowing candles and the colourful lights create the perfect setting for a perfect evening. 
I sit and I marvel at the joy on the faces of the 'wee folks'.  I watch them so happy in their carefree world.  They are good and they are kind.  No judgement is passed, no stigma attached.  The wee folks live in peace, sweet peace and contentment.  They wish for the world of us bigger folks to be more like theirs.  If only.

I sit here and I wish for our world to be a cleaner, greener, more loving place.  A world where no man shall live in fear, where no child goes to sleep, cold and hungry.  I wish for a world where we stopped competing, stopped comparing and started living.  I wish for a world where we celebrate our differences.  All different, all equal.
Let our legacy be to future generations, that it all stops now.  An end to bigotry, an end to the indifference to the plight of others.  Let us leave our precious, fragile planet a kinder, caring, more peaceful place for our children and, in turn, for their children. 
I sit here and I sense a new optimism for the dawning of a new decade.  I believe there are people who embrace a beginning of a fresh, vibrant and most positive reality.  We can make it so.
The wee folks wish us all a peaceful and positive 2010.

Sunday 27 December 2009

Strolling To Serenity.

It was a cold and clear late December day.  The final flickers of the sinking sun cast shadows on this peaceful, tranquil neighbourhood.  The view from my bedroom window filled my mind with thoughts of serenity.

Upon the top of the hill, is a wonderful place, a place I soon would go.

Behold, the place upon the top of the hill.  Westwood High School, Leek, Staffordshire, a magical school, a school of dreams, the school my son attended.

It was early afternoon, on a cold and foggy Christmas Eve.  I strolled the grounds, gazed at the clock tower and felt at peace with the world.
I walked alone, alone, yet content,   The cold wind howled through majestic trees.  The snow crunched beneath my feet.  This was my sanctuary, a place that nurtured my happy thoughts.
I heard in my mind the singing of a thousand choirs and the laughter of a thousand children.  This school, this enchanting school, this school of a thousand hopes and aspirations, had taken me under its spell.
One walk, one spiritual walk.  This Christmas Eve was a day I would remember, forever.
It was getting dark. Down the hill, off in the distance, I could see the twinkling lights of Leek. It was time to leave and reflect upon a perfect day.                                

I headed back down the hill.  I turned around to take one last glance at the alluring beauty of that special, so very special place.  I had been strolling to serenity.  Serenity beats strongly in my heart.

Saturday 19 December 2009

A Christmas Charm.

The ongoing shy, sweet, innocent romance between the beautiful fairy princess and the garden gnome, continues to grow in wondrous splendour.  This unfolding, gentle attraction is a tale of hope and inspiration.  For these 'wee folks' live in a world where kindness is embraced, rather than treated with suspicion.  Indeed, they live in a world where differences are celebrated and passing judgement is an alien concept. There is no stigma.  The wee folks, all different, all equal.
It all began on that glorious early summer's day.  Strolling around the garden, looking at the flowers, listening to the gentle breeze play tunes upon the wind chimes; gave me a sense of peace and contentment.  Then I cast my eyes upon the low blossoms of some awakening flowers.  There they were.  The beautiful fairy princess and the garden gnome.  'Behold', I thought, 'do my eyes deceive?'   I smiled, as I realised, that before me, was the early stages of a budding romance.
Over the last few months, I've had fleeting glimpses of these magical, mystical creatures.  The wee folks, seeking comfort from a rather cold early August day, had visited my home, navigating a way through my letter box, courtesy of a tiny string ladder.  I remember peeking into my kitchen and seeing them have a marvellous time.  I did not mind.  For to know that they were happy, and they were warm, filled my heart with glowing thoughts of joy.
It was a while before I saw them again.  The beautiful fairy princess and the garden gnome played and giggled amongst the resplendent autumn leaves.  They knew I was watching but they didn't seem to mind.  The nights got longer and the weather became colder.  I wondered if I would have another moment to experience the magic of the wee folks.

I went into my living room.  Upon the window ledge, standing on each side of a tiny Christmas tree, were the beautiful fairy princess and the garden gnome.  They looked so happy, so content, so thrilled at the sight of the twinkling lights.  I knew that this would be a special Christmas, a magical Christmas, an enchanting Christmas.  I could see by the way they gazed dreamily into each others eyes, that he was charming and she was charmed.  A Christmas charm.
Like I know the wee folks will have; may you have a peaceful, positive Christmas.

Saturday 12 December 2009

A 'Boxing Day Eve' Carol.

Now, I realise that previous blogs that I wrote, regarding the festive season, and Christmas in particular, were, at times, somewhat 'tongue-in-cheek'.  There I was going on about Christmas and affectionately calling it 'Boxing Day Eve'.
Now the usage of 'Boxing Day Eve', does sound quite awkward when used as a replacement in much-loved Christmas songs.  For example: 'Have yourself a merry little 'Boxing Day Eve', just doesn't work.  'Rockin' around the 'Boxing Day Eve' tree',  The twelve days of 'Boxing Day Eve', 'I'm dreaming of a white 'Boxing Day Eve' see, it just doesn't work.  And, heaven forbid, can you imagine 'Noddy Holder' from 'Slade' screaming out that opening line to, 'Merry Christmas everybody', with not, 'It's Christmas!', but instead, 'It's Boxing Day Eve!'  Me thinkest not.
So in my own ongoing tradition of 'thinking out of the 'box' day eve'; I present to you, A 'Boxing Day Eve' Carol'.  So this will be a slight variation on 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens.  My apologies to Mr. Dickens.  My apologies to you if you have 'great expectations'.
Now then, you may be familiar with Ebenezer Scrooge.  Ebenezer was a really mean, cynical and downright stingy old chap.  Ebenezer had a business partner named Jacob Marley.  Jacob Marley was not related to Bob Marley, or for that matter, had never even listened to Reggae music.  Jacob, as miserable as Scrooge, had passed away and left the business in the capable and greedy hands of our cynical friend, Scrooge.
On December 24th, Scrooge went to bed and got a visitation from Jacob who was wearing chains.  Apparently, the chains were symbolic of the way he had led his rather nasty life.  The chains had nothing to do with a kinky fetish.  Ebenezer also got a visit from the ghost of 'Boxing Day Eve' past, the ghost of 'Boxing Day Eve' present and the ghost of 'Boxing Day Eve' yet to come.  All of these visitations scared the crap out of him and thus he awoke a changed man.
Upon realising that only the night had passed and it was actually December 25th; Scrooge got all giddy, ran to his window and yelled at a rather confused child.  He asked the child to go to the butcher's and grab a turkey. This new, improved, happy-go-lucky Scrooge made amends for his cynical past.  He became a friend to his employee Bob Cratchit and his son 'Tiny Tim'.  In fact, Ebenezer became a changed man for all to see.  His family, his new friends, reaped the benefits of a kinder, more caring, more compassionate man.
'A Christmas Carol' is a story of inspiration.  It demonstrates that we can all change for the better.  Personally I didn't need a bunch of ghosts sorting me out.  No, I confronted, I challenged my 'demons'.  Being positive can be hard work.  Yet the alternative is a dark, dreary and lonely place.  A place I left behind.  Just like Ebenezer Scrooge...

If you want to see some of my past 'Boxing Day Eve' blogs , maybe out of curiosity, maybe out of boredom; here are some links:

Friday 4 December 2009

Dear Durham And Dear Friends.

Dear Durham and dear friends.  There has been many a time that heading out my front door was quite the challenge. Yet, I know that I can't just wait for things to happen.  If I want a better life, I have to take action.
So once again, I journeyed up to Durham to stay with my good friends, Julie and Philip.  Having friends such as these, has been vital, in my ongoing quest, to live a happier life.  For this, I am grateful.
Oh yes, we laughed and we talked.  Like three giddy school kids, we had the time of our lives.  It's so refreshing, so invigorating, to get out of my house, my isolation, and be a part of something, so very special.
Their priceless gift of friendship has inspired me to be more involved.  Indeed, to stop worrying so much about my perceived lack of social skills.  More and more, I am beginning to understand that it okay for me to have the 'audacity' to 'impose' myself on society.  It is about unlearning behavioural patterns that filled me with niggling self doubts.

The winter sun was setting.  I gazed upon the awesome splendour that is Durham cathedral.  I thought to myself how lucky I am to have such caring friends.  The scene was perfect and my heart sang with the joy of life.
I am now back in my house.  The fond recollection of another great time resounds in my thoughts.  Dear Durham and dear friends.  Wow, life just gets better and better.

A Cynics' Christmas Party.

"A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future." Sidney J. Harris, American Journalist.

A very reluctant, somewhat indifferent welcome to the 'Cynics' Christmas Party'. In a few moments, I will introduce you to the folks who bothered to show up to this little farce posing as some kind of Christmas party. You know, a Christmas party, like the office Christmas party, where everybody has a good time, smiles, laughs and says how wonderful you are. That would ofcourse be the same people who actually hate your guts but put on a false smile, through gritted teeth and wish you a 'merry Christmas' and a 'happy New Year'. Yes indeed a fine collection of 'workmates', one tried to get you sacked, one had sex with your partner and one stole a doughnut from your lunchbox.
I will now give you the great pleasure of meeting this happy lot. Ofcourse they don't know you, so they, unlike the Christmas parties you have been to in the past, have not had the chance to hate your guts. But hey, give em' time, no doubt, they will soon dislike you.
Sitting over there looking totally disinterested with proceedings is that big fan of Christmas known as 'The Grinch'. Now the Grinch is a bitter, cave-dwelling chap, who lives high up on a mountain just outside of a town named Whoville. He despises the warm-hearted 'Whos' and their nauseating love of Christmas. With his only companion, his dog Max, he plans to dress poor Max up as a reindeer, use him to pull his sleigh and steal all the trappings associated with the festive season. No gifts, no decorations, no Christmas. That would be right, wouldn't it?
Perhaps the Grinch might say hello to you. Perhaps not.
Sitting over there looking even more disinterested, if that's possible, is another lover of this jolly season. Let me introduce you to Ebenezer Scrooge. Maybe Mr. Scrooge will say something. Mr. Scrooge goes off on a rant: "Why I came here, I don't know. I could have been back at my office working out more ways to make even more money. On Christmas Day, I shall have that idle loafer employee of mine, Mr. Cratchit working. Christmas is just another day and I need to make more money."
The cynics' Christmas party has not been that well attended this year. Matter of fact, all who bothered to show up were these two fine examples of the Christmas spirit, or lack of. The wicked witch of the west was evidently stuck under a house, whilst Montgomery Burns was too busy watching Homer Simpsons' activites, or lack of, on his closed circuit television. Heck, we even tried to bring in an 'off-the-wall' comedian, to liven things up, sadly, 'Humpty Dumpty' cracked at the last moment.
You know what? I got this feeling that the Grinch and Mr. Scrooge are going to have a rethink about their cynical ways. I believe that soon they will discover that Christmas is so much more than gifts and decorations. They will learn not to be bitter and envious of folks who are trying to be happy. Happiness is a right for all of us....and that includes the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge.