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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life

  • Memories are made of this...

    It's 1969 and a six year-old girl stands next to her mother at the till of a supermarket in Northampton.  Money is tight, but children need to be fed. A lady in an orange overall rings up the total, money is counted out, change given, bags are lifted... and two small slabs of fruit cake wrapped in cellophane are handed to the mother.  On the plastic wrapping are printed birthday candles - this company is marking its centenary and giving its customers a slice of cake to mark the occasion.  The kind lady at the till gives two cakes, because she knows this woman has many mouths to feed. Reaching home the cake is admired, opened and shared as a rare treat - bought cake doesn't happen often in this household!

    It's 2019 and a fifty-six year-old woman stands at the checkout of a supermarket in Glasgow.  She has enough money to indulge in a few treats as well as the essentials.  A lady in a burgundy fleece scans the items, a card is put in a reader, a PIN tapped in and the shopping trolley zipped up... "don't forget to pick up your tea and biscuit on the way out" the lady says - this company is marking its 150th anniversary, and gives its customers a gift to mark the occasion.  Reaching home the items are photographed and the images shared on social media.  The woman smiles at the retro-packing, recalling when this was normal, and she was a child.  She anticipates a mug of tea and a ginger biscuit - but not yet, there are memories to savour and stories to be told.

    Some will say it's a waste, that the company should have given the money to projects serving those who live in poverty.

    Some will make cynical snide remarks, pointing out any and every shortcoming of a major retailer

    But somewhere there will be a six year-old child, for whom a packet of biscuits and a box of teabags will form a memory that lasts a lifetime.  Somewhere there will be a mother who can sit down and drink a cup of tea and munch a biscuit that she might never have justified buying. 

    Once there was a woman criticised for lavish, wreckless extravangance, and a man who said that there would always be poor people (inference: because you'll never actually address poverty, will you) but this is a beautiful thing, a precious moment, and it will not be denied.

    Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear, what the writer says to the readers.

  • Voting Day...

    Just in from voting in an EU election that we didn't expect to have after the 'leave' result back in 2016.

    There are a lot of very fed up folk out there. There are a lot of people who have totally lost faith in politics. There are people making predictions based on the weather (my Dad used to be big on that one!) and there are algorithms to assist tactical voting either way.

    How anyone votes is their choice - even if anyone eligible chooses to vote at all is their choice.

    By Sunday we'll have an idea how the whole EU looks politically, never mind this tiny island.  If praying be your thing, pray for wisdom, compassion and peace.

  • Nessie and the Kelpies...

    I almost certainly won't see either, but they are clues to where I'm going to be for the next few days!

    Tomorrow I head north to Drumnadrochit (such a great place name) to share with M & T as we bless their marriage in gorgeous surroundings.

    A quick flip back on Sunday then off again on Monday to Larbert (not so romantic sounding, alas) to be part of the Board of Ministry meeting peopel ar various stages of their ministry journey and, with others, discerning answers to some specific questions about what that might look like at this time.

    Just two of the wonderfully diverse aspects of the nioniostry I am privileged to exercise.

    [No blogging then, as either no internet or no time or both]