By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life - Page 7

  • End of an Era

    Bit of a ramble.

    Today really is the end of an era as the very last Virgin trains complete their last journeys.  This was Glasgow Central at 13:15 when a friend from Warrington arrived on a quick day trip to visit an elderly relative.  As I stood there, and snapped a couple of quick photos, I felt surprisingly emotional.

    I am not a fan of Richard Branson, but Virgin trains have carried me on many significant journeys, especially the 05:40 ex GLC, as I travelled to Northampton via Euston at least monthly for a few years. 

    The jokes about the availability of porridge. The times I ran along Euston Road to make connections.  The wondering if the delay en route to Glasgow would mean missing the last train out to home.

    The journeys to Northampton General Hospital, to clear Mum's flat, to visit her in the care home, to arrange her funeral, to conduct her funeral, to bury her ashes... a lot of hugely significant memories, and important thoughts  processed, a lot of tea drunk, a fair few cheese toasties... all on the distinctive red trains

    And work trips, of course, on the 05:49 to Birmingham, a quick change and then a quick trot up Wealy Park Road to the BMS college for meetings, or at various times to Preston or Lancaster for meetings.

    There have been holiday trips and catch-ups with friends.  There have been carefully planned trips and unplanned mercy dashes.

    Of course the trains will still be there, and I will still use them in their new ownership, it just feels strangely significant that this franchise, which has existed for 22 years, is now ended.


  • A Bit of Light Entertainment

    Someone I know shared this on social media this morning - it's funny (and very loud, you may want to turn down the volume a bit).

    Lots of British trains appear in this - and see if you can spot the cameo appearance from the most famous fictional 'really useful engine' ever.

  • #ChristianAidCarol

    Yesterday, we joined with churches across Scotland in singing the Advent hymn, 'When out of poverty is born' and, at the request of Chistian Aid Scotland, posting it to social media and other online platforms. The aim is to keep the very real issue of poverty in people's awareness.

    We did a sound only recording, and added the above photo (yes we did have a dog!)

    I've had problems uploading the audio to social media, so I've posted it here and will link this blog post (if you click on the 'podcast' button below it should play, albeit in a new window!


  • The Brink of Advent

    On Tuesday evening I was reminded of this wonderful poem, and spent my reflection/prayer time with it...

    Advent Calendar

    He will come like last leaf's fall.
    One night when the November wind
    has flayed the trees to the bone, and earth
    wakes choking on the mould,
    the soft shroud's folding.

    He will come like frost.
    One morning when the shrinking earth
    opens on mist, to find itself
    arrested in the net
    of alien, sword-set beauty.

    He will come like dark.
    One evening when the bursting red
    December sun draws up the sheet
    and penny-masks its eye to yield
    the star-snowed fields of sky.

    He will come, will come,
    will come like crying in the night,
    like blood, like breaking,
    as the earth writhes to toss him free.
    He will come like child.

    © Rowan Williams

  • It's beginning to look a lot like....

    Isn't this fun!  I saw it yesterday when I had to pop over to Paisley for a meeting.

    Two pensioners were looking at it, observing how the reindeer each have their own stride.  Two young adults were chatting to the security man guarding it.  Smiles rose on faces as each new person passed by.

    Composed of 'Lego' bricks this is a truly amazing - and fragile - creation.  It's sad that it needs to be guarded, but it's wonderful that it brings joy to a somewhat depressed High St on a grey November day.

    I guess there's a sermon in there somewhere.

    PS I believe there's currently a penguin trail in Paisley, if anyone with small children wants an inexpensive day out!