Winter has come now; Snow, Snow, everywhere!

Hello everyone! What a white out it is today and it is lovely just to be warm and cosy with my beloved. Fortunately it was only cold this morning and there had no more snow, and I was able to drive with care and take my passenger to church. Since then the sky has become laden with snow and has now deposited most of it. The garden looks beautiful, but I hope the main roads will remain clear so I can get to work tomorrow!

I still have a back log of work to catch up with, as the secretary did not come back to work till Thursday and she still could not type. I was doing letters until Thursday and I will have to do some tomorrow, if she has not managed to get many done on Friday. I hope her shoulder will soon be more comfortable, so life can return to normal at work. Shoulder strain takes time to heal, but using it will help it get better quicker I think. At least we did not get any snow until yesterday, so travelling last week was OK.

On Tuesday evening I got home earlier, so we could have a meal earlier before we went to demonstrate against the Council cuts, before the North Yorkshire Council meeting to tell us of the cuts. We think it is important to stand up for those facing job losses and protect those who will lose the services the council provides now. We joined with fellow members of the Labour party in Harrogate; apparently in other meetings which North Yorkshire Council had had no one else had mentioned the coming cuts! They were surprised that such issues should have been raised in such an apparently comfortable town; the meeting had been scheduled to last an hour, but carried on for two; Malcolm and I could only stay for the first hour, when we were encouraged to see how vociferous other people, not just our Labour group, were against the proposed cuts!

The freezing temperatures have affected the numbers attending the Acorn Centre but there have still been some students to help on Friday. I came home earlier on Friday from the Centre as the porch had been delivered in sections and left in front of our house! Fortunately Ken and his partner John came and collected the porch to keep over the weekend as they are hoping to erect it tomorrow. A porch will hopefully keep our home warmer especially as it is already so cold.

This morning it was the first Sunday in Advent when we were encouraged to prepare for Jesus’ coming this Christmas, and not get bogged down in the trappings and glitter of Christmas and miss the main part. We brought gifts for the homeless in Harrogate, practical things like gloves, scarves and hats; apparently there are 25 homeless people sleeping rough in our supposedly cosy middle class town! We have accommodation for a number in our homeless hostel and now there is a drop in centre available during the week in our former caretaker’s house next to the chapel. They have been learning skills such as gardening, photography and computing, had an opportunity for a shower and food each day. There is also help and advice given to them. That is what Advent is about, I feel, caring for those around us, the vulnerable, homeless and jobless. If we are to be ready everyday to meet our Lord on his return, then he will want us to stand alongside the marginalised in society as he did. That will be increasingly necessary I fear with the proposed cuts, but I pray I am wrong. Let us not forget to care and share this Christmas. This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.

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