Hello, thank you for dropping in. It is pouring with rain here this morning and I am glad to be at home, although it is not cold and the residual warmth left in the ashes of last night's fire are enough to take the chill off the room.
Did you have a good weekend? I dug out my Advent calendar, now in its sixth year, I think. Every January I carefully close the little cardboard doors and put it away, pressed down under a heavy book so that those doors will stay firmly closed. I don't want a piece of chocolate every day, or a piece of cheese, a shot of alcohol or a new beauty product, I want to look at a festive picture - my daughters, of course, think I am daft and can't see any point in an Advent calendar without chocolate. I also dug out my star-shaped, glass Advent tealight holder. I discovered a few years ago that I prefer numbered tealights to a traditional Advent candle and although they are not as easy to find, I bought a set in The Range last month for £1.99. This twinkle time every evening is one of the reasons I like Advent.
According to the preacher at yesterday's Advent Sunday service, Advent is about excitement, reflection and preparation; it's about taking stock of where we are and planning for the future. I haven't yet found this year's excitement but I have been taking stock and I have made a Big Decision: I no longer need my degree notes. Please be aware that I graduated in 1986 and I haven't looked at these notes for more than thirty years! So why have I kept them? My best friend, who I have known for almost forty years, still has hers and says that she couldn't get rid of them because it would mean letting go of that part of her life and I think that until now, I haven't been ready to let go. My college years were a golden time. However, I feel ready now and on Saturday I opened up the wooden chest and took out four box files, two lever arch files and three A4 ringbinders. I methodically emptied them, glancing through them and removing any staples so that all the paper and card could go into the recycling bin. I realised that these were not my original lecture notes, they were the revision notes I made as I prepared to sit my exams, so this was a condensed version of three years of study! Inevitably, memories swam to the surface but I felt OK. Inside one of the folders I found my third year timetable and I remembered what a shock to the system it was to have to be in college by 9am on Thursdays after two years of leisurely mornings with Simon Bates and Our Tune on Radio 1!