Happy New Year…

music montage


It is the morning after the night before.

We had a night full of music and friendship- this morning my fingers are very sore as playing for hours is a rarity for me these days. Head is OK though as I was restrained in the drinking.

Blessings to you all this new year.

This is our group photo of those actually sleeping at the house;


Happy New Year!

All saints eve sky lantern


Another year.

May 2013 bring to you many good things.

It is nearly 2AM and we are enjoying some peace after a lovely evening with friends old and new. We let off a couple of sky lanterns, one to remember the year gone and one to express hope for the year to come. We also used this simple ritual;


We stand on the threshold of another year

The old one is gone and the new one is still mystery

And we offer you our prayers

We watch them rise to you


Last year was full of good things;

Friendship, laughter, music, art

New experiences,

New achievements

For these things we offer you our praises

We watch them rise to you


For some of us the year gone by has had times of great difficulty

The loss of a people who are dear to us

Life has darkness as well as light

So we give to you all those memories-

All those times when doubt, fear and pain were close at hand

We watch them rise to you


The future belongs to you Lord

Each breath, each heartbeat

So we give you our hopes

We offer you our projects

We offer you our dreams

We watch them rise to you


The back-to-work-after-Christmas Hakka…

The house is now empty after a wonderful time spent with friends over New Year. We always take a group photo, which always seems to be a record of the development of our kids, and the increasing decrepitude of we adults-

The other thing this photo reminds me of is the end of another Christmas/New Year break. A new year is upon us, and work begins again.

This year may (or may not) bring changes, but for now, the grind will grind on.

Andy and I were laughing about the feeling of needing to psych up for work. Almost like the New Zealand rugby team performing the Hakka-

So, by way of my own little hakka, I wrote some words. Imagine them being performed by men like those above.



Scowl me out that stress-face

This holiday must fracture

Stoke the furnace, sound that bell

This man must manufacture



Scrape the windscreen, warm the car

Before we once again commute

What was that bloody password?

I must again reboot



A million unread  e-mails

Have scleroted up my in box

The undrunk mug of coffee

Is waiting for a detox



There are those who are waiting

To mire me up in memos

Their words have little meaning

And even less good purpose



I should have been a cave man

His was a better planet

The things we folk must do

To slay this seasons mammoth



Smash some windows, kick some cats

Shout at the television

Tomorrow we must rise again

To earn some long division

New Year, 2012…

It is here.

As ever the speed of it all comes as a surprise.

Last night, we had a house full of friends and sang and played music for hours. This morning my fingers are almost too sore to type! At some point we had three guitars, bouzouki, piano, violin and bodhran. I have not enjoyed music as much for ages.

I was relatively early to bed- Michaela came up around 4.00.

As further evidence for the advancement of years, last night our kids were all busy in new and different ways (even though they were all part of joint celebrations too.) Emily had a ‘Launch Pad‘ for Christmas, and so we set up the study so she could do some mixing/dancing.

William and his friends practised for their own performance of a song.

Later we all sat and played cards.

It was simply lovely to spend time with these wonderful young people, with all their talents and potential.

So to old friends and new friends and still to become friends everywhere- may the year be one of blessing…

I took no photos at all last night- here are a few of Williams;

Dinner for one…

This new year, like many before it, at least half of all German people will see in the new year by watching the following. Go figure.

Many years ago, as a student, our host showed us this ‘famous’ English comedy sketch, and howled with laughter while we smiled politely.

At the time, we were in Berlin, which was still surrounded by a high wall, and we assumed the strange fixation on archaic, unfunny comedy was a result of them simply not getting out much.

But whatever the reason, this sketch has become part of German tradition.

Which only goes to say how much variety our cultures contain.

Whether you are watching dinner for one, or carrying coal through people’s back doors, Happy New Year to you all!

Pucks glen meditation trail…

Today we spent much of the day setting up things for this trail- which is Aoradh’s way of seeing in the New Year. If you are local we would love you to make use of it. It will be up for around a week.

We have not finished yet- all the notices and poetry will go up tomorrow. here are a few photos of the work so far though-

New Year, 2011

The year turns

And so will I Lord…

Happy New Year all- may this one be a great one.

We have had a great few days- a house FULL of people (23 people per meal!) lots of music, food and a nice swim in the Clyde on New Years Day.

The latter being a deliberate attempt to put the events of February firmly behind me… I made the paper again recently as part of their ‘review of the year’- dangling below a helicopter for all to see.

Here are a few pics- click to enlarge…

New year photos…

So, another year is on us. Welcome to 2010. It has a nice look to it as a number does it not? What will it bring?

Last night, there was a partial eclipse of the moon. The sort of thing that our forebears would have regarded as an Omen. For good, or ill- who knows?

We had a lovely evening last night- music, laughter, conversation, whisky, friendship- all the right ingredients to see in a new year in.

Oh, and we did the sky lantern thing again to send some prayers/resolutions into a clear cold night sky…

New year meditating…

So- Happy New Year to you all. I hope your celebrations tonight are suitably exuberant, whilst still sufficiently mindful of the potential damage to your liver…

Our house is filling up with old friends and their kids, up here for Hogmanay. To those who could not make it- you will be missed.

Many of us use the turning of the year as a period of reflection- over what the old year has been, and what the new one might become.

Time enough for resolutions (and then no time at all- which was the point of my last post!) perhaps we would be better to spend time just reflecting, and meditating.

And if I might suggest a theme for such ponderings, I wonder if you might find these questions helpful- which I have mentioned before– the stuff of ‘soul friendship’…

How goes it with your soul?
What is draining you lately?
What is recharging you lately?
How have you felt God speaking to you?
How have you been able to see and serve Christ in the elderly, the poor, the young, the needy, or the rejected?
What has been a spiritual high point? Low point?
What challenges are you facing in the coming days?

And in all these things, in these days, may the peace of God be with you.