Sunday, 27 November 2016

Advent



Candles are alight in our living room this Sunday evening and the first one to have been lit was the Advent Candle.  Next to this I've placed a card from the local church that we received today.  The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the church year in the Western Christian calendar and the season of Advent is an opportunity to stop and think about what it means to be a follower of Jesus, to receive once again the hope that this brings as we prepare for celebrating his birth.  Every year I've appreciated these weeks of quiet reflection before Christmas and will do so even more this year. My recent goal was to get well so that I could travel to Italy and to be able to get out-and-about locally here in the UK once more. It was good to be able to go to a church service today and to feel physically part of the church community. Over the last few months I've also known the prayer support and thoughtfulness of others. Of course, that includes you, my friends. Thank you so much.
       

Thursday, 24 November 2016

A time in Italy (2) Out and About


As soon as we got the car running and because the weather wasn't suitable for doing anything in the garden we went to the hill town where we're registered as Mr. P. wanted to renew his passport. To get the paperwork started we had to go to the offices of the town hall.  Although there was a bit of a wait for some paperwork to be completed to start the process the clerk was very helpful. Whilst in the town hall office a lady who was also waiting to do business wanted to know what I think of Brexit. She was curious about the vote which has resulted in the decision to withdraw from the European Union. To the lay person it all seems very complicated with lots of implications for the economy, trade and freedom of movement. The Italian people have their own constitutional referendum on reforming the government (although not, in fact, about making any decision to leave the EU) on the 4th December. Listening to my husband's family debating it over the lunch table was fascinating. 



It was market day in town although most of the stalls are in an area outside the town walls and not in the main town hall square so it wasn't busy.  In the piazza was a fish stall, a  fruit and vegetable stall and a stall selling clothes, linen, blankets and other soft furnishings. Last year I bought some blankets from this trader. It was misty up in this hill town so the photos are not very bright.






We also went to the local social health offices on our way down to the car park.  We were thankful that we were walking down hill and not up hill as by then our energy was low.  



The steps down to the car park are through the metal gate on the right hand side of the above photo.


a view of the countryside from the top of the steps and
down below is the car park



We didn't stop anywhere for a cup of coffee as we usually do because it was such a miserably damp day, but went straight home and had a welcome espresso coffee when we got indoors.



Thankfully the weather improved and the next time we went out and about to the shops, the Abbey church and grounds we enjoyed the sunshine and this is reflected in the photos that I took and will share next time.

Meanwhile I wish everyone a good day and Happy Thanksgiving to those who keep this tradition,
Linda :)