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It’s good to read!

file-03-10-2016-19-27-55Exactly 100 years ago today, veterinary surgeon and author James Alfred Wight, better known by his pen name, James Herriot, was born. James’ books, based on his life as a country vet, are educational and entertaining, providing an insight into rural life in 1930s and 1940s Yorkshire, and rich with colourful descriptions of people and places. He was an author with a skilful ability to transport his readers to the scene, as though they were standing beside him, listening to the farmer speaking with a thick Yorkshire accent, feeling the biting wind sweeping down from the fells, experiencing the sights and smells of the barn.

The year I turned three, my uncle and aunt gave me ‘Moses the Kitten’ for Christmas, an illustrated story taken from one of James Herriot’s full-length books. I loved that book. The signs of my affection for it are evident in the worn and tattered cover, the spine stuck with yellowed and crumbling sellotape and the loose and dog-eared pages.READ MORE

Ugly Monuments, Beautiful Acts

Sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, swift incoming tides, leafy lanes, green fields with pretty Jersey cows – this little island packs more into its nine miles by five than one could ever imagine. Last week, I visited for the fourth time and was struck again by its beauty. The scenery is stunning, a feast for the eyes.

Dotted over the island are certain buildings which mar the beauty, stark reminders of a time when Jersey wasn’t a peaceful place, instead shut to visitors and a virtual prison for the Jersey people. I guess I had always known that the island had been occupied by the Germans for five years during World War Two, but it wasn’t something that I’d thought much about as a child. This time, I noticed the bunkers and the lookout towers, placed in idyllic surroundings like La Corbière, where the Victorian lighthouse stands, a warning beacon to ships of the dangers of the wild and rocky shores. READ MORE

Back to School!

school-1600401_1280Seb’s smile faded – school started in the morning and the new Seb wasn’t going to be very popular there anymore… He knew that becoming a Christian was going to lead to a lot of problems. It was so much easier at Cherryhill, where there were lots of other Christians around, but now he’d have to take a stand for Christ in an opposing and unsympathetic world. What would Tyler say? His other friends? He bit his lip. Mr Symons, his biology teacher, who made no pretence of the fact that he believed that God was a myth. His stomach clenched and he suddenly felt very alone.

-Excerpt from Witness, Search for Truth Series

 

Where I live, in Northern Ireland, this is the week when most schools recommence. In some other countries, it began a few weeks ago, but soon everyone will be studying hard once again. The obligatory ‘first day’ photo will have been taken, the bag packed with new stationery, and a stack of new notebooks and textbooks given out. For those changing schools, there is not only a new school but new subjects, new teachers, new friends. And new challenges and most likely some new fears. Will I be able to do the work? What if no one likes me? What if I get lost? New things can be fun, but they can also be a bit scary. That’s normal!

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Books, books, books!

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Welcome to my first blog post and thank you for dropping by! I plan to write about a range of topics and I hope you’ll find the blog interesting, entertaining, inspiring, useful and uplifting.

One topic which will probably crop up with some frequency is the subject of books. Those who know me, know how much I have always loved books. Mum has an old photo of me sitting in a discarded Christmas cracker box at 16 months old, reading a book about Moses. A year later, I had listened to the Three Little Pigs being read so much, that I knew it off by heart and even knew at which point the page had to be turned. My poor dolls became obsolete when I learned to read for myself, and when we visited the library each week, we maxed out our library book entitlement (and rarely, if ever, had to renew any of the books).

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