Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Thoughts for 2011

It feels as if only yesterday I was getting ready for Christmas and I can’t believe that now it’s time to get ready to say “farewell” to 2010... Time flies, it really does. That’s why it’s a bit scary to look forward to a new coming year. I need to squeeze in as much as I can: places to visit, new activities to try out, books to read, plants to grow, things to build and to make, to learn and to practise… This can be a bit overwhelming.

Looking back helps – counting every detail I get a better picture of where I got to and how much more still needs to be done (loads!). My New Year’s resolutions will be laid on paper and hopefully by the end of 2011 I might be able to mark some as “achieved”. (I need some structure as at the moment there's too much I want to be doing - I must be good at something, but I haven't yet figured out what it is...)

Meanwhile I’d love to thank all bloggers and my blog readers, my friends and family for sticking by one more year. You’ve inspired and encouraged, made me want to improve and simply be a better me. Thank You for your comments (especially Anne; hey, the second year in a row!) and silent thoughts of approval. All the best for the year ahead! I hope I can make You feel just like I feel, when I draw strength from Your well of love.

Kristina xxx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Just Before Christmas...

Just before Christmas I wanted to share some photos of a beautiful church that is definitely “one of the greatest secrets of London“. I’ve been to this city for quite a few times now, but only on the last trip I’ve discovered Westminster Cathedral and how much effort people can put into building God’s houses.

Some facts that I didn’t know: "Westminster Cathedral in London is the mother church of the Catholic community in England and Wales and the Metropolitan Church and Cathedral of the Archbishop of Westminster. It is dedicated to the "Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ" (the Eucharist)."

It is the largest Catholic church in England and Wales and, to tell the truth, I've never seen anything like that before. The architecture could be called atypical as looking at the tower I'd suspect it's actually a mosque. And the interior is stunning - the colourful mosaics make you think you've actually gone back in time and ended up somewhere in the Byzantine Empire.

God inspires us to do great things, something you might not even think is possible. I hope you can keep it in your mind not just before Christmas and not only through the new coming year.

Monday, 20 December 2010

The White Silence

How many photos of snow can you take before you get bored? Me? Thousands!

There’s something so special about snow covered trees, fields and little houses. The scenery is so calm and peaceful, a perfect set for proper white Christmas. And while watching TV you can be disturbed by the white noise, such “white silence” (a new term, no doubt) makes you wonder - where’s all the life gone? The sneaky foxes and the fast running hares, the vivid little birds and the hard working woodpeckers? They surely have to be hiding somewhere underneath this thick blanket?

P.S. On the way home I saw two deer in snow up to their bellies, grazing on the bushes that could still just about be seen above the piles of white.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas Colours (London)

Shop keepers definitely know how to get their shops ready for Christmas. Every detail counts and the neatly arranged stock simply lures the passers by to go inside. I’m afraid the spell hasn’t worked on me – I was impressed, no doubt about that, but these days I’m glad to just seal all this up into an image and later on, when I’ve got time, to admire the creativeness and imagination that can make Christmas feel special again, just like it once was – in our childhood.

You could say that too much colours and glitter makes us forget what Christmas is all about. Well, if you’re only interested in stuffing your belly and getting some presents it certainly isn’t the right way, but if your festive ornaments are just the means to make this holiday the most special in the year, why not?

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Let it Snow?

I know I keep bragging about the snow, but the situation is – you need to see it to believe it!

The temperature keeps dropping to about -12C, but even then you could say it’s not too cold; unless it’s windy. The wind causes snow drifts that block the roads and pavements even more and if there’s blizzard outside… trust me it’s better to stay indoors.

As the song goes - "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…" And what do we say to that? Oh, no! Not again.

The woods, on a day like today, when the sky is covered by a huge cloud that’s about to burst with more snowflakes, look more like something from a ghost story than a winter wonderland. It was so dark at 1pm that I needed to check my watch, I was convinced it was much later.

I’ve never done so much digging in my life and I don’t think my dad has ever been scared the swimming pool roof could collapse under the enormous weight.

To finish this post on a good note – not everyone’s disappointed. The bigger the pile of snow, the better! Jumping like a kangaroo our husky can’t hide the excitement. She’s asking to go out every 15 minutes and in the end it gets very annoying, but this is definitely her time of the year, so why spoil the fun?

Monday, 13 December 2010

London Christmas Frenzy

Where have I been!? Everyone’s already counting days to Christmas and I’m still not in my panic mode – although to tell the truth it’s time I was… The snow’s falling on our land continuously; the neighbours have got their festive lights out, so how come I’m still sure I’ve got time to get everything ready?

I wish I had prepared earlier… Although it’s not time to wince now, is it? Anyway, it’s the 100th post on this blog (something to boost my self-esteem), so I promise there will be some changes – the photos are going to get a bigger, there’ll be more colour and hopefully more posts. I’d also like to take this whole blogging thing one step further, but for now I’ll keep it a secret, just in case God decides to laugh at my plans.

Meanwhile I’d like to share my London photos – oh, boy, it really felt Christmassy there!

The trip went really well – we avoided the snow, didn’t get stuck at the airports or train stations, missed the student riots by a day and even the tube workers’ strike was an advantage – we had to walk and of course this way saw a lot more! (My legs were aching, but I was so happy – I could snap snap snap…)

Westminster Central Hall, just opposite the Westmister Abbey, where next year on the 29th of April history will be made.

Old Ben and the fence round the Parlament, ornated with the royal symbol - little crowns.

The London Eye! A rather young construction, but can you imagine London without it?

Trust me, it's massive! You quickly realise that when you get right under it.

That's the real Christmas spirit! I never dreamt I'd still go on one of these in my lifetime. In London everything's possible!

London traffic - will they ever decide to drive on the "right" side of the road?

More colours, cars and people. The shops were full, the streets were full... I'm afraid after sometime it becomes tiring.

Impressive Christmas stars.

Just one of the many theaters - Victoria Theatre. (I hoped to see a musical this trip, but it looks like it's the thing I will have to come back for.)
The photos were taken without a tripod, so are a bit “shaky”; also it was very cold (excuses, excuses…) so I’m happy with the outcome quality and quantity wise.