On Sunday, which was the first Sunday of the Advent season in the church calendar, the first candle on the Advent Wreath was lit in church in the morning and in the evening we lit the Advent Candle in our home. This year I did not prepare an Advent Wreath, but instead we have a single candle which will be lit every evening up until Christmas Eve. It's a tangible way of remembering the reason for celebrating Christmas during the days leading up to the festival. The flame dispels the darkness and is a positive and comforting symbol of hope.
November also was a time of remembrance and reflection and was not an easy month as we had a bereavement of a close relative. It was unexpected although we knew my uncle was seriously ill. My uncle, my mother's youngest brother, emigrated to Australia with his wife and young children. He was only 15 years and a few months older than me and as we lived with my grandmother during the first years of my life we formed a strong bond. He was a kind and gentle person, a talented singer and pianist who taught me to play the piano. I'm glad that my husband also knew him, his wife and her family and two of the three children before they emigrated. We continued to keep in contact through letter writing and two cousins came to visit us in England. Distance can be difficult at such times, but I'm thankful that these days we can keep in touch with family members through the Internet and there are opportunities for those of the younger generation who can travel to see each other. As for me I enjoy writing and receiving letters and notes and I'm sure that will continue, at least between the older members of the family.
The roses are still blooming in the garden.
Due to the wet and windy weather I haven't been out walking and taking photos suitable to share and I'm still sorting out my Rome photos so I won't be posting those yet.
I've been to my usual group meetings where we've been planning events for fellow seniors in our church fellowship and I've also been to the cinema with daughter and granddaughter to see Suffragette which was well-acted and worth seeing. In fact, it was recommended to our granddaughter by her college tutor. She went to London last month with other students on her course and stayed overnight so that they could visit University College and the Houses of Parliament. The group also went to the theatre to see the musical Mamma Mia!
We've seen more of our oldest grandson since he moved from the south of England to York where his other grandparents live. He's just done his annual climb of a mountain with his friends - this time Ben Nevis - to raise money for 'Save the Children'. His two brothers still live at home and continue to enjoy their work in horticulture and hotel catering. The youngest works in a well-known London city centre hotel and last month was one of the 15 finalist of the 2015 British Culinary Federation's Young Chef of the Year competition which was quite an achievement for his first time competing against other talented young chefs. We certainly enjoy his cooking although these days travelling into the capital and work duties take up much of his time and when he's off duty he likes to relax by going camping and fishing in a local lake.