Where Is Your Bethlehem?

My blog buddy Mitchell post a wonderful series of pictures from the crèches or belén in his town of Fuengirola that brought back memories of the presepe we saw in cities, towns and homes throughout Italy during our four Christmases there.

At the centre of each one was the familiar Nativity scene but what surrounded it seldom resembled the landscape around Bethlehem familiar from Christmas cards. The Holy Family were encircled by the traditional Shepherds, Magi and Angels but set in panoramas that mirrored the surrounding neighbourhood. Castello Sant’Angelo loomed in the background at Santa Maria in Via, in Napoli a plume of smoke from Vesuvius oversaw the birth of Christ, in Piazza Sant’Eustachio the filigree tower of Sant’Ivo peeked over the rooftops. The birth of Jesus is happening, not in a distant exotic place, but in the midst of the people who are celebrating the Feast Day.

As well as the link to Mitchell’s photos – the belén created by the children is a true delight – I thought I would reblog a post from those days in Rome. It is only a fragment of what would have been a larger scene but looking at it today gave me a sense of delight and brought back great memories.

Willy Or Won't He

Its no secret that I have a fondness for Napoli and things Napolitani – even though the first visit there was a bit unsettling, the second time I came away from the city enchanted and wanting to go back. And another well documented fact is my love of presepe and there is nowhere in the world quite like Napoli for these incredible minature scenes. Divina, the restaurant we went to New Year’s Eve in Madrid had the most wonderful presepe at one end of the dining room that was immediately identifiable as the work of Napolitani craftsmen.

As is this remarkable little tableau that was in the window of a small cafe on a side street off Piazza Fiume near our house. It is obviously meant to be only one element in a larger presepio. (Remember that a left click will open a larger version of the photos in…

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A Winter’s Tale 2019

Our annual Christmas ghost story.

There’s a chill in the air. It may that chill as you step on the cold floor getting out of the warm cocoon of bed. It could be when you open the front door and that first blast of winter wind buffets you. Perhaps a chill runs through you when a sudden draft breadths its way across the room from some unknown crack or crevice.

Christmas Fire GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Or you are sitting around the fire on Boxing Day with family and friends after a late afternoon lunch of leftovers from the Yuletide feast. Though the dark day of the Solstice has passed dusk still comes early and someone begins to tell a story as the light fades.

And suddenly a chill runs through your entire body. An uneasy feeling? Maybe. A sense of well-being replaced by a touch of foreboding? Perhaps. Anticipation? Most certainly!

It’s time for our annual Christmas Ghost Story.

December 26th is Write A Thank You Note Day.

Santa Claws*

*Yes I know it’s bad… really bad but you try being clever about cats and Christmas.

Just thought I’d share this year’s Simon’s Cat Christmas Special with all my cat loving friends.

For Vicki, Charlie, Mitchell, Debra and all the rest!

Meowy Christmas**

**Hey I don’t make these up you know, I just repeat them, as the Actress said the Archbishop! And it could be worse I saw one that said Feliz Navipaws!

December 12th is Gingerbread House Day – hmmm.. a solution to affordable housing?????

Wreathed in Wreaths

Every year The Friends of the Confederation Centre have a wreath decorating contest. There were 31 entries this year and everyone had their favourites. Here’s a few that caught my eye and fancy on a stroll in the hall of the Centre!

Now talk about non-traditional: this is my #1 favourite. Though come to think of it The Nightmare Before Christmas is a bit of a holiday tradition in some households! I haven’t seen it in years – time for a look-see.

December 11th is Noddle Ring Day – now I am going to admit I had to look that one up.