Tuesday 22 December 2015

Merry Christmas to all Clients, Colleagues and Friends

I wish all my clients, colleagues and friends a very blessed Christmas and a happy and successful New Year.

2015 has been another good year for us;

  • I continue to have lots of interesting work with interesting people;
  • I have finished the long awaited book, and once the graphic work is completed, it will be published (early 2016, I hope);
  • I have also started a post-graduate diploma in Coaching, which I am enjoying enormously;
  • Jane has wrested complete control of my diary, the back office, the accounts and all the other important parts of the business, which has resulted in a huge improvement in all areas;
  • Annie has qualified as a teacher, Clare has spent time travelling in China, working in Zambia, and now has a job with a charity in Manchester; Mike got a First in his Graphic Design foundations course, and is now enjoying life as an undergraduate at Northumbria; and Lizzie aced her GCSEs and is loving the 6th Form.
Here's a family portrait, as we appear to Mike, when we are reading:

I always think Christmas a good time for poetry, so here is one of my favourite poems:

The Journey of the Magi 

"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

T S Eliot

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