Remember

img_4589It’s Christmas Day. As you read this post I’m with family, probably eating, definitely enjoying myself. I lived away from my family for many years and missed a lot of Christmases, so now I make the most of being in the same country with (most of) them once more.

And at Christmas time I remember. I remember my paternal grandfather in his church, holly and ivy in the snowy churchyard, the old carols I knew and loved ringing along the ancient stone walls. I remember my grandmother setting up the inflatable Santa and reindeers, sitting us in a small sleigh and taking our photos. I remember my nana and grandad’s house, the tree with old-fashioned glass ornaments and glittering tinsel, the way the sky turned purple over the fields as I looked for a star each Christmas eve. I remember Christmas dinners and laughter and most of all, love, like a great golden glow encompassing us all. I remember the time we had together and I’m grateful for it, just as I’m grateful for the memories we’re creating today.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, wherever you are.


As well as a Christmas post, this is my response to the 30 Day Writing Challenge – it’s day 25, and today’s prompt is: Remember.

If you enjoyed this post, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

Thursday Doors – St Margaret’s Church, Wolston

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This is the doorway to the church of St Margaret, in Wolston, England. It’s a typical Norman-style church doorway – the church was built in 1186 – with a simple wooden door. Yet the colours of the stones, the simple shapes and worn lines, give it beauty, as do the fresh flowers and shrubs in tubs around the door, evidence of a church still well-used and part of the community.

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Despite its simplicity, this door is very special to me, and I have several photographs of it. In one, my paternal grandfather, smiling and in his vicar’s robes, is greeting my maternal grandfather and my mother. My mother is dressed in silk and lace, her father in top hat and tails, and they are on their way into the church when my father is waiting, along with the wedding guests. In another photo, a very small version of me is coming out of the church, accompanied by other small children, all of us dressed in costumes for a festival.

My grandfather was vicar of this church until 1979, when he sadly passed away, and there is a memorial chair to him inside. He is buried in the churchyard, along with my grandmother, great-grandmother and great-aunt, so it is a place that holds many memories. In fact, I blogged about some of them here.

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And this is another reason I think this is a special church. I rather liked this poster. It seemed to me to embody what religion should be – open to anyone and accepting of all. It’s how I always remember it being when I used to come here, so it’s nice to see that nothing has changed.

This is my entry to this week’s Thursday Doors Challenge, courtesy of Norm 2.0. For more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s blog and click the link.