Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Video from UK Trip: The Underground

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I took this video when I first went down the stairs to get to the "Central Line" at Tottenham Court Road. It was quite a journey to get to the Tube platform. Sort of reminds me of this year. Enjoy!

See you in 2010!

Video from UK Trip: Sloane Square Schoolkids

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Sorry for the poor quality of this video. I was trying to be all subtle while filming these kids in their school uniforms. Judging from their uniforms, they must be from the Hill House International School, which is right near Sloan Square. However, I was totally surprised when I saw them walking by in these uniforms - it was like something out of Hogwarts for me!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cookie Update, Happy Yule, All!

Happy Yule, Everybody!! Well, starting today, the days will be getting longer, more sunshine. This really is a magical time of year. We in Philly just had our first (HUGE) snowfall of the year, and it's staying cold, so the snow is still here. Last night, Solstice, the crescent moon hung in the sky and was just beautiful.

We in the Grand Forêt household have started baking our Christmas Cookies. As long-time readers know, this is a long-standing practice for us. I love that the history of cookie baking is based in some good pagan-Christian overlap and continues the "borrowing" theme that I love so much in the seasonal traditions of Christianity.

Anyways, this year, we are baking:
Yummy. Peace to you All!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Video from UK: Harrods Phantasmagoria

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This was truly a trippy and bizarre experience. I filmed this and got right out of the store. Sensory overload for sure.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jesse's Tree

We interrupt our travelogue to bring you more awesomeness in the religious art world, brought to light by Terry, whose blog I just adore [keep up the great work at Idle Speculations!].

As usual, Terry has researched what is going on in this image, including biblical references to what we're seeing. Amazing!

We have been working so hard on our Nativity play, that we have not done any "Jesse Tree" ornaments at all this year, which is kind of a bummer. I love doing a Jesse Tree with the kids. I really feel like it helps them to remember the Old Testament stories better. AND it helps with religious art because you come away from each story with a symbol of it in your hand - a Ladder for Jacob, a Burning Bush for Moses, a Crown for Esther, a Lion for Daniel, a Coat for Joseph - on and on.

This painting reminds me a lot of Sirius Black's family tree tapestry in Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Video From UK: Fulham vs Sunderland Starts

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This was the beginning of the Fulham vs. Sunderland soccer (football) match we went to see on Sunday, December 6th. As you can see, it started out sunny! It was a GREAT time. I will post more video from this excursion, but the "official" highlights can be found at the Fulham FC site. Enjoy!

Check out the mounted police at the entry point:













And this is the scene at half time when everyone dashes out to grab a pint.

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This is not even as crowded as it was a few minutes earlier. Seriously, I got physically closer to more people on that trip to the lav than I have...... pretty much ever. It was intimate, let me tell you!

Video from UK: Cornish Mossy Wall

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More video from my walk in Cornwall. This wall just amazed me. No Martha Stewart-esque prep here. Enjoy!

Video from UK: Cornwall

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This is the view from the lane right next to my Godmother's house. Beautiful, right? This was my second day in Britain, and I was trying to get over jet lag. This walk would cure jet lag for most I think. Cornwall is beautiful. And visiting my Godmother is always a time warp experience - in a good way. She serves me great British food, that is actually healthy. We have tea, and she has a great library and bed linens :) Cornwall is proof that the jet stream helps English gardens, and you can see how green and alive everything is in December. Cyclamens are alive and well in the garden!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Brief Hiatus, and Happy Advent


Hey All,

I'll be away for the next week, gallivanting around the UK. I hope to be able to post some great photos and possibly video of my time there.... we'll see. The image above is from Terry's blog, Idle Speculations, and seemed appropriate given my trip, and the season.

It's the beginning of my second favorite liturgical season, Advent. I hope you all get a chance to have some un-crazy downtime during this busy time of year. My friend, Moxie, has started a "Candletime" tradition in her home, and even has a corporate sponsor!


One more thing I thought I'd share before I head out is a letter from Shane Claiborne published in Esquire. I think it's awesome, and I hope you enjoy it, h/t to my friend, Jay.