Archive | December 2015

‘6 images for the day’ — December 26, 2015.

by Anura Guruge


Taken with my Sony RX100 Mk II
(for a change from my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000).
Straight out of the camera.

Refer to this post for image resolution details.
NO post-processing whatsoever.
Straight JPEGs from the camera.

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.







Enjoy. Thank YOU.

A Rolicking Boxing Day to YOU ALL.


Related posts:
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by Anura Guruge

THE Queen’s Christmas Speech 2015: Video, Text & History.

by Anura Guruge


The official video of The Queen’s Christmas 2015 Broadcast
— on YouTube.

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Click to access. The SPEECH per se starts at the 2:26 minute mark. Prior to that it is a quick pictorial preview of the Queen’s year fading into the Victorian Christmas tree theme that the Queen starts off with.

The Queen, at 89, looks amazing.

The Broadcast, per the tradition, was delivered on British TV at 3pm GMT (10 am Eastern).

As ever it is a lovely, touching — and short — speech.
My Christmas is not complete until I see the Queen’s Speech.

Some of the other scenes from this video — at the start.

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The Queen starts off her 2015 speech reminiscing, quite touchingly, about Christmas trees and Malta. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Christmas tree painting that started the custom in Britain.


The FULL Text of the Queen’s 2015 Christmas Broadcast.

“At this time of year, few sights evoke more feelings of cheer and goodwill than the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree.

The popularity of a tree at Christmas is due in part to my great-great grandparents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

After this touching picture was published, many families wanted a Christmas tree of their own, and the custom soon spread.

In 1949, I spent Christmas in Malta as a newly-married naval wife.

We have returned to that island over the years, including last month for a meeting of Commonwealth leaders; and this year I met another group of leaders: The Queen’s Young Leaders, an inspirational group, each of them a symbol of hope in their own Commonwealth communities.

Gathering round the tree gives us a chance to think about the year ahead – I am looking forward to a busy 2016, though I have been warned I may have Happy Birthday sung to me more than once or twice.

It also allows us to reflect on the year that has passed, as we think of those who are far away or no longer with us.

Many people say the first Christmas after losing a loved one is particularly hard.

But it’s also a time to remember all that we have to be thankful for.

It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’.

One cause for thankfulness this summer was marking 70 years since the end of the Second World War.

On VJ Day, we honoured the remaining veterans of that terrible conflict in the Far East, as well as remembering the thousands who never returned.

The procession from Horse Guards Parade to Westminster Abbey must have been one of the slowest ever, because so many people wanted to say ‘thank you’ to them.

At the end of that war, the people of Oslo began sending an annual gift of a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square.

It has 500 light bulbs and is enjoyed not just by Christians but by people of all faiths, and of none.

At the very top sits a bright star, to represent the Star of Bethlehem.

The custom of topping a tree also goes back to Prince Albert’s time. For his family’s tree, he chose an angel, helping to remind us that the focus of the Christmas story is on one particular family.

For Joseph and Mary, the circumstances of Jesus’s birth – in a stable – were far from ideal, but worse was to come as the family was forced to flee the country.

It’s no surprise that such a human story still captures our imagination and continues to inspire all of us who are Christians, the world over.

Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ’s unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another.

Although it is not an easy message to follow, we shouldn’t be discouraged; rather, it inspires us to try harder: to be thankful for the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives, and to look for ways of spreading that love to others, whenever and wherever we can.

One of the joys of living a long life is watching one’s children, then grandchildren, then great grandchildren, help decorate the Christmas tree. And this year my family has a new member to join in the fun!

The customary decorations have changed little in the years since that picture of Victoria and Albert’s tree first appeared, although of course electric lights have replaced the candles.

There’s an old saying that ‘it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness’.

There are millions of people lighting candles of hope in our world today.

Christmas is a good time to be thankful for them, and for all that brings light to our lives.

I wish you a very happy Christmas.”


For a delightful history as to the Monarch’s Christmas speech
check out this OFFICIAL site.


Related posts:
>> 2014:
Queen’s Christmas Speech.
>>
2013: Queen’s Christmas Speech.


by Anura Guruge


‘6 images for the day’ — December 25, 2015.

by Anura Guruge


Taken with my Sony RX100 Mk II
(for a change from my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000).
Straight out of the camera.

Refer to this post for image resolution details.
NO post-processing whatsoever.
Straight JPEGs from the camera.

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.







Enjoy. Thank YOU.

Merry Christmas to YOU ALL.


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘images’ for other posts >>>>

++++ Check Category ‘Six Images’ >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti & Christmas 2015 Greetings To You All From I.

by Anura Guruge


paganx2015


Christmas2015greetings


Christmas is a DOUBLE whammy for I.

I have celebrated Christmas, with gusto (and lots of presents),
ALL my life — my surrogate father
(a HUGE influence in my life)
was a ‘white’ Baptist lawyer (with no kids).
I made out like a bandit.
SMILE.

As the few of you who know me somewhat
kind of know I celebrate any and all
holidays with relish (and maybe even mustard).

But, I LOVE Christmas — MORE so since I have had kids.

So I wish you BOTH a Pagan greeting
and a Merry Christmas.

IF you don’t celebrate either,
WOW!

New Year is a LONG way away.


by Anura Guruge


Br. César J. Tobón’s Inspired Christmas Greeting For 2015 With Pope Francis Homily From 2014.

by Anura Guruge


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Click to ENLARGE. Translations below.


Br. César J. Tobón, of Mexico, is ANOTHER of my valued Internet friends.
In 2014 he sent me this wonderful graphic ahead of the February 2014 consistory.
That was how we ‘met’. Then in 2015 he repeated the kind gesture for the February consistory.

Br. César J. Tobón has had the privilege of holding the Missal
for Pope Benedict XVI (#266) at a Papal Mass. q.v. below.


Here is the translation of the Pope Francis, December 24, 2014
homily quoted at the top of the greeting.

“How do we welcome the tenderness of God? Do I allow myself to be taken up by God, to be embraced by him, or do I prevent him from drawing close? “But I am searching for the Lord” – we could respond. Nevertheless, what is most important is not seeking him, but rather allowing him to seek me, find me and caress me with tenderness. The question put to us simply by the Infant’s presence is: do I allow God to love me?”

Click here for the entire original from the Vatican.

The words after that are “Best Wishes and Blessings” to his family, follow students, friend etc.


Br. César J. Tobón holding the Missal for Pope Benedict XVI.


by Anura Guruge


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