Saturday, 26 December 2009

Christmas definition

As the peaks on Arran
are defined by their covering of snow
so our world is defined
by the coming of the Christ child.
Love blankets the world
inequalities are erased
unevenness smoothed over
harsh sounds become muffled
but only from a distance.
Close up, reality bites
and chill sets in
at the realisation
that the love that came to change the world
is being guarded
and hoarded
held in closed fists
instead of being spread across the world
And in the manger
the baby cries
just before he is plucked from his cradle
to flee from evil forces
those same forces
of power and greed
that still would freeze the world
in their grip
unless we release the love
that came down at Christmas.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The great slide

I don't know that it's ever possible to get used to the extremes of full time ministry. Today has covered most bases: sharing the Christmas story with youngsters, spending time with someone facing the end of life, meeting with bereaved relatives to plan a service, pulling together power point resources, conducting a funeral and playing in the snow. It never seems to get any easier sliding through a whole gamut of emotions as slippery as the streets outside. But I wouldn't change it for anything.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

From the mouths of babes

In spite of the snow, all the children - and parents and grandparents - arrived at church this morning and presented the Nativity story beautifully. The Star who couldn't twinkle was soon lit up by the warmth of God's smile as were all of us present in worship this morning. Hopefully there will now be time to play in the snow. It certainly looks as though there is more to come.

Winter wonderland

Not sure what will happen to worship today. Snow fell overnight and it has started snowing again. It will be a shame if our young folks don't get to do their Nativity presentation. But, as long as all the vulnerable people stay home warm, dry and safe, I'm sure we can have some fun in the snow. Worship involves enjoying the God -given moment, doesn't it?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Faces of God - Advent 4

But you, Bethlehem, David's country, the runt of the litter—
From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule Israel.
 He'll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished. 
Meanwhile, Israel will be in foster homes until the birth pangs are over and the child is born. 
And the scattered brothers come back home to the family of Israel.
 He will stand tall in his shepherd-rule by God's strength, centred in the majesty of God-Revealed.
 And the people will have a good and safe home, for the whole world will hold him in respect— Peacemaker of the world!

Micah 5:2-4

Just when we think we’ve got this promised Messiah pinned down. When we’ve faced up to his being a deliverer of promises, a creator of havoc and a warrior, we’re presented with the image of a shepherd, not an upstart or a pretender. How many faces can God have? Well, it seems, as many as are necessary to deal with the ravages of the world. A comforter for those who need comfort. A stirrer for those who are complacent. An avenger for those who have been wronged. Many the faces of the God who loves, cares for and comes to restore the world. Which of God’s faces do you need to see this Advent?

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Promise

"We are all meant to be mothers of God for God is always in need of being born." Meister Eckhart

Whether it is coming too fast or whether we want advent to slow down, Christmas will come because of us and in spite of us. Wouldn't it be be as well to throw in our lot and mother God who comes anyway?

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Remembering our saints

We added our own saints to the Jesse tree tonight as we remembered those we have loved and lost in our quiet Christmas service. The baby girning in the cradle adds his cries to ours and God comes to coorie in beside those feeling the draught of loss among all the tinsel of the season of comfort and joy.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Advent 3 - Don't be afraid

Jerusalem will be told:

"Don't be afraid.

Dear Zion, don't despair.

Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you.

Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.

Zephaniah 3:16,17

God present among us. How often do we look on that as a comfort, as reassurance? The prophet, however, refers to that presence as a Strong Warrior. Maybe not one of the first images most of us would cherish.

Looking around our world today, it will take a strong warrior to bring peace and calm. Someone with backbone.

Much as I love the image of a gentle lamb as a picture of God, a gentle lamb is not going to have much impact on a world at war.

But then, we have a pretty fixed idea of warriors too. We wouldn’t readily associate a warrior with calming love or with songs that delight rather than strike fear.

These scary images of advent really provoke us into looking at God – and at ourselves – in a whole new light.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Hidden treasure

In Obama's Nobel Peace prize acceptance speech, the phrase that struck a chord with me was: "that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls."
It reminded me of a story I used to retell each advent:
At the beginning of time, when the clay that formed humans was still damp, humans confronted the gods with the claim that they too were gods and had a stake in the divine inheritance. Realising that their godship was under threat, the gods decided they must hide the essence of deity somewhere that humans would never find it. If they hid it out in space, humans wouldn't rest until they could reach the stars. If they hid it in the depths of the seas, humans would find a way to mine the ocean depths. After much deliberation and rejection of ideas of safe hiding places one god disappeared and returned with the news that he had found a really safe space for the treasure, somewhere humans would never think of looking - deep within humans themselves.
That divine spark truly does stir in each of our souls. What a different world it would be if we could look for it in ourselves and in others.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Wordle fun

Wordle: Advent

I've just been introduced to Wordle and decided to have fun with this text from Isaiah 9. Looking forward to playing around with this new(for me) tool!

Advent 2 - Wake up!

"Look! I'm sending my messenger on ahead to clear the way for me. Suddenly, out of the blue, the Leader you've been looking for will enter his Temple—yes, the Messenger of the Covenant, the one you've been waiting for. Look! He's on his way!" A Message from the mouth of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

But who will be able to stand up to that coming? Who can survive his appearance?

Malachi 3:1,2 (The Message)

Advent is not the quiet, dark, sleepy season. It’s a time for waking up, for getting real. It might well provide a refuge from the chaos unfolding in the world around but it is also a time of challenge. This promised God-child won’t provoke cute baby babble. This promised God-child comes to put a rocket under those whose complacency and righteous safe playing by the rules has put a strait jacket on the word of God. Advent is a time for waking up to the radical, confrontational nature of the gospel, a time to let the word loose and then deal with the mess. And it will be messy if we follow the demands of God’s son. There are always casualties when we refuse to conform to the niceties and get down and dirty with the gritty demands of the gospel.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Christmas Spirit

We experienced a wonderful evening at the Salvation Army Community Carol Concert. The choir, drawn from across the community only got together a few months ago. Tonight was their debut. And they were fantastic. The Salvation Army band accompanied the community carol singing and addresses were given by the UK commanders John and Elizabeth Matear. We also had some great puppetry. This extravaganza was hosted in a presbyterian church, packed by folks of all denominations. It was great to be part of such an orgy of worship. Hope we can do it again.

Friday, 4 December 2009

The power of love

I was reminded today of that old fable about the sun and the wind arguing over who was the most powerful. The wind decided to use force to try and get an old man to remove his coat. But the old man simply wrapped it tighter around himself. The sun shone gently and, within a few minutes, the coat was off.

Sometimes, it's not a cop out to refuse to confront things head on. There is often the need for hearts to be gently melted and cold bones to be lovingly warmed. There is incredible power in love.

Sounds like an advent message to me.

Thanks be to God.

A home for Christmas?

Want some breathing space?
Check out this link.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

One person's box is another one's cradle

Last year, during advent, we performed a symbolic action at one of our midweek reflective services that called for us to prepare a place for the baby Jesus. The idea came from "Cloth for the Cradle", an advent worship resource from Wild Goose worship. It involved a wooden fruit box and strips of cloth (as pictured). Together we transformed these into a crib, symbolic of our preparing to welcome the Christ child. I used this picture as a background for our Advent Sunday worship. At least two people have commented that it was good to see an image of the sanctuary, but why didn't someone move that box and the wrapping paper out of the picture.
Isn't it intriguing how the crudeness and starkness of the incarnation still causes offense?
Incidentally, the blog post title comes from my wonderful enquirer, a welcome addition to our ministry team for now.

Being a mum

It was a treat today to be able to go and support Dalmilling Primary School choir as they sang for Christmas shoppers in Princes Square in Glasgow. At this time of year there are so many reasons not to take time out so an afternoon spent supporting my daughter and her friends was a real bonus. And we enjoyed some "girl time" after the performance.
I'll have to work really late tonight but whatever I do will be enhanced by the fun had this afternoon.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Indulgent Reflection

Sitting in the dark
enjoying the tree lights
blinking their reflection in the window.
Somehow the reflection is prettier
than the real thing.
Softer and more intriguing
attractive in a transient sort of way.
easier to absorb.
Not at all how advent should be:
a season to engage the senses
to confront
to challenge
to cajole
A season that draws us in
to action and reaction
a season
that screams to us
from the darkness
Wake up!
Get ready!
Reflect if you must.
but let your reflecting
change you and the world around you.
I come
not to make the darkness cosy
but to pierce that darkness
with excruciating light.
So let your reflecting
lead you to action
that blazes a trail
through all the dark places
and lights up the path for
the Light of the world

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Liturgical tree

This morning, we made a start on our Jesse tree - hanging some symbols depicting Jesus' ancestors. (With an impromptu rendition of Father Abraham when his pic appeared) As we did that, we considered our place in that lineage.
We're also planning to use the tree as a tree of remembrance for our quiet Christmas service - for those bereaved - in a couple of weeks.
The decorative sanctuary tree will appear next week but it's great to have a liturgical tree as well this year that we can use as we reflect our way through advent.

Here at last!

A reflection for the beginning of a new year in the church:

Watch for this: The time is coming'—God's Decree—'when I will keep the promise I made to the families of Israel and Judah. When that time comes, I will make a fresh and true shoot sprout from the David-Tree. He will run this country honestly and fairly. He will set things right.
Jeremiah 33: 14,15 (The Message)

Our every day is full of promises. From the promise of the washing machine repair company guaranteeing a quick fix to the politician promising justice coupled with tax cuts. (How can the two possibly go together?) And then there are the promises we make ourselves – to eat less, to exercise more, to spend more time with family. Promises, it seems, are for breaking or at the very least, compromising.
The Christian season of Advent breaks free of this pattern and brings the refreshment of promise fulfilled. We anticipate the coming of that shoot from the David-tree, the one who will bring honesty and fairness. We see in the birth of Jesus signs of something different. Signs of something that goes against the grain, runs contrary to that to which we have grown accustomed. We look for God’s son to set things right. And we are not disappointed.
Advent 1

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Longing for light

Following a very peaceful time of Taize worship this evening, we set up a few things for Advent - the advent wreath and our liturgical tree. I began to get quite excited about the prospect of a new church year beginning. One of the Taize chants is:

Within our darkest night, you kindle the fire that never dies away, never dies away

Right now I'm longing for the light and for the hope that Advent brings. And I really need the warmth of that fire!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

There is a God!

Woohoo!! Sense has finally prevailed and John and Edward have been kicked out of the X factor. Entertaining they might have been. Singers they certainly were not - in my humble opinion. LOL

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Nativity Pig

Check out this wonderful antidote to swine flu.

Friday, 20 November 2009

A good talk ruined!

Our Children in Need Assembly today at one of the local primary schools focussed on role models. However the children totally confounded me by choosing the head teacher as their preferred role model over the school jannie. What's that about? They totally messed up my talk and further swelled the already inflated ego of the headie. It's a true saying: Never work with children or animals.:)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Seizing the day

I've been trying to set aside some time to prepare a few reflections for advent. Not being disciplined enough to just blank off time in the diary I'd almost given up on it. Today, however, I found myself with a whole 90 minutes free, so I decided to make a start. Within an hour, I had managed to write a reflection for each week in advent. It would have been easy to find something else to do and postpone the creative bit until conditions were better and more conducive to writing but, it turned out that the time was right however unlikely it seemed. Sometimes it's good to seize the opportunity and make the most of what we have. And it's even better when it pays off.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Alt worship!

In a 20th birthday celebration for a church this weekend, I was asked to celebrate communion in this party atmosphere. It called for loads of flexibility and creativity. The "great prayer of thanksgiving" was replaced by a loop of images of the past 20 years, accompanied by The Kinks song Days. I had no idea that the two guys I asked to help pass round bread and wine had just turned up with friends - there they were behaving like solid church elders! I decided to bring a wee element of Presbyterianism by getting folk to sing a Gloria - in three parts. That was really a goose bump producing experience. The wonder of communion that can be celebrated in so many ways in so many places. Thanks be to God.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Church - but not as we know it

Over on the sermon blog, I was reflecting on the texts for this week. We're being exhorted to provoke one another to love. Nik, rightly called me out on my murky Star Wars past, where the "not as we know it" phrase originates for me. Tonight I'm asking myself - Why is it that "church" so often disappoints. I think it's because our expectations are so much higher so, when folk let us down, when support is not what it might be and when love is not evident, it hurts all the more. And so many of us experience church as being a place of hurt simply because our expectations are so different to what we encounter.
What then? Should we lower our expectations?
Absolutely not!
It's important that we never lower that bar and persist, yes, even through hurt, until we are part of that church that is not as we know it. Provoking one another to love is certainly a good place to start.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Avoiding capture

Elusive, flirtatious
always just out of reach
pausing for a moment
only to fly away
and avoid capture
yet when all is said and done
would I want it any other way?
neat packages are not my style
it's more fun to struggle
more enticing to have to reach
and, even then, never quite grasp
that's the challenge of truth
and the excitement of faith.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Guy Fawkes

I had forgotten what a peculiarly British thing Guy Fawkes night is. Last night was the first dry night since the 5th, so we had a mini firework display in the garden. There is something magical about wrapping up warmly and braving the outdoors on a clear autumn night. The fireworks were just a good excuse.
We didn't burn an effigy last night, probably because it would have been too difficult to decide on which of the many political contenders our "guy" would depict.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The "Fraternal"

A colleague asked my opinion on minister's fraternals. Since student days I have been involved in a number of different fraternals and, unfortunately, my experience hasn't been great. Maybe my expectations are unrealistic but I haven't found these groups terribly supportive. It may well be a gender thing but I'd like to feel that the fraternal is a place for ministers to let their guard down, share some vulnerability. A safe space. I have formal monthly supervision, so it's not that I'm looking for that kind of support but it would be valuable to have some kind of fellowship and supportive network. As a presbytery chaplain I used to organise ministers' retreats and the ambience created in those allowed for more honest sharing but it would be good to share in something locally more regularly. In spite of all this, I will continue to support the fraternal. My optimism that it can be quite different drives me to stay with it and, hopefully ring subtle, slow change. I'd love to hear how others experience these networks.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Preparing for advent

It's cold and dark and stormy outside. But, liturgically, this time of year offers loads of excitement and light filled opportunities. Throughout November we remember and celebrate our saints - some by building bonfires!
Tomorrow, our worship team is getting together to prepare for advent, another waiting time, filled with possibility, not least for encounters with a God of surprises. Much to some folks' annoyance, I like to savour advent and resist the temptation to rush into Christmas. Advent has its' own music and words and Spirit:
Pregnant with potential
is the season of signs
when hopes and dreams and miracles
invade our everyday
and what is truly wonderful
is the opening of our eyes and ears
and minds and hearts
to see God, born in our midst.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

All the saints

Did a wee transformation on our Hallowe'en butler today to illustrate that, in God's eyes, no one is beyond redemption. Giving thanks for all the saints who have gone before us but rejoicing too that our God calls us saints and equips us to be saints, sharing light and love with all around us.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Unexpected bonus

Today was a glorious autumn day, far too good to get on with indoor tasks. The day has given way to a clear night with a good, bright moon for all the trick or treaters. But I'm looking forward to tomorrow - the beginning of another season celebrating the saints.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Beach time

Spent most of today at a family funeral in St Andrew's. The beach, as always, looked very inviting but there was no time for a walk. Must return soon and make the time.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Chill out

We host a monthly Taize service. It's good to continue this traditional style of worship, that originated during World War 2 in France. It's good to sing the simple chants and pray for peace. But the best bit of all is to just sit quietly for half an hour. There's just not enough opportunity for that in life.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Life is not a rehearsal

He would be 25 now. Instead I stood at his grave this morning with his mum, saying a prayer to mark the 4th anniversary of his death. And I marveled at this very intimate moment that I was allowed to share. Amazing and humbling. Amazing to be asked to "say some words" when folk are so overcome with grief that they cannot begin to describe. Humbling to be privy to the face behind the mask that is normally donned for the outside world.
Life is not a rehearsal. We either seize the moment and live life to the full or live with the regrets of missed opportunities.
Finding the end of the rainbow is a life long pursuit. Meantime, along the way, there are many stops and starts and twists and turns, each one offering opportunity, a gift of God.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

New Tricks

it's alright, it's okay
doesn't really matter if you're old and grey
it's alright I say it's okay
listen to what I say
it's alright doing fine
doesn't really matter if the sun don't shine
it's alright I say its okay
getting to the end of the day
High tech, low tech, take your pick
you can't teach an old dog a brand new trick
I dont care what anybody says.

The week ended on a high note yesterday when I had the honour of being involved in a wedding ceremony.
There is nothing finer than celebrating love, especially when that love is mature and growing in folks who have seen a bit of life, who have known hurt and loss yet are not afraid of commitment.
This job is so unpredictable and always full of wonderful opportunities for learning.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Don't drop the coffin

I'm watching "Don't drop the coffin" a documentary series on TV about the work of a funeral director in London. There's always a lot of humour in the programme - as there has to be in that line of work to offset the sadness that also comes with the role. It fits the bill for me this week after a week of funerals.
Today, as we took a detour on the way to the graveyard so that we could pass the farm the grieving family had farmed for over 30 years, it seemed that even the cattle shared our sense of loss. One of the calves turned his head mournfully to watch us pass. It makes sense to lay folk to rest surrounded by the peace and beauty of creation of which they too have been a part. And, no matter how much sadness builds up when funerals come, as they often do, in batches, it is such an honour and a privilege to simply be there for folk and to be allowed, even just for a short time, to be a part of their lives.
A gift from God.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

In sickness and in health

Married a lifetime
rubbing along together easily
instinctively knowing the other's thoughts
predicting their every need
sharing unconscious intimacies
that come naturally
through sharing so much
from the springtime of youth
to the autumn of age.
Settling comfortably
into a pattern
that is at once
familiar and love filled.
And then a brain attack
creeps in insidiously,
certainly not welcome
and changes the whole fabric of life
the being
the doing
all the mechanics of everyday
irrevocably disturbed.
But not the love.
A love so deep
cannot be undermined
or weakened
No catastrophe
can reach in
and steal.
Even sadness
and pain
cannot erode
a channel of love
furrowed so deep
through the years.
What a privilege to witness
such love and such caring
such selfless giving
Something so real
it can withstand the strain.
That is the power of love.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

One of these days

One of these days, I'll be able to ease gently back into work on return from holiday.
One of these days, other folk will have picked up on the slack.
One of these days, there will be space to ponder the benefits of being away and harness the energy of recharging and move lightly forward.
But, until then, I'll surge back into the melee and pick up all those balls that have crashed to the ground and quickly forget that I am dispensable.
But, until others see that too...
One of these days...

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Pilgrim Door

Just finished reading Through the Pilgrim Door, an account of a journey in Pioneer Ministry by Michael Volland, who blogs here. It's a book you will want to zip through and then return to from time to time, filled as it is with rich nuggets of wisdom, humour and grace.
I first "encountered" Michael a couple of years back when I was going through a particularly dark time in ministry. I stumbled across his blog on Fresh Expressions in Gloucester (feig) and was buoyed up by the hope that, even in the institutional church, there are alternatives, that church doesn't have to be a place of hurt and longing but can be loving, affirming, organic and exciting, a roller coaster journey fueled by God. To read his story of an adventure with God, arising out of a very traditional setting where imagination and creativity were allowed to flourish really is a story of hope for our times and a real encouragement for those of us who seek to be involved in alternatives alongside traditional church. Michael has moved on, interestingly, to be involved at Cranmer, a college where ordinands are formed. That has to be good news for the C of E and, of course, students of any denomination who study at Cranmer. Feig also continues to develop and grow.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Travels of the heart

We found this microlight on the beach when we arrived. The pilot had stopped off for lunch. Seeing his craft seemingly abandoned in the sunshine made me think of one of my favourite story books: The Little Prince. I wonder if this pilot has had anything like the adventures that the little prince had? Or met nearly as many tragic people? Or revealed so many innocent truths? The Little Prince is a story to be read with the heart and not with the head - maybe a way in which to read much more of life.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Does this make me a bad person?

Sitting on the beach. In October. In Scotland. Probably a sign of global warming. But I'm loving it.

PS Haven't figured out how to upload from mobile, so here is a late addition: Kilbride Beach, Argyll, October 09.

Friday, 9 October 2009


I've just completed a 6 week mission intro course, hosted at the Howard Centre in Kilmarnock. One of the things that dawned on me while doing this was how much I use this online blogging community as a big part of my support network. So it was good for those 6 weeks to be accompanied by a bunch of real, live, like minded people - not like minded so that we all agreed with each other, but like minded so that we could journey together towards a common goal, with all our differences.
There will be the opportunity in the new year to explore mission shaped church in more depth. While I know the value of accompaniment on these journeys, there is another part of me that gets weary of talking about it and just wants to get on with it. I know the value of the discipline of reflecting on the journey but doing that in a structured and formal way puts pressure on the journey itself. What should I prioritise? And where is God prioritising mission in this community?

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Ancora imparo

Anstruther was looking particularly beautiful yesterday even though it was hard to stand up straight in the gale blowing. I was there to discover the Enneagram. Well worth the two and a half hour drive and the early start. Looking forward now to doing a bit more reading and going a bit deeper. Always something different to learn. The spice of life.

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Tomorrow (2nd October) is world smile day. Just as well it wasn't today. I caught an early morning train to Perth. My laptop and my mobile and my i-pod and my book saved me from having to interact with the passengers around me. I feel smiled out this week, trying to rise above some nonsense that is being played out and preserve my integrity and professionalism, taking the moral high ground. But it's tiring teetering on the edge - and pretty lonely. Hopefully I can do better tomorrow. Indulge in an act of random kindness - give someone a smile.

Monday, 28 September 2009


In the rather splendid setting of the Court Room at Tuliallan, Howard, all 6 feet 7 of him, towers over this poor wee duck, exhorting it to produce the goods while David pretends he's not with these mad people. Just one of the scenes as some wonderful worship was created.
Instead of the more usual creation of worship around a theme, we did it back to front - came up with strange objects and created worship around them. And all the groups did really well, creating worship that was by turns hilarious, moving, poignant, sometimes all at once. If your church has a probationer this year - look out. Don't leave any strange objects lying around or, before you know it.....:) God in our everyday - in a whole new dimension.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Hot wheels

I've just returned from one of the most exhausting yet most exhilarating weekends I've ever experienced. Spent in the company of Church of Scotland probationers and slightly crazy colleagues, the last three days have been filled with laughter, tears and sheer grace. I even got to zoom across the new Kincardine Bridge with my top off - all in an effort to procure some communion wine! (The bridge wasn't exactly en-route to the nearest supermarket but it was such a pretty day and we needed some fresh air). It's good to share gifts and be inspired by the gifts and talents of others. And it's great to be reassured that, alongside all that we so easily find wrong with the church, there is also much for which to give thanks and from which we can glean hope for the future. Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

When is a :) not a :)?

I've just noticed that, to the end of my dinosaur post, I attached a :). That's OK then. I can be as derogatory as I like about the institution in which I minister. :) makes everything alright. :) is the new "with all due respect". I used to eagerly await those words emerging in meetings. As soon as someone said: "with all due respect", you knew an insult was coming. In text speak, the :) serves the same purpose. It makes insults OK.
I have, on occasion, been told that my smile gets me out of all sorts of hot water. But don't you know folk whose smiles hide shark's teeth?
So it is with the :). Merely masking the venom. I really must monitor my usage more carefully. :)

Monday, 21 September 2009

International Day of Peace

In the midst of all the signs to the contrary, is it possible, even for one day, to let go of our cynicism and believe in 10 impossible things before breakfast - like the queen in Alice in Wonderland?
Sadly, I'm not convinced.
However, walking the length of this beautiful beach on the Island of Arran certainly goes a long way to restoring the soul and making the impossible seem ever so slightly achievable.

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