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Weekly Writing Challenge – 23rd December 1993

snow lamp

It wasn’t a problem we were left there together. Two young student nurses trapped in our large old fashioned stone museum of nurses’ past. Just two compared to the noise, the door slamming, music and TV of the usual 100 under one roof.

They all departed by parents’ cars, taxis and bus to return to their homes for the Christmas holidays. All an hours ride home from our Hospital. Just us two, that lived further than an hour’s travel were left. Our journey was the next day, but as we sat at the large window looking down we wondered what we would be doing on the 24rd December. We watched as the snow drifted down. The snowflakes turned to blankets of white cotton, as the ground was covered over in one drape. Everything that was once familiar, the paths to the roads, the rose beds along the driveways, the iron grates to the drains, all disappears to one perfect covering, like glistening white marble.

No entrance path or exit was visible as the tall mast of a street light blinkered and lit. Our home now an island and the two of us desolate within the darkened corridors above the white sea below. Tomorrow’s journey was far more thwart with chance. As the elements now determined our fate, we were at the will of the weather.

Our evening ahead did not fill us with trepidation and worry. Instead we settled on as many cushions and pillows as we could pile up.  We gathered our provisions from parcels delivered earlier that week, homemade Christmas cake, mince pies, Stolen, all sent from our Mother’s kitchens back home. We sat and watched the festive entertainment on TV, the Sinatra and Crosby specials and Carols from Harry Connick Jr. We slept as we were and come morning the paths had been cleared our calls to the main Hospital informed us trains were running and tracks and roads were set for departures. Together we made our first leg of the journey to the city train station. Said our goodbyes and went on our separate ways.

The train was cold, frozen even. Some ice around the window slowly thawed and pooled at my feet. I made it home for Christmas Eve as the day dimmed back to darkness. Our story of two left in the stone museum of our student residential home was not abandonment. To us it was an adventure, an experience to remember all 23rd of Decembers. Homemade cake, companionship and friendship everlasting. Sometimes an experience made through chance can be richer than the end journey itself. It reminds us that all is well, all will be well and that faith takes us to another day.

(Image from Google images)


Weekly Writing Challenge – “glimmers of a beginning”

This week’s challenge

To recap, here’s what to do for the challenge. As always, feel free to adapt the challenge as you see fit. The object is to get you writing:

  1. Pick three original details from encounters during your day or your week that you’ve observed.
  2. Once you’ve collected your details, your “glimmers of a beginning,” write at least one paragraph containing your original details.


Today I read a blog by the Hitch-Hikers Handbook to my husband as we sat drinking coffee organising our day.  It was  about traditions for a Polish Christmas. I particularly liked the well organised structure of celebrations beginning on Christmas Eve. My husband also agreed that our Christmas Day is packed with meeting all expectations. We discussed the Polish way of having our meal Christmas Eve and then to the vigil service at church, but in the end, we have traditions of our own and if we change what we do “we’ll be missed” I said. We have family to meet, and friends home for the holidays, friends with news of their year gone by and time to reminisce about our younger years ….

Later that day,  a tradition of our own is a visit to what the town call the Christmas shop. In fact the shop is open all year round, as an upholstery and furnishings shop, but at Christmas they open all three floors and decorate at least four trees on each floor with vintage Christmas themed gifts, decorations, basically everything under one roof for Christmas. At the shop a friend of ours works behind the counter and jokes that it’s our once a year visit to the shop. We exchange plans for Christmas and where we will meet up next and then she said “as usual she is at her mothers for Christmas day, but her grandfather passed away last week, and he will be missed”. With all the presents and fairy lights it all looks like a joyous occasion but this is also a time to remember those that are no longer with us….. people we miss.

Daylight disappeared with a short display of a pink sky in the distance then the velvet navy clouds hung down like curtains as we passed the sea shore road in the car, on our way home. The sound of the sea could be heard behind a slab concrete barrier wall as waves drummed close to rocky mounds of sea breakers. The car was dark, all but the orange neon lights in places around the dashboard. The radio was playing a Christmas carol, O Holy Night.  A less popular carol I thought but a lovely mesmerising tune heard maybe once in the festive period amongst the top hits or the Sinatra oldies. The sounds had a wholeness effect that seems to penetrate into your chest. You know the one. Of emotional in-pouring that fills you full of smiles from your feet to your eyes where the joy overwhelms and pushes tears  into the corners of your eyes.  The music plays with emotions and the surrounding sound of the elements outside percussioning the shores seemed to soothe, all at the same time.