Monday, 2 February 2015


Candlemas is a festival that has accompanied me throughout my life. It was the day the medical profession i.e. the local GP, predicted that I would enter the world and my fathers 40th birthday. I arrived 2 days later. My dad regularly reminded that I had chosen not to share his birthday - as if it was a choice I had deliberately made!

Being born in early February you would have thought that we would have had quite a few white birthdays. However I only ever remember one, and that was relatively recently! My father would often have a cold sunny dry day for his birthday, whereas mine just 2 days later was usually mild and rainy. How odd that this pattern should be repeated year after year!

This year Candlemas was  mainly grey and cold, with temperatures struggling to stay above zero. However, the sun did remember to appear, albeit briefly.  Today was also dedicated to window shopping - looking at furniture to see what was available...  We began by heading up the motorway network to the Swedish furniture and candle haven of Ikea.  There we discovered practical furniture, that would suffice, but lacked the 'wow' factor we were looking for.  Instead I made do with buying four under bed storage boxes - you don't need a wow factor when choosing under bed storage.  All they are required to do is fit in their intended place, as remain out of sight until required!  Despite it being Candlemas I avoided looking at any candles, as it has been pointed out how many hours of candle burning time my current stock would clock up!  I have come up with a solution to this problem, on a warmer evening when the air is still, I will place some of my candles in jam jars in the garden and enjoy their gentle glow.

After Ikea we headed off to Solihull.  In John Lewis we found the wow factor in plenty - they know how to make wood look good.  However, the price tags were not to my liking, and I have to say they were not actually as practical as the more pragmatic Swedish option.  Fortunately we do not need to make a decision yet.

This evening as a step towards reducing my candle stock, I have lit the candle in a clumsy imitation coil pot, bounty from Messy Church last month, and remembered again that it is Candlemas.
It is nearly 15 years since my Dad cracked his last jokes, but Candlemas will always be one of the days when I remember him - not in a mawkish way, for he would have detested that. Instead I will remember his....

  • humour, 
  • appreciation of word play, 
  • rejection of self important people and their hierarchies.  
  • love of the sea, 
  • the time he had to talk to children, 
  • and him dancing round the kitchen, desperately trying to cool down an over heating frying pan, rather than just turning down the gas....

This evening, as I gaze out at the snow scattered scene I wonder what the weather will be like on Wednesday...?