Monday, 30 November 2015

Advent Hopes

Day 1 (Tuesday 1st December 2015)

Number One London – the informal address of Apsley House,
the townhouse of the Dukes of Wellington. 

It was lived in by Wellington, who acquired the house off his brother, 
after the Battle of Waterloo (which celebrated its 200th anniversary in June)
It gained its name because of its being the first house passed by travellers when
entering London via the toll gates at Knightsbridge.

It stands in dignified isolation amongst the chaos at Hyde Park Corner.

It is the first day of Advent. Welcome to the 2015 Advent Blogs Series. It is both a privilege and pleasure to host this annual event for a second year and I can promise you some wonderful blogs over the next few weeks. I appreciate that a few people found this year's theme of "Comet Tails and Coal Dust" challenging, but the thought and effort has paid off. New and experienced writers have interpreted the theme in a variety of ways. I hope you enjoy reading these wonderful posts; they were written for us as a seasonal gift and have become a tradition within a broad community. I always find the Advent Blogs a wonderful time for reflection, sharing, celebration and making new contacts - 2015 will be no exception.

The first post in this year's Series is written by my good friend and occasional work associate, the inspirational consultant artist, Simon Heath. As many of you are aware, due to Simon being a popular contributor on Twitter (his handle is @SimonHeath1 ) where he speaks openly about his past, Simon had a successful career within commerce - culminating in being Head of Operations for a number of significant financial services businesses - before taking advantage of redundancy to follow his heart and step into a new, more creative career. He founded Speech Bubble EQ in January 2013 and is now recognised as a leader in his field, providing pithy and witty illustrations for conferences, senior leadership and training events and the communication of crucial messages. He has the knack of appreciating the importance of what is being said by others, his commercial grounding helps, and is capable of turning thoughts and words into memorable and impactful images. Today he has done something different and used his creative talents to write a poem around the Advent Series theme (of Comets and Coal Dust) that encapsulates much of the festive excitement of children and families in the lead up to Christmas.


Trailing through the winter sky

The comet spotted up on high,

Brought Shepherds out to gaze aloft

With toes and fingers firmly crossed

‘Twas Christmas, see.  And at that time,
People up their trees did climb,
To put on top the shining star
They’d seen across horizons far.

And children out, all bundled up
While parents steaming glasses cup
Faces turned towards the sight
Of stardust lighting up the night.

All Advent hopes dispel the fear
That in the night no one would hear
The jingle bells, the “Ho, ho, ho!”,
The crunch of footsteps in the snow.

At the Pole, the patient elves
Turned once more to fill the shelves,
Hoping that the job was done
As in the East, appeared the Sun.

The turning handle, stopping banter
And in the room comes striding, Santa!
Then by the sight all there were cheered

Of dabs of coal dust on his beard.

Thank you Simon, the countdown has begun....

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