a Boxing day walk.

It was pretty chilly today but Boxing day is the perfect day for a long walk on the Whiterocks beach, on the north Antrim coast. The rain cut the walk short or at least encouraged us to turn back towards the car park. At its best it was grey but there was just the hint of a distant sun on the horizon.

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There was a scattering of people jogging or walking their dog or just walking off the excesses of yesterday.

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Even on a day like today if you look for it you can find something which catches your eye. Layers of sand left by the tide or a stranded shell with a channel in the sand.

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its nearly Christmas

The Sunday before Christmas is a busy one in any church – this morning I got this shot just before our Sunday school carol service.  Its a beautiful window – to know Christ and make him known, is the message at the bottom.

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At the front of the church are the advent candles and of course one of them has been lit each Sunday for the last 4 weeks.   Its not quite Christmas yet – its all about the anticipation and looking forward to the day.

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over the pulpit in a central place is the very core of the message.  Its deliberately not quite in focus here – lets face it, the way we celebrate Christmas doesn’t exactly bring the real meaning of Christmas into sharp focus.

God with us.

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Castle gardens.

Walking up the hill towards these wrought iron gates you can see across the gardens towards the Cathedral and Linen centre.

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as you walk through the gates themselves there is a large flower bed to the right hand side. There are still some flowers hanging on in this sheltered spot despite the onset of winter. Mainly rhododendrons. You can pick out blooms which are surprisingly fresh right next door to petals which have completely lost their colour and are reduced to what looks like their skeletal remains.

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Harrogate

Spent the day last Monday in Harrogate at a meeting. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon although pretty chilly. Mid afternoon I had a spare hour and went for a walk with my camera. Its a beautiful town.

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I have visited a number of times before and usually find my way to Betty’s tea room at some point. Usually with a group of friends or colleagues. Its a great place for breakfast, but this time I had to settle for a coffee with an iPhone for company. Just across the road is the town’s war memorial with fresh wreaths like every town in the country.

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Belfast City Hall

This week I had the chance to go to a work event at Belfast City Hall. Everyone I know seems to have been inside the building before but this was my very first time.

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As Halloween is over they felt obliged to have a Christmas tree. I restricted myself to the star on the main tree in the central hall visible from the top storey.

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Inside and out its a fantastic public building, clad in marble with dramatic sweeping staircases, chandeliers, flags, great ceiling domes and stained glass windows.

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All very opulent and very much from another age.

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the toadstool

I have thought about getting a few shots of a toadstool recently – seems to be the obvious time of year for it. I had a cooked breakfast yesterday and the mushrooms on the side did not look that picturesque so I resisted taking out my mobile phone camera. This morning on my usual Sunday morning stroll I could only find a single cluster of toadstools anywhere, all around just one tree. Not quite sure just why that should be, there were dozens of other trees around with lots of dying leaves everywhere.

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