Rector’s Ramblings

All I want for Christmas is………..

You may remember the film or the song in which these lines were sung.  But they ask us the question what do we want for Christmas?  You may put world peace up there, a day without Brexit on the news.  For some
people Christmas will pass them by as any other day, a day full of sorrow and sadness, a day where they have no home, a day filled with abuse, a day of cold and hunger. At this time of year our charity focus moves to the work of the Children’s Society, Some people collect for this society all year round with collecting boxes in their homes, if you would like to join them, just let me know and I can get a collecting box round to you for 2018.

We have two events which particularly focus on the Children’s Society, formerly called the Church of
England Children’s Society.  The first event is the Christingle Service which has been used for many years as the flagship for the society. This year our service will be at 4pm on 3rd December at All Saints
Croughton.  Here we will make our Christingles and a collection will be taken for the charity.  This is a lovely
service for all the family,  do come along if you can.  If you cannot make the service and want to make a donation, please drop it off at the Rectory marked ‘Children’s Society’ and I will make sure it gets to them.

Our second event is the “Carol Singing on the Green” or round the Christmas tree at Aynho on Christmas Eve at 5pm, usually followed by mince pies and mulled wine in the village hall.

We support the charity because of the work they do to help tackle child sexual exploitation, they work among the young refugees and migrants, they have an advocacy service that speaks up for the
children in areas such as child protection and government policy. They work with children affected by adult
substance abuse.  They work with and for those who go missing from their homes and families, they work
supporting young people experiencing mental health and emotional wellbeing problems. They also work with post adoption and care services for those who have been adopted and want to trace relatives.

See https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk for more details.

One thing the Children’s Society highlights is our need to be vigilant about caring for or safeguarding
children where ever we may find ourselves.  The church’s commitment to safeguarding children and  vulnerable adults is shown by all PCC members and group leaders attending Safeguarding Awareness courses to help set the standard for our communities and to help protect them.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful and Christ filled Christmas and look forward to seeing you at our many events and services over the Christmas time.

God Bless Simon  (Rector)

Croughton Christmas Tree Festival

Come and enjoy the festive decorations from village groups in the first of our new Christmas Tree Festival at Croughton Church. The festival is open

Sunday 10th December 2pm – 5pm, Saturday 16th December 2pm – 5pm, Sunday 17th December 2pm – 5pm Entry £1 for adults, children free          Come and help us judge the best dressed tree.                               The festival will finish with a special Christmas Tree Carols at 4.30pm Sunday 17th December to which everybody is invited and at which the winner of the best dressed tree will be announced.

Mid week viewing for groups can be made by arrangement-please contact Peter on 01869 810023

We are very grateful to CT Walters Electrical Ltd for their support of this event.

 

Aynho Long Walk 21st December 2017

What a contrast to last week, nineteen of us set off this week, almost three times last week’s walkers, and the frozen snow covered fields and ice covered tracks have turned to vast lakes of water and thick clingy mud. We walked and skidded down Green Lane and turned along the valley track. We navigated round or wellied through the great tracts of water before taking the field edge to the bridge across the stream and continuing towards Charlton. The path across the field to the old stone pits was very muddy, but the pits themselves were still grassy. Not so the next field, more mud. We reached the road down through the village and were relieved of mud and puddles for a while. The path up to Rainsborough Camp was mostly grassy but there was some mud. The ridge walk is still closed off so we finished the walk along the Charlton Road. The pavilion was very busy as Dawn’s refreshments were much needed. 5.2 miles.

Aynho Long Walk 14 December 2017

Seven Long walkers set off this morning as the thaw took hold. The Portway path was a mixture of mud and slush, as was the field below, but the sun was bright and the views a real pleasure as we continued across the next field, over the stream and across to Upper Aynho Grounds. The drive up to the Old Barn was busy, no doubt for an event but we continued past the buildings and down through the woods and up the other side into Warren Farm. No sign of stock as we reached Mill Lane but in the field behind Croughton there were some winter coated horses. We passed through the village, avoiding the dustcart and crossed the fields to Cut-Throat Corner, Camp Farm, Rainsborough Camp and on to the Charlton Road. Back at the pavilion Dawn had few takers for her refreshments as so few walkers had braved the conditions. 6.4 miles.

Photographic Society: December Report

Click here to see the complete photograph Winter by Jim Muller

A welcome return to the club was made by John Credland ARPS for our December meeting. John has his own very distinct style of presentation with the accent definitely upon humour. His entertaining presentation was titled “Intensity in Ten Cities”, and he laughingly acknowledged taking his title from an early record album. His theme was preparing a panel of photographs for submission to the Royal Photographic Society for a distinction award. John started by talking about the present trend for the popularity of square format prints, which often seem to be used regardless of subject matter. He then displayed his mounted panel of twenty prints submitted for ARPS distinction. (All square). His theme for the panel was the present nature of city centre activity and buildings. A few centuries ago the main central building in a city would be the cathedral, and the central image within the cathedral is that of Jesus Christ. Today, he argued, the importance of the cathedrals in city centres is being replaced by the massive shopping malls. Attractive stained glass windows are replaced by large advertising posters or even LCD screens exhorting us to buy. His photographs showed various activities of people in shopping centres. Some hurrying and dashing about holding brightly coloured plastic carrier bags and cartons of coffee. Others lounged in doorways sitting on blankets, and street corner preachers appealing to the shoppers passing by, while buskers with instruments entertained the moving mass of people, many of them eating on the move. The predominant style of his pictures was created mainly using the HDR technique, and multiple exposure camera settings to create impact and the sense of movement. John went on to discuss the trend for using multiple exposures in camera and deliberately blurred images, particularly of people on the move. Our meeting continued with photographs for the monthly challenge. This month’s topic was…”I love…..”, interpreted however the author wished. The challenge produced a wide range of images, from children to landscapes. Our next meeting on the 3rd January,  will be held in the Cartwright Hotel Aynho. Our activity will be members displaying their best three images taken during the last year, and a statement of where we took them, why we like them. Our monthly challenge will therefore be held over until February, the theme will be…“I Hate…..”, interpret as you wish! As usual our meetings are open to all, and all are welcome.

Paul Brewerton.  Adderbury,  Deddington and District Photographic Society.

Top Ten Dreamers by Fiona Gow

This is Radio Bedfordshire, and it’s nearly midnight. Time for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, when we announce our all-time Top Ten Dreamers, as chosen by you, the listeners.

And coming in at Number Ten is – Mary Shelley. Back in 1815 she was looking for inspiration for a ghost story, and she had a strange dream in which she saw a monstrous creature coming to life. From that dream came her famous story, Frankenstein, and all those scary films.

You may not have heard of dreamer Number Nine – Frederick Banting, but our diabetic listeners have. In the 1920s he was looking for a cure for diabetes, the disease which had killed his mother. He knew insulin was involved, but couldn’t see exactly how. He went
to bed thinking about the problem, and dreamt the solution. When he woke, he knew what experiment he had to do.

And who’s at Number Eight? I think our golfing listeners have been voting here, because it’s Jack Nicklaus. One of the world’s best golfers, but he had a bad patch in the 60s. Then one night he dreamt he was hitting the ball really well. When he remembered the dream , he realised he had been holding the club slightly differently. So he did that for real, and he was back on form!

Now at Number Seven we have some Christmassy dreamers – it’s Joseph and the Wise Men. An angel tells Joseph in a dream not to send Mary away when she’s pregnant, and the Wise Men dream that an angel tells them not to return to Herod. And I’m told there are 3 more dreams in that story!

And who is at Number Six? It’s Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine. He couldn’t work out where the hole in the needle should be. Then one night he had a nightmare when he was taken prisoner by a group of natives. They were dancing around him with spears,and he noticed that their spears all had holes near their tips. When he woke up he realized that his problem was solved!

Now we’re down to Number Five and it’s Paul McCartney. Did you know that he dreamt the tune for Yesterday? He woke up with the melody in his head, tried it out on the piano, and liked it. But he couldn’t believe he had composed it in his sleep- he thought he must have heard it somewhere, so he went around for weeks asking his friends if they knew the tune!

And at Number Four we have another famous name. It’s Albert Einstein, who had a dream where he was hurtling downhill at the speed of light, and this helped him fit in the final bits of his theory of relativity. Just don’t ask me for details!

Now we’re at Number Three and this is our youngest dreamer, Alice in Wonderland. She was a bit drowsy at the start of the book. So all those characters we know so well, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts are part of her amazing dream.

And our last two dreamers both had a dream with a Christmas message. Number Two is Martin Luther King with his “I have a dream” speech, and his vision of racial harmony. He’d heard a lot about the American dream, but it didn’t seem to include black people, so he spoke of his dream that one day black and white Americans would all work together in peace and friendship.

And at Number One it’s Simon and Garfunkel, and we would all like to see their dream come true:

Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.

So there we have them folks, your Top Ten Dreamers, and as you climb the stairs to Bedfordshire, may I wish you all Sweet Dreams.

Fiona Gow -Aynho Writers

Aynho Long Walk 7th December 2017

Six intrepid walkers and Reggie set out on the walk today. Soon the rain was heavy, hoods were up and wellies sloshing down Green Lane. The stream was not over the track at the ford, much to our amazement. By the time we had climbed to Souldern the rain had stopped. We took the path from Wharf Lane through to the far end of the village passing forlorn looking horses. By the time we were on the way up to Nancy Bowles Wood and the alpaca field blue streaks were appearing in the sky. We continued out to the Fritwell Road and walked back into Souldern Village. We passed the church and just before the sewage works it was clear that something was to be built in the field. As we continued up the Portway path the sun came out and by the time we arrived back in the pavilion we were in bright sunshine. 5.4 miles.

WI Christmas Party 2017

The eagerly anticipated Aynho WI Christmas Party (held at the village hall on Friday 1st December) was a rip-roaring success with delicious food provided by the members, a wide range of liquid refreshments, a fascinating and challenging Aynho photo quiz and the always popular grand raffle.  Thank you to all who helped to make this a most enjoyable evening.

Biodiversity Group: Plant of the Month

Plants of the Month:  Common Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
The common holly, one of Britain’s few native evergreens, can grow up to 15m in height and live for 300 years. It flowers in May or June with each bush producing either male or female flowers.  The female bush alone produces the bright red berries but only if there is a male plant nearby to pollinate it.  A wide variety of wildlife rely on the holly bush.  Birds use its dense cover for nesting in and the berries are an essential food source in winter.  Small mammals also eat the berries and along with toads, slow worms and hedgehogs use the deep leaf litter for hibernation.   Bees and other pollinators visit the flowers for the nectar and pollen whilst caterpillars of the holly blue butterfly and some moths eat the buds, leaves and flowers.  Deer also eat the leaves but choose the smooth ones found at the top of the bushes.  The use of holly as a decoration at Christmas dates back centuries to pagan times when the Romans used it in wreaths and garlands during their Saturnalia festival held in December. If you are using it as a decoration be aware the berries and leaves are poisonous to both pets and humans.

Did You Know?

  • Scandinavian myths state the holly bush originally belonged to Thor the god of thunder. Ancient Romans believed holly protected against lightning strikes. According to The Holly Society this may have some truth in it as they suggest the spines of the leaves act as miniature lightning conductors protecting the tree and other objects nearby!
  • The Celts believed that the Holly King ruled during winter days while the Oak King ruled over the summer.
  • The mistle thrush jealously guards the holly berries in winter preventing other birds from eating them.
  • In heraldry, holly is used to symbolize truth.
  • Holly wood is heavy, hard, fine grained and easily dyed. It is used to make walking sticks and is sometimes dyed black and used instead of ebony for piano keys.  It also makes good firewood, burning with a strong heat.

 

Aynho Long Walk 30 November 2017

On a cold frosty morning eighteen of us set out in the sunshine down Green Lane, at the approach to Lower Walton Grounds we turned right and followed the track along the valley. We crunched the ice on the many large puddles until we left the track and entered the next field. We continued along field edges until we reached the various paths into Charlton. As usual we climbed to the old stone pits and walked through towards the school. On the way we passed the herd of long horned cows, not seen there for many months. They chose to stay in the sun and watched us from afar. We continued down through the village and back up through the Rainsborough Camp. As the path at the top of the ridge is closed off at Green Lane we took the bridleway down to Charlton Road and walked back to the Pavilion along the road. On such a cold day we were delighted by a friendly welcome and a warm drink. The mince pies were nice too. 5.2 miles.