God and ASDA

Stories and thoughts: past, present and future


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Winter 1947

It’s January 1947 and I’m 4½ years old. During the winter of 1946–47 the UK experienced several cold spells, beginning on 21 January 1947, bringing the severest snowfalls for 150 years to the country. Roads were closed and railways became blocked. Coal supplies, already low following the Second World War, struggled to get through to power stations and many were forced to shut down due to lack of fuel. The government introduced several measures to cut power consumption, including restricting domestic electricity to 19 hours per day and cutting industrial supplies completely. Radio broadcasts were limited, and some magazines were ordered to stop being published; newspapers were cut in size. Public morale was very low due to these measures and the Minister of Fuel and Power received death threats and had to be placed under police guard. Towards the end of February there were also fears of a food shortage as supplies were cut off and vegetables frozen into the ground.

Imagine frost on the inside of the bedroom windows! We had no central heating, just one coal fire in the front room. At night Mum would find as many blankets as she could, after which it was coats to keep us warm. The bedroom floor was covered in linoleum, not carpet, so our feet felt as if they would stick to the cold floor when we walked. I recall going with Mum to the coal merchant and pretending that I was someone else’s little girl so that Mum could get an extra bag of fuel. So two bags of coal were loaded into the baby’s pram (he wasn’t in it at the time!)

It was grim! It has gone down in history as one of the severest winters in living memory. However, as I was such a small child it hardly seemed to affect me. I don’t remember going without food, but it must have been very hard for my parents.


One thing I do remember with vivid clarity was the time I was stuck in a snow drift up to my armpits. Now, you might think that’s hilariously funny (I do, now!) but for a 4½ year old it was terrifying. I’d been sent out to play so that Mum could “get on with things” (probably connected to my seven-month old brother). So, off I went on my adventure. I have no idea what I was thinking about but I can remember a sudden “sinking” feeling. Apparently I’d stepped where there was a snow-covered ditch and down I went. When I think now of what might have happened I am horrified but I must have shouted or cried so loudly that someone came along and pulled me out.

I’m not sure to this day whether I received loving cuddles or not when I arrived home soaking wet, frozen cold and a very unhappy bunny.

I love reminiscing about my childhood as it makes me reaslie just how fortunate we are these days.

We’ve been warned that this winter may well be as bad as 1947, but, even if that transpires to be true, we will have a better time of it than we did 67 years ago.

How our lives have changed since then. And most of us, including myself, take so much of it for granted. Heating, lighting, carpets, well-stocked shops and supermarkets. We really have it all.

So, please, if you’re reading this and you are living where there is plenty, spare a thought for those people, even in Europe and America, who have little or nothing to look forward to this Christmas because of poverty.

And thank God for what you have!!


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Feelings

I wanted to write a blog about “Feelings” and to go with it I wanted to add the Morris Albert song “Feelings”. As I trawled the internet, I discovered this delightful little ditty about feelings. Watch it and enjoy!

The way we act and react with those around us depends on our own feelings. Sometimes, as the song says, we’re a bit grumpy so we put on our grumpy face. If we’re happy, out comes the happy face. (I have a cupboard full of different faces for all occasions!)

Sometimes, though, we might prefer to keep our feelings to ourselves, but our eyes will always give us away. Look in a mirror and put on a (pretend) grumpy face. Your eyes aren’t smiling, are they? No, the lids droop, the brow furrows and the “grump” spreads all over your face. Maybe your shoulders sag a little, too. There is a long-held belief that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, but I can’t imagine how they would be able to calculate that one. (Picture the researcher frowning whilst concentrating!!).

Have you ever said something, quite innocently, and the person to whom you’re speaking is offended – you’ve hurt their feelings? It’s called “putting your foot in it”. However, whilst it’s not easy to physically put your foot in your mouth (don’t try this at home!), it’s often not difficult to upset someone’s feelings.

So what’s the answer? Well, you just go to the person you’ve upset, say you’re sorry and promise not to do it again. But you no doubt will!!

The reason I’m writing this piece is that I’ve often wondered what Jesus was feeling during His trial and crucifixion.

He knew that it was going to happen and He knew the exact time it would happen. He gave Himself up to His accusers in the Garden at Gethsemane. Imagine the feelings He must have had. He was human as well as God, so He felt all our emotions. As you read the Bible you’ll come across several passages where it tells us of His feelings.

He wept when He heard that Lazarus had died (John 11 verse 35)
He slept in the boat with His disciples (Mark 4 verse 38)
He was hungry because He had fasted for forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4 verse 2)
He was thirsty whilst on the Cross. (John 19 verse 28)

He felt all the things we feel.

Imagine the pain and agony He went through on that Cross, just for YOU. He was the only sacrifice good enough for God to forgive us all our wrong-doings, past, present and future.

At this Christmastime, when thoughts of the Baby Jesus are in people’s minds, think about what He did for you.

I make no apologies for ending with, probably, the most famous verse in the Bible.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”
(John 3 verse 16)

Now how do you feel?