Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Splinters of Beauty . . .

Quite a number of years ago now, I lived in a tiny Ontario town called Meaford, which lay nestled at the tip of the great Georgian Bay, which rests at the bottom of Lake Huron, one of the Canadian Great Lakes. It was a beautiful area and I really loved living there. It was lovely and sunny in the summer months, and beautifully snowy in the winter months. It was just a really, really nice place.

Within the town there is a lovely church, the Christ Church Anglican church. Built of stone in 1876, it is a thing of great beauty, nestled amongst tall pines and green trees on a quiet side street, but that is not all that makes it beautiful and unique. It's the stained glass windows that really make it beautiful and mark it out as quite different than other churches. Stained glass windows are often things of great beauty, but these ones are very unusual and come with a wonderful history. 

 During World War 2, the presiding Rector of this church at the time, Reverend Harold Applewood, on leave from his parish, served as a Military Chaplain overseas. As he toured bombed out villages and towns he noticed that many of the churches in the British Isles that had been damaged by bombs were surrounded by shards of broken stained glass. He arranged to have the glass leaded and then sent back to Christ Church to be used as a memorial for Canadian men and women who served overseas during the war. 


The four windows are placed along the various walls of the church and they really are quite stunning. These windows contain the stained glass from one hundred English churches and nine cathedrals, and also churches from France, Belgium, Holland, Ireland and Wales. One window, which resides in the cloisters, is of particular beauty and history, having been created entirely of glass from bombed out churches in London that had been built by Sir Christopher Wren.  

Splinters of Beauty recovered from the stains of war. Broken and discarded, and redeemed to become beautiful. 

What a wonderful thought, and how like us this seems. Life is hard and leaves many of us feeling broken and discarded . . . splintered. It is possible though, to turn your scars into stars. It is possible to be better, because of and despite the brokenness. It is possible to turn that which may be seen as failures and disappointments, into some of your life's greatest treasures and achievements. To pick up the splinters of your life and turn them into something quite beautiful. 

 It all depends on how we choose to view them and how we choose to save them. For me that has been through the mercy, love and healing power of a Heavenly Father. My faith helped me to turn my life around, and fashion the fragments of what was broken into a thing of great beauty . . .  a masterpiece.

It is extremely rare to find in the great museums of the world objects of antiquity that have not been broken or damaged in some way. Indeed, some of the most precious pieces in the world are only fragments that remain as a beautiful reminder to us of a glorious past. We should never underestimate God's power to repair and restore. The touch of the Master's hand can turn even the most ugliest and ordinary of things into wonderful masterpieces of beauty to be treasured and valued . . . 

Its a beautiful morning out there this morning.  I woke up at 5 am and already the sun was shining. I love the colour of the sky early in the morning.  Back home oftimes it is misty early in the morning.  Mom always said that a misty morning foretold a warm sunny day and she was usually correct.  The mist would burn off, followed by lovely sunshine. 

The slugs have virtually decimated our bush beans. I think we can give up on them. Such a shame really, but then that is what happens when you have a lot of rain.  The slugs win.  Thankfully we also planted runner beans. 


They are covered with loads of scarlet blossoms which hopefully will develop into loads of lovely runner beans.  I hate to sound ignorant but I had never seen a runner bean in real life prior to moving over here to the UK.  I had only ever seen bush beans, green and yellow.  The idea of a foot long runner bean seemed quite exotic to me!  

As long as you pick them before they get old and tough and remember to remove the strings before you cut them up and cook them, they make for lovely eating.  I am really looking forward to these!  

You can of course cut them by hand.  But one of these tools makes short work of it. I just ordered one for myself. (Optimism here!)  There was one in the kitchen when I worked at the Manor. The Mr only liked his beans "frenched," or cut into strips.  This handy tool makes that very easy.  


You just push them through. A series of sharp blades in side do all the work.  In fact once you get about the first inch or so of them through, you can just pull the rest of the bean through  quite easily.  I destring them first.  

We've had Magpie Fledglings visiting the garden this past week or so. We often get Magpie's but this is the first time I have noticed fledglings.  They make a lot of noise, kind of like a chattering.  Did you know that often baby Magpies leave the nest before their tail feathers have grown and they cannot fly?  I only just discovered that.  The parents will stay nearby and swoop down to feed them until they learn to fly, which usually takes a couple of days.  I am not sure if this is a common thing or not, but I thought it was quite interesting.  

I think I am going to have to bake a cake today  . . . Todd was making I want cake noises last night.  DANGER Will Robinson  . . . its really hard to be trying to stay away from things like that and yet still have to produce them for someone who has never struggled with their weight. Must be strong.

And with that I best leave you with a thought for the day  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

A wise man never knows all,
only fools know everything.
~African Proverb  •。★★ 。* 。

 Cornmeal Crusted Cod Cheeks 

In The English Kitchen today  . . . Cornmeal Crusted Cod Cheeks.  Crisp coated tender little nuggets of deliciousness.

Have a beautiful Wednesday!  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!    



  1. What a lovely story about the stained glass windows in the Anglican Church in Meaford. It's a little over a 2 hour drive from Toronto and it would be a nice outing. We had one of those french bean cutters when I was growing up. We bought it at the Canadian National Exhibition. We three kids would fight over frenching the beans. I don't know what ever happened to it. Your scarlet runner bean flowers are so vibrant. What kind of cake did you make Todd? I wanted to make some zucchini muffins yesterday but it was simply too hot to turn the oven on. Hugs, Elaine

    1. I haven't made it yet Elaine. Probably a banana cake because one, its my least favourite and two, I have bananas ready to turn. Thankfully its not that hot here, not yet anyways! In all truth we hardly ever get really hot weather. I like that about the UK! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. What a lovely story about the stained glass windows. Thank you for sharing it and those amazing pictures.
    It's very hot and humid here in the Philadelphia area - and promises to be at least through the week-end. I would love your weather, I think.
    Have a happy day,

    1. Thanks very much Mary. I quite like the weather over here, even if it does rain a lot! xoxo

  3. Thanks for sharing that neat story. It is to be hoped that the broken places in us are of use...sigh! I made that lemon loaf you posted the other day (only changed to gluten free for all of us)...called it a late birthday cake for our grandson...all but one of us LOVED it (granddaughter maybe thought the lemon was too strong...heh). We will indeed make it nice of you to share your ideas and recipes, Marie!!
    Elizabeth xoxo

    1. So happy you made the lemon loaf and it was enjoyed Elizabeth and happy to know you can do it gluten free! Yay! You're very welcome! xoxo


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