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Village Bulletin Board, 24th December, 2010:



Christmas in our Village!

“Dashing through the fields (sunflower),
On a horse-drawn open cart,
Oh what fun it is,
Eating pie and tart!”

MEEEERRRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

As soon as you’ve finished with the hay rick ride, jump off next to the old oak because we’ve set up some swings on one of its great branches. Whoever swings highest (without getting lost in the branches, ‘o course!) gets to cut and serve the giant Christmas Cake baked by none other than our resident Australian Fairy Winnie. After the swing, you still can’t get to the dinner table until you’ve had a go bobbing apples in the big casks that farmer Anil left us from his last cider making. Finally, when you’ve done all that, meander past the walnut grove where our friendly Village squirrels (can’t remember their names) are jumpin’ and jivin’ to a mambo version of “All I want for Christmas if my two front teef”, and over to Nina’s Cottage.

As you’ll see, large old country tables have been set up outside and inside, just depending on the weather. The theme this year, well, it’s a little eclectic, but that’s normal I guess for this crazy bunch. So we have Surf ‘n Turf with a Vegetarian twist, together with Norwegian-Italian-German-Singapore influences. Now, where, I ask you, are you going to find originality like that other than in our spectacular Village? Would you forgive me, I couldn’t find the time to take and mount the photos of all the delicious things that everyone had prepared, but here’s a list of what I’ve seen on the tables so far:

Clementines and oranges with cloves (not sure if they’re for eatin’)
Bouillabesse, a delicious fish soup from Marseille
Barbecued giant prawns from Down Under (they arrived fresh this morning – come over to the barbecue area where BBQ-meister Zenbear is hard at work – someone bring him a glass of cider?)
Tenderloin, rump and filet steaks, only the best from organic farms in Nebraska and Kansas (kind, nice farms, these ones)
Slabs of thick sliced garlic bread with oodles of butter (no fat – this is a special Village)
Norwegian specialties of all sorts (yum!)
Buns filled with hot cheese, and a giant Brie just out of the oven with toasted almond slivers
Michele has brought along heaps of Fresh Dungeness Crab meat with melted sweet butter to dip it into,and whatever other dipping alternatives might be dear to your hearts, along with a crisp fuyu persimmon salad with arugula and avocado in an olive oil and fig balsamic dressing, a dash of shoyu, with lots of freshly ground black pepper. (Wow!)
A remarkable vegie ‘n chickpea casserole from Pam
Heaps of Duck Cassoulet from Castelnaudary (France) to be enjoyed with a deep Cahors ‘black’ wine
Then to finish it all off:
Gooey Tiramisu from Nina’s daughter
Scrumptious fruity Stollen from Germany
Decadent peppermint chip chocolate brownies from Michele
Brightly colored silver paper-wrapped candies from Laura

If you make your way over to the bar area you’ll find none other than your Mayor on hand to deliver you just the drink you want, be that a splendiferous fruit cocktail (all fruits in season), or something with a little more punch. Speaking of punch, there’s also an excellent variety of wines, including but not limited to: Billecart Salmon Brut Rose Champagne (thanks, Michele!), and of course some delish Cabernet and Pinot from California. The mayor brought along a few choices wines from France (mostly Burgundy’s though there is an excellent bottle or two of a Monbazillac sweet wine from the Bergerac area you should try)

And I couldn’t let this opportunity go by without remembering the real reason
for us meeting together at this time. We have marked in the western tradition
the day of the 25th December as the day we celebrate the birth of
one particular individual into this world.
With the help of the Brother Who has guided each one of us with his gentle words
now for many years,we have come to learn that the spirit this one individual contained
resides within each of us. He has made it his task to reach out to us daily,
reminding us of our perfect equality in Him, and perfect holiness with our Father.
There is no difference, and there is no separation. We are all one and the same.
May this day be a symbol for us of remembering our own birth unto our Self,
the one Self that we share intimately with all the Sonship.
And so this day we come into our own, and the blessings we would bestow
on Jesus the Christ we naturally bestow upon ourselves, and all our brothers and sisters.
We are the holy Son of God. May we be blessed with this remembrance this day.
Thank you for being part of my Family, helping me remember this magnificent Identity we all share.


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Village Bulletin Board, 31st December, 2010:



HAPPY NEW YEAR!!



Let’s continue our end of year celebrations at the Village by wishing each other all the best for 2011.

May we learn that January 1st is a special day in the counting of days,
as it marks the beginning of the time when each day shall blend into one.
One time, one day that remains forever unchanged in an eternal heavenly Sky,
as changeless as the sea that ebbs and flows but always stays the same.
May we practice this coming year the remembrance of that special moment of ‘now’,
of Love and loveliness, such that tomorrow be not separate or different from today,
not better or worse. May this very day we come Home to Love and Innocence
such that it extends till tomorrow and the many days that follow until they all become one.

Enjoy your celebrations, my friends!