Thanksgiving and travel #AtoZChallenge

This year my A to Z challenge is about Christmas, a major festival in the Christian Church. Another major festival is Easter, which I wrote about for the A to Z Challenge in 2020.

My posts so far in this A to Z Challenge about Christmas have been entirely about the first Christmas over 2000 years ago. Nowadays Christians and many other people celebrate Christmas with thanksgiving enjoying a Christmas dinner not unlike that associated with Thanksgiving Day in North America. They possibly travel long distances to be with family members. Services are held in Christian churches to celebrate and give thanks for the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas presents are given and received.

The Magi travelled a long way to find the Christ-child. Mary and Joseph travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, then to Jerusalem, where Jesus was presented at the temple in accordance with Jewish customs. Anna gave thanks to God as she recognised the Christ-child in the temple. Luke 2: 21-40

After the visit of the Magi to an unspecified house where they were living they fled to Egypt only returning to Nazareth after Herod the Great had died. The holy family (as Jesus and his parents are sometimes called) travelled a long way. Perhaps they had to use the gold that the Magi had given to Jesus.

A Christmas carol with a travelling theme is The Shepherd’s Pipe Carol.

While this year’s A to Z badges by Anjela Curtis honour the late Jeremy Hawkins, I hope that my posts about Christmas honour Jesus Christ, ‘who was and is and is to come’. Revelation 1:4

P is for plane #AtoZChallenge

For the A to Z in April Challenge 2019 I have picked some words, which are connected with physical space.

P is for plane – a flat surface.
It may be horizontal, vertical
Or slanted to provide easy access.
Draw on its two dimensions: try a spiral!

An atlas

People have devised all kinds of ingenious ways of representing 3-dimensional space on flat paper. For example, an atlas has maps of the world flattened out.

I can remember failing to understand a diagram of airline routes across North America. Having travelled from England to Philadelphia and having waited a few hours between flights, I should have been asleep. Instead I was looking at an in-flight magazine. The curved lines representing the routes were flat on the paper. The one from Philadelphia to Portland, Oregon passed through the map of Canada. I was too sleepy to realise that the line should have been in 3-dimensions and had been positioned where it would not cross other routes for clarity! Of course, the plane took the direct route.

There are examples in the Bible of people not understanding immediately. Jesus Christ often told stories with a deeper meaning (parables), some of which he explained to his disciples later.

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What I read in March 2019 (Part 2)

I have not yet finished reading all the books I received at Christmas. The book I am reviewing here is one gift I have read – The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book: Pit your wits against Britain’s greatest map makers by Ordnance Survey and Dr Gareth Moore.

This is a fascinating book. There are puzzles based on 40 maps. I have attempted all of them and failed to score 100% on any! (I didn’t spend enough time checking and double-checking my answers in some cases. In others my general knowledge was not sufficiently general.) There is history, general knowledge, cryptic clues and obviously geography and map-reading. I looked at the first puzzle with the person, who had chosen it for this keen puzzler. It is possible for two people sitting side-by-side to see the maps. Some of the questions involving counting would make an interesting activity for a grandparent and a child of junior school age, for instance.

I found some of the maps particularly interesting as they are of places I have passed through. The Whipsnade Lion is a landmark I have spotted many times from Virgin Trains West Coast line. Because it intrigued me I found out about it online. I was delighted to see it on one of the maps. The background to each map is very interesting and a history of map-making and of trig points provided me with new information. (I enjoy learning new things.)

This is a book I shall revisit and perhaps introduce to other family members. The kind of questions set in the book could be the basis of family activities using maps they may already have. I remember being introduced to Ordnance Survey maps by my father. One of the things he taught me was how to fold them! Anyhow, I have been interested in maps and puzzles from childhood. A good choice!

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