I’m due to return to work on Monday but received an e-mail the other day from our Chief Executive informing us all to work from home, where possible, for the next two weeks due to the current increase in coronavirus cases in Northern Ireland. We are now a week into a six week lockdown asContinue reading “The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #11”
Tag Archives: Christmas
The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #9
We woke up to snow this morning and lots of it. A little late for Christmas Day but a pretty sight all the same. A blanket of it covers large swathes of Northern Ireland as the country enters the fifth day of a six week lockdown. There were over 2,100 positive coronavirus cases yesterday, aContinue reading “The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #9”
The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #7
No Christmas in the Black household is complete without honeycomb ice cream and I gleefully broke open the tub the other night. No need for a bowl either. Just a man, his ice cream and a large spoon. Some may view this as uncouth but I’m saving on dish washing later on. I’ve got theContinue reading “The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #7”
The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #5
‘Tis the season for wearing outlandish, itchy, ill-fitting Christmas jumpers. Well, maybe not so much this year, as office parties have been cancelled en masse meaning we have less opportunity to parade around in our ‘hilarious’ festive apparel. Personally I think they kind of lost their impact when everybody started to wear one as opposedContinue reading “The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #5”
The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #4
Christmas is always an olfactory experience at chez Black. I googled that big word. Apparently it has something to do with noses and smelling. Fionnuala and the girls have been burning Christmas candles, putting cinnamon smelling things on top of the radiators and generally doing everything within their power to eradicate ‘man smells’ from theContinue reading “The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #4”
The 12 Blogs of Christmas #3
Everybody loves a Christmas wedding and 18 years ago today I dragged Fionnuala kicking and screaming down the aisle to make an honest man out of me. We have had ups and downs since then but find ourselves in a good place today with three wonderful children and a slightly smelly, disobedient border terrier. HappyContinue reading “The 12 Blogs of Christmas #3”
The 12 Blogs of Christmas #2
For a good part of yesterday, I had the dulcet tones of ‘Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer’ on a permanent loop in my head. The more it played, the more I felt what little festive spirit I retained within me slowly ebbing away down the plughole as the joint spirits of the GrinchContinue reading “The 12 Blogs of Christmas #2”
The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #1
Last year I took my team out for breakfast during our final week in the office to thank them for all their efforts throughout the year. Because I’m a thoughtful, caring boss. Plus they would have most likely lynched me if I hadn’t. The majority of us plumped for a traditional Ulster fry and IContinue reading “The 12 Blogs Of Christmas #1”
What Would You Like Me To Blog About This Christmas?
Having recently completed the first draft of my latest book, I intend to walk away from it for a while and return refreshed in the New Year to begin the laborious editing process. As I wrote yesterday, this draft has drained my creative well and I’m looking forward to a break from the Kirkwood ScottContinue reading “What Would You Like Me To Blog About This Christmas?”
Looking For A Christmas Gift
Good Morning from Northern Ireland. If you’re an avid reader and looking to treat yourself or a loved one this festive period then look no further than ‘A New Jerusalem,’ the latest instalment in my fantasy series, ‘The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles.’ Please support me on my writing journey and thank you to those of youContinue reading “Looking For A Christmas Gift”
What If Jesus Was A Plumber?
Good Morning from a chilly Northern Ireland. A particularly chilly Northern Ireland as our heating boiler packed in earlier this week, meaning we’ve been slowly freezing to death, huddled around electric radiators and under mountains of blankets. We’ve been waddling around like Eskimos in multiple layers as the gales howled outside. The highlight of theContinue reading “What If Jesus Was A Plumber?”
Happy Halloween From Frosty
I met this chap during my lunchtime stroll around Belfast today. He looked so happy and pleased with himself that I hadn’t the heart to tell him that he had in fact turned up two months early for the wrong holiday. Maybe someone will take him to one side and have a quite word withContinue reading “Happy Halloween From Frosty”
Good Morning From Northern Ireland
Good Morning from Northern Ireland. These are the words I always start my day with on Twitter so I thought, why not start doing the same on WordPress. It’s a great way to initiate conversations and create new online friendships. You get to meet folk from all corners of the world and learn more aboutContinue reading “Good Morning From Northern Ireland”
OCD – The Silent Killer
I have OCD and I’m not in control. There, I’ve said it, that wasn’t so hard was it? Even a few years ago, I would have veered clear of ‘outing’ myself and identifying with the mental illness. It was embarrassing, shameful and humiliating. But the longer I’ve walked this path, I’ve realised I have aContinue reading “OCD – The Silent Killer”
Don’t Suffer In Silence
I fear I’m getting old. For everything hurts. A lot. Take last Saturday for example. I bent over in the kitchen to put some rubbish in the bin, only to discover I couldn’t stand up straight again. A sharp pain in the base of my back ensured that. Hobbling over to a nearby chair myContinue reading “Don’t Suffer In Silence”
Signs Of Life
I’m not saying life in lockdown is dull. For if I did then I’m sure Fionnuala could find plenty of household chores to occupy my time. But the days do tend to drag. I had to ask this morning what day of the week it was. By necessity, we find ourselves staring out of ourContinue reading “Signs Of Life”
Happy Birthday Fractured Faith
Seems like no time but the blog is now three years old. That’s a lot of posts. Some of you have been there from the start, some have joined along the journey, others have disappeared into the ether. We are grateful for everyone who continues to read and comment. As long as that continues IContinue reading “Happy Birthday Fractured Faith”
Toxic Positivity – What Is It?
I stumbled across this image earlier on Facebook and it got me thinking; or rather accelerated something I had already been mulling over in my head. It was a hammer that nailed a series of loose thoughts into a cogent steam. Toxic positivity. It exists, it’s a real thing, not just the product of myContinue reading “Toxic Positivity – What Is It?”
No words needed. Walk away.
Care Enough To Look
No words needed. People with mental illnesses may not have broken bones but they have broken dreams, broken minds and broken hearts. Their illnesses may be invisible but the signs are there if you take the time to look for them. The onus is on you to reach out to them, not for them toContinue reading “Care Enough To Look”
Don’t Be Afraid To Start Over
When I started this blog, I started all over again. Turned my back on the past and threw my energy into new passions. Almost three years later, I’ve published two books and completed a third. I’m training for my tenth marathon and been promoted at work. I’ve living the happiest & healthiest life I can.Continue reading “Don’t Be Afraid To Start Over”
RIP Kobe Bryant
Will Christmas Ever End?
Took this photo today while walking through Castle Court Shopping Centre in Belfast city centre. Our political parties get fined if they don’t take down election posters within two weeks of the event. Should the same apply for Christmas decorations that stay up beyond the traditional date of 6th January? And if so, what? FinancialContinue reading “Will Christmas Ever End?”
Happy World Introvert Day
It’s World Introvert Day. I never knew such a day existed until it popped up on my Facebook feed this morning. Who decides these days? Is there a committee somewhere locked away in a conference room debating such important matters? I can only assume there’s also a World Extrovert Day, no doubt shouted from theContinue reading “Happy World Introvert Day”
Happy Christmas Everyone
Happy Christmas to everyone from the Black clan. We hope you all have a wonderful day. 🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻 🎄🎄🎄🎄
Man Shopping On Christmas Eve
It’s Christmas Eve, so like any normal, self-respecting man, I decided to go out Christmas shopping. Because why be logical and organised when you can leave it to the very last minute and run around like a headless chicken on the verge of a massive coronary? This year I took my strapping son, Adam, toContinue reading “Man Shopping On Christmas Eve”
Have You A Writing Question For Me?
If you haven’t done so already this weekend is probably your last chance to pick up my debut novel, ‘The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square,’ as a Christmas gift. Written for all ages it’s a contemporary Irish fantasy where a young man, haunted by the ghosts of a traumatic past, uncovers a vicious battle ragingContinue reading “Have You A Writing Question For Me?”
Another very encouraging review from fellow blogger, Lesley. Thank you very much for so eloquently capturing the essence of Skelly’s Square. I tried hard to address very serious and real issues against a supernatural backdrop liberally smattered with action and humour. The book continues to attract positive feedback while promoting mental health, disability, addiction andContinue reading “Thank you”
My Early Christmas Present
Fionnuala cheered me up this morning by giving me an early Christmas present. It’s a beautiful print showing lots of the people who sent ‘skelfies’ of themselves with the first book. You might be able to see yourself in it. This will take pride of place in the Black household after Christmas when the decorationsContinue reading “My Early Christmas Present”
Santa Arrives In Belfast
The real Santa Claus was understandably too busy to attend Hannah’s 16th birthday party yesterday so he sent one of his helpers instead. Quite a strange helper if I do say so myself but the kids didn’t seem to mind and that’s the main thing. He crash landed on the roof and then apologised profuselyContinue reading “Santa Arrives In Belfast”
Who Is Your Lighthouse?
It was a murky lunchtime run today which highlighted the lighthouse exhibit on Belfast Lough. I focused on it from some distance away and it inspired me to keep pressing forward through the blustery, wet conditions. Most other days I would have run past it without a second thought but it was there for meContinue reading “Who Is Your Lighthouse?”
I’ve Had An Anxious Week
I’ve had an anxious few days worrying about work related matters. It started towards the tail end of last week and preyed on my mind over the weekend, before descending again from on high like a hungry vulture on Monday morning. Various unwanted thoughts have spun a not so merry dance around my head despiteContinue reading “I’ve Had An Anxious Week”
It’s Christmas 🎄
Christmas has well and truly arrived at chez Black with Fionnuala’s creative talents to the fore. She made many of these decorations herself and has worked incredibly hard infusing a festive spirit throughout the house. She’s a terrific mummy making sure the kids will have fond memories of their holidays at home. When do youContinue reading “It’s Christmas 🎄”
Belfast Christmas Market
We travelled up to Belfast this afternoon to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the Christmas Market. It was a little crowded for us but the girls got to sample some French-Canadian cuisine while I made my annual trek to the gigantic muffin stall. Fionnuala and Adam settled for a drive thru McDonalds onContinue reading “Belfast Christmas Market”
5 Things To Quit Right Now
I’ve been guilty of all five and can confirm they are all counter productive and highly negative behavioural patterns. Today I choose to change and walk a different path. A path that leads upwards, out of the abyss. It is possible but it’s a conscious decision we must make every day of our own volition.Continue reading “5 Things To Quit Right Now”
Kill Loneliness At Christmas
Fionnuala has asked me to write, updating you on the Christmas card initiative which she posted about several weeks ago. If you are taking part she will e-mail you next week with details of who you are writing to. You can still take part if you would like to send a Christmas card to someoneContinue reading “Kill Loneliness At Christmas”
Fractured Faith Is 1000 Posts Old
Today marked our 1000th post on Fractured Faith. We started the blog back in May 2017 and, back then, had no idea what to expect. Fionnuala encouraged me to share my writing with the online world as both a form of personal therapy and to encourage others that there is always hope, no matter howContinue reading “Fractured Faith Is 1000 Posts Old”
Never, ever forget….
Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud
Last month I posted a blog titled Loneliness which you can read via this link https://fracturedfaithblog.com/2019/09/12/loneliness/ if you missed it. I had an idea about spreading some hope to people who do feel lonely by sending out Christmas cards/letters and asked if anybody would like to take part to send me an email. This ideaContinue reading “Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”
We Need Your Feedback
The blog passed 11,000 followers the other day and it’s growth continues to amaze and delight me. I don’t know why people keep coming back to view, like and comment but I’m forever grateful. At each milestone, I like to ask you guys what you want from the blog in the future. As well as,Continue reading “We Need Your Feedback”
The Curious Case Of People Who Read Christmas Blogs In March
As the first quarter of the year draws to a close, I’m somewhat surprised that people are still viewing a series of blogs I posted at Christmas – imaginatively entitled ‘The 12 Blogging Questions of Christmas’. Are people accidentally stumbling across these posts or are there folk out there who just can’t abide parting withContinue reading “The Curious Case Of People Who Read Christmas Blogs In March”
The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 12 – What Are Your Blogging Plans For 2019?
To be totally honest with you, this themed series has been a bit of a slog at times. You see, I haven’t really been able to write about a lot of stuff, other than er….Christmas. And there’s only so much I can come up with about food, elves and all things ho ho ho. SoContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 12 – What Are Your Blogging Plans For 2019?”
The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 11 – Is It Over Yet?
I know Christmas isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some people dislike the increasing commercialism of the festive period, while for others it brings back painful memories. There are empty seats around the dinner table. Some are going through despair and tragedy. Christmas is an unwanted distraction, something they could do without. Many cannot wait untilContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 11 – Is It Over Yet?”
The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 10 – Are You Having A White Christmas?
Happy Christmas from snowy Northern Ireland!!! Except it’s not snowing. In fact, it’s not even cold. Rather, it’s unseasonably mild. 12 degrees centigrade no less. It’s grey and drizzly naturally, but there will be no sleigh rides or snowball fights here this year. The coldest thing I’ve experienced has been the four litre tub ofContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 10 – Are You Having A White Christmas?”
The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 9 – What Last Minute Shopping Are You Doing?
Fionnuala is super organised when it comes to Christmas. When it comes to most matters, really. But it’s inevitable there are always a few last minute purchases to be made on Christmas Eve. Today was no exception. I was dispatched to source Christmas crackers. There was no joy in our village shop, which resembled theContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 9 – What Last Minute Shopping Are You Doing?”
The 12 Blogging Days Of Christmas – Day 7 – What Is Your Favourite Christmas Food?
Fionnuala was up at the crack of dawn this morning to hit the supermarket for the traditional pre-Christmas big food shop. At the mention of food, Adam leapt out of bed to accompany her. If only he could be roused so easily on a school morning. Rebecca also joined them, but I remained in bedContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Days Of Christmas – Day 7 – What Is Your Favourite Christmas Food?”
The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 6 – What Do You Believe In?
Sixteen years ago today, Fionnuala made one of the worst decisions of her life. She married me! I’m joking…..I think. Since then, we have had our ups and downs, but we are still together and facing all the world has to throw at us. We have been blessed with three wonderful kids, and I’m lookingContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 6 – What Do You Believe In?”
The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 4 – What Is Your Favourite Christmas Movie?
I saw a poll on the news this morning which announced the most popular Christmas movie of all time was ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. It beat ‘Elf’ to the top spot which pleased me no end. If there’s one thing in life I can’t get my head around it’s the love affair people have withContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day 4 – What Is Your Favourite Christmas Movie?”
The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day Three – What’s Your Favourite Breakfast?
The Boss took us all out for breakfast this morning. He does this as a thank you to the team for all the hard work they put in during the year. It’s a lovely gesture, even though I feel like a stuffed pig at the minute. Why? Well, I’m glad you asked. For wouldn’t youContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – Day Three – What’s Your Favourite Breakfast?”
The 12 Blogging Questions of Christmas – Day 2 – Why Do You Blog?
Good evening from blustery Northern Ireland. Thank you to everyone who took part yesterday. Some great suggestions. Today I’m going to revert to the topic of blogging, and why we do it. Some of us are frequent bloggers, others less so, but we all share a love of the written word. Getting our thoughts outContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Questions of Christmas – Day 2 – Why Do You Blog?”
The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – What Was Your Favourite Book Of 2018?
Blogging is all about interaction and community. During the course of 2018 I have stumbled across all kinds of varied, interesting people. All with relevant and inspiring stories. I’m hoping to find, and interact with, many more in 2019 and beyond. To encourage this intent, I’m going to run a festive themed blog series overContinue reading “The 12 Blogging Questions Of Christmas – What Was Your Favourite Book Of 2018?”
#Pitmad – Christmas Starts Here
cathy-cade.com/2018/11/30/christmas-starts-here/ Another post to support Cathy’s wonderful festive tale, ‘Christmas Starts Here.’ Emmie the Elf is hard working, loyal and diligent. But still finds herself grounded on the biggest night of the year. Can she get airborne on Christmas Eve? Click the link to find out more
I Don’t Believe in Santa Claus But….
For the first time since the year of our Lord 2002, Santa Claus is not coming to our house this Christmas. The hatchlings are all grown up so the Big Man is going to give chez Black a miss and leave it to their long suffering parents to ‘deliver the goods’ come the 25th. HeContinue reading “I Don’t Believe in Santa Claus But….”
It’s 23 November….Happy Christmas!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS! Er….okay. I realise it’s not even December yet, but Fionnuala and I buckled to pressure from our daughters today. Hannah has already been watching Christmas movies for several weeks, and was belting out festive tunes this morning in the car. It was only a matter of time before I was dispatched to theContinue reading “It’s 23 November….Happy Christmas!”
It’s 100 Days Til Christmas
Fionnuala thoughtfully reminded me this evening that it was a mere 100 days until Christmas. I think it was her not so subtle way of warning me it was now open season as far as festive preparations went. I fully expect to return home later this week to find a 12 foot inflatable Santa staringContinue reading “It’s 100 Days Til Christmas”
Happy Christmas Eve everyone! I hope you are all looking forward to spending the holiday period with family and friends. AFracturedFaithBlog will be taking Christmas Day off as there is much present unwrapping and food consumption ahead of us. I’m particularly excited about that little pest Elfie the Elf returning to the North Pole. I’llContinue reading “Slam”
Death By Cupcake
The Black Family hit Belfast’s Christmas Market yesterday afternoon. As you can see this involved food, food and more food. I took some pictures but, ever since, have barely been able to move given the ginormous burger and cupcake I consumed. I am currently lying in a darkened room and normal blogging duties will beContinue reading “Death By Cupcake”
All I Want For Christmas….
Fionnuala and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary today. We have decided this year not to buy each other presents but instead are going later this afternoon as a family to the Christmas Market in Belfast. I’ll be blogging about that adventure later so stay tuned for photos of the Black family there. Probably eating.Continue reading “All I Want For Christmas….”
Little Sacks of Joy
As I mentioned yesterday this Christmas I’m trying to do more homemade gifts, decorations and scents and after the success of my Christmas Pot Pourri, which by the way, you can get a second day out of it just keep filling it up with water, today it was the gifts for teachers, class room assistantsContinue reading “Little Sacks of Joy”
Homemade Christmas with Love
It is no secret that Christmas is hands down my favourite time of year. I could watch Christmas films from 1st January to 31st December. I love the smells that fill the house – cinnamon, ginger, fresh pine and the turkey and stuffing cooking in the oven. I love the cold weather bonus if itContinue reading “Homemade Christmas with Love”
Have You Been Naughty Or Nice This Year?
At this time of the year children all around the world unite and traditionally engage in the damage limitation exercise known as ‘The Naughty Or Nice List’. Wherein they attempt to rectify eleven months of misbehaviour and disobedience by falling over themselves to perform household chores, which they had blissfully ignored for the rest ofContinue reading “Have You Been Naughty Or Nice This Year?”
Elf Hath No Fury
I appreciate that some of my subject matter can be quite dark and depressing at times but today’s post marks a new low. I apologise in advance to the more fainted hearted of you but this story has to be told. We have a thief in our midst. When Rebecca told me she wanted toContinue reading “Elf Hath No Fury”
Happy Christmas Even Though It’s Still November
Like General Custer at the Little Big Horn I had fought long and heroically against overwhelming odds but had reached the point where I realised I was hopelessly outnumbered and defeat was inevitable. My only saving grace was that my opponents were slightly less bloodthirsty than Crazy Horse and his war braves. I raised theContinue reading “Happy Christmas Even Though It’s Still November”
I Believe In Unicorns
Regular readers of the blog will have known that our youngest daughter, Rebecca, celebrated her 11th birthday a few days ago. The festivities have lasted the best part of a week culminating yesterday in a trip to the ‘Disney On Ice’ show in Belfast. There she was entertained by a flying Peter Pan, Ariel theContinue reading “I Believe In Unicorns “
The Unlikely Angel
As we have now reached mid-October it makes perfect sense that the Christmas movie channel is now showing at chez Black on a 24 hour loop. Personally I’ve always been a ‘Christmas begins on 1st December’ kind of guy but, as with most matters in our house, I am heavily outnumbered. Yes, Christmas has officiallyContinue reading “The Unlikely Angel”
Santa’s Last Summer
Our youngest daughter, Rebecca, has had a very busy summer. There have been cinema outings, trips to the seaside and lots of visits to her grandparents. She has covered countless miles playing football and riding her bike. And she has eaten superhuman quantities of Haribo, bubble gum ice cream and other sugary treats. She hasContinue reading “Santa’s Last Summer “
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