THE theme of the Queen’s Christmas Day speech was Reconciliation: a sculpture in the grounds of Coventry Cathedral; ceramic poppies – ‘a reminder of the grief of loved ones left behind’; the ‘Truce football match’ of 1914, where German soldiers singing Silent Night, brought sworn enemies together.
Maybe it was only for a day, but it forged ‘lifetime friendships’.
A visit to the Crumlin Road Goal: once the epitome of hate and intolerance, ‘now a place of hope; a reminder of what is possible when people reach out’. While volunteers who fight Ebola are selfless and brave, many volunteer to cycle to raise money!
On Christmas Day, 1954, I got a bicycle off Father Christmas. Does he still exist? With not a car to be seen, I played on it all day. I’ve never known life without a bicycle.
This Christmas Day, I went for a 10-mile ride. With cars everywhere, it seemed just like any other: more than a few drivers racing to save milliseconds - no respect for man or beast, and certainly not cyclists – the elderly, blind and disabled live in fear. Where royalty and respect once ruled, now its motor vehicles and speed!