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Irene's thoughts

We used to visit Ballater every year. My husband’s family has connections there going back many generations. It’s a lovely wee town in Upper Deeside, and the area has so much to commend it that even the Royal family holidays in that part of the country. Children who go to Ballater on holiday like to visit the sweetie factory.

The sweetie factory is an old-fashioned place in the very best sense of the phrase. Boiled sweets are made there, and visitors can sometimes see them being pulled and twisted, coloured and cut, cooled and wrapped. The shop counter is a delight in many colours.

The Bible says, ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.’ What does that mean? It means that we can experience for ourselves the goodness of God; we don’t have to accept it second hand. And if we experience God, we’ll be truly blessed. (see Psalm 34:8)