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Lucinda Newell - The Super Sleuthing Property Rental Expert - One Woman and Her Dog....

To be seen pottering along the highways and byways of Luton in her Mini Clubman, her trusted Scottie Malcolm at her side, our super sleuthing property rental expert Ms Lucinda Newell is on the case on your behalf! The other day I was enjoying a glass of sherry in the local with some friends when I was asked what I would be giving up for Lent? Now, I was aware that the period of Lent lead up to Easter and that it is often observed by people in the Christian world through some form of abstinence or fasting but I really knew very little else. Having no plans to give anything up I decided to investigate and find out a little more about the traditions surrounding it. Apparently the traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Lent is generally held to be the period between Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday) and traditionally comprises forty days which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. There are three traditional practices that many take up with a renewed vigour during Lent. These are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and alms giving (justice towards one’s neighbour). Whilst giving alms is historically a religious rite, today, some people give up a vice of theirs, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organisations. Now I am not religious but I am a big believer in community and of helping people less fortunate than myself. I also recall, over the years, seeing pictures of the Queen handing out Maundy money on Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday celebrations in the United Kingdom (also called Royal Maundy) involve the Monarch offering "alms" to deserving senior citizens (one man and one woman for each year of the sovereign's age). These coins, known as Maundy money or Royal Maundy, are distributed in red and white purses. This custom dates back to King Edward I. The red purse contains regular currency and is given in place of food and clothing. The white purse contains currency in the amount of one penny for each year of the Sovereign's age. Since 1822, rather than ordinary money, the Sovereign gives out Maundy coins, which are specially minted one, two, three and four penny pieces, and are legal tender. Having found out a bit more about Lent and giving alms, I decided to give up sherry for Lent and donate the money I save to a local charity that helps the old folk in the village. As I write this, we are already several days into Lent and I have stuck to my aims. Doing something, not just for myself, but with a purpose to help others, has made my task easier and much more fulfilling. Malcolm was initially a bit confused when our regular walks didn’t end at the pub but he has got used to it now! Come on Malcolm, walkies!
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