Welcome to your new home. I hope you enjoy Christmas here. Two people live in this house most of the time. Let's call them the vicar (or minister) and the woman (a girl with old skin). It occurred to me that it might be good to flag up a few things to help you during … Continue reading To a poinsettia – this year it may be different
I've always wanted twinkly trees but in London we didn't have trees to twink. So when we moved to this house in Sussex, the fruit trees by the front door filled me with quiet joy. At Christmas, we would have twists of tiny lights and their delicate glow would lift the hearts of passers-by with … Continue reading Christmas lights
Dad loved Christmas. His eyes would go all shiny and bright as he recounted stories of his youth, how he and his brothers would choose a Christmas tree, cut it down and drag it home by sledge through the snow. We never knew how true this actually was. As with many of Dad's stories, it … Continue reading Look up
Sad fact - people have no inclination to open presents I've wrapped. This is because, instead of tantalising hints at treasure within, they give off an aura of utter tat, fallen from the back of a lorry or bought at a White Elephant stall. I tell myself it's because I'm a "rip it off" person. … Continue reading Bad Wrapping and the Gift of Hope
It feels like it happened yesterday. Though in fact it's fifty Christmases since we were in our little house by the sea. Funny how the intense impressions of youth are saved forever on your hard-drive, whereas why you came to the Post Office remains a mystery. The kind Indian man has eyes that twinkle as … Continue reading One Moment One Christmas
Call me sad but I loved Latin verbs. At an all-girls school, stuffed with hormones and self-obsession (I levelled out but have recently declined again - for obvious reasons), Latin verbs were immensely comforting. Like the shipping forecast , there was a predictability, a rhythmic quality to the conjugations that soothed you, suspended time and … Continue reading Prayer, Advent and Latin Verbs
I've been struggling with semantic honesty lately. Don't know why, but I've found myself analysing what we say and imagining what would happen if we took each other at our word. For an English person this could be social suicide because so much of what we say is cultural, not literal, as in, I really should … Continue reading How Merry is Yours so Far?
It's been a strange week. I'm on my way home from work after what is called a challenging day. It's a fitting end really; that is to say, there is darkness, traffic, and rain-galloping cats and dogs. And the lower lid of my right eye keeps doing this thing where it moves without my help. Like … Continue reading Advent, sheep and a kiss from a stranger