“”Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.”
Little Women by Louisa M Alcott
A Christmas past. Muddy roads and rain. I had 3 nieces rather than 4. Dad was still alive. We’d been cooped up inside for too long and the cracks were beginning to show in tantrums and whining.
“Okay, this is what we’re gong to do,” I ventured, placing each niece in seclusion with a sheet of paper and a pen.
“I want each one of you to write a letter to Father Christmas. Tell him if you’ve been good or not, and write him a list of things you’d like for Christmas.”
For a few blissful minutes they took to their task enthusiastically. The adults breathed a sigh of relief and I padded over to the awaiting kettle. Continue reading A Christmas Tale and a 2017 Calendar
The Journey Of The Magi
(written in 1927 by T. S. Eliot)
‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Continue reading A Merry and Blessed Christmas, 2016
“Every few minutes I would reflexively check to see if my gas mask was still in place and, more importantly, if the holster still contained the self-injectable 10-mg canister of diazepam that had been given to me in Kuwait. The diazepam was to give me a happy death in the event of an Iraqi chemical attack… what they wanted more than anything else in the world was exactly what I was trying to avoid: a fight.”
War Reporting for Cowards: Between Iraq and a Hard Place by Chris Ayres
It feels like it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post. Somehow the past week stretches out long and fuzzy.
My memory of the details is a nightmarish blur: work, church, Christmas bags, writing, wind, rain, bombs, shooting, news, Paris, websites, vessels, Spectre, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, gym, restless sleep, hospital appointments, emails, study, French homework and general life.
Tonight is our office Christmas party. Continue reading Hibernation fever setting in: short dark days, comfort food and blobbiness