Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Eleventh Day Of Christmas

Christmas is for enjoying gifts given to each of the senses.

Here are some of my highlights from Christmas 2010/11:

While I hope to live for many years more, I don’t expect to see many examples of casting as perfect as that in Eric and Ernie, the BBC film about Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise before they became Britain’s best-loved entertainment double-act.  A touching, beautifully-made tribute, not least by comics Jim Moir (best-known as his Morecambe-inspired alter-ego Vic Reeves, but demonstrating real under-stated acting talent) and Victoria Wood as Eric Morecambe’s parents.

I heard Thea Gilmore play her mournful, folk-y ‘That’ll be Christmas’ on the radio.  She was supposed to be plugging her new album, but instead played two tracks from her 2009 Christmas- and winter-themed album Strange Communion.  Good choice.

Lying in bed, duvet over my head, my index finger repeatedly tapping my iPod touch to refresh the BBC’s live running commentary of the fourth Ashes test...absolutely gripping stuff; a small boy, wide- and bleary-eyed, too excited to go to sleep.


Jo has created some great food this Christmas, but my favourite has to be the English muffins she made for brunch on the Feast of St John (see photo).  Simple, deeply satisfying pleasure.

We went away over New Year, setting off early New Year’s Eve and returning on the evening of New Year’s Day.  On coming back into the house we were greeted by a pungent sour smell: the Christmas tree still retained all its needles, but was looking, and smelling, well, like a tree that had been cut down and kept indoors for a fortnight...not a pleasant smell, but a memorable one.  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no-one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-13)

Christmas is for enjoying gifts given to each of the senses.

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