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Friday, 21 December 2018

Let good prevail (much revised)

Christmas approaches. Reminding me of Christmases that entailed disaster, even tragedy. Raw material for novels and short stories but I've bundled all that (The Overturned Van. Pulmonary Affliction. Mother's Death. Cold Duck Hangover.) together, secured with Sellotape (US: Scotch tape), for storage in the loft.

Met Professional Bleeder at Hereford bus station yesterday, took her home to change, and we set out with VR for the tiny Gloucestershire hamlet of Brand Green to spend the night with Occasional Speeder, her husband Darren and son Zach. A pre-Christmas blast.

Their hugely decorated tree touched the ceiling, a furnace of light and a temptation to the new kitten who would have stripped it bare within minutes had we let her. A firkin (= quarter of a barrel) of ale was available, the others drank champagne. I stretched out my tortured right leg and gave in to raucous gossip. At some indeterminate time a hot-as-Hades tagine was served.

It wasn't the whole family: grandson Ian was with his Dad, granddaughter Bella in her new Tavistock house with partner, Daniel. But it was enough. Under these circumstances, conversation is a majestic boulder released down a mountain slope of infinite length. It may reach a small plateau and slow down; but it never stops. Impatience writ large on the faces of those waiting to break in.

 Denied the tree the kitten gnawed the feet of those likely to say Ouch!

Now we are back home, wrapping table presents to the assertive trumpets in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Messiah is kept in reserve for Christmas Eve. It’s the family that counts, of course. The boulder endowed with energy, source of uncaring laughter and often of revelation.

Disc 1 of the oratorio is finished. Those toiling with Sellotape need the impetus of Disc 2.


  1. My wife Ann succumbed to motor neurone disease on Boxing Day 1997. Her father had also died on a Boxing day before I had met her.

  2. Wishing you and your family a Happy Christmas.

  3. I hope your Christmas is serene, RR. Whatever is going on (or not going on) out there, remember, "this, too, will pass".