Having suddenly woken up to the fact that Christmas is at the end of next week, and not still some time off, I have put up the fairy lights, lit the candles, and hung a couple of ornaments. I may add the bells and more ornaments later.
I am not usually a big fan of candles. They look nice but I worry about fire, so the electric candles Sue gave me some years ago are generally enough. However, this year I want light, I want something that somehow means hope, and candles are the quickest, most satisfying solution. I made an unplanned visit to IKEA today and came home with a box of candles and then some. I had to go to Greenwich to get my new towel radiator which will be installed on Friday. Hurrah, warm bathroom, warm towels. I din’t even realise there was an IKEA there. When I went in I meant to buy a new door mat. I completely forgot to look for one. The candles caught my attention and held it.
I’m glad I got them as on the way home I got caught in a traffic jam. It added considerably to my journey time. Watching four wheel drives and lorries driving over the reserve between the two directions of traffic entertained me a little. Radio 4 and then Paul Simon did the rest. There was a lot in the news about covid and Christmas. I have more or less accepted that I shall not be sharing my Christmas lunch with friends as planned. However, I shall spend the time inside with MasterB and I hope to be able to meet friends outside, as indeed I did last night, our last Prosecco and chips for a while as from midnight we moved into tier three and the rule of six is suspended to a rule of none. Actually I had cava, and I think Celia had red wine, while B&J had white, and I think Octavia had champagne.
I have just seen one of my neighbours, Tim Crosland, on tonight’s news. He has been campaigning against expansion at Heathrow. The pro expansion people seem to be basing their arguments on jobs. I understand that, but jobs that ultimately kill us? I don’t think so. We need to be looking at new, clean technologies that create jobs, not keeping old polluting ones. I would compare these arguments in favour of expansion to those who insist that destroying the rain forest is necessary for their countries’ economies. I haven’t been watching the news recently. It is too distressing. Last night, despite these measures I woke, worrying about Brexit, and what 2021 will bring. Even so it’s been hard to miss some of the more inflammatory, bellicose headlines in the popular press. Threats of gun boats being used against French fishermen, misogynistic, hateful and inaccurate descriptions of Angela Merkel.
A sad irony of these headlines is that they are in publications that proclaim their love of the *British way of life* which is often a coded attack on multiculturalism which includes various religions, religions these publications claim are out of place in a *Christian* country. Putting aside the fact that church attendance has been dropping for years, the Christian festival we are about to celebrate is one where the main message is about peace on earth, goodwill to all men, a babe born in a manger who will be our salvation. If you can translate that into hate against the EU in general, Angela Merkel and the French fishermen in particular, you have missed the point by a very long way, and, I would say, cannot truthfully call yourself a Christian. Add to that the fact that the EU in its infancy was created as part of a strategy to prevent war, something in Europe it has largely achieved, this aggressive posturing I even more despicable.
I should like the news to be prefaced by warnings, rather like those ones where they about to show horrendous footage which ‘may upset some viewers’ ( I always think if you are not upset by those images there is something wrong with you), if certain MPs are going to be given access to a microphone; MPs such as Johnson, Gove, IDS, Patel, Truss, Bridgen. There are more, but those are probably the ones most damaging to my mental health.
I think I’ll light another couple of candles.
Stay safe. Keep well. Goodwill to all men.
We lit candles tonight during a video chat. Much recommended for cheering the spirits. Also inspiring ghost stories.
I even found myself thinking a small Christmas tree would be nice…
Ohh frisky aren’t you? Go for it. Our friends who have “houses” (unlike you and I) have suddenly been interested in baubles and trees inside and outside the house. Perhaps we are all giddy at the thought of a Christmas completely without the family obligations and just about the fun enjoying pretty creations.
I think there is something in that, also that we are starved of our usual cultural fixes. I find myself gazing appreciatively at Christmas trees in people’s windows in the dark evenings.