I’ve given up trying to send Christmas cards. The post box is at the end of the drive, but any letter I need to send hangs around for weeks before I actually send it. I would love to be organised enough to write and send cards to my friends, whom I haven’t spoken to for ages and whom I’d like to remind not of my existence, but that their existence means a lot to me. So this year, I shall do a Christmas blog instead, by way of apology and salutation, and hope that some friends read it.
Here’s a snow-scene by way of a front cover. It’s the paw-prints of the marauding Hildabeeste. You can also see her stomach-print.
Does a Christmas blog have to contain some sort of round robin? I don’t have a round robin, but I do have a round cat. I try to persuade myself that Hilda’s tubby-cat appearance is winter fur, but I just can’t. Round robins were letters signed by everyone in the round so that no-one could take the blame for heading them. How did a round robin come to mean some self-congratulatory Christmas brag? (Talking of brag, was Melvyn’s surname a bit of nominative determinism?)
Here, however, is the necessary self-congratulation. This year I have:
- got through deputy-stage-managing an opera (a job of terrifying responsibility: never again. Thank God for competent other people.),
- made a coracle (well, the first one collapsed. The second is ok, though, and over 50 children enjoyed rides on it on the Wandle in September. Mark III will be even better.)
- Taken Tim and Naomi’s house to bits (this is the beautiful 17th-century farmhouse I have the privilege to lodge in. T and N are very patient.)
- made a cider press and pressed 20 gallons of juice, now belching away merrily.
- given talks and written about music, mainly 18th-century, a real pleasure (and they pay me!)
- helped my mother move to Cambridge
- stopped my brother taking the kitchen sink to Finland, where he’s studying the folk fiddle for the year. (He doesn’t believe in travelling light.)
I haven’t: started my career (I still have no idea what it is to be), done nearly enough music, studied nearly enough of anything, and seen nearly enough of enough of my dear friends. Maybe next year.
Meanwhile, a peaceful, joyous, family-fun-filled (how many more oxymorons??) Christmas and New Year to you all.