December is here and heavy frosts make a previously distant Christmas suddenly real.
Despite the hype and stress it’s a season I enjoy, reaffirming that, mostly, it’s a wonderful life.
It doesn’t seem long since having to travel miles to family Christmases, where toddlers were videoed opening gifts, though more fascinated by their wrapping boxes.
Now I spend Christmases more easily here, but this week sent 19th birthday greetings to one of those former kiddies, now studying to be a doctor and – towering lad that he is – playing rugby for his county.
They grow up fast and the world changes rapidly but remains amazing.
Suitably muffled at the weekend, I enjoyed traditional cask ale at Blackpool Cricket Club. The talk on our table was of conserving hearing aid batteries while, nearby, a three-year-old in a high chair flipped confidently through a mini computer.
I used my own hi-tech – a cheap mobile phone – for the only call I ever make, to She Who Knows saying I was returning to Edmonds Towers.
“Just stop off on the way, please, and get some carrots, onions and celery for the beef,” She requested.
Easy, I diverted to our neighbourhood 24-hour supermarket. A handy amenity that, like the screens we’d been watching at the club showing sport from around the world. So Sunday also saw me later relishing a classic roast meal by candlelight.
We welcome the new, but still enjoy the old.
Looking forward to Advent feasting, then untold changes in the New Year, reminded me of those magical lines from popular Laureate John Betjeman:
‘And is it true? And is it true/ This most tremendous tale of all . . . The Maker of the stars and sea/ Become a Child on earth for me?’
And is it true? I believe so. It’s what makes this a wonderful world.
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