Wednesday 8 December 2010

Glad tidings and goodwill

The music feed piped through the Great House has now been officially tweaked to 100% Festive. We are using traditional incense-scented tea lights.  The aroma of the wine being mulled in the kitchen is being piped through the heating vents - which isn't interfering with the central heating, as we've switched it off to save money. Outside the hoar frost hangs beautifully on the hedgerows, the pigeons shiver in the naked trees and the rime is on the spray. When there is no cricket to watch, the DVD in the Room of Viewing is permanently on "It's a Wonderful Life". The dancing penguins and inflatable illuminated snowmen line the drive in perfect order. It is a perfectly Christmassy scene. And yet the Christmas spirit is not filling in my heart.

Afar off in St Bogwulf's Chapel I can already hear the thumps and shouts of pain, as Drayton once again attempts to learn to walk a tight-rope. For Drayton there is a hope. At the end of the pain and failure, there will be success. Or, at any rate, he can give up trying to walk on tight-ropes and the pain will stop. He has a purpose - a direction. Whereas here in the Great House we have no such direction. The days they turn into years, and still no tomorrow appears. Every day is lived in a perpetual "now" where the aim is to conjure up feelings of gladness, satisfaction, even - dare I say it - complacency. With no dragons to slay, no battles to fight, no races to run, we are free to live in the Moment - but can we stay there? Is the Moment worth living in?

Enough for now of this maudlin thinking. The Pouring out of Beakers is cancelled again and restlessness has broken out in the dining room. I must go and stop the porridge-fight and then I really must get somebody to clean out the Womble enclosure. You'd think of all animals they would be good at keeping their own living-quarters tidy, but they're the most awful messy pigs in their own back yards.


  1. Thanks for this post and this blog, which to my utter shame, I have discovered only recently. I will fritter far too much time enjoying this on 'catch-up' during the course of the next few days!

    Shame on me, good on you!

  2. BTW, great to see the Revd Parslow making an appearance on SFL to comment on the purity of grape juice.


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