Friday October 19, 2018
Photo article from the Greek Hovel - guess what? Progress er ... slower than expected
Photo article from the Greek Hovel - my olives are looking good, despite everything
Kleenex drops ManSize tissues because they are sexist, but surely they are still racist and size-ist?

PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

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Christmas day Reflections 2014

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- Tom Winnifrith

For some reason I dozed off between the end of Skyfall and the tome to go to midnight mass.  As such when waking up on Christmas day the stockings of myself, the Mrs and the cats were opened in something of a rush. Santa clearly thought that we had all behaved well in 2014. Clearly he does not know about how Oakley, the three legged cat, likes weeing on the inside doormat.  And thus we were all well rewarded and after a splendid breakfast cooked by yours truly we wandered off to St Cuthbert’s Brislington.

Built in 1933 this church could easily hold 350. As it was with the Mrs and I in attendance there were 15 in the congregation plus vicar and organist. It is not as if midnight mass at Brislington is packed – there cannot have been more than 35 in attendance in 2013. One fears that a couple of cold winters could see just the mrs, the Vicar and I attending Christmas day 2018. We were the youngest in the congregation by a long chalk: what is happening to the C of E?

It is just that Christmas has become one great big godless consumerfest celebrated across the world by folks of whatever background. My 13 year old daughter Olivia – deprived of the alternate Christmases promised by her mother Big Nose 10 years ago, has never once attended Church on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. That I rather regret.

The Mrs and I do not take communion as I am very much lapsed in my faith and the Mrs has grave doubts. But we try to think of what Christmas is about and it is not as the Radio DJs insist on saying “all about family and friends”.  However much the PC brigade insist otherwise Christmas is about Jesus. The fact we celebrate this festival and the traditions involved are down to Jesus. We give each other presents because we are celebrating God giving us his only son, whether we regard that as fact, belief or fantasy. To deny the involvement of Jesus in Christmas seems fatuous to me.

The sermon was bland enough but at least this C of E vicar managed to resist the urge to pray for peace in Palestine, the C of E codewords for “all power to Hamas”.  And with that it was back to a Christmas lunch (Duck, perfect roasted potatoes and parsnips, carrots and cabbage) prepared by yours truly, followed by the Queen and then another TW culinary triumph of Christmas pudding. And the presents and given the mindless rubbish on the TV, we started watching my present to the Mrs, the Complete West Wing box series on DVD.

For me, a framed map of Southern Europe in Turkish times – perhaps not something to hang in Greece – and a radiator for my study, aka the garage. Most practical. And after long family calls to one and all in the UK, USA and India bed loomed ahead of a long trip for Christmas two – goat with the Greek brother in law of the Mrs and family. And yes, another Christmas pudding from the master chef loomed.

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