‘Twas the two days before Christmas!!!
Last two days have been a mixture of manic activity and moments of relaxation but mainly the former.
For the first time in nearly 30 years, I put up Christmas decorations (December 23rd), lit tea-light lanterns. Before this year, for various reasons I was never in a good place, head-wise to do so.
This has been such a year of profound change, of life, of sadness, of death, of joy. Friendships broken, other ones made. “What a wondrous piece of work is man”, as Shakespeare put it.
Went to the Southbank today, part of my annual ritual. It had stopped raining which I was grateful for, the sun made a brave attempt to remind us of its duties, despite the mockery of the harsh wind.
I’ve always found the walk along the river to be stimulating for contemplative rumination…the change of light matches the change of atmosphere.
Inside Cafe Nero, all is convivial, a multitude of voices from Europe and beyond, this is the sort of place that both Britain First and UKIP would hate. As I sip on a mocha, I’m helping a friend with their MA plan that I’ll email them later, past Christmas, as they have got enough on their plate at the moment. I want them to enjoy this part of the season, not worry about their college work.

As I write, on my headphones I’m listening to R4’s “9 Lessons and Carols”. I always try to catch it, though for me it’s an aesthetic experience, not a religious one. It brings home the attempts by the church/religion to understand beyond this world. The R4 “9 Lessons and Carols”, can and are an unexpected source of comfort…

The Way Home: On Christmas Eve, the city takes on a completely different character. The majority of the shops are shut by mid-late afternoon. Those that hath no gift for a loved one by this late stage, I say to them with all sincerity man/woman thou art truly lost. The tempo of the city changes, like a giant in his slumbers, turning at his ease.

As I wait for the bus, near The St Martin-in-the-Fields church, snatches of conversation. A young man, a woman with a child in-between them walk past. “That was a very good sermon, I thought”, he says “very inclusive”. She agrees. A few minutes later, two women and a young girl walk past softly singing a Christmas carol, not caring who hears. On the bus, the small conversations are about December 25th…and as each person departs the talk falls away like leaves….

Light…love…and Joy to all of my friends…
Joyez Noell

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