A seasonal aside (or two)

Returning this afternoon from a long, middle-age spread-burning cycle ride, I spun slowly past an anglo-catholic church infamous in these parts for its smells and bells-embellished sacrifices performed by a mincing queen with a goatee beard and taste for outlandish, sparkly costumes.

Out of the church emerged an elderly gentleman slowly unrolling a reel of wire as he went. As you can imagine my heart leapt at the sight, and I had to ask the old man at what time were they holding the grand detonation, and would the priest be going down with the building?

No answer came there, only a most evil scowl. Around the corner I saw an equally aged colleague of my fantasy demolition man fiddling with some arc lamps. It then dawned on me that they were preparing the church for a special ritual this evening in celebration of the birth of their god.

Back at the ranch I cranked up my computer and up popped a reply to an email I sent earlier today to thank some old and dear friends for their yuletide card and entertaining round robin (no sarcasm; these particular annual reports are most welcome!).

Daddy friend, who lives with his scary German wife and their large, riot-running brood in an old manse on a small treeless rock in the northern North Sea, wrote:

“I’m drinking Buckfast and coffee (not out of the same vessel) and covering myself in down plucking the Yuletide goose while a ferret sniffs at its bum.”

That’s the life. Really, that is the life, and I often envy my friends and their windswept existence far from the cultural and spiritual wasteland that is the urban south east of England.