I'm tempted, in the interests of brevity, merely to note that my collage is significant and leave it at that - but hey: when was I ever brief unless typing on my phone? So if you get further on with this, I shall enlarge, in more ways than one...
It was still more or less dark as I sat in bed drinking my morning tea and looking out at the lights of The Other Side - I contributed a photo of the windows to the twitter greetings to Yaroslava in Kyiv, where it is now snowy and they keep having power cuts. She says it helps to know that so many people see her life. By the time I roused myself to get out of bed in the chill of our radiator-free bedroom, it had grown light, however, and a cargo-ship was sailing serenely down-river. Later, after breakfast, I saw another item of shipping pass, as a hunter-killer submarine slipped past.
Today's proper designation in the church year is the feast of Christ the King, so designated in the 1920s by Pope Pius as he surveyed the ruination of Europe after the first war, and the rise of Mussolini. The church was dressed in red, and there were flowers and candles and some BIG hymns. We did, however, have, right at the end, the old prayer to which I alluded yesterday - "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people". And this afternoon, although I didn't actually get much stirring done, I measured out the fruit for my Christmas cake and poured quite a lot of sherry over it. It will soak at least till Thursday, when I spy a vacancy in my week in which I can bake the cake. (And stir it!)
And the vague significance of all that? Well, there's the celebration of the church at the end of the liturgical year, before the more sombre four Sundays of Advent, anticipating the renewal brought by the birth of Christ. There's the harmless jollity of preparing festive food, linking it to the prayers in a folksy sort of way. There's the sign of peaceful commerce as a very ordinary cargo ship sets off on its voyage. And there's the deadly shape of a warship, a submarine whose only purpose is warfare, defensive or aggressive. Apparently there are more of them than normally on the Clyde these days.
And I thought of Yaroslava in battered Ukraine, and the war dead we were remembering only last week, and of how nothing really seems to change in the hearts of humanity - good and evil both.
But because humankind cannot bear too much reality, I recall that I have a chicken in the oven and because of the cake-fruit-soaking there is an open bottle of sherry in the kitchen and dinner will be lovely.