I’m writing this on a dreich, windswept, wet afternoon, looking out of my study window at the white tops of the high tide sea breaking against the grey ribbon of the West Bay promenade. Here, at my desk, I’m listening to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s, occasionally finding myself humming along with an alto part when it’s an arrangement I know - not right now, for I haven’t heard this setting of Angelus ad Virginem before. And I’m doing it without at the moment a photo worth adding - that’s depending on tonight - because when I get home from Midnight Mass I always make myself far too late sitting blipping when I should be in my bed, Three am is no time to be still awake for old ladies with many miles to go on the morrow .
Our sitting room is full of festive bags of presents despite our having sent exotic food parcels earlier, safely arrived and, I hope, now more or less consumed. Later we shall open the presents we’ve already been given, before heading out into the darkness for the service which has so many memories, including those of the times we roused our sleeping small sons to come and sing in the choir - their grandmother used to think we were mad/cruel/obsessive. [Note to self: must ask them if they remember …]
I feel better now than I did at 8am today, when I sat in bed looking out at the dark Firth, the first line of light above the hills, and quailed at the thought of things left undone. Is this part of ageing, I wonder, that everything that is not utterly mundane brings on the pang of helplessness, or do I just need to drink coffee instead of Darjeeling at that hour? And then I observed the age-long disappointment that is the cooling-down of feet even when they’re still under the duvet as they have been, perfectly cosily, all night, and recognise it as a call to action.
For now, I wish all my fellow-blippers who have stuck with me this far a safe, warm, happy Christmas Day, thinking of my friends in the States under that tremendous storm and all who are anxious or lonely. Blips will be by phone till Thursday and limited by my ability to see what I’m doing after a glass or two… Cheers!
PS: Blip photo taken at 11.59pm in the middle of the midnight service, with all the candles lit in the Advent Wreath and the sermon in mid-flow.
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