"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
Santa had a stroke of genius this year. He brought me a giant duck, with a label saying ‘Giant Duck’ in case of confusion. We were a bit chastened to face the roast duck we were having for lunch – but only a bit. And the winter Pimms. And the spiced cabbage. And the wine. And the Eton Mess. And the cheese. And the port. At about 4.00 friend Ivan said very carefully, ‘I’m not a pudding-driven person’. Conversation had clearly degenerated, so we went outside to launch our sky lanterns.
The instructions were not so much translated from the Chinese as rendered in an entirely new language. Example:
‘Wishing lamp rose slowly the sky, do not forget Wishing, Oh…’ You’re supposed to write a wish on it – ‘No matter what, the sweetie to romantic profession or make a wish to friends or pray to sleeper.’ My balloon soared away. Nik and Ivan nearly set fire to the Hovis Mill. But eventually the lanterns drifted magically, mystically off towards the moors of Wildboarclough carrying with them our wishes for the next year – and birthday wishes for Kirsty.
Kirsty herself, who shares a birthday with the Baby Jesus, was in a yurt in Wales. I drove for five hours to get to her on Monday (very slowly, having just graduated from my Speed Awareness course, ahem). But alas, the last bit of the journey was impossible in the snow. So I turned around and drove to Abergavenny, where the hosts at the magnificent Black Lion B&B, Mike and Amy, took me in. They didn’t bat an eyelid at a stranger turning up on the doorstep with a dish of sausage casserole (sorry Kirsty, it was meant for you) and they put me in a bedroom with an en-suite the size of my boat. Unintended, but glorious.
On Boxing Day, a clan gathering. My mum provided a Dickensian spread for fifteen, and the house filled with freshly washed urchins. It was a real delight to see everyone – two half-brothers, one of two step-brothers, and assorted offspring….
Then on to friend Hannah’s for Cluedo, and to friend Heather’s for bubble-blowing with another small friend… delivering and accumulating presents as I went.
There was some work this week – but you don’t want to hear about Birmingham’s new Writing Squads or my progress on mini-play Aching for Dick, do you? Thought not. You want to see the smiles of little Lula (left) ….
…and above all, to receive a festive greeting from Macc Marina’s resident elf. Merry Christmas everybody. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.