Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Figgy pudding's off, old chap

Christmas greetings from . . .

. . . J and C

The best-laid plans . . . we had intended to wish you a merry Christmas and base our greetings on the sense of joy and quiet achievement surrounding Christopher's mother's 100th birthday, but the snow, deep and crisp and even, prevented us getting any nearer her home in the north of Scotland to celebrate with her than Luton airport.

So in the absence of any centenarian input here's a poem by Siegfried Sassoon:

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on--on--and out of sight.

Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

Clearly Sassoon had the event below in mind when he wrote this. Sound on, do please watch it through to the end, even if you've seen it before.

Meanwhile, a Christmas lucky dip into our 2010 doings brings up:

Hush, do not wake the infant William, born to Fiona and James on August 28th, a brother for Eliza, and apparently destined to become a night-club bouncer


First performance by C.'s choir Les Jeudistes and the Thalia Quartet (the photo was actually taken at the second performance, in what was once a lowly cattle-shed attached to local château) of C.'s cantata L'Imitation de Notre-Dame la Lune. Dedicatee of this work, head tenor Jean-Claude, in centre, hawk-like in his attention to the conductor.


We welcomed Ad Hoc Voices, a small choir (standing around all in white) based in Sevenoaks, paying us a return visit after our World Tour of Kent and Sussex in 2008. Which leads us to next year's adventure: Les Jeudistes' World Tour of Ross-shire, Nairnshire and Inverness-shire in early May.

Yes, we do all kinds of other things than rejoice with heart and soul and voice about choir events and the arrival of grandchildren, but a lot of energy is devoted to spending time with J.'s mother, in a wonderful retirement home that we're tempted to put our names down for, and with C.'s mother (ditto) in far-flung Scotland. Entre deux mers, as you might say. Ho ho ho.

Happy Christmas! Joyeux Noël !

Happy New Year! Bonne Année 2011 !

See our village amid the winter snow . . . we expect you've picked up all the quotes from and references to Christmas carols gathered all above. No prizes except an extra large helping of figgy pudding with all the trimmings if you get all 8. Go on, have a go.


Dave said...

I feel I ought to step aside, as the professional in what is, surely, a contest for amateurs.

Merry Christmas.

Charlene said...

Well I've certainly heard about all the snow ya'all have been subjected to across the pond. I am so sorry. We've had some here with ice; always an added curse. As to figgy pudding, the closest I've had to that is persimmon pudding. My mother loved that stuff and we had our own persimmon tree and we made extra money picking up those things and making seedless pulp in Mason jars to sell to the neightbors.

I hope your snow soon melts and does not return this year.

Merry Christmas!

Rog said...

Lowly Cattle Shed! I win!
You should have called the Happy Thursdays "Les Mahagow" or "Les Mckewan" for a Scottish reference.
I'm awaiting Grandchild no 7 in the next 24 hours so am singing from the same crib sheet.
Happy Christmas!

Christopher said...

Very kind of you, Dave, to give Rog a leg-up.

Charlene: Hi. Actually I'm not certain that anyone knows exactly what figgy pudding is. Whatever it is, it couldn't possibly be sweeter than persimmon pud.

Rog: Yes, thanks to Dave you win a small dollop of figgy pudding for the first with the lowest score, but in your present state of grandpaternal expectation a certain tolerance has to be exercised.

You mean the same Christmas crib sheet? Ho ho.

Dave said...

I did get all 8, by the way.

Rog said...

Dave's got all 8 and made them into a 36 letter word to cover 2 triples.

Dave said...

Roger loves playing Scrabble with me.

Christopher said...

Dave: No one could expect more of you.

Rog: I'm afraid I had to disqualify 'Zing, quires of angelz'. You're still in with a chance.

Dave: If you wish to communicate privately with me about this, please don't hesitate.

Rosie said...

Happy Christmas. Your village is amazing.

Christopher said...

Happy Christmas, Rosie. It is indeed.

(Amazing dirt, too, but we don't mention this)

letouttoplay said...

Oddly enough, one of those was the answer to a question on 'Who wants to be a millionaire' last night. the lucky phone caller who answered it received £37,000.
This is much more challenging.
I love those flash mob events.

letouttoplay said...

And a Happy Christmas to you and yours :)

Spadoman said...

Buon Natale Christopher, and all you hold dear. You have been a kind visitor to my space here in cyberlandia and i appreciate it greatly.

Peace to all

Christopher said...

Thank you, Mig. And to you and yours too. I expect the lucky caller was Dave. He's been rehearsing here.

Thank you, Spadoman, man of good will. There's always a chair with your name on it here, by the fireside with something good in a glass at your elbow.