Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveller back to his own fireside and quiet home! - Charles Dickens



Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

The rain-shafts splintered on me
As despondently I strode;
The twilight gloomed upon me
And bleared the blank high-road.
Each bush gave forth, when blown on
By gusts in shower and shower,
A sigh, as it were sown on
In handfuls by a sower.

A cheerful voice called, nigh me,
“A merry Christmas, friend!”—
There rose a figure by me,
Walking with townward trend,
A sodden tramp’s, who, breaking
Into thin song, bore straight
Ahead, direction taking
Toward the Casuals’ gate.

[The Casual Ward was a place of refuge. Often, a queue of homeless people would form outside, waiting to get a bed for the night]

Numbering of Bethlehem, by Pieter Bruegel (1525-1569)


Do you remember . . .


Born in Nova Scotia in 1945, she was the first Canadian female solo singer to reach No.1 on the U.S. charts, and also the first to earn a Gold record for one of her songs "Snowbird." In 2011, Billboard put her in tenth position among the 50o Biggest Artists Ever.
In this clip, uploaded by azores46, she sings "Winter Wonderland."

Finally -

There had been a very heavy fall of snow during the night and on Christmas morning only two people turned up for the church service - Farmer Giles and the Vicar.

The Vicar shaking his head sadly said, "Well, there's no point of having a service for just one person; let's go home."

"No, I don't agree," replied Farmer Giles, "If only one cow turns up to be fed, I still feed it."


Clip art by



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