Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

The very low temperatures have made the snow go all sparkly in the Christmas sun.  It was cold as predicted on the way to church -- people said that it was minus 12 -- and then when we got there the heating was broken and so we all had to sit shivering in our coats and scarves.  Everything anyone said hung in front of them in a mist, and you could see when people were whispering to each other.  No one had told me in advance that I was doing the reading, but it was OK because it was an excellent shouty one from Isaiah, lovely feet on mountains etc.  At communion (I took off my gloves for it) when the vicar handed out the consecrated bread she also gave each of us a chocolate coin.  I don't know what the liturgical traditionalists would make of this but I thought it was quite nice.

The sermon was all about the BBC's dramatisation of the nativity, which to be honest annoyed me a bit, because I've been avoiding it all week when my parents watch it, and I don't need some Eastenders writer to point out to me that it must all have been very difficult at the time.  From a young age I saw the nativity tale as a horror story and it's taken me a long time to make any peace with it.  My favourite thing anyone's ever said about it was Rowan Williams pointing out that small babies are alien and hard to understand.  The churches round here are great for fellowship and being kind to each other, but not excellent at the sermons.

The people next door have no heating because the oil in their tank has frozen.  But the BBC predicts better weather tomorrow.  In the meantime I'm proud of the university I went to.  I like to think that if anyone had tried to censor my post-grad work my head of department would have written similarly, but oddly enough no one was that outraged by my edition of the Life of St Cuthburga or my analysis of the manuscripts made at Bury St Edmunds in the eleventh or early twelfth century.

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