Saturday, 10 December 2016

It's all about the baby Jesus


It has been perpetual dusk since dawn this morning, and I think it is going to stay that way until the real one comes around. I wish I could stop thinking about Christmas, but living here in the middle of a tourist town makes that impossible. The above is this year's Christmas card, from our compact but adorable city apartment. Consider it personally sent to you.

It is the preparation, you see. If I don't get these cards printed by next week, it will be too late and various family members keep changing their minds about me cooking for them on the 24th.

Every year, I try to come up with an image which is both secular, uncontentious, reminiscent and evocative - without resorting to robins and logs with snow on - but we are all fighting a losing battle, I think.

You have to hand it to the Church. All of the best historical Art fell into the category of 'sacred', probably because they were the only ones who could afford to commission it, and devotion to a deity is far more effective than devotion to a monarch - the only other establishment who could afford to commission it.

Bach spent his entire life as a church chorister on a meagre but steady income. These were the days when it was shameful - if not heritical - to declare yourself an atheist, rather than the other way round as it is now. At least he got to hear every one of his compositions thanks to the vast human resource at his perpetual disposal. All he had to do was flatter God. Life must have been a lot more simple.

23 comments:

  1. Thank you, Tom, for sending the card. Its image is a good one, full of seasonal cheer.
    I'm back in NYC and am sorry I wasn't able to see HI's exhibit. I think I needed a longer holiday, but at least I had about a week with constant reports on the President Elect.
    It's been a pleasure to catch up on your posts. Glad that even with the annoying surrounding Christmas stalls, the exhibit went well.

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    1. Sorry you didn't escape the reports... they are a good reason for a holiday. Welcome home.

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  2. Ooops, I meant withOut constant reports. Must still have some of the old jet lag, or just the usual sloppy typing. Best wishes.

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    1. Ah, so you did have a holiday after all.

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  3. Well all I can say Tom is that that rather boring monotony of the simple life in one place had absolutely no bearing whatsoever on his supreme music - my favourite by a mile.

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    1. I think it probably enhanced his output.

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  4. I really like your card! I try to avoid religious themes, too. Usually I buy UNICEF cards since the money goes to a good charity and I like the themes of world peace and unity they always have.


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    1. I often think of buyong charity cards, but so little money goes to most of the actual charities, that I don't want to.

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  5. I love my crib. I love sacred music and sacred buildings. A very elderly friend of mine, an architect, did his PhD thesis on sacred architecture a few years ago, in his 80s. I don't believe in God though. I like the card a lot. I liked today's perpetual darkness a lot too.

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    1. You don't have to continually bother God to be respectful. Everyone needs a bit of time to themselves.

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  6. Brilliant Christmas card as always .... I think that it's OK to start being Christmassy now. ( .... and, not a double entendre in sight !! ) XXXX

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  7. Love that card! I have to figure out what I'm going to make. I better get a move on.

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    1. I love that image, when the Metropolitan Police were old-fashioned Bobbies skating on the Thames - and Jack the Ripper was still at large...

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  8. Love the card, if it had been sent physically not internetically I would have framed it.

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    1. I like the image too. Somehow, ice-skating humanises people. There is a Christmas ice rink set up in a large square in London every year, and to watch the 'ice-marshalls' waltzing around whilst looking out for terrorists is a great thing.

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  9. I was just thinking this morning - while contemplating my total lack of festive feeling - how it must be so different in Bath with all the Christmas hullabaloo I see on various town websites. I've often wanted to live in a seasonal tourist town, but you've got a year-round one with so much happening all the time. And so different than when knew it.

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    1. Yes. Karl is dead for a start. Did you know that? He died in the Spring. The 70s and 80s will never come back.

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    2. Yes, I did know about Karl. Actually he died in November 2015.

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    3. Yes, I did know about Karl. Actually he died in November 2015.

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    4. Oh, was it that long ago? Yes, of course it was. I remember speaking to Gebby at last year's Christmas Market.

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