Sunday, 20 December 2009

I'm dreaming.....

The above are a few of the glasses mentioned in previous posts. I saw them yesterday in a shaft of winter sunlight and thought they would make a good image for a season's greetings message. I go along with all that Cro has said about the de-paganisation of Christmas in his blog, so I won't rabbit on about that.

Christmas for me - when I was a kid - was a sharply contrasting mixture of magic and hell - a bit like Harry Potter's. I was brought up in a huge house with extensive grounds in the stock-broker belt of Surrey (I bet they don't call it that now!). Being the youngest of 4 children (by 10 years) I could never afford to reciprocate with presents, and I felt tormented about that. It put me right off the present thing altogether, in fact. Also, there was always the screaming rows between my two sisters, and the combination of these two elements is where the hell came in.

I do remember though, standing outside in the dark on the snowy lawn, with starlight reflecting up from the ground in no particular direction, and thinking that no harm could possibly come to me on this holy night. That was where the magic came in. Maybe it was true, but I now know that most domestic murders take place around Christmas time. Careful observation of my sisters' behaviour toward each other would have taught me that sooner, but I just didn't want to know.

I still don't want to know, to tell the truth, so I will only murder someone at Christmas time if I absolutely have to these days. The rest of the time I am happy to settle down and watch 'It's A Wonderful Life' with the rest of them.

I'm a bit worried this year, though. The 'collapsing Building Society caused by a wicked developer, and it being saved at the last minute by the selfless investors' scenario depicted in 'It's A Wonderful Life', with James Stewart being saved from suicide by an apprentice angel, does not - this year of all years - ring entirely true. I should never have watched the extra documentary on the making of the film either, as I learnt last year that the Christmas snow street scenes were shot beneath a huge tarpaulin, in 120 degree Californian heat. The whole set stank of rotten cheese, because the snow was made from about 200 tons of waste dairy products. Maybe I can suspend disbelief again, like all the other years, but The Holy Ghost has his work cut out in 2009/2010 I think.

Christmas - they say - is for the children. Quite right. We've had to suffer, now it's their turn.

Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!


  1. I too was brought up in the rigours of Surrey's stockbroker belt (Lingfield). Luckily I only had ONE sister, but the scars are still fresh and sore.

    You've ruined 'It's a wonderful life' forever! I had no idea about the cheese, and no, I'm not going to make obvious jokes. Did you hear the one abou........

  2. Christmas for me is dangling from the loft unable to find the tree lights

  3. Yes, I've heard that one, Cro.

    Dangling from the loft, Reggie? All Christmas? Do you dress up in a gimp outfit to amuse the children?

  4. The three to the right are about 1740 - 1750, and the one to the left is 1790 - 1800. These drawn, 'trumpet' glasses are still my favourites, and are relatively cheap - compared to modern glass.

  5. It’s always a pleasure to log on to your delightful blog, Tom - one never knows what’s in store! Am especially enjoying it from my present perspective in Africa. (It brings to mind a programme I heard on on Radio 4 a few years ago in which some professor or other was bemoaning the fact that increasingly journalists and writers are relentlessly fixated on giving their own ‘opinions’, rather than simply writing interesting pieces for other people rather than themselves. It might be refreshing, he suggested, to read more light-but-not-facile articles & observations, professionally and skillfully crafted, on a variety of everyday subjects). So, I think that prof would have enjoyed your blog, too.

  6. Thanks, Anonymous (V) ! I agree with the prof - try to be as entertaining as possible, otherwise what's the point? Just because nobody in the real world is interested in one's ill-thought out opinions, it doesn't mean to say that anyone in this one will be, eh?

    Your blog does what mine tries to do, i.e. if others can identify with you, no matter how different the experience, then you've touched on something which is either relevant or fun (even if it can be depressing).

    Nothing is more useless than opinions about a depressing situation which we have all reached a conclusion about ages ago.