Ihad a particularly pleasant Christmas, in some extent to the kindness and generosity of you readers, for which I thank you. I have had cards and presents, mainly of ties, from so many people.
I no longer have any close family and those I have are in the further reaches of the world, so for many years Christmas has been rather a sad time for me, as it always brought back memories of my beloved grandmother who brought me up.
This Christmas was a little different, however. Of course, I sang lots of carols. There I was, sitting in church waiting to start the rehearsal for the carol service, when a lovely family approached me, greeted me warmly and gave me a card. They had come all the way over from Howden in hopes of finding me. Thank you, Carmen and Thomas, for making my Christmas just a little special.
The service went very well, and then it was on to sing more carols for the rest of the week. A group of us from Pocklington Singers had been asked to sing at the Christmas Meal at the Beverley Masons, and with a little juggling of parts (I moved up from tenor to alto) we had a pleasant hour or so and were well looked after. We usually finish with ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ and were actually presented with a certificate which had on it the recipe for Figgy Pudding!
I went up to Monks Cross to do some shopping a few days before, and it was not the most pleasant of experiences. The crowds actually made me feel rather uncomfortable, and when I was carefully negotiating down an aisle in the huge store I was a bit startled by a man ordering me to make way for his children to come through. I asked why and he said: “Because they are young.”
I replied that I was old and had no intention of being pushed aside and was most gratified when two other mature folk behind me backed me up. I explained that good manners dictated that the young should respect the old if they wished it to be reciprocated. A very glamorous young lady agreed with me and the rude family finally allowed all of us to pass through. I did wish them a Happy Christmas and thanked them. The little boy made an obscene gesture.
On Christmas Eve I had been asked to read a lesson at the Communion service at the delightful and beautiful church of St James at Nunburnholme. I had driven past Kilnwick Percy and encountered quite serious flooding but just got the car through. At the church, which is quite small, the congregation of about 20 and one lovely border collie called Meg, had a beautiful service and it was a very calming hour or so. I came back home another way. I then kept myself busy until it was time to head into All Saints at Pocklington for the Midnight Communion Service where the congregation was huge. There was enough of a choir to provide splendid descants to the carols and it went very well, and I rolled into my home about 1am.
On Christmas morning I was up early and as soon as it got light I took the dogs down for a long walk on the Hudson Way, and met no one for about two hours. I later went over to a neighbour and was treated to a wonderful feast with the great company of three entrancing children, the two family dogs and five adults. I don’t think I have eaten so much in months! It is a very long time since I was included in such a wonderful feast and I am very grateful.
When I got home I gave all my animals a special Christmas meal, and settled down and woke a bit later in time to go to bed.
I wrote appropriate thank you letters the next morning, posted them at the postbox down the road and noticed that the road at the bottom of the estate where I live was flooded, but cars were still just able to get through. I am very grateful that I live a little bit up the only hill in Pocklington. Everywhere is sodden and it is really beyond a joke.
We may have had a slight frost one morning but I rather look forward to some decent weather. I also look forward to a very Happy New Year for all!