Please forgive the title – I have spent the evening binge watching Morecambe and Wise. This blog post is a bit like its author – there’s not really much point to it and it witters on a bit, but I just wanted to call in and say hello. As I believe I may have mentioned, I have been a little over-committed this week considering it is the week before Christmas. It has all been worth it I think, although I am feeling a little bit worse for wear now. I am now making lists for England and trying to get organised.
I did the final carol service of the season but was a bit miffed because we only just about got in because it was absolutely packed out. I spent a few minutes moaning because these people never come near the place for the rest of the year and you light a few candles and they come from all over the place and I get shoved to the back. FOW 2 then pointed out – some might say quite reasonably – that this point of view was diametrically opposed to everything that Jesus taught. I hurrumped under my scarf for a bit but Hark the Herald Angels was amazing and we also did While Shepherds Watched to the tune of “O for a thousand tongues to sing” which I decided I wouldn’t like until we sung it and it worked beautifully.
We also went to the local pantomime. I’m often not keen on the corporate stuff that gets served up at this time of year. It’s usually by people who have no interest or knowledge of the local area or panto actually. We normally get someone from Eastenders and a man who came third on Britain’s Got Talent. The one we went to was written and performed by a local theatre company Le Navet Bete who are experts in physical comedy. It was excellent. They performed A Christmas Carol – four men playing all the parts. Audience participation was essential so I had booked seats on the back row, knowing how my trusty companions would feel about that. Even so – when I showed some interest in getting up to see if I had won any mince pies – I was hissed at (by people I know and love mind you) and told in no uncertain terms to sit down. The panto itself was excellent. I love a Christmas Carol which, as you probably know, is a searing indictment of the greed and self-centredness of this life and a Christmas themed advert for generosity of spirit and deed. I particularly enjoy this genius social commentary when it is delivered by a man on a unicycle, hitting a man in drag in the face with a tin tray. Happy times indeed Mr Fezziwig.
We didn’t go to see The Princess Bride – too little time. HOH and I went to see The Florida Project which is definitely NOT a Christmas movie. It’s about some children who live with their families and dire circumstances on the edge of Disney’s Magic Kingdom. They see tourists come and go every day while they try to scrape a living together and survive. Even so the children, who are running wild all through the holidays, live a kind of happy and carefree life, unaware of how close to peril and poverty they are. It’s an uncomfortable film but important and kind of beautiful sometimes.
We also didn’t bother with It’s a Wonderful Life which has been re-released. I have a few problems with this film. (Care – spoilers) It’s very bleak for most of it and the Jimmy Stewart character really gets on my nerves. Also the baddie? No comeuppance at all? He just kind of falls off the end of the story. There I’ve said it. Report me to the Christmas Police if you want. I don’t care.
Lastly, of course, we went to see the Star Wars. I thought it was excellent. A bit too long – it could have easily lost 20 mins but some of it was so visually beautiful and Mark Hamill got the part he has always deserved in the series. I thought he was fantastic. I did cry once, towards the end, people who have been will probably know where, no spoilers but those of us who have grown up with these films will have surely watched this conversation with something in their eyes. The death of Carrie Fisher also gave some of the scenes huge poignancy.
Just a little thought before I go. I don’t know if you have seen but a lot of cultural activists have been on Social Media giving the charity record “Do they know it’s Christmas” a bad time. They are saying that it is insulting to black people and Africa and that it perpetuates the idea of white people coming as rescuers etc etc. I mean this may all be true but all I can say is, that I remember when it came out and the intentions were really good. We saw terrible news reports and we wanted to help. We bought a record a lot of us weren’t that keen on because we wanted to do something. I dunno.
Right Mes Braves. Onward then. Big decisions to be wrestled with. Should I buy the Radio Times at £28 or whatever it is. Will it still be Christmas without circling programmes I want to see? Not sure. I’ll get back to you.