The Sabbath night draws to a close.
I set my face this morning to avoid mirth, put on my darkest outfit, my black frock coat, clenched a black bible firmly in my hand and unsmilingly went forth to celebrate the joy of the Lord. How terrible I thought to see people smiling and rejoicing in the sunshine, at least the sunshine between rain that is. Women wore bright colours, though on occasion not as bright as some young men were wearing, dogs were being walked and children were heard laughing in the park opposite, cars were being driven and shops were open. It appears some people were turning the Lords day into a day of joy, surely that should be stopped?
Actually it was not quite like that.
The sun and rain was correct however, with added wind chill. The church was full of happy people even though I was called upon to do the reading which featured men being circumcised with flint knives. Instead of saying 'This is the word of the Lord,' all I could say after reading that bit was 'Amen!' A glance around the congregation revealed men in uncomfortable positions. No-one questioned the mistake I made, showing how knowledgeable this lot are, nor the use of flint knives. Knives made of flint are probable sharper than those in most kitchens and around 1200 BC they were used to making them so they would be precision tools. It was all about getting ready to serve Gods purpose and preparing to be one nation together and all of one heart or something along that line. We were all rather happy afterwards, relief I suppose!
All week my knees have been irking me and today was no exception, for much of the week I have done little and been out only occasionally. Having Saturday indoors was boring, no football, so I forced myself out twice the second time to see the fancy exciting market. It was not that exciting.
As Christmas shopping demands increase more market stalls will appear as entrepreneurs set up to make a killing with their home made delights. My delight is finishing the shopping, writing the cards and having all lined up waiting to go. Just one or two odds and ends to finish off nearer the time.
I am preparing the smug grin for when people inform me how difficult shopping at Christmas can be. I am happy to be ignored and despised, I'm used to it.
What a difference winter makes when it arrives. Curtains drawn, heater on, electric light instead of natural window light, the atmosphere changes completely. Only a few decades ago candles and oil lamps were prevalent in so many dwellings, especially those far from big cities. This town still had gas street lighting someone claimed until 1956 a claim I have yet to confirm. It does seem unlikely but it is possible. Some people find this atmosphere 'cosy' others find it like a prison. Either way it is different and already I am looking forward to December 21st when the nights begin to get shorter.
The season also offers one advantage that of the clocks changing by going back one hour, a very good idea but spoiled by my body clock not being aware of this and waking me at the usual and now wrong time. Few people appear to have been caught out and it is early in the year when the clocks change that mistakes are made, as I once found out. Now we endure the ghastly needless Halloween followed by total Christmas shop desperation until financial suicide and