A ray of hope flickers in the sky, a tiny star lights up way up high

I bet you had all thought that I had forgotten about you.  It has been three weeks since an update so what has happened?  To be frank not a huge amount.  I have been using up my annual leave and taken weekdays off but with Éowyn at school and boxes to unpack we haven’t done anything exciting apart from settling into our new home and getting the house ready for Christmas.

As quite often happens when you have been very busy and suddenly get some time off, the body waves a little white flag and all the bugs it has been fighting suddenly take their opportunity and you fall ill.  That is exactly what happened to me.  Nevertheless we are finally getting boxes emptied, furniture placed arranged and pictures hung.  There is still a lot to do but there has been progress and the Christmas tree can take pride of place in the lounge.

The time off has also given me time to write Christmas cards, go Christmas shopping (mainly, it has to be said, through the medium of the internet) and attend the girls’ Christmas plays.  The first was Éowyn’s.  In these days of political correctness gone mad, in order not to offend non-Christian religions the school is unable to put on the traditional nativity.  Absolutely nuts you have to agree.  Indeed, one of the mothers of the other children (who happens to be a Muslim) said that she is more offended that they don’t put on a Nativity play because they think that she would be offended.  Anyhow it is what it is and let us not get too distracted from the fact that the children and the teachers put a lot of hard work into the performance.

So, if it is not the Nativity what was the play?  It was based around the Nativity but the main protagonists were the stable boy and a talking shrew.  The stable boy was being advised by the talking shrew to ensure that the hay in the manager that the unnamed baby was to be lain in was soft so that the baby wouldn’t cry.  The usual suspects were there:  Shepherds, Angels, Wise Men and Cowboys (!).  Éowyn was a cowboy (cowgirl) and had a line to deliver ‘Joesph tried to find them a safe place to stay.‘  We were both very proud of her because she delivered her line with a real projection such that you could hear every word of her line and in addition, she also put some intonation into the line so that it wasn’t flat – way above her tender years.  Obviously we would say that.  The play was actually very good and all the children performed well, especially considering they were 4 and 5 year olds.  There were plenty of songs (none of which I knew) and they all sang well, it was actually thoroughly enjoyable.

The Christmas play also explained Éowyn’s Christmas song that she had composed.  I was putting them to bed one night when Éowyn said that she had written a Christmas song and would I like to hear it.  I thought this is a good idea, Slade apparently rake in £800,000 per year for Merry Xmas Everyone.  It is something that I have thought about myself, indeed I have written lyrics to a Christmas song, just need a musician to make it work and you never know.  So I sat in eager anticipation for Éowyn’s song.  It started off really well with stars and presents and snow but then deteriorated into cows in a field (not an animal traditionally associated with Christmas) pooing and there was poo everywhere, then the traditional hero of Christmas – no not him, or him, or them, or him, i am obviously talking about the stableboy who cleaned up all the poo and put it in the poo dustbin.  A few sleigh bells and maybe a glockenspiel solo and we may just have a hit on our hands.  There have been worse Christmas songs.

Amélie may not have written a Christmas song but she was in a Christmas production of her own. Amélie’s Christmas play was a week later and was the more traditional nativity story.  Amélie was an angel and was one of the few children to have a speaking part.  ‘They all bowed down before the baby Jesus‘ was the line she delivered with aplomb (for a three year old).  Again a lot of effort was put in by all the children (and the adults!) and the encore to the play was a toddler mosh to the song of 2013 (if you are three years old): What does the fox say?

We returned home (after a quick cup of tea and a mince pie around Nanny and Granddad’s) to decorate the Christmas tree.  A little later than usual but we wanted the house to be sorted before we decorated for the yuletide.  We are very happy with our new home but we probably need a few more now that we are in a bigger house.

Although happy with the how this year has turned out there was a slight disappointment that happened at the end of last month.  All year I had been looking forward to the arrival of a comet.  It was in this update that I was hoping to write about comet ISON, the heavily body that was going to be ‘the’ comet of our generation.  I was even hoping I could take a good photo of it and post it on the website.  Unfortunately comet ISON was a sungrazer and on the cusp of being big enough to survive the close encounter with our star.  As it approached the sun there was a day or so of confusion over whether it had been destroyed or simply lost its charge (earthing or more accurately sun-ing itself in the sun’s corona).  It became known as comet ISON, ISOFF, ISBACKON, ISDEFINITELYOFF.  There are still a couple of comets in the sky indeed the past few weeks have been an unusually active time for comet watchers as four comets were visible simultaneously with binoculars: ISON, Lovejoy, Encke, and LINEAR. So as the title of this post states (and the Christmas song lyric quiz for 2013 – award yourself 10 points if you have got it) a ray of hope flickered in the sky, unfortunately a tiny star did not light up way up high (not without binoculars anyhow).  However regardless of that a child was definitely born this year.

Ezra’s obviously a little young for a Christmas play but his time will come.  He is content with pulling himself up on his legs when there is something to grab hold of.  Then stretching those arms of his, Mr Tickle-like, until he can find the exact thing that you don’t want him to have.  Anything he can find that is smaller than his mouth will be chewed.  He is quick, too.  Put him on the floor and he will be exactly where you don’t want him to be before you have a chance to turn around.  He is still very well behaved though.  He only cries when he is hungry or needs a nappy changed.  He goes down at 1900 and will sleep through tip 0500 before his stomach wakes him up.  Then he will go down for a nap at 1000 for an hour or so. He still has his cute smile and when I come home from work, the one thing that can be guaranteed is a smile from Ezra.  What more does a dad need?

So with the Christmas tree up, the annual trip to the cinema to see the Hobbit done and presents bought, it only leaves the wrapping to do and the food to buy.  I will leave you a paltry set of photos and remind you that the annual Christmas message is due up on the website on the Northern hemisphere’s shortest day: 21st December.  There will also be a write up sometime between Christmas and New Year so stop by and for those of you that I will not see: Merry Christmas.

Peace and Love


PS.  I am not allowed to post any of the photos from Éowyn’s nativity but there are some of Amélie as an angel and some from our annual Christmas card photoshoot.