Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Revisiting Christmas Way Back When

I find that as I get older I find it far more difficult to get into the Christmas spirit. Not because I am at all Scrooge-like, before you get the wrong idea, but more because I suppose I'd quite like Christmases to be exactly how I remember them as a child. Not going to happen, is it?!

I've just got back from a Christingle service at our local village church at Ashdon, near Saffron Walden. It brought back a lot of childhood memories, even though such services didn't exist way back when. There was quite a feudal set-up, with the Vestey family, who own most of the local land always sitting right at the front. Our family also used to sit in the same seats (much further back!) and I was irrationally disappointed to find they were already taken when we arrived today.

The local church doesn't have a full time vicar any longer. Today's could have been in Dad's Army. His eyebrows were bushier than Denis Healey's and I imagined that at any minute he might shout out "Don't panic, Mr Mainwaring!"

I have rarely seen the church so packed. There were around 200 in the congregation, which in a village of around 800 is quite a lot. There were lots of 'yummy mummies' with their kids, who all took part in the service.

As you may have gathered from previous posts, I am not at all religious, but I do love all the Christmas traditions and rituals. Call me a hypocrite if you like, I don't really give a monkey's!

Sitting here with my parents, by the fire, I'm taken back to Sunday afternoons in the early 1970s when we'd play a card game called Spite 'n' Venom then watch Catweazle, the Clangers and the Golden Shot, followed later on by The Brothers. That's if there wasn't a power cut, which there often was.

Those were the days.


DespairingLiberal said...

I cannot believe that you as a rightwing Thatcherite Toryboy attended the local functions you describe in your posting Iain. I demand "before and after" photographic proof!

Daily Referendum said...

Kendo Nagasaki was my favourite - Merry Christmas to one and all!

King Athelstan said...

Iain Dale, right wing Thatcherite Toryboy? Oh puh-leease! Merry Christmas.

DespairingLiberal said...

Athelstan Sire - if I may be so bold my Lord - Monsieur Dale often poses as some sort of reconstructed New Tory, Gay credentials and all. But if you study this blog for some years, as have I, you will come to understand that he is very much of the Thatcher Essex Boot Boy mold, despite appearances to the contrary.

Similar things can be observed in the Bullingdons - I strongly suspect that a Cameron/Osborne government, like GW Bush, would pose as compassionate Conservative whilst treating us to the most extreme right policies since the 30s.

So very difficult to choose now between the Stasi policies of NuLab and the veiled threat of Cameron-Johnson-Bullingdonianism!

JPT said...

Catweazle, The Golden Shot and The Brothers 'those were the days'.
Oh dear...

PaulD said...

As one who lives in Ashdon (well, near), I'm delighted you enjoyed it. Oh for that childhood magic, which fades as we get older.

The Left continues to spit at everything the Vesteys represent but it shows how little they understand of country ways. It all works rather well.

yellowbelly said...

Daily Referendum said...
Kendo Nagasaki was my favourite - Merry Christmas to one and all!

December 24, 2008 7:13 PM


Me too, but I could never eat a whole one!

Twig said...

I bought Catweazle series 1 & 2 on DVD for the kids, and they love it. Why can't the TV companies produce stuff like that any more.

The BBC soak us for £3.6 billion per year and what do we get over Christmas ? "The Two Ronnies 1997 Christmas Special", and although it is probably better than anything they could produce today, the fact is we already paid for it in 1997.

Shame they didn't do an hour long "Outnumbered" special.