It’s the shortest, darkest day of the year today, and very cold and frosty. I’ve been meaning to write something here, but never seem to have had the time. Triumphs at work – I finally learnt how to use the laminating machine – have been offset by disasters – I locked myself in the staff loos and had to be rescued by Eric the handyman with a hammer. Clara fell off the porch roof – she gave a terrible cat shriek and I saw her tabby body plummet past the window – but it is indeed true that cats land on their feet and she was perfectly fine. And who else was on the porch roof? Yes, ’twas next-door’s black cat, Mister Puss’s nemesis in the ongoing Cat Wars which shake this neighbourhood and leave clumps of orange and black fur strewn across our garden. Did Clara fall, or was she pushed? She’s not saying, and Mister Puss is too busy washing his bum to investigate.
Nothing says Christmas like a novel about the possible end of days, so I am reading The Place of the Lion, a hypnotically bonkers novel by Charles Williams in which angels in the forms of Archetypes infiltrate the world, which cannot handle them. The cats are swinging on the Christmas tree, half my Christmas presents haven’t been delivered (and whoops, I forgot to order some others), the charming little Richmond Maids of Honour I baked for my students look leprous and have massive holes in them, my daughter is singing Christmas carols but replacing half the words with ‘poo’ which apparently is a hilarious thing to do; in other words, life here is much as usual and we are very lucky to have that. I hope that you are all similarly fortunate and my thoughts are with those who are not. I wish you all a very merry Christmas, full of peace and joy and Brussels sprouts. Keep away from the eggnog though, that’s vile stuff.