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Archive for December, 2010

Glories Stream From Heaven Afar

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Dear Rachel

I love Christmas carols, and so was enchanted at hearing them played slightly too slowly by twenty eight year olds with violins at Greenwich market yesterday.  My stall was facing away from the awful noise, and at first I assumed that glory to the new born King and the subsequent reconciling of God and sinners was being heralded by the erratic pumping of bellows to which kazoos had been attached.   There was, of course, the usual adaptation of lyrics to suit the occasion – the occasion being the bullying of Keith – hence good king Wenceslas, looking out across frost deep and crisp and even, was not moved when ‘a poor man came in sight / Gathering winter fuuu-eeel‘ but ‘when old Keefy was observed / A-playing with his tooooo-el‘.   I was particularly pleased with ‘a-playing’, which I felt lent a contemporary and authentic feel.   Having read that paragraph back, I’d like to clarify that it was twenty members of a primary school orchestra, not a bunch of wandering twenty eight year old carol butchers.

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A Frame Of Useless Limbs

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Dear Rachel,

I find it’s best not to think about the things you are idly scratching off the ceiling of Northern Line tube carriages with your thumbnail as you travel southbound through the City.  Last week, however, I was scratching in this manner, vaguely aware that the substance I was idly flaking had very probably been in someone at some point in the recent past, and contemplating how a lady sitting nearby had managed to get her tights on while only having one arm.   The inoperative arm was still attached and there and everything, but in a sling, so I suppose she had a fighting chance, but it must still have been a bit tricky unless she had a husband to help.   I wondered what she would’ve done if she had hurt her arm halfway through putting her tights on, and whether in that situation you would either try and get them fully on or fully off before the ambulance arrived.  I like to think I would damn the torpedoes and finish the job, but I suppose I’ll never know for sure.

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