Sunday 2 December 2007


Happy Advent, one and all - although 10, Regent Street remains sadly undecorated, it has warmed my heart to see electric snowflakes appear over the lampposts of Oxford, candles materialise in people's windows, and holly, wreathes, tinsel, miniature soldiers playing miniatures parcels as though they were drums - the whole Christmas bumpf. As a Christian, Christ is always going to be the most important and exciting part of Christmas, but I love the tack and the good cheer which goes alongside. Yesterday I experienced one of my favourite Christmas pasttime - watching a domestic cat around a Christmas tree for the first time. I remember Bundle's reaction every year, (Bundle being our cat, who was with us from 1993-2006) bewilderment as the humans brought a tree inside, gradual recollection that we did sometimes do that, sniffing around the tree, playing with a few low-lying decorations, then generally accepting the incident as one of the many irrational things humans will do, like not feed cats when they're hungry, and get cross when you sit in the lovely bed they've prepared for a cat just because it's called "clean laundry". What a long sentence that was!

So, how have I been spending my Advent? This evening I have baked, washed up, and mopped the floor. W
hy, you ask? I'm not auditioning for Househusband of the Year (nor, indeed, am I a husband) but rather preparing for the visitation of Our Vicar and Our Vicar's Wife tomorrow. Our Vicar hasn't seen my house yet, so I thought I'd give the illusion that we live in cleanliness and hygiene. Well, we manage the hygiene bit, anyway. I'm only one pair of hands and there are three other males in this house... Before you award me Son of the Century, never mind Year, I must confess -I accidentally double booked the parents' visit with my library Christmas dinner, and thus shall only be seeing them for 2.5 hours. Bad son. These were placatory measures, which hopefully will be noticed by at least one of my parents...

The next chunk of Advent will be spent in Reader Services - as I mentioned, I've finished in the Science section - so it's a case of impressing new colleagues as well as parents. Better get some sleep then. Oh, and I hope you like my advent calendar - it's on a little card, bought by Our Vicar's Wife. The advent calendar used to be something Granny always provided for us, and it's still nice to have one, even if the pictures behind each door get increasingly tenuous. Even the specifically Christian ones tend to lose inspiration after star, donkey, angel and plump for items like holly, pigeon, wheelbarrow which seemed to have been missed out of my New Testament...


  1. Just be thankful that there isn't a chocolate behind each door, Simon! I was never able to make even a tenuous link between chocolate and preparation.

  2. The phrase "library Christmas dinner" conjures up some very odd mental images...

  3. By the way, 'adventageous' - brilliant.

  4. i have the same advent calendar as you! and my nan bought it me too. i bought her one of the bodleian library calendars (admittedly not mega Christian) and it is the first one she has ever had in 70 years of advents!


  5. The cakes tasted as good as they looked. The kitchen floor was cleaner than mine! The time spent together flew past enjoyably and lunch the following day was fun too. Tell Santa you have been Good (and don't mention the height of your tbr pile!)


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