Today saw a first (at least for the best part of three years) when I went down to St Marks for the ‘Journey to Bethlehem’, a service of carols, both traditional and contemporary, interspersed with dramatic readings and, the involvement of many children and young people as the Christmas story was re-enacted. James Bond and ‘M’ played a part in the proceedings, having heard rumours of a pretender to Herod’s throne.
The first was my actually being able to attend a service, something that had seemed an improbable occurrence even at the beginning of this year. Perhaps I really am on the mend! We found a seat in the narthex, close to a monitor relaying the proceedings from the main body of the church, from whence it would have been convenient to make a surreptitious exit, had I been unable to cope for the duration. I was unable to stand for all of the singing, bobbing up and down proves rather fatiguing, but otherwise it proved a very enjoyable experience.
[Warning: this paragraph should not be read by my vegetarian friends].Yesterday, I prepared a gammon joint, boiled first in a pan to which I’d added a halved onion, mixed spice and garlic. After boiling, I removed the rind, inserted a few cloves and glazed it with honey and mustard before a final roasting. A couple of slices, served at lunchtime today seemed to melt in the mouth. This evening, I prepared a capon for roasting, inserting garlic and chilli imbued butter beneath the skin. I must remember to open the foil, in an hour’s time, to brown the chicken during the final twenty minutes of roasting time. The aromas, percolating out from the oven, are proving quite mouth-watering!
[My vegetarian friends may resume their reading here]. My beloved ventured out this evening to the Service of nine lessons and carols at St Wilfrid’s where her sister is a choir member but, I’m afraid that would have proved too much of an endurance test for me. “One step at a time”, as the saying goes!
My elder step-daughter, Beth, together with her partner Mahmood and his brother will be joining us for Christmas Day so, I’m trusting that my freshly re-discovered stamina will carry me through. I look forward to the day with a degree of excitement but, I’ll have to be careful that I don’t overstretch myself.
This is the day the Lord has made and, I rejoice and am glad in it.