Hullo, Justin here...
I write now that the clocks have decreed that our daylight hours shall be shorter and minds turn towards the delights and challenges of Winter. For my next sermon, I had in mind the immortal words of Monsignor GuntherTeaspoon, writer, Esperanto poet, philosopher and 1934 World Vatican Yo-Yo champion. He said, "Though I feel a bit chilly, I must remember the chillier". Wise words indeed.
However, my musings have been interrupted somewhat by what I shall call a vigorous debate about Palace Christmas arrangements which has broken out between my lady wife – aided and abetted by the young man with the wire in his ear, Mrs Wellbeloved, our head cleaner and part-time cook, Mr Alberto Hassan, one of my 27 ethnic advisers, and the sadly ailing Harold Crumbling, the Palace’s longest serving handyman. Most of these good people have in years gone by been responsible for creating Palace Christmas decorations.
It seems that for decades - well before my time in fact, the Palace has favoured what could be called a traditional theme in Christmas decorations. Indeed, last year’s Nativity scene and array of bells, candles and cotton wool snow seemed to bear witness to this being the way to go again this year. Not so – and hearing raised voices in the Lower Kitchen, I entered and found myself in the middle of a fierce argument, fragments of which I report here.
My lady wife; “The cattle are lowing, the baby awoke. Its there, in the words of the carol for goodness sake!”
Young man with the wire in his ear; “Can’t argue with that, matey”
Mr Hassan: “Oh yes I can. It’s a typical white, middle class, Christian, Dickensian load of hokum!”
At this point I intervened to point out that Christmas is, in fact, a Christian festival. And was told to shut up and put the kettle on. Meanwhile, Mrs Wellbeloved and Mr Crumbling stridently suggested that the inhabitants of our Nativity diorama were past their best. Said Mr Crumbling; “The cow needs repainting and Joseph’s got no nose. AND I’m gettin’ too old to be lugging all that stuff about with my back.”
My lady wife seemed close to tears saying, “But it's traditional. Its what Christmas is all about!” As I sought to intervene once more, Mr Hassan banged the table and shouted, “Traditional for who, exactly? What about all the Jews and Arabs, Rastafarians, Druids, Hindus, Muslims and Inuits? What about them, eh?” This time, I did make myself heard. “But God loves everyone”, I said. At that point, Mr Hassan actually threw one of Mrs Wellbeloved’s notorious rock buns at me.
The young man with the wire in his ear swiftly bundled me from the room.