First, my apologies for not wishing you all a Happy New Year on the stroke of Midnight a few days ago. This was caused, in the main, by fallout from our recent misunderstandings about Christmas decorations. I had to become counsellor and confessor among my immediate flock, seeking, as Jesus would, to heal the wounds of disagreement. In the end, the young man with the wire in his ear sprayed our Nativity scene silver (Ford Mondeo “Shimmering Lake”, apparently) and everyone, including Mr Hassan, thought it looked most attractive although I myself have reservations about metallic cattle.
The Junior Choir carried all before it in a great musical swell of Christmas praise. Even after 14 renderings of Hark the Herald Angels, there were cries for more.
And now, of course, we are faced with all the hopes and fears of a New Year. I have had several suggestions for a theme for my forthcoming sermon. I note Mr Hassan’s. He is incensed at the recent failure of London Transport’s Oyster card which apparently enabled thousands of tube users to travel free. In point of fact, Mr Hassan does not travel by tube or bus, being a Palace resident, but feels very strongly that, and I quote, “If all that lot get something for nothing, why can’t I?” There IS a theme there somewhere, but I have yet to grasp it.
Closer to home, my lady wife is opposed to me using reference to the English cricket team’s recent, glorious match victory over South Africa. She pointed out that there are another three Tests still to play and went on to observe that our cricketers are past masters of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Therein, another theme looms. I shall think on it.
And of course now, as I write, days of hope come to an end and our doughty cricketers have emerged victorious. Thanks be, thanks be indeed!