Sunday, 16 December 2012

Pre-Christmas Goings-on

Amidst pre-Christmas flurry and excitement (and laziness) I failed miserably to produce a blog item last week. For sure nobody noticed but, anyway, here's a seasonal mini-post before my next guest author arrives here tomorrow.
It is hard to find words to describe the sadness and revulsion that fills our hearts and minds after the massacre in Connecticut. That this human being, described as a ‘loner’, could perpetrate such an act upon innocent children is beyond understanding.
My last post was about how much we need people – or not. Christmas is a time when we get together with friends and family, but perhaps the ‘bah humbug’ brigade choose not to! Some people are sadly more alone than they would like to be – but there are ways and means to make contact with your community. I expect you have some festive fun planned.
In retirement, gone are the days of office conviviality, lunches with colleagues and oh-so jolly parties. It's time to make a bit of an effort.
This past week I have enjoyed a Mexican evening with the National Women’s Register (NWR), savouring Mexican food and learning about their lifestyle. Broadening our horizons, it made a change from the Christmas evening meeting when members take along traditional fare.
On another evening, my husband and I slipped into a carol concert in Camberley. I have just joined the U3A and would love to join a choir, although my voice is not what it once was! In fact, a squeaky gate could do better! My husband has never sung in a choir in his life but can hold a tune pretty well and, perhaps inspired by Gareth Malone, is quite keen. Choirs tend to be desperate for men, so I am hoping I can use him to help me secure a place on one of the already fully subscribed choirs run by the U3A! They were performing; so we went along to hear and see them. We are not religious, not church-goers, but it was a lovely evening when the Rotary Club speaker reminded us that the evening’s theme was ‘Hope’ – not hope for ourselves as much as for others.

We also had a niece’s birthday party, which involved a two-hour drive there and back in the dark on the M25; the travelling was not that much fun but worth it for a family gathering.
So, already I’ve been to Mexico, a carol concert, a party and - oh yes, a pantomime! Christmas is here all right! Having taken on a (vital, crucially important) role with Camberley Theatre, spreading posters, leaflets and encouraging noises to my local neighbourhood for 4 hours a week, I was the lucky recipient of two tickets for the Gala Night, no less, which meant meeting the stars of the show afterwards for drinks and food.

At the end of Peter Pan, small children were invited to take to the stage.  The first little boy was asked what he liked most about Christmas.  There was a long, dramatic pause as he reflected on the question; I guess most of us were expecting a response along the lines of ‘Presents!’ ‘Lots of sweets’, but no. The clear, unprompted reply was, ‘Being able to come out with all of my family’. The entire auditorium went ‘Aaaah’.  Scarcely a dry eye in the house.

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