25th December 2011

Xmas Day in the workhouse
The rain was snowing hard
A barefooted girl with shoes on
stood sitting in the yard
Xmas Day in France. Who'd have thought it.  No glitz, no sparkle - and I love it.  I know - bah humbug. What the Dickens is the matter with me?  But who exactly is buying all those presents back home?  Women of course, spending money they haven't got just because it's expected of them. And what's it all for?  There's no spiritual message in it. If there were, people would be giving charity to the homeless, the poor and the deserving - not loading up pampered members of their own families with commercial glitz and rubbish they don't really need. I liked the pictures of Wills and Kate visiting that homeless charity in London, with Wills doing an urban dance with that Afro-Caribbean girl. His mother would have been so proud of him.
Here in France it's traditional at this time of year to give etrennes - tips to tradespeople who give good service throughout the year.  Here, as in our last house, the local firemen came knocking on the door offering their seasonal calendar. I'm always happy to contribute to them, as they're quite literally life-saving and are generally volunteers.
Him indoors, Mr. Bah Humbug himself, has scotched all the above - he's too busy searching for the real Xmas spirit, the one labelled Johnnie Walker.

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