Happy Christmas! For yes it is still Christmas – 12 days of unremitting joy, remember!
It has been a Christmas to remember here at rainy Falkirk. First there was the cough to end all coughs. That’s the cough that sounds like a 60-a-day old man has moved into your chest. Of course, being ciggy-free these days it is rather annoying to have a smoker’s cough but I’m told this is normal. The cough then developed into a bit of a cold and sore throat and I spent one service at least sounding like a cross between Eartha Kitt and Marlene Dietrich. Not that I’m one to dwell on my illnesses, as you know dear reader, but it has all been rather traumatic accompanied as it was by dreadful fatigue. But we soldiered on. The show must go on and adrenaline is a great medicine.
Then there was the deliciousness of the church. Last year we were inspired to put some fairy lights on the rood screen, and jolly nice it was too. In fact, we sent a small boy climbing up it to fix them but don’t tell the Health & Safety Officer. This year we have had some lovely purple voile drapes around the window behind the altar. I thought it added something to the Advent ambience but not everyone agreed. Sometimes silence can say it all. I was going to replace them with gold and white drapes for a bit of drama at Christmas but my head server looked at me witheringly when I suggested it, and muttered something darkly. I took that as a “not over my dead body”. So instead I put some fairy lights round the window! And draped the inside of the altar with purple velvet and put some twinkly lights in there too so that it looked like a starry night in Bethlehem for the background of the crib scene. Gorgeous! It fair took the breath away. And there were some tears when my little flock saw it. (I think they were good tears.) I was just a little concerned that it had a hint of Las Vegas about it, but I think we got away with it. Flashing lights would have been a step too far. Even I know that! (Photo to follow)
The Christingle service was a great success with quite a few new visitors. (Hurrah for an up to date website!) The rubber duck nativity went down a treat and was probably the star of the show. They looked lovely bobbing around in the font but after a while we noticed that some of them began to tip over and looked like they were drowning which was not such a good look. The Virgin Mary Duck held out though and proudly floated upright till the end. Go girl!
The weather here in Falkirk has not been the best over the Christmas period. In fact it has been rather damp. This has led to water coming through into the utility room and flooding the floor. Really feel that this rectory should have come with a live-in plumber. I now have a hole in the ceiling and was told to do a raindance and watch what happens. Don’t you love 21st century plumbing techniques? However, it has proved that it is indeed rain water that is coming through and not burst pipes or leaky radiators. Cue the Roof Man. However, on a more interesting note we have discovered that there is a secret room in the Rectory. While outside looking at the roof and trying to figure out which bit was above the utility room we discovered an extra window with no corresponding room on the inside. So where is it? A lovely mystery to ponder. You may hear more of this, dear reader. What could possibly be in the secret room?
I have had an idea for next Christmas, which I think shows a stroke of genius. You know how the police have been handing out clip-on bells for old ladies’ purses so that they know if they are being pickpocketed? They do have a sort of sleigh bell sound about them. So I’m thinking we could get a group of them together and make some Christmas music. Jingle Bells obviously. Ding dong merrily on high. The list is endless.