Sunday 20 December 2020

Cheerful Things

 As the Southeast of England wakes to find itself in the cheerless pre-Christmas wasteland of Tier 4, I remind myself that this blog is a 'hedonic resource', and look about me for reasons to be cheerful. 
  One presented itself last night when Bill Bailey, a far from svelte 55-year-old novice who had previously had no idea he could dance at all, emerged as the winner of Strictly Come Dancing. This was a triumph of both learning and teaching (Bill's mentor, Oti Mabuse, won last year too) and was a wonderful surprise: not long ago you could have got 66 to1 on Bill Bailey winning. 
  This morning was sunny and bright (after much rain) and I walked out to see how things were looking. They looked, I am happy to report, much as they have looked on any recent Sunday morning – a lot of traffic on the roads, the parks full of people mingling freely and enjoying themselves, a pretty relaxed life-goes-on atmosphere. Clearly the order to stay at home and only meet with a maximum of one person, outdoors, has not gained much traction round here. 
  Also, the redwings have arrived in numbers – always a cheering sight – so we might yet have some proper winter weather, which would be a good thing for the natural world, if not so great for us humans (though it might make it easier for us to huddle at home, in compliance with government orders). 
  Tier 4, as a far as I can make out, is pretty much identical to full lockdown, except that church worship is being allowed this time (subject to rigid hygiene precautions, distancing, etc.) – which is something. And, whatever the situation and the regulations, the one sure thing is that Christmas Day will come on the appointed date. Talking of which, here is a chorus from Bach's Christmas oratorio – a reason to be cheerful, if ever there was one. Enjoy!


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