Sunday, 16 December 2018


These final verses of a beautiful poem by John Betjeman say all that I feel about Christmas. Whether you agree or not, I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and (especially the writers among you) an inspirational and successful new year.

 And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?

And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare -
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

(Apologies to Graham, who kindly replied to a line of this poem which escaped and made a post all on its own.)


  1. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, too, Frances! Only a week to go - still things to do, but nothing stressful, so that I can fully enjoy this time of year. I hope it is the same for you.

    1. Thank you, Meike. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

  2. Merry Christmas. Have a really good time.

    1. You too, Adrian. Where will you be?

    2. Horsing. The devils don't feed, muck out and exercise themselves. I like them for all that.
      I'm going to master the lunging job. I'm up to a lap and a half with Rambo before he wanders over for a chat.

  3. More in hope than conviction?

    But most of us turn slow to see
    The figure hanging on a tree
    And stumble on and blindly grope
    Upheld by intermittent hope,
    God grant before we die we all
    May see the light as did St. Paul.

    1. A bit of both, Graham. That’s lovely. Who wrote it?

    2. Betjeman, of course. I should have known!