Friday 24 December 2010

Christmas Greetings from Streonaeshalch

Snow lies over the town and surrounding fields, and the various footpaths and cart tracks display evidence of past traffic. The North Sea is still unaffected by the cold, and the tides continue their rhythm undaunted. Frost has provided the snow with a crunchy crust; for the first time for many years we're faced with the prospect of a white Christmas.

Of course, Christmas is a normal working day here in Northumbria; the feast is observed by the faithful, who at the close of the day attend the services and masses celebrated by the monks in the Abbey on the cliff top.

The Witangemot is refreshingly silent; the politicians have returned to their sumptuous homes in their own parishes to engage in the customary drunken debauchery expected of the godless and unprincipled.

Beeby See and the other soothsayers chunter on relentlessly about nothing, recycling things they've already told us ad nauseam; the working men wind up at the mead parlours and alehouses to drink away the cares and preoccupations of the season. Some of them are hideously sick afterwards. It's not pretty.

 The Vikings keep themselves to themselves - apart from the occasional bearded ranter (aided and abetted by the wealthy éminences grises who control the Witangemot and the soothsayers, no doubt) who attempts to placard to the Christian Saxon world that Christmas is evil. Whatever.

Against this backdrop I would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a wæs hæil.


Caedmon writes:

Hello. My poor cat is exhausted after a great deal of activity, and he has fallen asleep by the fireside. Not merely content to catch birds and small rodents, he also has this insatiable curiosity about the structures of human society and the vainglory that accompanies it. He has some wild and silly ideas at times; I do hope he hasn't been troubling you with his forthright opinions. Ever since he was a kitten he has been rather eccentric - but he's a great - if not rather loquacious companion. Nevertheless, he has a good command of holy doctrine; he has been catechised and holds to the orthodox Christian faith of the holy catholic church. I just wish he wasn't so enamoured by the fripperies of popular culture..

Well, I must attend to my herds, which need to be fed and watered - and thereafter to the services of the Abbey. God bless you all, and a very Happy Christmas - and many blessings for the Feast of the Blessed St Stephen.


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