December 5th, 2016


Nuisance Calls And How To Deal With Them

When people with English names and Indian accents ring me up and tell me they don't want to sell me anything but could they have my opinion on this that or the other (currently they all seem to want to know if 'm with Sky)) I tell them I have a policy of not answering questions over the phone and as often as not they hang up before I finish the spiel.

I try to be polite. I know they're doing a thankless job. I know they get shouted at a lot.

But when people ring up saying they're from Microsoft and there's a fault with my computer I tell them curtly that they're not and there isn't- and sometimes I take it a little bit further. I care less about their feelings because what they're doing is not merely annoying but downright crooked.


Last year we put our Christmas tree and its decorations up on the 1st of December; this year they haven't yet come out of their boxes. If I say I'm not feeling Christmassy I don't mean that I'm feeling miserable or Scroogeish, just not in the zone.

I think we've bought most of our presents. Ailz probably bought the first of them in the summer. She's very good at not letting Christmas sneak up on her.

Mike and Su gave Marlowe an advent calendar. You open a door every day and there's a helping of treats in festive flavours- like turkey and cranberry. He's very grateful.

My mother was watching Songs of Praise yesterday. They've already skipped ahead and are providing the punters with what they really, really want- which is Christmas carols. I'm sorry they've slighted the Advent season; I'd rather listen to Veni, Veni Emmanuel than almost all the schmaltz in the Christmas repertoire.

When I was a vicar I used to maintain that we paid for our Christmas by enduring the long supposedly penitential Advent season first. Not that I ever really found it penitential. Looking forward to our future liberation, what's so penitential about that?

Veni, veni, Emmanuel
Captivum solve Israel
Qui gemit in exilio
Privatus Dei Filio

Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel