Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

What I Did Over Christmas (Insofar As I Remember)

It took us eight hours to drive back from Kent when it normally takes us four. There had been accidents, there were roadworks. We kept ourselves cheerful by listening to chat shows and parlour games on Radio 4.

Christmas was nice. On Christmas morning my mother and Ailz went to the early morning service at Brenchley and I went along  to make sure neither of them slipped on icy flagstones. I didn't go into the service; I don't do religion on a casual basis; I'm either in or I'm out- and currently I'm out.  Instead I walked round the churchyard taking photos. When Ailz and my mother emerged they were grumbling about the vicar- who had gruffed his way through the service and then handed out  photocopies of a bad-tempered, rightwing article by Charles Moore- complaining about the Human Rights Act- as his contribution to the seasonal jollity.
We were at Jenny's for lunch. There was turkey and Christmas pudding. The Gruffalo was fun - but you don't improve these folktale-like narratives by adding cuteness and slapstick, you dilute them.  

I forget what we did Boxing Day. At some stage I watched Pirates of the Caribbean part III- which I liked better than its fore-runners.

On the day after Boxing Day I distinguished myself by being insufferably rude to a 90 year old woman who was patronising me- flouncing out the room and slamming my bedroom door like a fifteen year old.  Fortunately she barely noticed that I'd gone and continued to patronise me when I reappeared. I don't know what came over me; I'm not given to extravagant displays of pique; but perhaps that's exactly the problem- and I keep myself too much under control.  Ailz comforts me by pointing out that my father (RIP) couldn't stand the woman either.  

I watched An Englishman in New York last night. Quentin Crisp was a great soul and John Hurt, who first played him 30 years ago in The Naked Civil Servant- thereby launching Crisp himself as an international celebrity- now delivers his epitaph. Hurt is a fine actor, who has done lots of fine work- but this is the role for which he'll be remembered.

There's no snow left down south, but there's still plenty of it here. The pavement outside our house is all hummocky ice and I had to lay down the roll of coconut matting- which we carry with us in the car- to get Ailz safely across it.

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