Here we have snow and ice and temperatures below freezing. Ailz has a cold. Only it may not be a cold as much as an allergic reaction to all the dust.
Howard Goodall delivered a short history of the Christmas carol on TV last night. I already knew most of what he told us. One thing I didn't know was that in the early 19th century carols were seen as a bit too jolly for use in worship and the only one that was permitted to be sung in Anglican churches was "While Shepherds Watched"- which the higher powers let through on account of it sticking so close to scripture. Of course a lot of parish churches simply thumbed their noses at the ruling. "While Shepherds Watched" is one of my least favourite carols- especially when it's sung to the tune of "Ilkla Moor Baht 'At", because then it goes on forever. I like my carols pre-modern. The programme contains a complete and charming version of The Coventry Carol, sung by Bella Hardy.
Talking about Christmas carols, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has a good article this morning in which she wishes our "big" writers would skewer our heartless millionaire rulers the way Dickens skewered their equivalents a century and a half ago.
I've decided, in the course of writing this post, that I need to put the Christmas tree up. I wasn't going to bother because of the state of the house, but thinking about carols and Dickens has shamed me. I don't want to spend the season being glum.