I bought a cow-bell as a Xmas decoration recently. It seemed fitting somehow for the times we live in. The bell calling the bovines in, peacefully they follow along. There have been no other Xmas baubles that have as yet attracted me. It was in an OxFam book shop that was selling the bells this year.

Christians are being called upon again to celebrate their mythology. Is it a sign of age and enlightenment to realize it is mythology? When is something new to arise to bridge the gap between paganism and Christianity? The commercial world benefits the most, somehow they should be able to come up with something from the ancient world to connect it all gradually ceding the mythology to the mists of time. The carols: “Good King Wenceslas makes it through but “O Little Town of Bethlehem“? and save us from “Joy To The World“.

Have I become jaded by time? Is that what cognizance of reality means? The concept of sending Xmas cards is a good one. People keep in touch, if only yearly. A human touch. Someone has got their pen ready, written, sealed, stamped and gone to a post office. A truly human endeavour. Whether the cards are received is another matter in our New World Order. The British post has truly taken to sorting mail with a vengeance. The fact that something is ‘in the post’ does no longer mean that it will arrive. So perhaps the passing of real Xmas cards was inevitable.

One of my pleasures in advanced years is frequenting the charity shops. There is always the possibility of finding a little French porcelain cup for 50 pence. The shops are full for Xmas of old clothes and old treasures and often an unused candle to be found. Aside from contributing to a higher cause there are the other shoppers to observe. All ages, nationalities and stations of life are here. You can’t really go by clothes anymore except to judge style and taste because of what is available. So it is the conversations that reveal the most.

Although my obstetrical and gynecological work was over 50 years ago my ears prick up at certain familiar words, as not much has really changed in the decades. The small shops are overheated and the ladies are fanning themselves, obviously uncomfortable and I keep hearing the same problem over and over. 2014 and still ‘hot flushes’? Ah yes, this puritanical, misogynist, anglo-saxon male world that women still live under must still burden themselves with what is ‘natural’. What a waste of freedom. French women smoke and have HRT. They appear to look rather good on it judging by the press of late. M. Hollande has a bevy of them and I doubt they know what a hot flush is. So why do the English trying on their ‘new frocks’ for Xmas have to suffer like some medieval female of 500 years ago? I am aware that we are to die as quickly as possible and not make a nuisance of ourselves on the way but do we not make a contribution rather considerable when taken as a whole. Am I alone when I feel sick inside seeing some elderly crone struggling to get off a bus (God forbid that the driver should lower the step) with her head bowed into her chest because of osteoporosis. Obviously no HRT was ever offered to her to prevent this happening.

Interesting at what crops up as the bells ring for Xmas to herald this mythical birth. Someone said recently why has there never been a piece of furniture found from our carpenter God? The best anyone has come up with is a false shroud a few hundred years old. Did he not even make his Mother a napkin ring which she would surely have kept for posterity? O Come All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant. Triumphing over what?

Two books I have been reading recently, a librarian with imagination placed side by side on a display shelf; Silent Night by Stanley Weintraub and Kristallnacht by Mitchell G. Bard. The former about the mixing of Germans, French, British and Irish on Xmas Eve 1914 sharing festivities and not killing. (I have mentioned this before as my Irish grandfather, Thomas Pounder Finnigan, was one of the soldiers who partook in these festivities sharing his Porter cake that my grandmother had baked and sent with a bottle of port to her husband in the trenches) Kristallnacht I know about because my first husband, Dr. Ernst Blumberg had rescued all his family from Berlin just before this event occurred. I find it curious of how the war went on for so long after an event like 1914 Xmas Eve and progressed to November 9/10 1938?? And now here we are in 2014, “O Little Town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie.” It’s all a God awful mess and I keep feeling it’s got something to do with the creepy old men who still today don’t want women on HRT. Think about it as the bells ring. It may not be as crazy as it sounds. Many men are fabulous creatures but I really wonder about the old fart brigade. The guys in long black dresses, the ones who worship triangles and a few others; perhaps some golfers.

As a pre Xmas treat I shall think of the cows as they placidly wend their way to the stable, their bells ringing and I will enjoy a bit of French Brie, some Cashel blue and will purchase two Yellow Door Xmas puddings. One for December and one for January.