Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A very Happy Beautiful Christmas to you.

Time is very precious right now but I'm conscious of those out in blog land who like to see some news.

Last few weeks saw a combination of Christmas dinner at work, dinner with friends from Greenbelt, a lot of time spent on current bids I'm involved in, a trip to Santa's Ghetto in Oxford Street and too much time writing Christmas cards, and buying and wrapping presents.

Christmas has been the usual pattern for Helen and I. I went to my brother's, Peter & Kyoko, on Christmas Day morning where my parents turned up in time for lunch. Watched some fascinating video footage of some of the biggest explosions in Baghdad whilst my brother was there. He has a hi-tech studio at home for video and sound editing. Mark, who's job it is to send journalists and producers out at a moments notice to breaking news around the world popped in. Don't envy his job, having to tell somebody they've got to leave their family and go off to a place where people want to either blow you up or shoot you. Also cracked open the champagne - have to find occassions for champagne - this was the last of the bottles I won a few years back playing petanque with a first prize of a trip to the Laurent Perrier chateau in France. Back to Helen in the afternoon where we opened some of our presents. We take our time opening presents but main ones to date have been an IPOD Nano for Helen and a digital LCD picture frame for me. Then this evening it was time for turkey with all the trimmings - turned out to be an excellent meal. Afterwards a quick video chat on Skype to my Peter and Kyoko's house. No plans for rest of next week. Officially on holiday but I may decide to go in to work 1 or 2 days in the morning as very peaceful so a chance to get some work done.

Christmas is a time for family and friends, for food, reflection, and a special birthday. Not all will be enjoying Christmas though - in this country alone Christmas Day will be like any other, sleeping on a street corner, the remains of a thrown away burger instead of turkey, and the constant threat from close companions. Many years back now I spent a number of Christmas's working for Crisis as they tend to have their main shelter in South London (one year they had a shelter at the end of our road). You can end up working long hours, do some pretty awful jobs, be petrified of saying the wrong thing and start a fight - but at the end of it you just feel pleased to have been part of something that provides a glimmer of Christmas for many who have no hope or future. My favourite job was always controlling the dinner queue on Christmas day - several hundred souls getting a full Christmas Dinner and a comfortable bed for the night.

Remember those less fortunate tonight.

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