‘He totally formed my way of thinking of what happiness was about. He taught me a rhythm of living – the central fireplace was painting and everything else was around it. Everything went back to painting. You got up, ate, flirted, loved and enjoyed and painted. It was very peaceful…’You can substitute your chief passion for the painting, if need be, but I think this is a good outlook to have on life. Of course, Duncan’s only severe failure in life may be the parental responsibility he owed to his daughter – out of nothing but embarrassment, it seems – and because of that we should remember to, at the very least, gather other people from the fireplace when we can. If Christmas is your festival, it’s probably a good time for that. Find some time somewhere though.
This is beginning to sound like Jeanette Winterson’s column…
If you still need to get into the Christmas spirit, I have found this round by John Tavener very useful. Or just go with Paul McCartney – whatever does it for you.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Christmas with the Campbells goes this year. It’s always different - and the same - in unexpected ways. I’m still engrossed in the best Brenda novel so far, but I’m taking a heap of books back with me. I made the equivalent of a drunken trolley dash round Dulwich Library yesterday, after me and my Dad’s traditional festive pub crawl. Of these I will undoubtedly manage exactly one half, but you have to dream, don’t you? Curl up in that cave of Christmastime and restore your spirits.
Have a merry winterval, and here’s a Spotify playlist if you have any use for it – some nice Christmas music, and some of my favourite songs of this year (most of which weren’t released this year at all, I’m afraid).