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China Girl blog 18th December 2019

The months seem to have blown away, like petals on the wind.

With the feast of Christmas but a few days away, the sound of carols can be heard up and down our valley. Carols are not just glorifying Christmas, but often political, with hidden messages. “Oh come all ye faithful” has hidden meanings; it is a Jacobite birth ode to Bonnie Prince Charlie. Some claim the secret political code was decipherable by the “Faithful” (the Jacobites) with Bethlehem a common Jacobilte cipher for England and King of the Angels, as pun on angels/angles – Anglo Saxon. This was at a time when the monarchy was Hanoverian (German).

Mother’s favourite is “The twelve days of Christmas.” Thought by some to be French in origin, published first in 1780 and intended for children to help with their memory when learning the catechism. If they made a mistake, a penalty had to be paid, a kiss or a confection. Some believe it to be a song written as an act of rebellion, created centuries ago when Catholicism was outlawed. Each verse is a reference to religious beliefs, sung as a carol it could be performed in public without persecution. “True love” refers to God, “A partridge in a pear tree” is code for Jesus dying on the wooden cross.

On Saturday, Mother and her number two son Mathew went to Bath. They enjoyed wandering around the Christmas market and listening to the carols in the glorious abbey, where Mother’s uncle had been Bishop. Mother reminded Mathew that when the Bishop christened him, he was two years old. A time of the “Terrible twos,” he refused to sit on her lap, spending most of the service under a pew!

Not much progress in the garden, save endless raking and tidying up the ravishes of autumn.

What an amazing result the election was on Thursday! Let’s hope our beloved land will now settle down to prosperity in the spirit of what our country voted for  (although Jan and I agree to differ on politics!)

A very Merry Christmas to one and all.