Durham Cathedral Carol Service – snow stopped singing!

In the deep mid winter

I was all geared up for the NHS Christmas Carol Service at Durham Cathedral last night. Our ancient cathedral is a world heritage site and is one of the most beautiful cathedrals on the planet. So I was quite looking forward to my performance debut there. I was due to read a poem to the gathered throng entitled ‘Advent Calendar’ by Rowan Williams. His name seemed sort of familiar and it later transpired he is the Archbishop of Canterbury. OK. It’s quite a lovely poem actually – I’ve copied it below if you want to read it. But then what happened? WEATHER. Weather happened and we in Britain cannot cope with any form of weather extreme even though:

A) We get it every year. 
B) We talk about it constantly and 
C) We are told Ad Infinitum that it is all getting more bizarre due to global warming
The first north east blizzards of winter 2012 arrived yesterday afternoon and the gritters were not anywhere to seen, surprise, surprise out gritting! (Maybe they were at their Christmas gritter’s party) Traffic soon ground to a slippery, slidey halt on all our major routes as the side roads became ice rinks and the little skid icon flashed on my car dashboard in an alarming and rather unecessary manner. Now, I realise that some people (like certain folk who now live in Canada – see the Dear England Love Canada blog by Anne Kostalas) may say that we are utterly pathetic in these situations and that other countries get much worse winter weather than we do and manage to deal with it without such a ridiculous fuss. I know they use ingenious methods like under heated roads and overnight snow blowers, but this is England. We are never quite sure what weather is going to turn up when, so we can’t really put snow chains on our tyres because we might only need them for half an hour. Despite being the country which gave birth to Baden Powell’s Scout movement, we never seem to be prepared. There could never be a Scout badge for winter preparedness, because no one would achieve it! I couldn’t get to Durham Cathedral in the end and, although a few hardy souls did turn up apparently, there was a fraction of the numbers that had been expected at the service. Luckily we know that God will understand. Awesome Alnwick Castle
On the first day of Christmas…

Wednesday white out

Didn’t really happen


NOT Read by Elaine Wilson
 Advent Calendar by Rowan Williams
He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.