I have been rather absent from the keyboard recently I admit. Birthday and Christmas festivities have been taking over a wee bit. But while I have a break from the Quality Street (much needed) and present wrapping – let’s catch up a little.
I have completed my first term as a Masters student and let me tell you now – one should not enter upon such an adventure lightly! It’s hard work old chap. However, I have met some brilliant, talented and lovely people during the first few months of my London adventure and it’s been a fabulous roller coaster. Getting to know people from all over the world – France, Kuwait, China, Canada, Bulgaria, Spain – and catching up with old friends in the capital has been brilliant. I am also getting poor. The £10 price tag for a Cosmo will be the death of my piggy bank.
I’ve met editors, been to the BBC, to Sky, written some great pieces and some not so great pieces, been to the Tower of London, strolled around Hampton Court, been to the theatre, watched a Ballet, tried enchiladas, lived by myself, tried to rescue a swan, started a blog, sussed out London commuter hell, ‘got into’ Gin, worked out how to use twitter and laughed until tears came on a merry – go -round. It’s been pretty great.
I can’t help but relate my life right now to eating a bar of that new Cadbury’s chocolate, you know, the one with the popping candy? It’s full of random surprises, exciting crackles along with odd moments of disappointment when your bite doesn’t crackle … but that’s life. Also, like the experience of eating my new favourite chocolate bar, the whole thing is going way too fast.
Having just turned 23 and become an official member of a strata who quite enjoy having Classic Fm on in the background of a lazy Sunday (Who am I?!)… the concept of getting older is intriguing me. They, whoever they are, say time goes faster as you climb the fun-filled ladder of age and wisdom. And they are right. Now, more than ever I want to soak up every day moments, just embrace the here, the now. Because before long I will be moving on for good and embarking on my own life as an ‘independent adult’ – wowza! I also have come to realise that age is just a number. For example, if you fancy wearing a sparkly mini dress at 40, do it darling! Just do it with style or swag, whichever floats your boat. If you want to listen to a bit of Mozart followed by a bit of Beyonce – go for it ! It’s all about mixing it up, having fun and not feeling bound by a typecast or number.
I just returned home for the holidays and I catch myself appreciating everything even more now than I did when I was a teenager. The decorating of the tree, the making of mince pies, catching up with old friends, my mum’s panic buying of Brandy Butter and cocktail sausages, the annual replaying of cheesy Tim Allen Christmas films, nights with a liiiiitle too much Baileys – these are the moments that make Christmas special.
I’ll let you in on a secret, I actually believed in Santa for a long time! To go all stilton on you, the thing about Christmas is that it’s about the magic. Sorry cynics! Who cares what is ‘real’ (Lacan and Zizek would agree). It can’t be defined as an objective truth. OK, if you start looking out for Santa’s sleigh at age 56, there may be some concerns. But you know what I mean. Embrace the magic.
In light of this, I want to show you a letter writer by an eight-year-old girl called Virginia O’Hanlon. She wrote the letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial in 1897.
It has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps. Have a read…
“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?”
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.
“VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
Happy Christmas Everyone and Be Free to believe in what you want at Christmas time and the rest of the time too! J xx