And tonight I was watching a super documentary with the Unthanks on BBC4, having walked back home from visiting my friend Deborah and her magical Christmas grotto... little does she know that her snow is actually quilting batting and I have my eye on it... if I can remove the glitter! Part of the walk back is past St Clement's church in Leigh-on-sea where they were holding a Carol service which so took me back... way back.
I went back to Mrs Pickering's class in 1963, where the auditions were held for the Nativity... where I played... second shepherd, yes I started with ambitions for the Virgin Mary... I mean I had the hair, albeit tied up in plaits but no, it was not to be. However I quickly realised the louder you said it, then you were in! Does anyone remember how the sound barrier was actually broken in 1963 by a five year old screeching at the Heavenly Host,"Where have they laid the baby wrapped in swaaaaaaaaadling clothes?" Concorde, pah!
And then there was the action carol... The Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School version of the Rocking Carol...close your eyes and join me... grab your elbows and sing, whilst violently rocking the poor child from side to side... and I swear this group have something approaching our chutzpah
Scroll on a couple of years, The Virginian was a big programme every Friday night, the John Wayne film was the highlight of the Christmas season and then Mr Cracknell found it... The Cowboy Carol. What you mean you did not know about the cowboys coming to the Nativity, harrumph... where were you? We had Mrs Read on the piano, who swore she had eyes in the back on her head, but I did not realise until many years later that the highly polished upright she played might just have given her an unfair advantage...