Saturday, December 23, 2023

Hope and magic

Well friends, I finished the painting. It’s not perfect, and there may be some tweaking, but it’s 95% done.

How are you doing this week? This morning?

Are you managing to keep your spirits up despite the gloom? I hope so.

It’s been a tough gig since October 7th for me, but I’m OK as I begin to write this at 6.19 am. I have just read Jonathan Freedland’s piece in the Guardian - the only piece besides the headlines -  and I think I’m going to leave it at that, because it left me with hope.

Dave and I had a discussion the other night about Christmas. What was it about? he asked, baffled. Why did I like it? 

I like: 

the magic

the tree coming in, in the middle of a dark season. I like decorating it and remembering where each decoration came from - my sister Jen gave me the Angel

Zoë gave me the joy star, and the peace star, Mary gave me the sun, Liz gave me the dove, Het gave me the heart, Wendy gave me the purple beaded star.

I like:

every evening seeing the tree in the corner of the room, sparkling 

the memories of Christmases when I was a child. I like thinking about my mother and father, and all the sibs being at home for Christmas

wrapping presents

cooking on my own in the kitchen on Christmas Eve while listening to the Carols from Kings College on the radio

the T S Eliot poem The Journey of the Magi, the first verse of which is

and the Wendy Cope poem The Christmas Life with its lines 

“Bring in your memories of Christmas past

Bring in your tears for all that you have lost”


“Bring in the hope, of birth and love and light.

Bring the Christmas life into this house.”

I like the Christmas story itself, not because I think it’s true but because it’s full of magic, and I like the central message of hope. What brings more joy than a new baby, full of promise? 

And this year I thought about the angels. Wouldn’t it be amazing to go out at night and see angels in the sky, singing? Can you imagine it? Yes, it sounds bonkers, and I don’t believe it happened but wouldn’t it be amazing to see it? 

It’s an ON Christmas at Hepworth Towers this year, so our children and grandchildren who live in Sheffield are coming over for the day, which means everyone will be here except the Colorado family.

And there’ll be a high chair at the end of the table with MsX in it.

My Christmas message this year is an old one I am returning to. Oddly (or perhaps not) one of the times I quoted it on the blog was in January 2010, during another cruel onslaught on Gaza.

Here it is…

“It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”

Happy Christmas, dear friends.


Anonymous said...

That's a good Christmas message.
Happy Christmas to you and your family. Sally 🎄 🌟 ☃️

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Sally, and Happy Christmas to you and yours. xx

marmee said...

Yes! A good message! I have been listening to christmas music of all kinds for some weeks now and it has lifted my heart and reminded me of that magic. Thanks sue and christmas wishes to you from likeminded folks in the most southern bit of Africa!

Sue Hepworth said...

Happy Christmas, Marmee! xx

Lina said...

Sue, Thank you for the message of joy, hope and light in the darkness

Sue Hepworth said...

Happy Christmas Lina! xx

Anonymous said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Happy Christmas, Sue.

Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas Sue and family , it’s a beautiful sunny Boxing Day morning here - hope it is for you too. Hope too that good memories were made yesterday as we did. It all came together which I am very thankful that I had the energy for. We had 8 for Christmas dinner, all affable and companionable except our Autistic teen for whom the excitement in the run up, led to him falling asleep all afternoon, which was the lead disruptive outcome so all was fine. More and more re- usable wrapping, is good but has to be stored until next year.

Love to all


Sue Hepworth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue Hepworth said...

I messed up my last comment which is why I deleted it.

Happy Christmas Anonymous and Jenetta. xx

The resident Aspie spent time in the shed, his study and washing up and individual members of the family sought him out for conversation one to one. He survived, naturellement.