Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating and here’s to a fabulous 2010. 2009 has been an exciting ride – made so much better by the people I’ve worked with this year.
Here’s the story I wrote to put into cards a couple of years ago, and below it links to a couple of different versions of my favourite Christmas song. (Sentimental in its own way, but with a different twist.)
The Mathom of Destiny
he Spear of Destiny was finally, irrevocably, lost because the Mahmouds’ battered lemon yellow Renault 2CV disappeared beneath the wheels of a lorry on the N10 just south of Bordeaux. Professor Mahmoud had come into possession of an ancient Roman spear some years before. He was unaware, and only lately suspecting, its true provenance.
When relatives finally embarked on dividing up the family spoils of the Mahmouds’ Evesham cottage, its warmth had dissipated and the ever-present emptiness had stagnated into loneliness. They were in brisk mode – sort, divide and discard.
The heavy iron point on which overdue water bills and credit card statements were impaled went unnoticed, as was the weathered wooden staff holding up the washing line between the azaleas and the chrysanthemums.
The spearhead, at least, survived – some lingering sense of value was enough to keep it from the council’s bin lorry, but never quite enough to give it a lasting home. For a few years, it surfed the swell of family relationships, moving each time Christmas or a birthday arose. Lives were somehow never overtly different, just more content in its wake.
But, eventually, it had passed through everyone’s hands at least once and it moved beyond the bounds of the Mahmoud family. Having moved to a small village in Bedfordshire, it now passes regularly around – the vicar, the postman, Mrs O’Grady, occasionally pausing in the charity shop.
The wooden staff, of course, was another story.