Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Writing in the New Year

I started to write something about writing projects for next year. I hadn't been inspired to do much. I hadn't heard of any exciting incidents that I wanted to record. I only thought of writing a nativity play for next year which would be more suited to All Saints sunday School. One in which this year's animal masks could be used, but which would have a simpler message, more action and minimal dialogue. It should also have more scope for the introduction of carols, particularly the carols everybody knows.  I think I should consult with Eleanor Ely, and the other teachers. I am used to writing plays to fit the cast available. This is the nature of Church plays. The playwright needs to be willing to change the dialogue, the number and gender of actors and even the direction of the action at any time up until the dress rehearsal.( an possibly even after)

One interesting incident, however, has presented possibilities for at least the beginning of a short story. That is the extraordinary event on Christmas Eve in Kidd's Beach.  On the afternoon of the 24th we had gone down to the village to find out about Christmas Services at the little Angican Church. Shirley was willing to lend me her car to get me there. There was nothing on the notice board by the church door, and nothing about services, that I could see from peering though the front windows, that was pinned to any board in the entrance. We phoned a friend who told us that she thought that there was Midnight Mass at eleven thirty and a morning service at half-past eight. I plumped for the morning one, because I didn't fancy driving down the pot-holed farm road at night. In the event Shirley relented and kindly offered to drive me to church on Christmas mornin anyway.

The afternoon was hot and humid. Rain seemed to be in the offing and indeed, we were woken by a violent thunderstorm in the night. When I got to church, it was to see the whole large front window falling to pieces, glass all over the porch and a part of a windowframe protruding throuch the church ceiling. Everyone was ushered in through the vestry and we all huddled in the front pews,out of the way of shards of window pane and wooden splinters that were continuing to drop down into the western part of the Nave.

In the middle of Midnight Mass, just before the lighting of the Christmas Candle, the church had been struck by lightning. It must have been a bit like Pentecost with the fire and the rushing wind, but possibly noisier, because there would have been thunder as well.I wasn't able to find out whether there was any attempt to go on with the service, but think it probable that at that point eveyone rushed out by the side door and went home.
How glad I was that I had decided to go to the morning service!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Carols at the Marina

I have just enjoyed a wonderful evening of carols at Marina da Gama with my friends from the writing group, Geri and Esme.  I believe this is an annual event. Families from all over the Marina came by car, on foot, or by boat to the venue, a grassy bank by a footbridge that joins two sections of the Marina.

We were welcomed by a piper in full regalia plying his bagpipes on the bridge. The skirling echoing off the water. Everyone set up chairs, laid out rugs and unpacked their picnic suppers. Then the band
under the bridge started playing and we all joined in the singing of the old favourites. Our party had only one song sheet between the five of us. It didn't matter because I knew all the tunes and most of the words.  Ironically, I was put to shame by my Jewish companions, who knew the carols better than I did!
The moon looked down on us through a halo of cloud as we ended the evening with the lovely "Silent Night" and as we walked back to our cars over the bridge we saw a small fleet of paddle boats, their light reflected in the still surface of the lake as they made their way home, breathtakingly lovely, a magic moment.