Okay, so you know our friend whose son's accident was what motivated me to write that Sunday Times Doctor Who story? He's set up an account so that anyone who wants to can donate money to the unit of the John Radcliffe hospital who took care of the little chap. They did a wonderful job, and if you liked the story, and are in a charitable mood this Christmas, here's an apt and useful place for your good wishes to make a difference:
The account is: Jacob Robinson PICU. Sort code: 20-90-91. Number: 50625752.
And if you tell your bank that, they can do the rest. If anyone would like to organise sponsored anythings towards that cause, I'd be happy to mention them here. And I should say, for form's sake, this is nothing to do with the BBC or The Sunday Times, this is just us. I knew I'd find a point to this Christmas blog eventually.
Last night, when we got to the Portwell Bar, Neil Dwerryhouse and some friends had got two guitars and were singing Christmas songs in the corner. ‘This is the Dickies’ version of “Silent Night”!’ The place was full of our friends, and a group of Dutch visitors. I learnt, with some surprise, that former Doctor Who Magazine comic strip artist Lee Sullivan had been part of a visiting band that I’d missed while we were over at our folks. He plays saxophone these days. He asked after me, and I’m sorry I wasn’t here. The last blog was accessed via handheld device, and Simon read out the bit about his Sambuca accident. Martin Phillips the landlord was shaking everyone’s hand even more than usual.
Around half eleven, a bunch of us trooped up the hill to All Saints, to join the usual packed church for Midnight Mass. The Reverend Charles Draper has done a great job this year. His Christmas sermon mentioned George W. Bush. It was typically precise, relevant, and honest. As he was speaking about listening to the voice of peace, the bells for midnight started ringing, and I was in floods of tears. The Creed was changed for the occasion. ‘Born into Palestine, A prophet of Israel, Born in a stable, A victim of Empire.’ There were intercessions that recognised the goodness of Atheists, and mentioned Richard Dawkins.
We even sang ‘Oh Little Town of Bethlehem’. I may have been rather over-enthusiastic in the hugging of my neighbours at the moment of the Peace.
We went back to the bar afterwards. ‘How was God?’ asked Dave Curzon, coming out. I hugged him too. Which took him by surprise. ‘Goregous,’ I said.
I’m going to be away for a while, now. I’m going to take a long, serious rest, and appear again early in the New Year. But I reserve the right to pop up before that if I’m in the mood. I hope you and your families, be they the ones you were given or the ones you made, and the people you’ve found love with, whoever they may be, have a wonderful Christmas.
And finally, a prayer that myself and my Atheist friends can share: may whichever of us is wrong make sure we love the other lot in the meantime, and do no harm.
Note to self: less pompous in the New Year, Cornell. Less pompous. Cheerio!