Christmas Carols

23rd December 2006    

Once upon a time when the world was a more innocent place and people were less devious, before the days of New Labour and Tone and his crones, Christmas carol singers would start to sing their carols outside your door then after a few lines (of the carol, not cocaine, these were innocent times remember) one of them would ring your bell. You then had a choice – either to answer the door to them, listen to their merry carolling, then give them a Christmas box and perhaps invite them in for mince pies and sherry, or, much more likely, pretend you weren’t in, thus saving yourself a few bob.

Nowadays this isn’t possible. Nowadays carollers, wise to the fact that you’ll probably try to pretend you aren’t in thus saving yourself a few bob, ring your doorbell and wait until you answer the door before they start singing, thus putting you in the position of having to give them a Christmas box or trundle out some excuse about not having any change and consequently having your front door kicked in or your doorstep shat on or your garden gnome beheaded or some other such act of wilful reprisal.

I have put in some thought over the past twelve months as to how I might overcome this problem and at the eleventh hour – well it was around three-o-clock yesterday afternoon actually, but that doesn’t sound as exciting – I came up with the answer.
The doorbell rang right in the middle of Coronation Street when Jamie was entreating his mother to hightail it to Spain with him. I hightailed it to the door leaving him to it. I opened the door. Four carol singers were without, although not without those Santa Claus hats beloved of bus drivers and football fans at this time of the year. I opened my mouth and began to sing in a lusty baritone – (The lusty baritone turned to me and said ‘Oy, do you mind not singing up my arse’ – no he didn’t, I just thought of that and couldn’t resist putting it in. I should have.) I opened my mouth and began to sing in a lusty baritone –

Good King Wenceslas looked out

On the feast of Stephen

When the snow lay round about

Deep and crisp and even

I sang the carol all the way through. Two of the carol singers looked at me throughout in something approaching awe. The other two eyed me as though they were looking at someone who should be in a rubber room at the happy farm.

I ended the carol and then held out my hand. Either going along with the flow or shit scared that I might attack him if he did otherwise, one of the ones who thought I was mad put his hand in his pocket, produced some coins and gave them to me. I thanked him, wished he and his friends a very Merry Christmas, closed the door on them and returned to the living room. Jamie was still trying to persuade his mother to go to Spain with him. Ignore this if you have already read it. My books Dear Air 2000 and Football Crazy are now in print. They are priced at £8.99 each and are available from Amazon, but readers of my blog can buy them direct from me for £7.50 including p & p. Just send me a cheque and I will send the book/books by return. My address is – 

Terry Ravenscroft
19 Ventura Court
New Mills
High Peak
SK22 4LL

Dear Air 2000   

Football Crazy