ADVENT has transformed the rhythm of mornings at home. The children don’t idle in bed or read books instead of getting dressed. They don’t even complain about having to brush their hair and do their teeth. Instead, they rush through the morning rituals and stand ready at the door prepared for school at the appointed hour. Unfortunately, this is not evidence of some Damascene experience, it’s simply that, through the generosity of a neighbour and a babysitter, we have three chocolate Advent calendars. So with the promise of opening a door and guzzling the contents, I can briefly behave like a Victorian parent demanding action, speed and some semblance of obedience.
The only difficulty comes when trying to work out who should get the third chocolate. It’s probably a terrible thing to take advantage of, but the prospect of 25 consecutive mornings free from Wagnerian struggles feels like a profound and wonderful treat. And what mornings they have been to enjoy: cold, clear and crisp. London positively glistens in the sunshine and, in every view of the city, columns of steam and condensation rise up like the smoke from thousands of chimneys. Tonight, we are all off to Peter Pan—christmas beckons. JG