Ed­i­tor’s com­ment

Derbyshire Life - - Front Page -

Although I’ve at­tended a fair few Christ­mas carol ser­vices, Ash­bourne An­i­mal Wel­fare’s an­nual Cel­e­bra­tion of An­i­mals Ser­vice at St Oswald’s Church – tak­ing place this year on 9th De­cem­ber – has so far passed me by. I’m de­ter­mined to amend that as it sounds such good fun (if per­haps rather noisy), and on re­flec­tion an­i­mals have prob­a­bly been in­volved in one way or an­other in some of my most mem­o­rable Christ­mases. My best-ever presents – so far! – have been a white rab­bit when I was six and a Westie when I was 32 – both dearly loved (in the case of the rab­bit you might say ‘smoth­ered’ with af­fec­tion) and now greatly missed.

On the down side were the two dis­as­trous Christ­mases with my in-laws. The first was when a fox ate the goose in­tended for our din­ner. The sec­ond was an oc­ca­sion re­called every year af­ter­wards by my late fa­therin-law as soon as the word Christ­mas was men­tioned. As of­ten hap­pened in those days, the men had gone to the pub while the women pre­pared the din­ner. Un­for­tu­nately, my mother-in-law and I were hav­ing such a nice chat with a glass or two of sherry that we for­got about the goose siz­zling away in the oven... We did just man­age to re­trieve enough for a slice each from the charred re­mains to go with our mushy veg­eta­bles – an­other sad oc­ca­sion for a goose, which was well and truly cooked!

Lots of in­gre­di­ents make a won­der­ful Christ­mas, many of which we’ve touched on in this is­sue – food, shows, events, gifts, dec­o­ra­tions – and many peo­ple are in­volved in mak­ing it such a spe­cial time of year, but of­ten it’s the small things and fleet­ing mo­ments that catch an at­mos­phere and cre­ate mem­o­ries that last. In the last few years Hog­nas­ton, a pretty vil­lage tucked away near the dam wall of Cars­ing­ton, and Six Streets, an area of Derby, are two ex­am­ples of com­mu­ni­ties that have come to­gether to make some­thing spe­cial. Each day in the run-up to Christ­mas at least one new­ly­dec­o­rated win­dow is ‘opened’ cre­at­ing an ad­vent cal­en­dar that is quite mag­i­cal to walk round as dark­ness falls.

Many of our beau­ti­ful parish churches, of­ten strug­gling in these mod­ern times to raise the funds for nec­es­sary re­pairs, also suc­ceed in cap­tur­ing some­thing spe­cial at this time. This year churches in Hog­nas­ton, Castle­ton, Belper, Bakewell, Wirksworth,

Lit­ton

Ed­i­tor, Der­byshire Life01332 227861, [email protected]­byshire­life.co.uk

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