I’ll be back after Christmas with a whole host of posts: My Books of the Year, Disappointments, Great Finds and the Annual Stats I have so much fun with.  I shall leave you for now with a Christmas quotation, guaranteed to get you in the mood…


Eight of us set out that night. There was Sixpence the Tanner, who had never sung in his life (he just worked his mouth in church); the brothers Horace and Boney, who were always fighting everybody and always getting the worst of it; Clergy Green, the preaching maniac; Walt the bully, and my two brothers. As we went down the lane the other boys, from other villages, were already about the hills, bawling ‘Kingwenslush’, and shouting through keyholes ‘Knock on the knocker! Ring the Bell! Give us a penny for singing so well!’ They weren’t an approved charity, as we were, the Choir; but competition was in the air.


From the chapter Winter and Summer in Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee (1959).

The boys light their way home, after their carol-singing trek through deep snow, with candles in jam jars.




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