Oh Come All Ye Faithful – but on time next year

By Charlotte Hofton

Friday, January 3, 2014


THE VIEW FROM HERE WELL, here we are in 2014. How’s everything going so far? Resolutions still in-tact?

Oh dear. That’s a pity, isn’t it?

OK, I know the weather’s been awful and it took 17 hours to get to Dorset to spend Christmas with your in-laws and you then came home to find your home flooded and the electrics up the spout but that’s no excuse for reaching for the cigarettes on January 1.

You swore you’d had your last puff at that party the night before.

What’s that? It was the party’s fault? You wish you hadn’t worn that reindeer onesie and then, under the influence of an injudicious mix of vodka shots and strong beer, posted a selfie on Facebook?

Well, yes, I agree you might have needed a ciggie as you reflected on your humiliation but it’s still a pity.

I am getting on marvellously with my own resolutions. I don’t really count the piece of Turkish Delight I found down the side of the sofa as I cleared up on New Year’s Day and which I ate in an absent-minded moment before I remembered I have foresworn sweeties until I’ve lost at least a stone in weight. Anyway, it was quite stale, so it definitely doesn’t count.

Apart from the diet, I have a number of other resolutions and, if I manage to keep them all, I shall be a very wonderful person by next Christmas. Also quite thin. Rather like the leader of the IW Council crossed with Kate Moss.

No, I agree I don’t normally associate the leader of the IW Council with the qualities inherent in a very wonderful person but my new resolve includes a determination to attend the 2014 council meetings with a more positive attitude.

I intend to remind myself the IW Council represents democracy in action and our councillors (elected, furthermore, by the people of the IW who always show such wise judgment in these matters) are the very essence of brains and altruism, all of them brilliant orators, not to mention being, without exception, physically gorgeous.

I resolve to shout "Hurrah!" every time our glorious leader says he is "moving forward" and to applaud the delightful Cllr Whitehouse whenever he tells us about his medals or sword or whatever it is he carts around like the Grand Duke of Ruritania.

That, at any rate, is my present resolve. I see the next meeting is scheduled for January 15. Even if things fall apart during this session, a whole fortnight of loving the council isn’t bad going, is it?

Also Islandwise, I have good news for Wightlink. I am resolved not to tell them every time I purchase a ticket, "Blimey, I’ll have to take out a second mortgage" and then to repeat this little joke when I get on board and am told the cost of a mug of their coffee.

I acknowledge it must be very irritating, particularly as I’ve been saying it for at least ten years, so I shall cease. I haven’t decided what I’m going to say instead. Possibly "F*** me! As much as that?"

Apart from that, it’s pretty well the usual stuff — early to bed, early to rise, not so much gin and lay off the pies. Yup, this should make me both thin and wonderful, so that’s me sorted on the resolution front.

Oh yes, and I intend to pay even closer attention to the brilliant editorial content of this paper, particularly the minutiae of its church announcements.

This will prevent a repetition of last week’s unfortunate incident, when I told the family the Christmas Day service was at 10.30am because I kind of thought it was and couldn’t be bothered to check and somebody discovered at 9.58am it actually started at 10am.

We all rushed in very late and flustered, crashed into our pew and puffed and gasped our way through O Come All Ye Faithful in a manner not at all fitting to divine worship. Plus, everybody was very cross with me.

Won’t happen again. Thin, wonderful, and with the CP at my fingertips. That’ll be me.

Dilemma with the blood of Christ

YOU don’t have to be a communicant at a church Eucharist to feel something spiritual and meditative as you watch those who have faith go to the altar to receive bread and wine.

Catholics, however, believe bread and wine has actually been changed into the body and blood of Christ. Transubstantiation is a central tenet of their faith and this made me ponder on the following: if a recovering alcoholic, who believed inexorably in transubstantiation, would be put in danger by even a drop of alcohol, should his priest allow him to drink the blood of Christ at communion?

I’m not asking in any frivolous manner. I’d really like to know.

I asked one Catholic and he told me it was a question for a Jesuit. So if there’s a Jesuit out there who can answer this one, I’d be extremely interested.

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