Yes, yes. I know. I give you a pretty picture to look at and then I disappear for a fortnight. Sorry. I have been a bit rubbish, haven’t I?
If it’s any consolation, I have spent most of the last two weeks running around like a cat with its tail on fire, stopping only to whimper quietly in a corner. I’m knackered. I’ve worked nowhere near as much as I’d have liked (although this morning’s attempt at research has landed me on a website with a very scary url beginning http://www.secretservice… so if I suddenly disappear, it’s probably best if you don’t come looking for me. But I do appreciate the thought.) and have eaten far more than I should have.
Christmas has apparently Been Done Properly.
Just before Christmas, though, I went to Burning the Clocks here in Brighton. Held every year around the midwinter solstice, it’s a lantern-lit parade through the centre of town, down to the beach. Once the parade reaches the shoreline, the lanterns (which are made of willow withies and paper) are thrown onto a huge bonfire and ceremonially burned.
Some of the “clocks” are built to look like… stuff, as opposed to being little lanterns. I was particularly taken with these two: a phoenix, and a griffin.
And there’s fireworks. Because Brighton is never knowingly subtle.
It was a fantastic way to start Christmas, and if you happen to be round this way for next year’s, I thoroughly recommend it.
There are, by the way, much better pictures on the Guardian’s site, here. See if you can spot the geek-tastic lantern in photo 3…