Category Archives: Christmas

Re-entering Lockdown and Epiphany

Epiphany
People were talking about going into Tier 5 after the dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases following the spread of the new strain. Instead of going through any more tiers the Prime Minister has announced that we are re-entering lockdown. Schools will be off from today. Many were off yesterday. At least schools will be a little better prepared for online lessons this time, but not everybody will be able to follow.
Epiphany
Most of the town center Christmas lights did not come on last night.

Today is Epiphany – celebrating the three wise men, or kings, visiting the infant Jesus. We still use the word epiphany for a sudden revelation. The Abingdon Share a Poem group will meet via Zoom and has the theme of Epiphanies. One poem they might read is God’s Grandeur by Gerald Manley Hopkins.
Epiphany
Our window has shown an epiphany scene since that start of advent. The materials to make the scene came from Prices the Stationer: black card for the figures, crepe paper for the desert and haloes, cellophane for the starry sky, and PVA glue to stick it to the window.
Epiphany
The crepe paper is loosing its colour due to condensation, and two of the wise men have slid down. Later today or tomorrow we will take it down.

South Abingdon Illuminations – Happy Christmas

South Abingdon Illuminations
This Christmas Eve we had more time than usual, and went for a walk round the South Abingdon illuminations. The River Thames had grown as water poured down from the River Ock and other tributaries.
Weather for Ducks
We headed first up Saxton Road which is well lit at Christmas.
South Abingdon Illuminations
If anything there were more lights than usual.
South Abingdon Illuminations
Then we headed over to the Tithe Farm Estate where there were far more lights than usual.
South Abingdon Illuminations
There was a mixture of advent windows and outside lights.
South Abingdon Illuminations
Next we headed across to Medlicott Drive on the Ladygrove Estate. That short road has more lights per property than any road in Abingdon.
South Abingdon Illuminations
Plants and bare winter trees are festooned with multi-coloured lights.

Walking home, it felt cold. The moon and stars shone clearly above.

We did miss some of the usual Christmas Eve traditions, but did catch a recording of the St Helen’s Christingle Service.

Christmas Day will be quieter with less people. I wish you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

Reports from the White Horse District Council but no Christmas Quackers

Anyone whose green wheelie bin day should have been emptied on Friday 25th will have to wait until Tuesday 29th because Friday 25th is Christmas Day. I found that out on the White Horse DC website.
Weather for Ducks
The web site also has a news release from 22nd December, titled Cabinet decision on Old Abbey House accepted by watchdog. The decision on the future of Old Abbey House was made on 4th December and will not be announced until the new year. The Council’s Scrutiny Committee found on 15th December the process to be fair, and no information was unduly kept from the public and they asked for complete transparency in communicating the decision where possible.

The council also have New Covid-19 grants available now for pubs.

We are asked to Protect friends and family this Christmas and help stop the spread of Covid-19 and so there will be no great Christmas getaway this year.
Weather for Ducks
A lot of people have already finished work for Christmas, but key workers in the health service and care homes work throughout.
Weather for Ducks
The mid winter so far has been bleak because of the national news but not frosty. There were snowdrops outside Old Abbey House today.
Weather for Ducks
There was a lot of rain today, and somebody said to me that it was lovely weather for ducks. Curious as to whether it really was so lovely I went to ask a couple. I did not get a reply – not a single quack. I have no Christmas quackers to report this year.

More Advent Windows – with a health warning to Buy Less plastic this Christmas

Fitzharris
In addition to the estates mentioned two days ago, my wife told me that the Fitzharris Manor estate also has an advent window trail.

This estate was taken over by a government ministry during WWII. After the war, houses were built on the estate for the scientists working at the nearby Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) at Harwell. The old manor house still stood at the centre.
Fitzharris
Now there is a large green space and a plaque where the house used to be. An article in the Sphere magazine in 1952 suggests that a figure in the region of £20,000 would have been needed to repair it. Local campaigners from the Friends of Abingdon contested this figure. Abingdon Town Council told the Sphere that even if the building were given to the town it would be doubtful the town could afford to repair it.
Fitzharris Names of nearby villages were adopted for the road names on the estate: Letcombe, Sutton, Aston, Stanford, Kingston.
Fitzharris
The advent windows mostly keep to traditional Christmas themes.
Fitzharris
But I did see one Scientist warning us to ‘Buy Less Plastic this Christmas’.