Thursday, December 12, 2019

No Nativity Blues

Well, a reminder if any was needed as to why we don't usually hold elections in the middle of winter: I trudged to the polling station through some truly foul weather - rain, winds and the cold.  Oh, and it was dark.  You know, it is usually pleasure to walk down to the polling station to cast my vote, as elections are usually held in the spring or summer.  But today, I was just left feeling miserable.  But hey, as I write this, the polls are still open so we shouldn't be discussing, analysing or commenting on politics.  If we were a mainstream media outlet, of course.  Which this isn't.  Nonetheless, I don't feel like talking politics today.  We've had too much of it over the past few months.  Besides, there will be time for more of it, much more of it, after the election results are known.  So, let us seize this brief lull in hostilities to discuss the other topic of the moment: Christmas.  I've been thinking about Nativity plays a lot lately.  Not that I've attended any, as I don't have children of my own.  But it's the season when they are going on in primary schools the length and breadth of the UK, featuring in newspaper stories and on TV.  Every year there seems to be at least one made up story either about Nativity plays being banned by 'Looney Lefties' so as not to offend Muslim parents, or 'politically correct' versions being foisted on schools.

Not that I see any evidence of this sort of thing happening in real life.  I checked with my friend recently and she told me that her little boy had been a king in his school Nativity.  Which seems perfectly conventional.  Anyway, one of the reasons for my sudden interest in Nativity plays is that, for the life of me, I don't recall my infant school (as we called primary schools back then) ever staging one.  It wasn't that I never got picked to play a part in one, I just don't remember one taking place at all during my three years in infant school.  I feel deprived. Mind you, it was still the 'Swinging Sixties' during my first couple of years there.  Perhaps Nativity plays weren't considered groovy enough then.  Maybe we had a psychedelic 'happening' instead, which I don't remember because of the psychotropic drugs we were all given.  Years later, in junior school, (that's secondary school to you youngsters),  I did have a part in a school play.  When I was ten I played a Dane in a production about King Alfred and the cakes.  The character even had a name, which I've long since forgotten, rather being called 'Second Viking'.  He had quite a bit of dialogue, most of it, as I recall, complaining about the British weather.  Actually, now I think about it, I had a part in a junior school play even before that: I was a dead patient in a play about Dr Lister.  OK, I know that neither part was as prestigious as having been in a Nativity play, but what the hell, at least I wasn't relegated to set building or playing a tree.  Clearly I had true artistic talent, even then!

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