Saturday, 3 January 2009


There's still nothing quite like going 'home' over Christmas - in my case Little Sandhurst, in the small corner of Berkshire that borders both Surrey and Hampshire. My parents moved there when I was 4. I left when I was 18 and, apart from a few months in my early 20s before I moved to London, I have never lived there since. I feel little affinity for the village or its surrounding countryside, have kept in touch with few people who still live there and have never been tempted to return for good. And yet, purely because my parents are there, it is 'home', and a Christmas without a visit would seem very bleak indeed.

And for a couple who are 79 and 80 respectively, my parents still put on a remarkably good festive show. Everything is beautifully decorated, the larder and fridge are groaning with fabulous home-made food, meals are plenteous, and sherry decanters are always to hand, glinting with anticipation. The nearby woods make an excellent playground for the children, and Grandpa loves to join the expeditions.

The traditional carol singing round the piano was cancelled this year, owing to various croaking and/or lost voices (mine included), but we managed a bit of homemade music-making nevertheless. It was probably a ghastly racket and wouldn't have stood up to the scrutiny of any outsiders, but we enjoyed ourselves!

1 comment:

joker the lurcher said...

i have a recorder just like the rusty brown one! i bought it in australia and have had it for years. i love the sound of a recorder - just wish i was better at playing it! (found your blog from uphilldowndale)