This picture contains all objects I associate not only with winter festive season, but with cosy living in general. Many years ago in one Russian book I saw a picture of a Scot, wearing a kilt and stockings, sitting by the fire, knitting a sock. A dog lay at his feet. That image has entered my memory forever, except for that sock is usually substituted by a book or a notepad. The picture has never come to life in full, as yet. In Moscow I had a dog (who sadly passed away in January 2006), but no chimney. In Manchester, I’ve got a chimney and even two dogs, but the picture still remains my imagination. Admittedly, the room in my mind doesn’t quite resemble the one on the picture, but that’s not important, obviously.
I must admit, I’m not religious, hence Christmas for me is rather a folklore holiday, than anything more serious. This goes for both England and Russia. But I appreciate its culture (especially being an historian), and I do take some part in celebrations. And so I gladly say to all my visitors and readers who celebrate this holiday today – Happy Christmas!
[You can confidently expect more from me on New Year].
Update: This is a slideshow of the images of Christmas celebrations from all over the world, prepared by Le Figaro. The images come from the following places: the UAE, Indonesia, India (2 photos), Pakistan, Indonesia again, England, Peru, Slovakia, China, Palestine, Iraq, Philippines.
And, sadly for many music lovers, the “Godfather of Soul”, James Brown, has passed away this morning. This is his obituary from the BBC. 2006 has been a strange and difficult year, but maybe it’s because one’s outlook grows bigger and incorporates more people, who, even if you never met them personally, come very close nonetheless.