Thursday, December 28, 2006



It’s an odd thing, a Christmas with neither church (or my wordless version therof) nor children.

To mark the holiday we did go to our own temples: We went to the temple of Avignon market where pink lobsters squirm and green oysters glisten, and we went to the temple of the mountain where we picked thyme, which we used in the temple of the kitchen to infuse chocolate ice cream. We downloaded carols onto itunes and sang along to In The Bleak Mid-winter, and we cried a little. We cried from gratitude for the sung text of Christina Rosetti, for feet warmed by the fire, cold cat paws on our laps and a ‘pintade chaponais’ well stuffed with chestnuts, but we also cried for the absences which open our hearts and make the spaces between plenty ring out like gongs.

‘What Can I give him; Give my heart’

Behind the boys’ voices, somewhere in the bass region of the organ, I heard the sound of emptiness which no amount of nuzzling between furry ears or champagne guzzling could take away.

‘Maybe it’s time to rethink…’
‘What? At our age?’

Meanwhile, here is the real Christmas Story told in cheese:


The beautiful Mother Mary


was feeling blue because there was no room at the Inn.


So the she and Joseph (who was, as we gather from Monty Python, a blessed cheesemaker)


lay down on a stable bed


where she gave birth to a son (which was pretty wierd because as far as she knew she was a virgin but miracles do happen) and suckled him at her breast.


Then three wise men came from the East with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, proclaiming him the Christ child and worshipping the baby Jesus.


Blogger Peter (the other) said...

Mmmmm, mmmmm crackin' Ruth, a Christmas in fromage. Maybe the 12 days of Xmas can be rejiggered to a strickly cheesy end.

Is the kitchen finished (I don't remember seeing this news)?

1:32 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

you write that one peter!!!

oh no oh no the kitchen is distinctly on hold and unfinished and...aaaaaaargh. we're still on the cardboard cutout version. I am married to someone who loves to start a project and leave it in mid air where he admires it hanging....

1:41 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Such fascinating, imperfect beauty in the cheeses.

6:45 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

yes, mb, they were in a stall in toulouse christmas market. Unfortunately I was travelling so I couldn't taste any, but visually the best (most blessed?) cheeses I have ever seen.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Mouse said...

"Too old"?
Age only matters if you're a cheese

8:52 AM  
Blogger Gigi said...

Oh dear - and my New Year's resolution was to stop eating cheese...I'll have to think of another one now!

Beautiful photos. Bonne Année...

1:00 AM  
Blogger Udge said...

Yeah, what Mouse said. "Age might be an excuse, but it's not a reason" as the philosopher said.

Happy New Year, Ruth and J. I hope that the house and other projects work out this year.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

And a happy new year from me.

11:46 PM  

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