There is an old Flanders and Swan song called "Bed". Compared to most of their songs, it is relatively unknown - I can find neither a YouTube video nor the lyrics of it - but it is one of my favourites. In it, Flanders sings of the multiple delights of "bed", and there is a short verse than goes (as far as I remember) like this:
"Six monastery's hourly are saying a mass,
For a distant relation, now dead.
Who left me a blanket, electric no less,
No an integral part of my bed"
The other day, a delivery man knocked on my door and handed me a very large, and very heavy, parcel. It came not from a distant relation, but from a close friend, who certainly isn't dead, and it contained something far more useful than an electric blanket. It was nothing less than an advent calendar, but a rather special one as can be imagined by the greeting on the box - "Hoppy Christmas"
The box contains twenty-five bottles of real ale, one for each day up until Christmas Day. I look forward to the coming month with more anticipation than I have since being a Father-Christmas believing child. Cheers Mark: I have requested a thanksgiving mass to be said in at least six monasteries.