Before dawn, I walked to the top of Southend Lane to catch the 0715 number 678 Gloucester bus (via Tibberton) : the waning moon hung about, to the evident annoyance of the Phillips's cockerel impatient for the sun.
A bit early, so I sat in Starbucks, in Eastgate Street, wrote some Christmas Cards, read a portion of Cynthia Bourgeaut's "The Wisdom Jesus," downed a bucket of coffee and broke fast with a dry pastry.
The whole of the morning I spent helping the Salvation Army serve a Christmas lunch to the people who need to eat where they can: rough sleepers, those in poverty - I make the tea, pour the coffee and greet our guests. There's a wonderful atmosphere in the room. Major Adrian comments that three years ago we fed fifty, today it's one hundred.
Home, exhausted by the early start and hard work! Had a very long rest. Ordered a new duvet cover from John Lewis as Ray's failure to sort the washing has left the second best bedding an unattractive murky pink.
Made a mushroom risotto, which was not too bad ... Probably needed the wine, an essential ingredient I absent-mindedly drank yesterday.
Early to bed. Watched two documenteries on tv, one about darts, the other about the Dukes of Devonshire. I do not approve of having televisions in bedrooms, but a considerable rearrangement of furnishings has taken place, necessitated by the overhaul of the dining room, which needed to be emptied.
Drafted a poem:
I have lived many lives.
You know, I wonder at it. How, the
Grammar School boys on the bus,
The couple in a B and B who have no stove to cook on,
No money for McDonald's,
And Jeanette - over eighty, sprightlier than me,
Serving the gravy and the roast
With a smile a mile wide -
Can be here. Peering over my shoulder
Watching me write, reminding me:
Today, we lived each other's lives
In a nod, a laugh,
A serious moment
And a cup of tea.