Saturday, 11 December 2021

Some more Michael Rosen stuff. And a culture clash of sorts in Sicily.

Here’s bit more Michael Rosen, just because it’s around: 

“Carrie, I may need you to come out of that maternity wing and tell the world that the walls and floors of Number 10 are sound proof. We heard nothing, right? Ever. OK?

Silentio troppo 


“Dear Jack,

Urgent. I need to know super pronto that you’re going to carry the can on this.  No shilly-shallying: you’re the one holding the party popper, ok? Block. Neck. Yours. On.

Eat this memo.

Urino maximo in toga


“Dear Rishi, Priti and Gove,

Where are you? I need you ramping it up on all news outlets, right now. Remember, I won you your jobs. You'd be howling at the moon if it wasn't for my immense joie de vivre, wit and common touch. Where are you? 

Turbo pus in centrum


“Dear Major

Your sneering, jeering, leering face is having no effect on me. You can gather round you all the old grey grandees you like - Rifkind, Baker et al, but I am the rock of ages, the Acropolis of Westminister.

Putrescentia in corpus


“Dear Truss

I know your game, don't you worry. Think you're keeping your nose clean by staying away from the hot lights? Don't believe it. If I fall, I'll bring the pillars of the temple down with me and pipsqueaks like you will be crushed in the debris.

Paranoia in cranium


No further comment on the scandalous parties. Too busy organising our own more modest gatherings and discussing what different family members would like for Christmas. Much of this discussion goes on via text messages or has to be in code so that small ears don’t start to  flap and the owner of the ears stop believing in Christmas. 

Meanwhile, over in Sicily, a bishop has apologised to outraged parents after telling a bunch of children that Santa Claus does not exist. It seems that Bishop Antonio Stagliono wanted the children to think about the true meaning of Christmas and the story of Saint Nicholas who gave gifts to the poor and was persecuted by a Roman emperor. He explained to the children that our image of Santa Claus, aka Father Christmas, is much influenced by Coca Cola dressing him up in red for publicity purposes. This explanation took place in Noto, a really nice place that we have visited on more than one occasion, but never at Christmas.

Actually, I don’t think the Sicilian parents should worry too much. Even if the children doubt the reality of Father Christmas, they’ve still got “la befana”, the benevolent Christmas witch who supposedly brings presents Italian children on January sixth. One story goes that the three kings got lost on their way to Bethlehem and stopped to ask the old lady (witch!) the way. She didn’t know the way but she fed them some good food. They were so,impressed with her kindness that they invited her to go along with them. She turned down their offer, saying she was much too busy. Later she regretted her decision and decided to follow the kings, giving gifts to children along the way. Ever since then she has been responsible for the distribution of gifts to good children on Epihany. 

The name Befana may have originated from the Italian corruption of the Greek word, πιφάνεια. It’s said that this word was possibly morphed and latinized into ‘Epifania’ or ‘Epiphaneia’, meaning ‘manifestation of the divinity’. Today, however, the word ‘befana’ is solely used when referring to a witch. 

But she’s a good witch so there’s nothing to worry about - apart from maybe Italian children expecting presents from Santa AND the befana.

And surely it’s possible to explain the idea of the Christmas spirit and the need to be generous and kind to everyone without taking the magic out of Christmas for children. 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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