We’re almost a week into December, lights are twinkling all around and now that the Penny Readings has taken place and filled us to the brim with Dickensian festive spirit (so much so that we’re positively overflowing), it’s safe to say that the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on.
However, if for whatever reason you find that you’re lacking in the spirit then we have just the antidote for you – The Evening Read-In. The story of A Christmas Carol so far has plenty of spirit in every sense of the word – that special seasonal feeling in the air (which has not quite reached Scrooge just yet), the copious amounts of drink flowing at Fezziwig’s party and, of course, in the not-quite-physical but certainly very real form of Scrooge’s spectres – yes, proceedings are spooky enough that you’d be forgiven for thinking time had been turned back and it was Hallowe’en rather than Christmas.
Last week we met the Ghost of Christmas Past, complete with wonderful contradictions – all at once shadowy and light, serene and strong – and an appearance it was suggested was reminiscent of the Green Man (which, rather appropriately, is “a symbol of rebirth or renaissance” – you could never accuse Dickens of not thinking these things through). Like Scrooge we learnt a few things along the way – including finding out exactly what a “Welsh cap” as worn by the very dapper Mr Fezziwig is (it’s ‘a woollen or worsted cap, originally made in Montgomery, Wales’) and coming across what surely is the perfect excuse for being late for any appointment in these wild and wintry conditions: just say that your clock stopped because “an icicle must have got into the works” (just tell any doubters that it’s Charles Dickens-approved). Deeper issues were also pondered, such as whether aspirations can always be kept ‘noble’ and if it’s the case that one can only ever ‘profit’ in either business or love (I’m sure we can all guess where Scrooge’s riches lie…) – and just how do you throw a Christmas party to rival the Fezziwigs’ bonanza? That may be one question that will go forever unanswered…
Tomorrow it’ll be the turn of another spirit to pay Scrooge a visit – and we’ll be getting into the spirit by reading and listening in. Why not join us? There’s no time like the Present (might have given away the story a little there…). Be here at 9pm sharpish and get on Twitter too (#eveningreadin) for Part 3 of the Dickensian classic.