Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hark the Herald

The Cathedral filling up
(click to embiggen)

This year my rest days fell across the holiday and we were able to spend Christmas together which was brilliant.  There was a lot of tooing and froing in the run up, but all that nonsense faded away when we went to the Saint Patrick Nine Carols and Lessons. The service is very well attended, so we had to turn up an hour early to get seats. This might seem irksome, but it was actually really pleasant, because it meant that we got to sit together for an hour with no phones, nothing else to do, but talk and enjoy each others company.

The service itself was magical, with reading from the choir and the school.  The carols were a mix of old and new, ending as always with a resounding "Hark the Herald Angels sing" with half a dozen trumpets.  We don't get to go most years because of work, but when we do it's a memory we cherish the rest of the year. 

After service was spent catching up with family and friends, before bolting out of the Cathedral and seeing the senior Kinchs.

We also ran into Dom, who was certainly festive. 
(click to embiggen - but exercise caution, excessive exposure may cause blindness)

Ghost stories at Christmas are something of a Kinch 
tradition and there are few better than these. 

We spent Christmas Day with Mrs. Kinch's family which was a wonderfully relaxed day filled with good food and good company.  Rare roast beef and yorkshire pudding and my father in law's vintage port meant that my waist band will be a little tighter come New Year. A new dressing gown and smokeables kept me entertained while I painted a few Prince August Guardsmen and listened to some MR James Ghost Stories. The above recording is a good one and I recommend it unreservedly. 

And lest there be any scruple about listening to audiobooks on YouTube, the recording is in the public domain was made to be distributed as widely and as freely as possible. 

One of my mother in laws cribs
(click to embiggen)

So we spent Christmas day with the inlaws, during which time I had a look at some of my mother in laws cribs.  My mother in law really likes cribs. These figures are about 1/32 in scale. 

How much does she like them, I hear you ask? 

She has thirty of them. 

And another

The figures were picked up on a family holiday to Italy in the 1960s, the backdrops were both made by Mrs. Kinch's great uncle.  These slightly smaller than the previous lot, around 1/48, I'd hazard. 

A table of Christmas decorations

My mother in law was going to decorate another family members home and had put a little collection of things on a table in the living room.  A number of things caught my eye. 

Including this little chap

This crib, with a frame made by Mrs. Kinch's great uncle, is really surprisingly small. About 1/300 scale I think and made with German flats I picked up in Hanover.

My keys for scale - It really is teeny. 

(click to embiggen)

But lastly, this stuck out amongst the Christmas decorations. If I had any doubts as to the essential soundness of Mrs. Kinchs parents, they were put to rest.  What home would be complete without a Christmas Bismarck? 

Nothing says the anniversary of the birth of Our Lord and Saviour quite like Eisen und Blut!

But seriously, we had a wonderful, peaceful day and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, however belatedly, and share this video with you. It is a very simple idea, but beautifully executed by some very clever people in a German supermarket.

Rarely does Wordsworth's phrase "surprised by joy" seem so apt.

See you all in 2016. 


  1. Sounds like you had a fabulous time, what could be better than Cathedrals, cribs and the Kaiser! Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

  2. Lovely photos, fantastic flashmob and generally interesting post. Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Compliments of the season to you and yours, CK, and a Happy New Year for Friday.. sometimes sitting alone and pausing for a moments thought is just the tonic.. I grabbed just such an opportunity before Christmas in Chichester cathedral .. it was like a cool beer on a hot day in terms of mental refreshment.. :o)

  4. It sounds like you had a classic Christmas holiday, like the one we all imagine when we hear the traditional Christmas carols or look at Currier & Ives prints. The ceiling in your church is amazing - love it.


  5. And Merry Christmas again, Conrad! Only a Christmas Frederick II or Bluecher could surpass a Christmas Bismark.

    Best Regards,


  6. Merry Christmas to you and all your beloved ones! And happy 2016! :)

  7. Much festiveness in this post, including but not limited to Christmas Bismarck.
    I quite liked the flashmob.

  8. Great post! Most festive! One of the best things about Dublin are the two cathedrals.