It’s strange, for me, this time of year. The town centre is full of families shopping, cars queuing for parking spaces, the tinsel promise of a mythical White Christmas. As a single, 48 year old man, with no religious belief, and even less belief in the powers of capitalism, I’m an outsider, watching others play their parts. I didn’t get past the casting stage. I’m not the audience for this spectacle, the actors are their own audience, sharing seasonal joy on social networks, curating public relations for their own personal brand.
Then I stroll down to the quayside. Chat to old ladies and their dogs. Watch people feed the swans and the gulls. Heavy grey skies flowing above the grey river.
Back to the centre. A busy Christmas market, teenagers eat McDonald’s on tables outside a vegetarian cafe. Deliveroo bikers loiter, waiting to shift orders that may never come.
I return back home, to my tiny flat, part of a converted church. My tiny piece of Christendom.