Tuesday, December 14, 2004

the balding tree

It doesn't seem quite possible that Xmas is so near; only a little more than a week. I find myself intermittently possessed by a Christmassy feeling, something which comes and goes as I walk from desk to desk at work or shop to shop at lunch. Over and up ahead of me some girls have decorated their workstations with tinsel and baubles; that does nothing for me. On the other hand, I catch occasionally a glimpse of the red and green Christmas lights on someone else's desk somewhere to my left, and feel briefly wistful. Similarly, sometimes when I walk up towards the library or Oxfam I overhear the slightest musical note or conversation and I am a child again, for a moment. Past Times, up near the Cross, is absurdly Christmassy, but then it always is, any time of the year.

We have a pretty decent tree at work, which is more than can be said for the one at Brighton station, which is just miserable; and I'm getting used to seeing it in the half light. The much trumpeted 'biggest timetable restructuring in 40 years' has kicked in this week and - thanks guys - the trains are a mess. I have to leave the house half an hour earlier; and half an hour is enough to shift me back from day to night; the streets are darker and the streets are quieter. School-kids are still squabbling over cereal. Coming into the station the quality of light is just improving, but the tree stands lank and still sleepy, balding. Brighton and Hove council - you can do better than this. It is Christmas - almost - after all.

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