Hannah orchestrates our Christmas meal with a numbers racket (yesterday) - and today I walked out, looking down from the park to the swollen turquoise dome of the new Wolseley Road mosque and the blaze of lights from Bramall Lane.
Lesley asked me if I could remember what the excitement of Christmas was like as a child, and I said I thought that the memory was parasitic - a memory of a memory. That to be excited about Christmas as a child involved recalling the excitements (and disappointments) of a previous Christmas. A sedimentation of memories, in fact. And, of course, those earliest of Christmas feelings were fanned by the family, cultivated by the commercial world and massaged by the media. Still today the park seemed full of smiling children on shiny new bicycles and parents walking off the turkey.
The man behind the counter at the Spa shop doesn't celebrate Christmas. The shop's open 24 hours and he tells me he was busy all night. He assures me he'll be taking a break in a few days time. He deserves it. He's kept the lights up since Ramadan. A few weeks ago he disconnected the bit that said Eid Mubarek.