Friday, December 22
A spooky figure appears in the mist, walking towards the house.
It is nearly midnight when I step outside to see if the fog has gone, but it is still there. It lingers silently, whirling in eddy's around the lamplight. Then I hear footsteps approaching, echoing strangely in the stillness. Visions of mysterious cloaked villains roaming around the foggy cobbled streets of Victorian London flit through my head.
Walking down by the river where the palace of Henry VIII still sits I imagine a Christmas scene there 500 years ago. The palace windows lit up with candle, shining yellow through the fog. Along the riverside, torches placed along the path light out the way to the pier. The royal barges docked there, the king and his court arriving from London, upriver, bedecked in furs and their warmest, finest clothing. They would alight on the river banks, just to the side of the palace and to the sound of a string quartet would walk towards the palace entrance where roaring log fires and a delicious banquet awaited them. The king and his court would eat, drink and dance the night away while outside the fog swirled around the gardens, just like it did today.
Maybe a group of friends strolled together through the frosty gardens, watching their children run hand in gloved hand together, like we did. Maybe they stood and laughed as their children ducked into the hedge maze, then ran in after them worried about losing them in the labyrinth of bushes, like we did.
Only one thing is for sure. Five hundred years ago they certainly didn't climb into cars and drive home to mugs of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows on top. Which, of course is what we did.
at 8:14 PM