Tuesday, 14 December 2010



Dickens is at his best when his voice creeps into the narrative. Paragraph 1 is Dickens the author at work. Paragraph 2 is 90% the man. 

This was the first of Charles Dickens' books I decided I had to read. I was given a Ladybird abridged classic. After sludging through Dombey and Son, I marched into the library with my thin version of A Christmas Carol and announced,  "Excuse me have you got a real copy of this?

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. 

When it comes to movie and TV versions, I'm a tough audience: The Muppets' Christmas Carol is my favourite                                                                     

It's in the singing of a street corner choir
It's going home and getting warm by the fire
It's true wherever you find love
It feels like Christmas
A cup of kindness that we share with another
A sweet reunion with a friend or a brother
In all the places you find love
It feels like Christmas 

It is the season of the heart
A special time of caring
The ways of love made clear
It is the season of the spirit
The message if we hear it
Is make it last all year 

It's in the giving of a gift to another
A pair of mittens that were 
made by your mother
It's all the ways that we show love
That feel like Christmas
A part of childhood we'll always remember
It is the summer of the soul in December
Yes, when you do your best for love
It feels like Christmas 

Now I'm off to skip and dance my way to the market to buy some holly and order
 a prize turkey from the window ;)
How are your holiday preparations coming along? 


  1. Ironmongery has got to be one of the coolest words ever. I've only read A Tale of Two Cities, which is phenomenal, but I plan to read, as you say, a real copy of this one, plus David Copperfield, sometime soon.

    Thanks Elaine!

  2. Hi Matthew

    It is a great word.:) I'm very fond of conspirator too: a devious ghost planning to fleece angelic types of their money ;)

  3. I love the muppets and I miss Jim Henson's Sesame Street. It was the best! Great song, too :O)

  4. Hi Madeleine

    Christmas celebrations start with The Muppets' Christmas Carol and the Coca-cola Santa advert appearing on TV ;)

  5. What day is it? Why, it's Christmas day, sir!

  6. I adore Dickens. I want to reread everything he wrote in 2011. I should definitely start with A Christmas Story, esp since it's the shortest!