Last night was 'Carols with the Band' which is as many of the OG band as poss. plus lot's of other OG'ers caroling round Catton estate.
It's really good fun, but it also has a deeper effect. We did get some people coming out to listen or watching through windows, several cars beeped their horns as they went by and we did stop outside a couple of peoples houses specifically. In some of the conversations that happen, new relationships are started. For example, a woman who had been to the Community Christmas production on Sunday, and knew of OG asked if she could join the community choir. It's another spark and another opportunity.
It's not just the community that is affected either. I remember the first year I went. We hadn't been at OG long, and it was the Christmas after I'd had my bike stolen from outside
church (which was suspected to have disappeared into the estate.) Having been brought up in and around Norwich, I had the usual (somewhat middleclass) preconceptions of Milecross and Catton, so I wasn't really up for wandering around them at night but....each year I go, I have moved on from that. In fact this year it felt quite like home. I was reminded of how big it is, and how much more there is we can do to help our community.
I love seeing the hope that exists there. There's a block of about 5 houses that show more community spirit than my neighbourhood does, simply by having lights up all across their houses, making them look like one single display.
While I'm thinking of Christmas and music, I heard my favourite take on the '12 days of Christmas' this morning. It's by Frank Kelly (of Father Ted Fame) and it's called 'Christmas Countdown'. This is a transcript, but it's no replacement for the original record, which got into the top 30's in the charts in 1983!