Special moments are odd.
They are daft moments mostly. We go on holiday in August each year and we have to go through a routine for it all to be right, it includes walking Dun Laoghaire pier the night before and stopping at the Little Chef at Saint Cleer’s in South Wales as we travel eastwards. The Saint Cleer’s stop has been made more surreal in recent years by the Saint Cleer’s waltz – a one person amble around the car park while humming what can be remembered of the Blue Danube. Very odd.
The departure for France has taken on its own traditions, the evening meal in Portsmouth has to be in a particular pub down on the new waterfront, and there has to be a walk to watch the Isle of Wight ferry come in.
Even summer holidays have become not quite proper summer holidays if they are not spent in France, and if there is no buying of back to school stationery in a Leclerc supermarket, and if Sud Ouest is not bought each day to learn the local news.
Why do these things become so important? Why if one element is missing does the experience not feel quite the same?
Many families have their own “rituals”, their own little traditions to emphasise particular moments or particular events.
It is through the way we mark special moments in our ordinary life that I have come to appreciate why people, who have gone to church all their lives, like things done in a particular way. We could stop at any roadside restaurant, but the Little Chef has become the one associated with our holiday memories, perhaps in the same way church can be done in many ways, but people’s memories of worship means they like particular ways of doing things.
Oddly enough, these thoughts arise because Herself has Chinese takeaway on the menu for tomorrow evening. We only have Chinese takeaway on Christmas Eve. This is a major breach with tradition – I think we should have been consulted!