On or about 1746; Douai, France: John Francis Wade, son of a cloth merchant and top English hymnist of his day is now living in Northern France. You see the poor sod that he is, John Wade a devout Catholic, has had to flee religious persecution in England following the 1745 Jacobite rebellion being quashed. It is thus that John spends his time now teaching Latin and knocking out a few hymns as the fancy takes him. Presently we find him stuck for inspiration at the organ (so to speak) of Our Lady’s Church just as local girl Fifi has popped in for a quick confession.

“Well I’ll be blowed if it isn’t young Fifi.” 

“Fifi I maybe yet you can be rest assured you’ll not be blowed in a house of God…mind if you’ve got thirty francs spare and you care to meet up round the back of the tavern after closing time you never know your luck!” 

“Now, now Fifi that’s quite enough on the ribald front…anyway how are you keeping?” 

“Oh I’m getting by…making ends meet.” 

“There you go again Fifi…you’re incorrigible ‘making ends meet’…whatever next will slip out of your mouth.” 

“Crikey Johnny boy you’re at it now you dirty old rascal! Whatever, still composing then I see.” 

“Trying to Fifi, trying to.  I thought what with Christmas so close I’d knock out a swift carol yet here I am, melody and title all done and dusted trying to put a lyric together yet for the life of me I simply cannot get the all-important last word to the first line. Without that vital last word I’m utterly bolloxed. I really don’t know what to do.” 

“Maybe I could be of help then? I mean I am often overpowered by the overwhelming desire to pen graffiti in the form of poems on the walls of the ladies loo in town. What have you got so far?” 

“I don’t expect for one moment a peasant girl of dubious morals such as you can afford me, an acclaimed hymnist, any assistance either in part or at all yet so desperate am I, I will give it a go. Right the carol is named O Come All Ye Faithful and the first line reads ‘O come all ye faithful, joyful and…! That’s it Fifi, ‘Joyful and what’?” 

“Well if I was penning the ditty and bearing in mind that’s it’s for a Christmas Carol I think I’d run with, ‘O come all ye faithful, joyful and quite boozed up’. Yeah, I mean just about everyone gets lashed up on the grog front over Yuletide.” 

“Yes Fifi I can see where you’re coming from but you forget the Church doesn’t really approve of over indulgence insofar as the consumption of alcohol is concerned does it? So that simply won’t do.” 

“OK then Johnny try this, ‘O come all ye faithful, joyful and still having a half decent Christmas even though, what with me being a left-footer condoms are off the menu’. See that one express both enjoyment and makes suitable mention of contraception being not allowed to us Catholics. Nice touch don’t you think?” 

“I must confess Fifi I do rather like the way it rolled off your tongue you clever girl.” 

“Oi, nothing ever rolls off my tongue as you well know.” 

“True, yet thinking about it it’s a bit wordy. Basically I’m looking for a single word to finish off that bloody…oops, sorry God…first line.” 

“Got it! This one’s a belter, you’re going to like. ‘O come all ye faithful, joyful and indifferent’. Now that one sort of, kinda like, know what I mean shows a bit of compassion for the old atheists who couldn’t give a toss about Christmas…I think that makes it an all-embracing, universal, call it what you will end to the first line.” 

“The thing is Fifi you have quite overlooked that some amongst the congregation might take ‘indifferent’ the wrong way. Indeed before your most eloquent explanation of what you were on about I myself took it to be ‘in different’ and presumed you’d been thumbing through that Karma Sutra book you purloined off that sailor from Calais.  No it’s a non-starter I’m afraid and besides we burn atheists at the stake in these parts.” 

“Well that’s me stuffed then Johnny.” 

“I can well imagine you have been you little minx.” 

“Leave it out…it’s all sexual innuendo with you…fairly doing my head in.  Tell you what why don’t you take a break. We could go for a quick one down the tavern…and I stress I mean a quick drink…and see if that gets the old creative juices…as in inspiration…flowing once more.” 

“What a splendid idea Fifi, I don’t mind if I do.  I thought you were heading for the confessional though?” 

“Well I was but if the truth be told I’m sick of seeing the ‘triumphant’ look on the priests face every single time he’s dished me out ‘50 Our Father’s and a gross of Hail Mary’s’. I can always pop back on Monday anyhow.” 

“Now, now Fifi do keep quiet whilst we stroll to the tavern I‘m thinking and all this talk of ‘triumphant’ is throwing me…oh, and by the way I do have a spare 30 francs for later as it happens!”



  1. ‘Left footer, condoms…’ ‘in different…’ ‘me stuffed…little minx’ – sheer joy, Mike; made me chortle, I can tell you, being a bit of a one for the old sexual innuendo!

    1. Quite agree! Do you know what we were doing a bit a shopping last weekend and stumbled upon a bunch of kids belting out Christmas Carols in the town square. Normally I don’t have a great deal of interest in such things yet these kids were singing in a pure old fashioned London accent! i.e. O Lit Tell Toun off Beff Lee Em etc. Pure magic I absolutely enjoyed – each kid a gem!

      1. Can’t sing a note and, what with the old knackered leg (freak accident whilst trying to serve legal papers on a bloke years ago) definitely can’t dance.

  2. The whole thing was hilarious… but when you worked the Karma Sutra in there… well, I just lost it! What an excellent post to celebrate the holidays! You must feel so triumphant! 🙂

      1. Been busy already – got a bit creative on the writing front last night! Thus far over the last three weeks we have had our fridge-freezer; integrated freezer, tumble dryer, washing machine and now, just yesterday the dishwasher all die on us. I’m blaming you of course as you must have a white goods jinx in your collection of jinx things! A bloody expensive month I can tell you – also paid a silly price for Shirley’s present – patent leather black Dr Martens to add to her collection! Right I’m just off to do a bit of begging now!

      2. Oh no! 😦 Now you can’t blame those on me… at least not until I visit and they break again! Seriously, that sucks! I hope you bought the insurance with them. Or you can collect on your homeowner’s by telling them lightning struck and they all went out at once. 😉 Will those appliances go with you to the new house or will the new owners of your house get them? Black patent Doc Martens? HOW COOL! Does she know or will she be surprised?

      3. The dishwasher! Purchased a new one online; paid for it and arranged delivery and then Shirley says the old one works now – had to cancel the delivery and get my money back! But yes I do have to replace anything integrated and already in the inventory! Money to the wind as I won’t get any use out of them!
        On the shoe front she will be surprised – oddly she got (yet another) All Stars type shoes on sale yesterday and they are most weird!

      4. I saw the photo of those, and I thought they rocked! She definitely has awesome shoe taste. (I also liked the shoes she wore when the dog laid on her foot.)

        That sure stinks about the dishwasher! (And the other appliances!) 😦

      5. No! I think the double numbers are European. Can’t be sure though. Which ones will she wear today – the day of the 100 metre bubble wrap roll. She tells me that it is a ‘small bubble’ roll and that I’m not allowed to pop any – where’s the fairness in that?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s