By the churchyard wall a fine euonymus , a spindle tree, in full bloom. The boughs weighed down to the ground with a mass of red fruits. They're called spindle trees because their wood doesn't splinter when it breaks or fractures - a perfect material for making spindles . They grew in the garden in Scotland but here the warm temperate climate gives this most pedestrian of shrubs a truly theatrical appearance. From a distance this one , set against the grey sky and grey wall, looks like a living flame. A dozen goldfinches , munching contentedly on the fruit, fly off as I approach.
To the cathedral for a concert. Angus wears a pair of Timberland boots and two pairs of socks. The cold still seeps out of the marble floors, through the rubber soles and into your feet. An abbatoir chill. A French choir. They sing this most joyful of modern English carols . The strange almost mystical line of sixteenth century poetry describing the Christmas birth echoing through the nave:
All hell doth at
his presence quake
though he himself with
cold do shake