Knickers and Tinsel by Enid Richemont

So yet another Autumn dies in blazes of glory, and now, coming up to the Winter Solstice, humanity in my Northern hemisphere, in desperation for light, constructs its own glory, with candles and glitter, tinsel,  sparkles and Christmas trees, fires in the hearth, warmth, presents, mince pies and the Christmas cake replica of that frozen world, that Ice Age we're all trying to magic out.

The early Christians were clever to choose this time of year to celebrate Christ's birth which is almost certainly dateless - who was around to record the birth of an unknown peasant's infant in a manger of all places? There were records of births, though - the Romans liked to keep tallies and there were taxes to pay, just like now - money to be made even out of the poor and needy. Linking a new religion with the dark, dying year, and the Roman festival of Saturnalia - over-spending, over-eating, and lots of pretty lights - had to be a win-win situation, and boy, did it win!

 The same basic human feelings have also inspired Hanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, and also Diwali. People protest against darkness. Bad things can happen to you in the dark, and if all you really know comes from your local 'holy' men, then Spring itself may never come again. Yet only in real darkness, can we begin to comprehend where we are in the only universe we're really familiar with, and it's the only context in which I'd use that unlovely Americanism 'awesome', because Space (or whatever you choose to call it) is just that - awe-inspiring and scary. We are very, very small, but we are also 'awesome'.
From the Infinite to knickers - yes, knickers, because in one of my 80s incarnations I pitched a design for knickers - a new knicker concept - to the Dior company. I'd always made stuff, and having briefly encountered lined couture trousers, I came up with the idea of a trousers 'petticoat' - a lining you just pulled on, like knickers, but which went all the way down to your ankles, and yes, it worked - it even had a write-up in The Times, and I have a close friend in America who still wears them. Writers have many faces.

So from knickers to Saturnalia (well, why not?) and all those glorious sunsets in between,
 I hope you've all had a fantastic Christmas, and will have an amazing, but above all, peaceful 2017.


Sandra Horn said…
Knickers! Enid, you are a total joy! All good things to you in 2017
Enid Richemont said…
And to you, Sandra, and to everyone reading this blog in this funny time between Christmas and New Year. Mentioning New year, it had BETTER be a good one because 2016 was knickers!!
Bill Kirton said…
I'm not sure whether I'm qualified to comment on the knickers question, Enid, never having worn them - at least, not knowingly. But I share your thoughts on the season, and especially on that sense of awe at the infinite. I actually think it's remarkable that we can even conceive of such a thing. Happy New Year.
sfin1000 said…
I want to know where to buy them!
Fran B said…
Those knickers sound very like Victorian 'drawers'!

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