Twinkle

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I seem to miss most Christmas events. I’d forgotten to put Christmas At The Castle in my diary, and it was over before I’d realised; I missed the local school choir’s carol concert the same way. I don’t go into town often enough after dark to see the Christmas lights festooned around the square.

I went up to Cliffe Castle anyway, one damp dark afternoon this week. I’d seen a poster about the weekend’s events that I’d missed and wondered what the surprise was that was billed to take place in the old aviaries, empty of birds now the restoration work is going on.

Decorations hung in the cages, still sparkly, but limp and a bit forlorn in the gloom of the late afternoon. A Santa’s Grotto without a Santa, a feeling of the morning after the night before. And viewing these sad twinkly things locked up in cages as if they were somehow exotic and dangerous gave me a strange feeling, as if they were really something else disguised, just wrapped up in tinsel and glitter. Put something in a cage, behind bars, and it changes how you see it.

Nevertheless, I’m a sucker for a sparkly object on a cold wet grey December day; give me half a chance and I’ll be beguiled into drawing close and losing myself in the magic of it – and so it was that I found myself with my nose pressed up aganst the wire and gazing at a enormous glittering orb, all colours of the rainbow and frosted like ice.

There’s an infinite world of wonder in a big sparkling globe like this; there are extraordinary wonders in the smallest twinkling decorations on a Christmas tree, and all it takes for these wonders to materialise it is the time it takes to gaze for a few minutes and think of nothing else.

See more twinkly pictures here at the Weekly Photo Challenge

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