Friday, 23 December 2016

Barefoot in the heart: Father Christmas

Day 24 (Saturday 24th December 2016)

24 successive match wins is international rugby's longest winning streak
(achieved by Cyprus between 2008 and 2014, when their run was ended by Andorra in Paphos) -
something for the England team to aspire to. England won their 14th consecutive rugby union
international when they beat Australia 37-21 at Twickenham on 3rd December 2016,
and ensured that they finished 2016 unbeaten.

It is Christmas Eve. I hope you have managed to get all that you wished to achieve done by now - I have a busy day ahead and may have to cram all my Christmas preparations into the late afternoon. Mind you, it is only my fault that I have left things so late. However, regardless of my own short comings, I can always find time to read a piece by today's contributor - he has become part of the Advent Blogs' tradition - Neil Usher. Neil is widely recognised as a creative and inspirational wordsmith. His offering this year is one of his barefoot pieces; given the day, the subject, a traditional festive character, is apt. Due to the need for it to be read as a complete piece there is no pictoral punctuation. Neil invariably delivers a thought-provoking and beautifully crafted Advent Blog and this year does not disappoint.

In addition to being an exceptional writer, Neil is known for his position at the forefront of thinking about work and the workplace, he writes an excellent blog on the subject - workessence. Neil is employed as the Workplace Director for Sky and has deep roots in property and facilities management. Neil understands that the environment in which people are based has a profound impact on how they feel and hence perform. You can follow Neil on Twitter (his handle is @workessence).


Barefoot in the heart: Father Christmas

December only means one thing your obsession with possession the gift of receiving it never stopped you wanting scoping believing in hopeful fragility I'm everywhere at the same time via the impossibility of fractal transgression that eludes the military and even time I'm the least feared man with a beard in history no need for a third runway I'm living pantomime always behind you weaving fantasy through a childhood where everyone has been good irrespective no filters no sortation just one commonly-held nation without vanity older than creation but unstamped by time I bring fighters from their trenches for a fleeting moment of humanity amid the collective insanity I'm reconciliation the living manifestation of forgiveness even Trump gets to ask for a PlayStation beyond the miracle of the shimmy of my sleekly sleddish vehicle by the snowbound still of the awakening dawn I'm back in the peace of my lair with just the symbolic yet shambolic reindeer terrified of the pale pink skies content to just be iconic it's me that eats all your carrots and mice pies though I wish you'd leave a rare steak and chunky fries got to maintain this orbital girth it’s the USP that makes you love me long after you stop believing I have any part of reality but there’s always a distant bell that rings the faintest possibility of the frailty of your adult logicality for beyond the jolly innocence I’m destiny but in my frostbitten heart I am barefoot you perpetrate this state of clinical obesity I'm ridiculed stripped of my masculinity the ultimate self-parody no succession plan in the recurrence of eternity tortured by a lack of elf engagement and frantically maintaining the illusion of home delivery my seminal utterance a shallow trio of santa guffaws the spirit as ephemeral as a flambĂ© as armies return to the trenches the homeless to park benches I keep thinking this year it will endure but it's repacked and returned nothing ever learned and while I promise myself with exhausted regularity I'm done from a love stubborn whole and pure every year I've returned

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