Christmas Day in the Workhouse

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So on 25 December after a fusion cuisine Christmas dinner of Veggie Haggis, gravy, sweet corn and Yorkshire Pudding, a treasure hunt for more AAA batteries, our ritual reading of all 21 verses of George Sims’ poem Christmas Day in the Workhouse, and a few songs around the banjo, the Cassidy family’s minds turned to our 3 day Yorkshire Tour comprising the well-known Edinburgh-Sheffield-York-Northallerton-Edinburgh Loop.

You will of course be thinking that, following the post of 21 November, we would be walking 10 minutes down the road to pick up our City Car.  However, you would be wrong.  Instead we walked 3 mins around to Matt and Kirsten’s to take up their very kind offer of taking their car for the journey.  How kind is that?  Thank you Matt and Kirsten.  They even cleaned out the crisps behind the car seats.  It was certainly easier that City Car, as well as being much cheaper given their insistence that we pay nothing!  (Matt did graciously receive a fluid payment of petrol and alcohol.)

In fact Matt and Kirsten have made their car available again…super kind.  And another lovely neighbour has offered hers recently, as has another friend from a bit farther afield.  It has made me think a lot about sharing cars between friends, and the model you could use: have a mutual financial pot for servicing, only one insurance necessary, pay per mile…?????  It could certainly work well.  I wonder if many friend’s do have “formal” car sharing arrangements?  This said I am still sceptical of the formal downtime car sharing scheme which Whipcar offer – see the link.  I just think it is a slightly different proposition borrowing a stranger’s car (but maybe you soon get over this social barrier and it becomes a beautiful “car-share-relationship”).  

So back to Christmas.  Sims’ poem was first published in 1879 as a dramatic monologue to highlight the harsh conditions of the Workhouses, the impacts of the Poor Laws in England, and also the hypocrisy of the rich Guardians of the Parish visiting the Workhouse with their gifts at Christmas.  Double standards, hypocrisy.  Nasty stuff.

But wait a moment!!!  Wasn’t Car Free Family accused of being no better than these hypocritical Workhouse Guardians and patrons?  Yes – hypocrisy was the call in Sheffield at Brenda’s Boxing Day Buffet. Everything seemed calm during an inter-family game of “Deal of no Deal” (with electronic telephone), but soon a mince pie and Stones bitter-fueled family exchange ensued (well mainly a discussion with my lovely nephews Matt and Simon – big Uncle hug to you both xx)  concerning our arrival BY CAR!

A small preview has been made available below suitable for all ages…..


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