Also in the real world, the big news for the week before Christmas was the sensational return of live music in Frome: Back of the Bus filling 23 Bath Street to legally-permitted capacity for an afternoon session last Sunday, with all the glitz, pizazz, and passionate punky hi-energy performance that we expect from this wonderful septet. From their funky upbeat opening with You Gotta Have Faith to their awesome version of Hazel O'Connor's anthem Eighth Day - never more spine-chilling than this year - this performance was memorable. Huge appreciation to Lark Porter and all the team at 23 for making this happen.
No carol concerts or street singers this year, sadly, but with amazing ingenuity here's a seasonal song from Frome coordinated by Patrick Dunn: 'Carol for the Cabinet from a 'Bleak Choir' of musicians and singers. And do click on this offering from Nick Van Tinteren's Tiny Desk Concerts.Oti Mabuse when he was revealed as the series winner - great series, great result.
Stephen Mangan presenting) as Portrait Artist of the Year final night not only gave us Eddie Izzard looking splendid in a frock, but also followed the progress of the contest's overall winner, Curtis Holder, as he created his commissioned portrait of Carlos Acosta, director of Birmingham Royal Ballet. This is now hanging in the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, but just as exquisite is this portrait of the artist's partner, which confirmed the judges' final choice.
A homebound Christmas left most of us tuning to the tele, rummaging among the repeats & reruns for personal gems: among mine were Grease, now 42 years old but still appealing despite its 'teenage' cast all clearly in their 20s & 30s, and a feisty version of Pride & Prejudice with some emotional scenes shot in Stourhead.
Ending this final post from a year of twin terrors with a poem, which was going to be TS Eliot's soliloquy from one of the Magi, but though beautiful it is very melancholy, so instead here's Kahlil Gibran reflecting on love in The Prophet: