One star-studded evening just before Christmas, six brave souls assembled amongst dogs, equine equipment, and a roaring log fire to be given carol sheets, a warm welcome and a little mulled wine. Our pure Corinthian spirit spurned any practice and we went on our way – some households had asked us to sing; others we selected at random. At our first location, again amongst dogs, grandchildren and three generations, we delivered our first rendition to an audience which greeted it with bemusement and mild horror. Dogs howled, grandchildren giggled and our host hurriedly offered wine to staunch any possibility of a second carol being sung.

We had stumbled on a winning strategy to maximise funds with minimum effort. Subsequent visits yielded much needed funds for the Church; such donations being very quickly offered together with a drink to shut us up. One resident even paid us without wanting us to sing a single note. We ended up at the Manor, where we were plied with sloe gin and our leader announced she was unable read the carol sheet – this was no misty eyed Christmas emotion; rather the onset of a significant alcoholic haze.

Come and join us this year (children particularly welcome!) – it’s fun and you’ll avoid us calling on you!

Christopher Gay