It’s the Knitivity Challenge.
Every day the members of the Nativity story are making their way around the parish, through Badshot Lea, Weybourne, Heath End, Hale and back again. Where are they?
The friends arrive at their final destination. Tired, a little footsore but happy, they gather round and give thanks for the whole reason that they undertook the journey – the birth of the baby Jesus.
Mary leads them in singing Joy to the World, and the baby Jesus smiles.
The shepherds take the sheep off for some extra grazing.
Shepherd 2: “Look girls! A place to call home.”
Sheep: “Baaaaa!” Some of them even do a little skip for joy as if they were young lambs again. Life is good, life is hopeful.
Even Mary is tempted to ask ‘are we nearly there yet?” but like women the world over she just gets on with it. Sometimes she wonders if that is a good thing to do and resolves to chat to her cousin Elizabeth about it, once both their children are older. In the meantime they seek refuge in the grounds of a large house with a smiling man and woman. There are also three young men there. They are quite noisy. Mary suspects that the men she is travelling with were once like that. She suspects her son will be too. She smiles.
The friends arrive at a large building which looks like it has an interesting history.
Shepherd 2: “My grandparents used to pick hops and dry them in a place like this.”
King 1: “Hold on. I’ll have a look on my phone. See what I can find out.”
Mary: “Do you use the sat nav on that? Only, you said you navigated by the stars.”
King 2: “He was give a phone for his birthday and insisted on trying it out.”
The friends have been travelling for three weeks now and it has been a long way on little feet. Thankfully there are local shops to help them on their way.
Mary: “Doughnuts! I want doughnuts.”
Joseph: “Do you think they are nutritio…” Catches sight of Mary’s expression… “Of course darling.”
Shepherd 2: “What are all those pretty red flowers over there?”
Sheep: “Flowers? Where? Let us at them.”
Another day on the road, another need to stop for refreshments.
Shepherd 1: “Are the pubs still open then?”
Mary: “Yes, we’ve just scraped into Tier 2.”
Joseph: “Well that’s a miracle!”
King 4: “Are we nearly there yet?”
Mary: “Not far. Let’s play a game to keep our spirits up. I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…. C.”
King 2: “Cow!”
Shepherd 2: “I’ve told you before – they are sheep.”
King 2: “Of course, sorry, um camel?”
The friends come across a big house.
King 1: “Just like my place back at home.”
King 2: “He wishes, he’s got a semi in North Camp.”
Shepherd 2: “I thought you lot came from the East.”
King 1: “Well, it’s a little bit to the east…”
Joseph: “Are you sure that this is the right way in?”
Shepherd 1: “It’s all about social distancing – you can’t go in the same way as you go out.”
Joseph: “Yes, but the window…?”
Sheep: “Flowers. Yum!”
Mary: “That looks like a lovely school for when he’s finished at that first little school down the road.”
Joseph sighs but then he catches sight of Mary’s expression.
Joseph: “Ok, OK, make a note of the telephone number and I’ll give them a call.” (Mutters under breath: “But he’s only a baby!”)
The friends stop off for a rest again. The Kings are rather keen on the idea of the café but the Shepherds have spotted the word ‘pets’ and wonder if there is any hay available for the sheep.
Baby Jesus likes the idea of small pets like rabbits.
Mary: “Come on boys, all together now…
‘Away in a manger, no crib for a bed…’
The friends spot a local watering hole. Mary has to explain to them that they will need a substantial meal if they want a drink too.
She adds: “And I definitely need a substantial meal and a nice glass of water. I’ve got to keep the little one fed.”
Shepherd 1: “Did anyone remember to bring a football? That’s a great field over there.”
Small pause while everyone looks.
King 3: “Hey! That’s my hat! It’s pure silk! Gerroff!”
Joseph: “There’s only one top lady for me – that’s you Mary.”
Mary: “You daft old softie!”
Mary: “I wonder if our little lad would like to go to that lovely looking school over there?”
Joseph (thinks): “He’s just a baby, surely he’ll never be big enough to go to school.”
Time for a drop of refreshment.
Shepherd 1: “Do you think they serve Shepherd’s Neame?”
After a week on the road the friends are wondering whether it would be sensible to catch a train.
King 2: “Has anyone got a friends and family railcard?”
Shepherd 1: “Do you think the sheep will be allowed?”
Mary: “Will you lot stop talking and let me check the timetable.”
The Knitivity friends are grateful for something to rest on after a day’s walk.
Joseph: “I must make a note of this in my log book. Boom! Boom!”
The shepherds and kings all laugh.
Mary: “Men, eh!”
Summoned by bells – the Knitivity characters stop for a rest somewhere in Hale.
Watch out! There’s a Knitivity about. Please drive slowly.
King 1: “Do you think the Co-Op sells camel food?”
Shepherd 2: “I don’t know but at least you are already wearing masks to go in there and ask”.
Sing all together now:
On the second day of Advent the shepherds said ‘oh dear,
I think we are low on petrol’ .
King 2: “It’s warm and dry in here but it might be cold and wet out there.”
Mary: “I know but we have an important journey to go on. Be brave brother.”