Monday, December 24, 2018, 11:00 pm
Europe is being promised a White Christmas befitting all Nativity scenes worth the description, though the forecasts also say stormy and very cold.
In the lead-up, British parliamentarians packed up for a break without being able to tell the constituents back home what kind of exit they would be making from Europe.
There might well be no more Stille Nacht nonsense or Joyeux Noel being uttered in a year’s time, but for now, that isolation could eventually be arranged through a deal nobody wants, a bust-up walk-out no-deal nobody can afford, or going back to have another vote on it – nobody this Christmas Eve really knows.
In Paris there was more certainty, at least on one point, that the Gilet Jaunes once again would be taking to the streets, but in reducing numbers.
Diehards unfazed by five weeks of confrontation and unimpressed by government concessions to economic demands, were out on Saturday night
With the crowd looking mostly like the fringe of the uprising (on one side black-shirts lined up with the Le Pen movement, on the other extreme left), the action got wild here and there – police under attack, barricades charged around national monuments.
A group of nude actors discarded the yellow vests, braving the cold to confront police on the Champs Elysees.
German radio in the meantime was discussing menus and noting, in a survey, that many citizens were fessing up to plans for over-eating – so maybe not such a pretty sight there if nakedness breaks out.
Some 17-million out of the country’s 82.8-million inhabitants averred they would not be celebrating Christmas at all; perhaps not too surprising where today just 73-million are citizens, and of those nearly 65-million are themselves of German origin – things change.
Following Europeans to the end of the Earth, to Bondi Beach, magnet for backpackers in quest of Summertime Christmas selfies, and a general blast on the beach, some new rules are being enforced Down Under.
There will be a party in the pavilion but strictly no alcohol permitted on the beach itself.
So no Gilet Jaunes type activity this time, except for probably, on previous form some nakedness practised by youth elements here as well.
Almost the whole country, however, (Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney included), was being promised blissful sunshine for the holiday, warm days topping at around 28-degrees.
Recent weeks of heatwaves, bushfires and storms still not banishing drought over much of the inland have gone on temporary hold – it does seem.
In the Pacific neighbourhood, news from Noumea is that some appearances by Pere Noel are being cancelled due to wet weather, though not in the capital itself.
As is conventional everywhere there is a late rush on supermarkets, police are out watching the roads and children have performed a mass mailout with requests to the old man in red.
On the nakedness front, local media are reporting the case of a young man from the mining district of Nakety likely to spend his Noel in the watch house. He was brought before magistrates for starting some fires, stealing a car and after smoking a joint, running down the street naked pursued by the police force. He had become a bit delirious, he said in his own defence.
It is a silly time of year, wherever you may go.
Best wishes for the Christmas season, happy new year to all.
Pictures: Christmas Eve forecast; Bondi Christmas (bondi38.com); Christmas market Germany (DW); Noumea beach.