Their Good Majesties King Wenceslas and Queen Berta are currently on holiday in Barbados and will not be back in Bohemia until early in the new year.
They take this opportunity to wish all their friends a very happy Christmas. Even though they are far away, their thoughts will be with their people, especially on the Feast of Stephen.
Instead of sending Christmas cards this year, King Wenceslas is making donations to a number of charities. A full list of these can be found on his website http://www.wenceslas.com/lookout (click on “Good” and follow the links), but here are some of the main causes the King and Queen are supporting:
Hither and Yonder. This is the umbrella organisation for a number of self-help groups undertaking community projects in the St Agnes area. A great deal of work still needs to be done to restore the fine old St Agnes fountain to its former glory after it was saved from the developers by an energetic local campaign. It also hoped to build a community centre for peasant mothers and toddlers. Money will also be used for essential repairs to the forest fence.
Give a Boar. Once again, King Wenceslas is supporting this admirable scheme started by Bohfam, to donate wild boars to the poorest inhabitants of the forest region to help them support themselves by raising livestock. There were teething problems with the scheme last year, but now the important stretch of the forest fence has been repaired and most of the victims of mauling have recovered from the worst of their injuries. Lessons have been learnt and it is time to move ahead with this scheme.
The Campaign for a Sustainable Bohemia. Thanks to the wonderful work of the popular singer Krok, awareness has been raised of the problem of depleting stocks of pine logs. The only solution is to turn to some form of sustainable energy, and that is why it is so important to support the plans for a wind farm a good league hence from His Majesty’s castle. More needs to be done to win over local objectors. Some dwellings will have to be demolished.
Deep and Crisp. This is the charity founded by that wonderful organisation Snow Concern and it is, of course, closely tied to Their Majesties’ other environmental interests. Do you remember when the moon shone brightly, the frosts were cruel and the wind blew stronger? All that could disappear if we don’t do something urgently about climate change. Pretty soon there could be no snow to lie dinted. Scientists say that, if nothing is done, by the year 989, flood water could reach the level of the turret of the castle from which King Wenceslas usually looks out on the Feast of Stephen.
Stand by Me. We all know about the growing problem of delinquency in the St Agnes area, having seen it with our own eyes. Many theories have been put forward to explain this. Some say it is boredom, because peasant youths don’t have enough facilities, while others claim it is the result of being exposed to the constant violent spectacle of vicious wild boars rampaging and goring people.
King Wenceslas had personal experience of the problem when, last Feast of Stephen, a guest of his (a yonder peasant, as it happens) was mugged while making his way home from the castle, somewhat inebriated after a convivial night. In July their Majesties held a charity ball in aid of Stand by Me.
Tread Thou Boldly. Queen Berta is patron of this charity which runs a retirement home specially for former pages with frostbitten feet. Alas, inadequate footwear for manservants is a long-standing problem in Bohemia, and they are often expected to go out at all hours of day and night. Tread Thou Boldly offers them expert nursing care and treatment by the nation’s top chiropodists. Before they left for Barbados, King Wenceslas and Queen Berta donated a substantial amount of flesh and wine for a charity auction to raise funds to buy a mini-sledge to take patients on outings round our beautiful forested region.
Coming up next …
I’m away on my Christmas holidays from 20 December until 4 January. I’ve scheduled some seasonal postings to keep your Christmas spirit topped up (RJG take note!).
- 20 December – Chill after reading
- 21 December – Rudolf the bleeped reindeer
- 22 December – Even wise men make lists
- 23 December – Festive games for all the family
- 24 December – A list to end all lists
- 25 December – It’s still not too late to sign the Santa clause
- 01 January – 12 useful things for today
Happy Christmas to one and all, may your Yuletide be filled with warmth, happiness and good cheer.