Tag Archives: saint nicholas


21 Dec


Santa arrived early this year driving a Hiab Lorry carrying a 1.5 tonne planer-thicknesser all the way from Stoke on Trent to my studio in Sheffield. The gent that moved it works for Specialised Movers of Sheffield and he displayed the sort of skill with the lorry’s cantilevered crane arm

expected of Astronauts positioning a satellite with the shuttle’s robotic arm.

I now have an 18″ planer thicknesser operating in my new Studio at Exchange Place Studios, S2 5TR, Sheffield.


My brother Simon reckons the neighbours will think I am fracking when it is fired up.

St Nicholas, the true progenitor of Santa, was a real person, born in Patarka, Turkey of Greek ancestry in the 3rd century AD. As a holy man he had a reputation for ‘secret giving’ – leaving coins in the shoes of strangers who needed a bit of support. This tradition is still celebrated in Holland – Sinterklaas – on his feast day, the 6th of December. I am half Dutch, on my Mother’s side and I love the tradition of anonymous giving; I prefer the separation of the feast of St. Nicholas from the Solstice – which happens just after a quarter past five in the afternoon today. The Christian religious festival of Christmas is not my cup of mulled wine – although, Jesus, being a carpenter, was a wise Rabbi indeed.

Tomorrow the days will begin to grow longer as Earth’s axis in the North inclines more towards the sun. It is a time of feasting and change in celebration of the secret gift of light and life bestowed upon us by our Sun.