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Viscountess Boudica’s Christmas

December 21, 2022
by the gentle author

If you need an excuse to escape over Christmas, why not join me for THE GENTLE AUTHOR’S TOUR OF SPITALFIELDS on Boxing Day?


Click here to buy GIFT VOUCHERS for The Gentle Author’s Tours – the ideal present for friends and family – and I will send a handwritten greetings card to the recipients


Our dearly beloved Viscountess Boudica was evicted from her flat in Bethnal Green in 2016 and moved to Uttoxeter, be we still remember her fondly every Christmas and follow her blog and Instagram

Let it be said that if anyone in the East End knew how to keep the spirit of Christmas, it was the Viscountess Boudica of Bethnal Green. At this time of year, her tiny flat near Columbia Rd was transformed into a secret Winter Wonderland where the visitor might forget the chill of the gloomy streets outside and enter a realm of magic, fantasy and romance in which the Viscountess held court like a benevolent sprite or fairy godmother, celebrating the season of goodwill in her own inimitable style.

Boudica had already been at work for weeks when I arrived with my camera to capture the Christmas spectacle for your delight, yet she was still putting the finishing touches to her display even as I walked through the door. “You see these bells?” she said, reaching up to add them to the colourful forest of paper decorations suspended from the ceiling, “I bought them in Woolworths  in Tottenham for 45p in 1984. When I think of all the people they have looked down upon – if only these bells could talk, they’ve seen it all!”

Evidence of the season was apparent wherever I turned my eyes, from the illuminated coloured trees that filled each corner – giving the impression that the room was actually a woodland glade – to the table where Boudica was wrapping her gifts and writing cards, to the corner where a stack of festive records awaited her selection, to the innumerable Christmas knick-knacks and figures that crowded every surface, and the light-up reindeer outside in the garden, glimpsed discreetly through the net curtains. “This is thirty years worth of collecting,” she explained, gesturing to the magnificent display enfolding us, “that set of lights is older than I am.”

In common with many, this is an equivocal time for Viscountess Boudica who does not have happy childhood memories of Christmas. “It was hell,” she admitted to me frankly, “We didn’t have any money to buy presents and, in our family, Christmas was always when fights and arguments would break out. The reason I have so many decorations now is to make up for all the years when I didn’t have any.” Yet Boudica remembers small acts of kindness too. “The local shops used to save me their balloons and give me scraps of fabric that I used to make clothes for the kittens in the barn – and that was the beginning of me making my own outfits,” she recalled fondly.

“People should remember what it’s all about,” Boudica assured me, linking her own childhood with the Christian narrative, “It’s about a little boy who didn’t have a home. They should think of others and remember there’s poor people here in Bethnal Green.” Naturally, I asked the Viscountess if she had a Christmas message for the world and, without a second thought, she came to back to me with her declaration –  “Be kind to each other and get rid of discrimination!”

Boudica contemplates her Christmas listening – will it be Andy Williams or Jim Reeves this year?

“Whenever I hang up these bells, I think of all the people they have looked down upon over the years”

Wrapping up her gifts.

Filling her stocking

Nollaig Shona Dhaoibh!

Drawings copyright © Viscountess Boudica

You may also like to read

Viscountess Boudica’s Domestic Appliances

Viscountess Boudica’s Drawings

Viscountess Boudica’s Blog

Viscountess Boudica’s Album

Viscountess Boudica’s Halloween

Viscountess Boudica’s Valentine’s Day

The Departure of Viscountess Boudica

Read my original profile of Mark Petty, Trendsetter

and take a look at Mark Petty’s Multicoloured Coats

Mark Petty’s New Outfits

Mark Petty returns to Brick Lane

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Andy permalink
    December 21, 2022

    All in all, her message to be kind eliminates so much discrimination politics and the world gives out daily.

    I echo.. “If only,” and remember my friend Alan’s words, “You can’t love everybody but you can be kind to everybody.”

    If only.. Your memories of childhood argynents over money are pervasive to my chikdhood family ones.

  2. December 21, 2022

    Merry Christmas to you, Gentle Author and Viscountess Boudica, and to all readers of Spitalfields Life.

  3. Deborah Geary permalink
    December 21, 2022

    I have often wondered about Viscountess Boudicca over the years and hope all is well. How can I access the blog or Instagram account?

  4. Susan permalink
    December 21, 2022

    I miss her. Have you ever thought of going to visit her where she is now, and reporting back?

  5. December 21, 2022

    For dear Viscountess Boudica and her husband Guido Fawkes in Uttoxeter, all the best at Christmas time and especially in the coming New Year!

    *** MERRY CHRISTMAS! ***
    *** JOYEUX NOËL! ***

    Love & Peace

  6. boudica Fawkesredd permalink
    December 21, 2022

    Hi hi to everyone in thee world and spittlefieds life it seems a long tyme ago since thee great gentle author came to film thee decorations at secpit towres in Bethnall green and it broke my heart when we was forced out of Londinum but I never fore got you as fore Staffordshire it didn’t work out and wyth thee housing association and their bullying ways and thee locals who hate me may you all have a happy Christmas and New year

  7. Cherub permalink
    December 22, 2022

    Viscountess Boudica, I love all of your decorations and the trees are beautiful, but most of all I love your gorgeous boots!

  8. Annie S permalink
    December 22, 2022

    It’s so nice to hear from you Viscountess!
    You are still remembered by all of us regular readers of Spitalfields Life blog – sorry that life has been difficult since you had to leave London.
    Sending you very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

  9. Marcia Howard permalink
    December 23, 2022

    Merry Christmas to you Gentle Author and Viscountess Boudica, and to all readers of Spitalfields Life from me too!

  10. Robin s Call permalink
    December 23, 2022

    Happiest of Yuletide to our delightful Viscountess Boudica.

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