I had a vexing dream one night, not long ago: it was about a fortnight after Christmas. I dreamt I flew out of the window in my nightshirt. I went up and up. I was glad that I was going up. “They have been noticing me,” I thought to myself. “If anything, I have been a bit too good. A little less virtue and I might have lived longer. But one cannot have everything.” The world grew smaller and smaller. The last I saw of London was the long line of electric lamps bordering the Embankment; later nothing remained but a faint luminosity buried beneath darkness. It was at this point of my journey that I heard behind me the slow, throbbing sound of wings.
I turned my head. It was the Recording Angel. He had a weary look; I judged him to be tired.
“Yes,” he acknowledged, “it is a trying period for me, your Christmas time.”