In the Harry Potter books, a hat sorts persons based on their personality into one of four houses. But at Christmas time, one is sorted (presumably by Santa Claus or some other authority) into one of two categories: Naughty or Nice. The Nice are promised that they will receive lots of lovely presents as a reward for being nice, and the Naughty are threatened with only getting a lump of coal in lieu of a present. But is a lump of coal really such a bad thing?
Here is some coal near my house, free for the taking (sort of). In fact at one time there were working coal mines right in the city limits. As the sources for heat were either wood or coal, this was probably a good thing.
Many of the old houses here in town have a little window to the basement and coal was tipped into the cellar to be shoveled into the furnace by the householder. But in London, there are these splendid covers out on the pavement that were the access point for coal deliveries.
Rather than being drab, utilitarian things, these covers are little works of art.
I suppose that someone had to deal with the business of actually carrying the coal to the fireplaces, etc.
This cover which features mugs of beer was by the Truman’s brewery.
A radiant sun is nice, especially when one has gone a day without seeing it.
And some are just pretty.
As I am possibly on the Naughty list, I expect I shall have rather a lot of coal to burn. 😉