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Disconcerting Santa

Do you know why this Santa is disconcerting? Because he has teeth. You may not have registered it consciously, but Coca Cola Santa is as toothless as a chicken.

I guess the expectation was that old men would naturally be edentulous, but you’d think those sorry-ass elves could have made him a pair of George Washingtons or something.

December 27, 2018 — 10:00 am
Comments: 8

Boxing Day Santa

Major holiday here. All’s I know is, nothing’s open and we have lots of leftover turkey.

December 26, 2018 — 1:00 pm
Comments: 13

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours the merriest, because the uncouth Brits call it “happy Christmas” and everybody knows that’s just wrong.

December 25, 2018 — 9:00 am
Comments: 11

It begins…

We have a holly tree in the back garden, but most years the birds have had alllll the berries before Christmas. Not this year, though — Uncle B. nipped out and got a little vaseful for my library (which I insist on pronouncing libr-r-r-r-r-y).

I’m declaring Christmas officially ON starting….NOW!

Those pale things in the upper left corner are my panties drying on the rack. Merry Christmas!

p.s. Happy Solstice — it just gets brighter from here!

December 21, 2018 — 7:21 pm
Comments: 14

Twistmas Twee

Please enjoy this lousy cellphone pic of our tree. I got distracted seeing if my phone and my new computer would talk to each other directly, but I need a bluetooth dongle for that.

I kind of like the pic, anyway — it’s got that grainy bigfoot sighting thing going on.

Just the lights so far. We’ll do the rest of the ornaments when it’s Wine O’Clock.

We did something we’ve never done: walked into a garden center, pointed at the first tree we saw and said “that one!” It’s a beautiful, smelly tree and just a leeeeetle too big for this room. We’ll oonch our way past it while it’s with us.

The new kitten isn’t the slightest bit interested.

Those glommy things at the top of the picture are dried hops. Traditionally hung from low beams to keep people from cracking their heads. I really ought to replace them some time — they’re so old, a gentle snowfall of hops drifts down every time you brush them.

December 18, 2018 — 8:45 pm
Comments: 8

Same manger, different tune

Okay, that feels more Christmassy. We had the carol service in our local church Sunday and it set the mood just fine.

After all this time, I think I’ve finally adjusted to their carols. It was hard because some of them are the same as ours, but sung to a completely different tune.

Case in point: Away in the Manger, our version; Away in a Manger, Brit version.

That’s not our local church, by the way. That’s the cathedral in…York, I think. Ours is nearly that old, but it’s a funny little country church. It’s almost always a muddy tromp across the sheep fields and I love that most people turn up to church in jeans and wellies.

The picture is the first one that turned up on a search of “Church of England Carol Service.” And if you think that’s lazy, the next two weeks will astonish you!

December 17, 2018 — 10:09 pm
Comments: 10

Tree talk

We went out to buy our Christmas tree today, but came back empty handed.

Our usual place is a local farm that grows them. It’s hard work, though, trudging out into the field, slipping around in the mud (there’s always mud) picking out a tree. I always feel a bit like the Hand of Death, tying the tag around it. Last year, most of the good ones were taken and it was forever before we found a good one.

Turns out, our farmer is selling them to a local store, so we went there. Didn’t spot one we liked, so we decided to drive out in the country to a place that had a Christmas Trees sign up a few days ago. The sign wasn’t up when we got there and it was getting dark. It’ll wait.

We usually go for a nice fat six foot tree. Norway spruce that size were going for about £40. That’s…about fifty bucks at the current exchange rate. Does that seem high?

Oh, for you Monty Python aficionados, the tree at right is The Larch.


p.s. in the previous thread, HL King asked about the specs of my new computer. They are:

16GB (1x16GB) DDR4 2400MHz Single Module
Windows 10 for high end devices
Intel Core i7 8700 3.2GHz Processor
Fractal Design Define S Mid Tower Case, Black, Silent Design
BeQuiet! System Power 9 500W Power Supply
Iiyama G-MASTER GB2730QSU-B1 27″ LED Monitor – 16:9 – 1 ms

It is blazing fast, it runs damn near silent and I love it.

p.p.s. Have a great weekend, y’all!

December 14, 2018 — 9:23 pm
Comments: 21

Happy T’day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes indeed, we do celebrate Turkey Day in this British household, though we do it as an evening meal. It’s not much effort to get people on board with a gluttony holiday (though I never noticed until it was pointed out that we have exactly two turkey holidays and they’re a month apart).

It is also the anniversary of my arrival in this country. In fact, it is the TENTH anniversary this year.

I think Thanksgiving fell on the 23rd that year, but I count it from the holiday. I had Charlotte with me. You can’t put an animal on an airplane on a holiday, but the day before Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday in the States, and Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday in the UK, so we flew overnight and everything worked.

And here we are.

I hope you have your fill of food, family, liquor and whatever ball-centered physical activity your menfolk like to argue about.

We’re having a bottle of champagne and an old movie. And, naturally, turkey and stuffing and dinner rolls and candied yams and roast potatoes and lots and lots of it.

Blessings to you all!

November 22, 2018 — 8:49 pm
Comments: 10

Alexandra’s last voyage

Rye’s bonfire is tomorrow. We drove past this afternoon as they were building it. It’s traditional to include a boat on the pile (though they usually don’t — even a scruffy old boat is worth something).

I got curious about this one and searched its registration: RX87.

It is a very photographed boat, mostly in recent years picturesquely dilapidating on the shore. Her name is Alexandra. According to this Flickr account “She is the Alexandra was registered RX87. She was built in 1958 at Whitstable for a Rye fisherman then went to Hastings where she ended her days.”

Her working days, that must be. She seems to have ended her days on land on Rye Harbour Road, and she will truly be ending them tomorrow night in flames on the salt flats in front of Rye.

Here she is halfway between then and now, looking scruffy but jaunty in a boat race in 1988. There are only a few scraps of blue paint on her today, but she is red in the oldest photos.

Google offered a glimpse of her in a book called The Coast Road, a 3,000 mile journey round the edge of England, published in 2004.

Maggie points out of the window to a man in a red baseball cap walking the beach. ‘That’s Peter White. He was a fisherman. Until three months back. He was the last to give up.’

Old habits die hard. Peter White is pacing the shore, looking to sea one moment, down at his feet the next, and then across to the small beached, red fishing smack, RX 87, that he owned for most of his working life.

I probably should have read a bit more, but I didn’t. I wonder if that was his real name and if he’ll be there at the end tomorrow. There’s an 85% chance of rain but that won’t stop them.

Good weekend, all!

November 9, 2018 — 8:55 pm
Comments: 11

Happy Fourth!

Uncle B’s put a bottle of champagne on ice to celebrate. Shhhhh…don’t tell him that’s not a Fourth of July thing. I really like champagne.

After a fourteen hour fast, it turns out my bloodletting appointment is actually next week. So I get to do it again next Tuesday night. Yay me!

I don’t care. I have champagne. Have an excellent Fourth, y’all!

July 4, 2018 — 8:28 pm
Comments: 11