Words of Wisdom from a Cartoon Character–Or, Reminders of the Meaning of the Season

Eye-Dancers

Sometimes we just need to be reminded.  Sometimes world events, presidential elections, and our far-too-often harried personal lives threaten to throw us for a king-sized and ever-expanding loop.  The weather this time of year doesn’t help.  Daylight Savings is more than a fortnight in the rearview mirror; it’s dark when you go to work in the morning, and dark when you come back home.  And what little light there is, especially here in northern New England, is often muted by brooding thick gray clouds that hang low and bloated over the land, like dirty laundry concealing the blue beyond.

novemberskystart

For me, the reminders begin with the little things, the homey things, the kinds of things Truman Capote writes about at the beginning of his gem of a short story “A Christmas Memory” . . .

“Imagine a morning in late November.  A coming of winter morning more than twenty years…

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Wp Sunday pub – Christmas music

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna


It’s been a while sins we had the Sunday wp pub. The pub where everyone is welcome. Drinks for everybody and it’s open around the clock. You never get too drunk or too bored. You can meet each other in the comments and pic your own music by pasting a youtube link right into the comments. Then the video will show up there.

So this time I wonder – what’s your favourite Christmas music? What song brings out the Christmas spirit in you?

I have many favorites and they will show up in the comments one by one as long as this pub night is on.

As usual I post this tolste for myself. Here it’s bedtime for an early morning tomorrow. New workweek start that will includes both day and evening. But please don’t let that stop you from keeping the pub open.

Serve yourself something to drink and…

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Trump completes the circle

shakemyheadhollow

My conservative friends have abandoned all hope for me long ago, and with good cause. My liberal friends, at least those under the age of 40, may also have their doubts about me. The 2016 U.S. election gives me an opportunity to complete the circle, so let me take a few moments to drive my liberal brothers and sisters crazy.

First, my thoughts on Trump in brief. My hunch is that he will be a terrible president – ill-informed, reckless, and easy manipulated (despite the outward braggadocio) by people who actually understand politics and world affairs. But I understand why many, including some of my friends and family, voted for him (albeit a mistake in my view). They were sick of politicians, sick of political correctness, sick of the climate in which everyone must parse every word and self-censor before every comment. To them, Trump’s showy disregard for political correctness…

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It kind of hit me today…

barclaydave

My world came crashing down around me 31 years ago last July when my mum died. 16 years ago I met my current wife’s mother who was every bit as endearing as my mum had been. She’d been fighting cancer for years when I first met her and also had type 2 diabetes. She never complained and I used to call round and sit with her for hours on my days off work. Lovely woman who had some fantastic memories of her time as a young girl living through WWII, and her time in the army after hostilities ended.

3 years ago today she died after her cancer had returned and spread through her bones into her entire body. Having lost my own mum I was able to offer support and comfort to my wife at this time and through the years since. It was hard for me as well…

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Ely Cathedral

Planning to the 'Nth

I had discovered while researching my trip to the UK that just 14 miles out of Cambridge was Ely, famous for its cathedral, and where  Oliver Cromwell lived for ten years of his life.

The bus took an hour and a quarter to get there, the consequence of stopping at every local bus stop along the way but I had a good look at the suburbs of Cambridge and the surrounding countryside, and watched the locals coming and going, noticing the change in their accents the further away from Cambridge we got.

I’ve often wondered why so many small English towns have such enormous churches but it turns out that usually the churches or monasteries came first and the towns grew up around them. Ely began with a Benedictine Monastery, on an island in the Cambridgeshire Fens, though the monastery was destroyed in 870 by Danish invaders. (Was there…

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