Friday 14 December 2012

It may be fake...but it will make you laugh...

After the usual marathon, the last of the Christmas cards will be posted this weekend...rumour has it that even Grandma in Cyprus will get hers on time.

In the meantime, this video of the Brighton Christmas lights made me laugh out loud...hope it brings cheer on you Friday afternoon

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Picture Daily 141

Christmas near London Bridge

It's war

I guess that like most people, my heart missed a beat when the news of Jacintha Saldanha came through last week.  It was a stupid, mindless prank, but it is a sign of the times that these things goes on without a care or a worry for the 'victims'.

This last Sunday The Times' magazine carried its annual review of the year...which is odd given that there was still 8% of the year to go.  One of my pleasures in years gone by was to sit and read these things in those timeless days between Christmas and the New Year.  It seems so odd that now, newspapers just cannot would be wonderful is something amazing happened in the next three weeks which completely re-shapes our view of the year...perhaps that would teach the media to just wait a little.

One of the many highlights of the summer for me were the Wenlock and Mandeville sculptures which were displayed around London.  They were decorated by artists, and it was fun following the trails around the city to find them...we managed a few, but were a long way from seeing them all.  Since the Games finished , the sculptures have been sold off along with much other Olympics memorabilia here. The money is going to charity.  We've hummed and haahed as I've really wanted to get one, but the prices some have gone for is unbelievable...some of that Olympic tickets madness still prevails.  But on Friday there were still a few up for grabs, and the prices had remained low.  There was one I really fancied....a red cycling Mandeville.  Finger at the ready, I clicked away as the auction was coming to a close.  The price rose rapidly, and in the heat of the moment, encouraged by The Cat's Mother, I kept bidding.  Auction madness had set in.  Then just as I thought I'd made a winning bid, the site told me the auction had closed and I'd been outbid.  For a moment I was  distraught.  Then the adrenaline went and I realised what a lucky escape I'd had....but don't be surprised if I weaken should more become available...

Enough is enough.  For months now I have battled with the squirrels stealing the birds the warmer days, they gave up when we switched over to dried mealworms, presumably because they didn't like them, whilst the birds adore them.  But now it's turned cold, there's no holding them back, they're like locusts.  Putting vaseline on the pole doesn't seem to make a difference as they have found a way round that.  Worse still, they have taken to chucking the big glass dome that covers the food off the pole...sooner or later it will smash.  I've had enough and have started chucking heavy objects at them.  Next thing I'll be buying a gun...and that from someone who can come over all Budhist about killing creatures.

And I've come to the very firm conclusion that Rog was right by suggesting it was a waxwing in this post

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Picture daily 140

Colourful balloons in the sky

Living in fear

If you happened to watch the Channel 4 mini series The Fear last week you will have seen where we live on the south coast.  The programme was set in and around Brighton, and the main setting, one of Brighton's regency squares is where we live.  I would like to be able to tell you whether it was good, or not, but I was so overcome with excitement to see the place on TV so much, I couldn't pass fair judgement.  As ever, Brighton was portrayed as slightly seedy, down at heel and the scene for squabbling gangsters.  The place has never recovered from Brighton Rock.  It was funny seeing car journeys being made across the city knowing that it was jumping all over the place.  And I wish I'd been there when the blew up a car in our wonder we'd had warning notices put through the door! It's still on 4oD if you want to watch it

Apart from the location, I think the programme resonated with me because the main character suffers from alzheimers, and I could see similarities to the deterioration of my father as Parkinsons took a hold of him (not the violent outbursts, but the fear it induced). Horrible and sad.

I think that if they'd asked her, The Cat's Mother would have organised the Olympics single-handedly.  she has that mind and that ability.  In our house, we undergo a complete and utter transformation.  Not one single room goes untouched.  Christmas Lego in the bathroom (calm down Steve). Christmas mugs in the kitchen. Christmas toilet role in the loos.  Not one ornament is not replaced by a Christmas equivalent.  Everything is stripped away and replaced by something with a seasonal tint.  We have enough decorations to stock Harrod's Christmas Department.  The preparation of our Christmas wonderland takes a week of hard labour.  We even have four Advent calendars, if you count the Advent candle.

One made by The Muffins - every day is a clue for us to guess, hidden under an icicle. H is wrong...answers on a postcard, please.  And don't mention E.  We all love this one

One for The Cat plus the candle

And then there's my favourite - mine - just a tot a day to keep me going until the Christmas break...this is indeed the finest Scottish whisky