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Saturday 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

To all my Bloggy Pals

May 2012 and beyond be extremely kind to everyone

Saturday 24 December 2011

Christmas, Commercialism, Is Scrooge Right? . . . . and Our Wonderful Christmas Present

I don't know about you but Christmas seems to come round with ever increasing frequency, making me wonder where does time go?  I think time seems to accelerate as we get older for some unknown reason .  I remember when I was in business my retired customers always said, "I don't know how I ever had time to go to work!" . . . . . and this I am finding is true.

However, back to Christmas, we are all ready for it and have our tree assembled yet again with all the lights working and baubles hanging, even though it seems like yesterday I was doing the exact same job:

. . . . . . . . . . . and all the Christmas Cards from friends and relatives are on display in our conservatory, which is wonderful.

I have always had certain thoughts about the way Christmas is going but this year these thoughts are even more pronounced in that our entire country appears to have forgotten, or more likely chosen not to remember, just what we are celebrating and what is the true meaning of Christmas.  The ghost of my Christmas Past paints a very different picture to the spectre of Christmas Present, in which we live today, and I for one am most fearful of the coming ghost of Christmas Future. Why do I say this, and what is my point, you may wonder?  Simply that for over 20 years I have noticed rampant 'commercialism' marching ever onwards until it has almost eclipsed the true meaning of Christmas.  Why our very economy demands that this is so, with a necessity for increased Christmas and the New Year sales which must be better year on year.  Failure to achieve this they say would cause shops to 'go bust', rising unemployment and yet another severe recession. Surely something is wrong somewhere!

I do not pretend to be saint and all those who know me are certain I wear no halo, but my Christmas Past takes me to a much nicer world, where most families at least tried to honour what Christmas is and should be, yet today we live in a secular society in which these things no longer matter.

I am beginning to wonder whether Scrooge may have been a little correct when he said, "Humbug" to Christmas. I say 'a little correct' because I actually agree with him in part and I say, "Humbug" to the commercial side of Christmas. It seems that millions upon millions of people buy presents for people year after year when they don't really want to do it,  Further, the recipients also buy presents for the senders when they also don't really want to do it but feel they have to even though both parties cannot in truth afford to spend hundreds of pounds on Christmas presents if they were totally honest.  It is quite comical that when we forget to buy a present for X and out of the blue X actually sends one to Y panic sets in and Y rushes to the shops and expends a great deal of energy with soaring stress levels to find one in time to buy it, wrap it, parcel it and post it first class that very day or it will be perceived by X that Y is a miserable and stingy old fart. Well perhaps that is overstating things and don't get me wrong I think to exchange presents to immediate family is perfectly OK but it is overdone when extended to all and sundry.  And so people continue to run up excessive borrowing on their credit cards and many cannot repay the debt.  Perhaps it might be an idea for more people to get together and agree to cut down their present sending but no-one wants to be the first to say it and so this situation goes on in the same way, year after year.

Oh dear you now think I an Ebeneezer and not Eddie LOL.  Well, I might have over stated things a little but I am sure you get my drift, and I feel I have made my point.

Still on Christmas, I do hope the 'hierarchy' in Heaven have a keen sense of humour - I am certain they have so I feel you might be amused by this Christmas card I received this year from a relative who said, "When I saw the card I immediately thought of you, Eddie!" Gee, thanks Andy, I am not entirely sure how to take this one! LOL

So now you know, including all my celebrated cook book friends, why Turkey is always on the Christmas menu LOL.

Finally, Mrs Bluelights and I recently received the very best Christmas present anyone could wish for.  It was simply a letter from her Oncology Consultant explaining the results of her last CT scan.  The letter reads:

"Your recent scan has now been reported and I am pleased to be able to tell you that it strongly suggests that the Arimidex is continuing to work well for you.  Certainly there is absolutely no evidence of any progression of your cancer and if anything the appearances are a little improved compared with the previous scan back in August 2009.  This is all very encouraging and I am sure it is very sensible to continue with your present treatment."

This is wonderful news and we are very fortunate that many people ALL OVER THE WORLD, including all my lovely blogging friends, are praying for her continuously. Mrs Bluelights has been fighting breast cancer for 15 years and even though three years ago this spread to secondary bone cancer, it seems she is more than holding her own against this dreadful disease. Not many people have this degree of prayer help and we are most grateful to all of you.  I am certain God has answered these prayers with a resounding 'Yes'.  My thanks are extended also to all my  non believing blogging friends and I am certain that their good wishes have been effective and contributed to her well-being as well.  Thank you all so very, very much.

In conclusion Mrs Bluelights and I wish you ALL a very Happy Christmas.

Friday 16 December 2011

13 Year Old Girl Threatens To Kill Santa

We all know Christmas in this day and age is way over the top from a commercial standpoint - it has been so for years and regrettably the main focus of Christmas has been eclipsed by presents, greed, holidays, in fact everything other than what Christmas should be about.

Not more so than this year. Of course this story, featured in newspapers and media throughout the UK, does have a funny side but in a way it is rather shocking.

I was dumb stuck when I heard this story on our local radio. But of course it tickled my sense of humour too.

Ahh! Poor Santa is crying

A 13 year old girl wrote an ultimatum letter to Father Christmas demanding at least two expensive presents on her list and warned him that if he failed to deliver she would kill him.  Further, she threatened to hunt down his beloved reindeer, cook them and serve them to homeless people on Christmas day.  (Well at least she was thinking of less fortunates LOL).  Her mother was amazed at first but vowed to meet her daughter's demands, saying, "You don't want to get the wrong side of Mekeeda!"  However, she continued that it would be rather difficult to satisfy her daughter's wish to have the real live Justin Bieber in her Christmas stocking.

Here is her letter in full.

Dear Santa

This Christmas I don't ask for much so if I don't get at least two of the things I want I will literally KILL you. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?  Oh! also I'll hunt down your reindeers, cook them and serve their meat to homeless people on Christmas day.
Nobody wants that.
So here is what I want

A Blackberry
Austin Mahone or Justin Beiber (real)
Laura Knitted 33 Jumper
High Top Converter

Remember two of these or you DIE
Love From
Makeeda Austin

Notice the affection she displays to Santa when she signs off "Love From" and even gives him some kisses before she plunges the knife in.

There were other items on the list but her hand writing was not clear so I could not read them and so I omitted them.  I do hope Santa was able to read her demands or else he might be in grave danger.   I hope he has a reliable pair of glasses from SpecSavers. She addressed the letter to Santa, Lapland, North Pole, so he is bound to receive it.

Shaking for reasons other than the cold Santa was observed to have modified his usual Christmas saying this year to, "No, No, No!" and he is considering employing Security guards to accompany him to ride shotgun when delivering presents throughout the cosmos.  He is considering kidnapping Justin Beiber in order to protect himself and says if he is arrested he will plead Self Defence.

Tracy, her mother said, "We can't have her killing Santa can we so I had better let her have what she wants".
She continued, Mekeeda is such a lovely girl but can be very demanding.  She is energetic and has to burn off all her excess energy playing sports or she can be hyperactive when she gets home.  She is the life and soul of the party - there is never a dull moment when she is around so we can forgive her for being a bit of a diva."

I wonder whether her mother's secret wish this year to Santa is for him to give this young lady a long overdue good spanking.


Whilst on the subject of Santa for those who missed it I wrote an article two years ago describing in great detail how he managed to deliver so many presents in such a small time-frame on Christmas Eve whilst consuming vast amounts of Sherry, kissing lots of Mummies under the mistletoe and managing to climb up and down chimneys at the speed of light. See HERE to read How Does Santa Do It?

Tuesday 6 December 2011

When Is A Window A Prism?

Now that seems a very strange and difficult question to answer and you may be wondering what caused me to ask it.  Well, my reason for asking it was prompted when early one morning I saw this image projected on a wall in our hallway.  I knew immediately from where it emanated - 30 feet away from some new windows we had installed recently in our conservatory.

I snapped the shot which I thought was interesting.  Throughout the week we had noticed several such rainbows in many places, caused by the sun's rays being refracted just like a prism on striking the windows.  My mind recalled the famous acronym I learnt at school when white light entering a prism is split into all the colours of the rainbow.

Richard  Of  York  Gave  Blood  In  Vain

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet

But windows panes are not prisms - they are just even sheets of glass, surely!  Not so these:

. . . . . . and another shot from the inside:

Ah!! yes . . . . . . you now know the answer to the question when is a window a prism?  When it has a bevel in it of course,  and there are now 9 bevels shapes in 3 fanlight windows we had installed.  The sunlight strikes the bevel and acts just like a prism, and because there are 9 bevelled diamonds the phenomena causes rainbow images to appear in interesting shapes.  The images move too as the Earth rotates, which is a bit eerie. I can't wait for the summer when we get more sun. But I hope the bevels do not act as magnifying glasses as well - remember using magnifying glasses when we were kids when we wanted to start fires in the garden, using the sun's rays on a sheet of paper?

The original three fanlight windows all had to be replaced because the seals had broken inside the double glazed units, causing a misty film which happens when such windows eventually break down.  I am an agent for a local window company so they fitted them for me two weeks ago.

Oh and just in the background of the last shot we can see my blue tit box - but no blue tit this time.  We see them frequently but they are flitting about all over the place and sometimes don't return for a few days.  Here is a close up shot of the bird house with the new bevel diamond showing refraction of the vegetation: