Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christ on a Bike .. it's the 12 Days of Kitschmas!

I do love a bit of kitsch .. in the right context. Being a child of the seventies, a bit of G-Plan furtinure and a shag-pile carpet always raises a wry smile.

So it is with great pleasure that I was introduced to the Ship of Fools' 12 Days of Kitschmas. I hasten to add that I'm not recommending any of these as anything other than something to laugh at ...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Testing Flock

So .. I've been trying Flock.

Currently at 1.0, I succumbed to the lure of the Facebook plugin - and the possibility that it'll not lock up like Firefox with the current (v3.0) NOD32 virus checker.

So far: so good. Visiting the recognized sites (YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, Facebook, etc..) captures your login details and adds the hooks - loke the people sidebar (which is now populated with all my Facebook friends) and the blog editor. Which I'm using, now. Adding the image above was a simple drag'n'drop affair and the posting was .. well, let's see   ;^)

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bloody Christmas

Don't you hate Christmas? All that hype .. the endless pretentious adverts for perfume .. and as for shop decorations - don't get me started!

I'm sure it gets worse every year. This time round there were sparkly decorations appearing before Guy Fawkes night! Now the streets are festooned with tinselled trees - largely artifical, but increasingly real - and twinkly lights.

Then again, I tend to leave present buying until at least December - on principle - which never leaves enough time. I can't bear to think about Christmas with a sixth of the year still to go, and I can't afford to leave it all until the last minute.

Chestnuts roasting on a open fire
Jack Frost nipping on your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Come Christmas morning - fuelled with our now-traditional Bucks Fizz - I will feel different. The children will have eagerly opened their stocking presents and spread them and the associated wrapping paper all over the house.

Every year we do the same thing. Er - that is, Father Christmas does the same thing. We wrap all the stocking presents. Almost without fail, we sit down on Christmas Eve and wrap what feels like hundreds of little presents. The result gives the appearance of an explosion in a Christmas decorations factory. Which I somethimes think isn't a bad idea.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

Ah, but the thought of suggling up by the fire after eating a hearty dinner - brandy in one hand and mince pie in the other - warms the cockles of my heart. By then, the trauma of fighting though the shopping centres and scouring the internet for that elusive Wii add-on will be all but forgotten. The cold hard reality of the vast overspend will not yet have hit and I will be at peace.

Except that I won't. I will be busily juggling being a parent and a child, fitting batteries and serving drinks, giving and receiving. The children, having been wound up to fever pitch by school and television over the previous months will be bouncing off the walls and fighting over something or other. There will be disagreements over whether we should be watching the Queen's speech or listening to the Christmas Carols CD. In short, it will be Bedlam.

They know that Santa's on his way;
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother's child is going to spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly

Boxing day, however, we always try to make sure we can relax. Food will be cold and/or simple. Snacks will be plentiful. Fun will be had. By order.

This is when there is always the visiting and the family. I could moan - but in truth I kind of like my family, really. Deep down. That's not so say it it all runs smoothly or that there is stress involved.

So: my advice for Christmas? Go with the flow. Make merry. Wine women and wassail and all that. Enjoy.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
A very Merry Christmas to you

Merry Christmas indeed. And I'm sure the next five weeks will fly past.