Archive for December, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Just wanted to wish any blog readers out there a happy Christmas. But since I’m writing, here’s a few highlights of the last few days before Christmas.

  • Amazon didn’t let me down. Nearly everything arrive the day before Christmas Eve, with one thing arriving today. Good work Amazon!
  • And the nice people from the cancer charity were wrapping presents at Castle Court again, which is a scenario where everyone wins.
  • Also in Castle Court, there was brass quartet vs Noddy Holder on the PA. I was delighted that the brass players won.
  • And a busker outside Boots on Royal Avenue singing and playing his guitar without amplification so loudly he could be heard on the other side of the street, even over the strings players outside Next.
  • But best of all, he was singing Heatwave by the Martha and the Vandellas (here if you’ve forgotten it). He deserved something for pure volume, but much more for sheer style.
  • Going back to the weekend, I really enjoyed the services in church on Sunday, and the Christmas party at Carson’s.

Unfortunately, Christmas doesn’t make life perfect, which I am very aware of this year. But I hope y’all have a happy and peaceful Christmas, and that the New Year brings you all that you hope for.

Arrgh! Mondays!!

Monday, December 7th, 2009

When I woke up this morning, it seemed like a nice enough day. I woke up on time, it wasn’t raining, there was no fire in the sky, or plagues of frogs, or zombies in the streets. Just an ordinary day.

But I was wrong, because it was Monday.

And so it was that I discovered when I was most of the way to work that my laptop was still sitting in the house, at the bottom of the stairs. So I had to turn around and walk home again to get it. And then I had to walk to work again. I reckon it was at least 3.5 miles of a walk just to get to work, and I was three-quarters of an hour late.

I hate Mondays. Hates them. Nasty Mondayses! Why does they want to hurt us??

A Christmas Carol

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

I went to the cinema yesterday afternoon with the Youth Club to see the new animated version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

I have to admit that my expectations where not very high. After all, it’s a well-known story, that’s we’ve all seen in a dozen different ways over the years. And since this is an animated version, I had assumed it would be if not childish, then focused on the children’s market.

I was wrong. I really enjoyed it. It is very faithful to the original book, with language that probably will go above the heads of children in a few places. But that original story is shocking – when Scrooge is asked for a contribution for the poor and responds “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”, there is genuine shock at just how selfish he is. It’s not played for laughs – this is a horrible person.

Likewise when Marley’s ghost enters, chained to several heavy money chests that he must drag around with him in the afterlife, and says that they are “the chains he forged in life… link by link, yard by yard”, it is both appalling and challenging.

Indeed, although the film is rated PG, I would say parts of it would be hard for children to understand, and other parts might be a bit scary.

I will admit that the film probably slips a bit as it goes on, but there is a great story of a life examined and changed, and none of us are beyond the need for that. I think it deserves to be a Christmas classic.