Monthly Archives: December 2010

With hours to go…

I was thinking of doing a roundup of 2010, what with this being New Years Eve and all…. but then when I thought about it, with the exception of March and April my 2010 has been rather dull. On the other hand 2011 looks like it’s going to be different…. 😀

Happy New Year One and All!!

To one and all…

Wishing you all, a very Merry Christmas!!

A final song for Christmas and one of my favourites… and with nothing left but to wrap presents and watch Chrismas movies I wish you all seasonal greetings and may there be joy and music in your hearts!!


The meaning of Christmas…

More often than not British society has been stepping away from what might be deemed the the true meaning of Christmas and the Birth of Christ and more into an excuse for a four day weekend with merriment and gift giving (and receiving).

I am, therefore, quite pleased to see that along with the week long Nativity play showing on BBC1 this week BBC2 Radio2 are presenting their morning breakfast show tomorrow (alas still with Chris Evens) from the home of the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. And if that isn’t enough, Though For The Day on the Today Programme on BBC Radio4 on Christmas Eve will be given by His Holiness, The Pope.

Because of this excess of religion in the upcoming days, my song for today sounds like it should be a lot more rowdy than it really is… but hey, rejoice and be merry!!! (Do ya see what I did there…??? ;o) )


There are two ways to look at this…

Being the last Sunday of Advent it means only one thing… we are into the last week in the run-up to Christmas… or in a weeks time it will all be over. I guess it depends partly on how much of a Christmassy person you are or just how well prepared you are for Christmas!!

For example, I have sent most of my Christmas cards, and while I am still awaiting some gifts to arrive from Amazon I do at least have gifts for everyone that is going to get gifts so people will get something. Though I must remember to get some wrapping paper!!


How long will they remember…

The top two things that British people like to talk about are the weather and how rubbish the government/council/life in general is… We do this in person, online and in the newspapers. This winter the media has been very lucky in that they can talk about both topics at the same time, mainly in how poorly the government/council/life in general copes with the wintery weather we’ve been having.

Later this week the weather is expected to turn cold yet again with sub-zero temperatures and Artic winds… and to make things even worse we are going to get a rain front right before this freezing weather to make sure the roads and pavements are covered in water suitable to turn to ice.

Reading my paper this lunchtime I read this line;

Gritting roads before hand will be useless as it will be washed away in the rain before the freeze sets in.

What I am looking forward to is in two days time once the ice has set in is my paper bemoaning the fact that the government/council/life in general didn’t get grit down on the roads to prevent all this icing up, especially as it had been forecast… and they will do it without a hint of irony.


Six of these…

Those of you who are on the procrastination device called Facebook might very well of seen a meme doing the rounds that starts off with “the BBC thinks that you have only read six of the following books…” which is of course not a list that originates with the BBC, and having done a round in The States has been slightly changed from the list of “100 Books the British Public couldn’t lve without” that the Guardian published back in 2007.

The BBC list from their ‘The Big Read’ has a total list of 200 books, which can be found here – Wikipedia – but I thought I’d share which of the top 100 I’ve managed to read

1.The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
2.Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3.His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
4.The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
5.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

6.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
7.Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
8.Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
9.The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
10.Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

11.Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
12.Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
13.Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
14.Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
15.The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
16.The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
17.Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
18.Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
19.Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
20.War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
21.Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
22.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
23.Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
24.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
25.The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

26.Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
27.Middlemarch by George Eliot
28.A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
29.The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
30.Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
31.The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
32.One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
33.The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
34.David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
35.Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
36.Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

37.A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
38.Persuasion by Jane Austen
39.Dune by Frank Herbert
40.Emma by Jane Austen

41.Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
42.Watership Down by Richard Adams
43.The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
44.The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
45.Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
46.Animal Farm by George Orwell
47.A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

48.Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
49.Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
50.The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
51.The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
52.Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
53.The Stand by Stephen King
54.Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

55.A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
56.The BFG by Roald Dahl
57.Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
58.Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

59.Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
60.Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
61.Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
62.Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
63.A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
64.The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
65.Mort by Terry Pratchett
66.The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

67.The Magus by John Fowles
68.Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
69.Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
70.Lord of the Flies by William Golding

71.Perfume by Patrick Süskind
72.The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
73.Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
74.Matilda by Roald Dahl
75.Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

76.The Secret History by Donna Tartt
77.The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
78.Ulysses by James Joyce
79.Bleak House by Charles Dickens
80.Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson
81.The Twits by Roald Dahl
82.I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
83.Holes by Louis Sachar
84.Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
85.The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
86.Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson
87.Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
88.Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
89.Magician by Raymond E. Feist
90.On the Road by Jack Kerouac
91.The Godfather by Mario Puzo
92.The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
93.The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
94.The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
95.Katherine by Anya Seton
96.Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
97.Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
98.Girls in Love by Jacqueline Wilson
99.The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
100.Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

I imagine that if there hadn’t been so many Terry Pratchett books (there are more in the next 100) I might not have done so well…. but they are very, very funny!!

When you’re having fun…

Everyone knows that when you’re having fun time flys…. it’s an Universal Law… a bit like Gravity and toast falling butter-side down. I have come to notice, now that I’ve turned thirty (how did that happen??) that while days themselves often seem to drag slowly by with only the occasional tea break/traffic jam to break the general monotony the weeks and indeed months fly by at breakneck speeds… I would swear that April was but a few weeks ago and that nothing much has happened in between then and now, mainly because there hasn’t been the time for anything to happen in!! This is obviously wrong as April was back them and we are now into December and indeed only two weeks away from Christmas Day itself… now how did that happen??



This weekend is nationals… assuming that I made it up to Telford with the weather and roads as they are. Indeed, if this scheduling thingy works, I should be shooting as this post goes up. Or at least today at least!! 😀

And cause it’s the second sunday here’s a proper carol, Hark the Herald Angels I think… I can’t quite remember… ;o)


Snow days….???

As some people may have noticed, there has been a little bit of snow about this week. Ours arrived quite late with nothing falling until Tuesday. Thankfully I’m working indoors at the moment, and though it’s taking nearly twice as long to get to the office, the route isn’t too bad. Though I did have the satisfaction of passing a prosche that had failed to get up a hill and to pass an audi that was stuck halfway up the next one with it’s wheels spinning.

Of course, by making it into work it does mean that I’ve not had any of “snow days” that news outlets have been continually refering to. I’m not too fussed about this if I’m honest, mainly because I wouldn’t know what I’d do after a while. There is a limit to how much playing in the snow one can do and after that what…?? Read my book?? Catch up on some of the +50 episodes of Star Trek:DS9 that I’ve got recorded on the digital recorder??

Actually…. I’d probably stay up and listen to The Ashes on the radio and sleep through the day, but I guess that’s just me!!! ;o)


Tis the season of giving…

After a couple days plodding around Greenwich last week in the freezing cold it seems that I’ve finally succumbed and picked up my first cold of the winter. You can therefore imagine the temptation just to stay in bed this morning and claim that the snow was too bad for me to get into work was quite high… alas a misplaced sense of duty meant that I risked the roads, most of which had been treated, to come in and drink tea… to do some work as well, but mainly to drink tea and share my cold.

Afterall, tis the season of giving….