Blog Neglect, Gift Advisors and Catch-Up

too-early-xmas.jpg  I didn’t realise I’d neglected my blogging duties for so long.  I’ve just been sooo busy with all things festive that time has rushed by before I’ve come up for air.

holly.jpg Yesterday afternoon was spent helping my friend wrap pressies for her community kids (good job they’re worth it!)  then after school I had a date at mine with what turned out to be a most gorgeous picture framer.  When he turned up at the door I was totally stuck for words.  He was just sooo handsome.  I was stuttering and stammering like a schoolgirl.  The last time I can remember being so tongue-tied was when I was a goofy, bumbling teenager.   And…..such was his charm that I ended up buying another picture from him – stretched, framed, the lot!  So, if this blog suddenly goes dead you will know that I’m buried under the patio or something because my husband will have done away with me.  And not for ogling at random strangers that I invite into my home (I was only looking anyway, I didn’t actually pick any flowers) but for being duped into spending our hard-earned household budget on frivolities that we didn’t need.

holly.jpgAfter he left, it was a mad rush to get ready for my friends who were picking me up and whisking me off to Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to watch the Manchester and Districts Hospitals’ Choir concert.  I do love Carol concerts and a good old sing-along.  I know – I’m a hypocrite but it was for a very worthy children’s charity and my friend was singing in the choir so I had to support her didn’t I!  Bridgewater Hall incidentally, is an amazing building, both inside and out.  It’s very modern and very beautiful.


The choir conductor had us all taking parts in the The Twelve Days of Christmas with hilarious results and the choir sung a beautiful piece taken from the words of Tennyson’s In Memorium: Ring Out Wild Bells.  Here’s a taster but it’s worth reading all of it:

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

Also featured was a band of six young men called “Sixpack” who played Chrimbo tunes in the style of jazz and they lifted the roof.  And some primary school children sang a couple of beauties – one was called (if I remember rightly) “Can You Hear Me” which was sung as if in the words of a deaf child…”I can hear you through your hands“.  They accompanied the song by sign language and it was a very moving moment.

All in all, a great evening of song and musical entertainment. 

  holly.jpgTonight, my youngest daughter plays Cinderella in the school play which is titled “Which” or “When” or it could be “Who”.  Whatever… I know it will be fantasmagorical* because they always are and I am really looking forward to it.


holly.jpgToday, I took the day off to do some pressie shopping and while I was wandering around Debenhams (hubby will be getting even more nervous now if he’s reading this because he knows I have a Debenhams card), anyhoo…while I was looking around, an in-store announcement was made which went something like this….”Stuck for ideas?  Can’t think what to buy for your partner, loved one, or your auntie Mabel?  Just take yourself along to one of the check-out desks and ask for one of our fully-trained gift advisors.”  

For goodness sake!  I can go with the idea of personal shoppers who advise you on colour, style etc. when buying clothes.  But a gift advisor?  How does that work?  How can a random stranger advise you what to buy for someone whom he or she has never met?  And just how does one train to be a gift-advisor?  What skills are required?   Are people actually paid to dream up gimmicks like this?   Made me chuckle to myself anyway.  Come to think of it…I’m still totally stuck for what to buy my two brothers-in-law!  Hmm…should I?

holly.jpgI’ve tried to catch up with the news and I see that old tyrant Pinochet has been snatched from justice by the Grim Reaper and will now take his crimes against humanity to the grave.  Well it’s one less gift for Margeret (hiss, spit) Thatcher to buy.  Anyway, I say let’s learn from his brutal deeds and on behalf of his victims and their families, let’s never give up the campaign for justice against human rights abusers and tyrannical leaders.  The victim’s families won’t get their day in court with Pinochet but I hope his death will bring some sort of closure for them.

holly.jpgKoffi Annan made an impassioned and heartfelt final speech as he stepped out of office as scretary general.  Was glad to hear him speak openly and honestly in condemnation of George Bush Inc. and the US administration’s human rights abuses in the deceptive guise of fighting terror:

“When power, especially military force, is used, the world will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose – for broadly shared aims in accordance with broadly accepted norms,”  Koffi Annan

South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-moon takes over his role.  Good luck to him.

holly.jpgCondoleeza Rice apparently has no regets about all the blood that is on her hands from the part she played in the Iraq war.   Hmm…are we surprised?  She did, however, say that she takes personal responsibility for the bloodshed that is still dominating the lives of ordinary Iraqi’s.  So…how does that one work then?  If a person takes full responsibility for something, then that person owns it…owns all its successess and failures.  So if Rice is taking full responsibility for the bloodshed then she needs to be held accountable for all the mistakes and blunders…doesn’t she?

holly.jpgPersonal carbon allowances by way of carbon credit cards have been proposed by the Labour Environment secretary, David Miliband.  A very good idea which will enforce self-regulation.  Still not into the idea of individually trading spare carbon though, not least because the well-off get to carry on polluting, leaving the less well-off to make all the life-style changing reductions.

holly.jpgAnd we seem to have a nasty serial killer in our midst.  Gruesome thought indeed.   Let’s fervently hope he’s caught before he strikes again…or she, I should add.

*Fantasmagorical:  I just had to find somewhere to use this word, courtesy of MrZhisou.  Thanks Zeddie. 😀


6 responses to this post.

  1. Very good, Earthpal. You have given a good account of your thoughts for these past days. One of them is hanging in my mind, Pinochet, and I will have to unhang it somehow. It reminds me of the causes and effects of dictatorships, of leaders of apparent democratic principles but of factual dictatorial behaviour, who is behind them and why they thrive for so many years on people’s support, what propaganda does for them and how eventually they disappear.

    When Franco died, I remember the long queues of people waiting to pay their respects in Madrid before his coffin. Hours and hours of filing along. After his death, transition was the word, Franco started to be hated and “democracy” made its appearance. In fact the very same people who were behind him were also behind the new political system.

    Ironies of life, I’d say.


  2. That’s not funny EP, I hate that word.


  3. Canarislander, the Francist, by and large, were doing what was necessary to survive. Most knew democracy was inevitable and knew the best thing was to play along – with the obvious exception.


  4. Posted by misslionheart on December 14, 2006 at 10:16 am

    Busy busy! Glad to see you blogging away again like a woman possessed 😆


  5. What amazes me, MrZhisou, is the zeal with which those Francoists of old defended the new democratic system.


  6. Thanks Canarislander. Democracy can never be pure while there are leaders who will exploit the system to deceive the people and grip all the political and corporate power. Yes, the people use their voices in free and democratic elections so they think it’s all a democratic process but just how democratic is it really when the powerful elite hold all the cards – and deceive and lie?

    Maybe it’s inevitable that whatever governing process is insitu, it will become a dictatorship of one form or another.


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