Thursday, November 26, 2009

Climb every mountain?

We heard a funny story about our granddaughter Mini today. Her mum was
reading a children's story book to her, about some bears who/which set off
on a long trek ... walking through woods and across some fields, splish-
splashing across a river, and then starting an arduous climb up a

At this point in the story, Mini asked: "Why don't they walk around the

She'd thought about this all by herself, which I think is amazing for
someone so young.


Of course, I totally agree with her viewpoint. Why climb a ruddy mountain
and risk losing your life/limb, when you could walk round it, or go up some
of them in a cable-car, or get a helicopter to the top?

I get a great sense of achievement if I complete a Sudoku puzzle. I don't
need to climb a mountain.

(I'm adding in a post here, which I deleted temporarily to remove
spam in my Comments box)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Tis almost the season to be jolly

I’ve been thinking about writing a blog-post about how Christmas is nearly
upon us, (it’s 4 weeks away) and about the annual ritual / chore of sending
out Xmas cards and/or “round robins” to one and all. But then I remembered
that Thanksgiving Day in the US is coming up, it’s tomorrow in fact, and
then I wondered what that’s all about.

Well, as Philip Gold’s post tells me, initially it was a celebration devised
by the Pilgrims Fathers way back in 1620, and who’d survived the sea voyage
and their first year (or few months) there. Later, it became the day of the
year that the US celebrates all its achievements, and a day for family
get-togethers and feasting (which I’ve deduced from all the American films
I’ve watched over the years). I think this is very bad timing because they’ve
got to put up with the same set of relatives coming over for another feast
on Xmas Day. :)

Anyway, my main thought for the day is really about Round Robins. I think
they’ve got “The Marmite Factor” (a term used by Alan Baddiel when he wrote
about the identical twins in the "X Factor") … you either love them or hate
them. As I sit on the fence on most things, being a Libran, I do have mixed
feelings about receiving these from family and friends.

I’ve noticed that Round Robins tend to be upbeat or downbeat according to
how the writer is feeling … a bit like my posts … but somehow they are either
too boastful … listing all the exotic holidays they’ve been on, and how
brilliantly their adorable children are doing at school, at uni or in their
jobs … or at the other extreme, too miserable … tales of woe, listing all
their ailments, all the friends who’ve died, and how miserable they feel …
what an annus horribilis they’ve had (written by an anus horribilis ~ a pain
in the arse).

And then you get newsletters from folk, written in the third person, saying
“Stan did this”, while “Ethel did that”, which leaves me wondering who
actually wrote them. To make matters even more impersonal ~ sorry, I'll just
re-phrase this ~ what I think makes a newletter even more impersonal, is a repetition in the newsletter of all the news I’ve either been told or
participated in, earlier in the year.

Given how easy it is to edit a typed letter in Word, why can’t the sender edit
out the bits I already know, and personalise it for me? It’s a bit like
receiving a standardised letter from a business, sent out to everyone on its
email list.

Having said all that, it’s time I got on with getting my Christmas e-card
ready to send to everyone on my email list. :)

Happy Thanksgiving (to my American readers).

The following comments are for my post "Climb every mountain?


Blogger Keith said...

I get a great sense of achievement if I actually manage to cook something that is edible.

1:11 AM  
Blogger justin said...

Yes, I agree with you there, Keith. I feel great just serving up something simple like beans, tinned plum tomatoes and a poached egg, on 1-2 pieces of toast. If I'm feeling more adventurous, I'll add some mushrooms, cooked with a small amount of garlic and a little butter. Mmmm ... mmm.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

That is the cutest story about your granddaughter...very smart, for sure!

Justine, You'll have to join Sepia Saturday next week. Do you blog with Alan? If not, you can link to him through my blog! I'll look forward to seeing the picture of your mom!

11:18 PM  

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