Blog : Posts from December 2008 : Page 1

*

Memories of the year (part two)

In which I remember moving house


My second memory of the year is the more important. It’s not so much a memory of a specific event, as of a feeling. The feeling I had when we had moved in to our new flat together, the friend who had helped us move had left, and we were alone in our own place for the first time. A feeling of immense love and unbounded opportunity.

One comment. »

Keyword noise: , ,

*

Memories of the year (part one)

In which I remember arriving in Riga


In past years, I’ve usually posted my stand-out memories of the year so far, around this time. Last year there were four; the year before five.

There aren’t so many big, stand-out memories on my mind this year. That’s not because the year’s been dull or empty. Rather, the opposite: there have been so many happy memories that I can’t single many out from the crowd.

This one, though, is from my birthday. It’s getting dark, and I’m looking out of a plane window, at lamplit streets and tower blocks, watching the ground get closer and closer and trying to make out landmarks I recognise from the map. If you know me, you’ll know I don’t fly very often; in fact, at this point, I’ve been up since about 4am, I’m on the second plane ride of my birthday, and also the fourth of my life. I’m scared, not because of the flight or the impending landing, but because I’ve never been to a foreign country quite so foreign before, but I’m also rather excited. We might still be in the EU, but this is definitely more exotic than France or Germany. Latvia at night, as I turn 30.

One comment. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , ,

*

Another musical thought

In which I bemoan the work of Peter Kay


I know, before Christmas, I grumbled about how disinterested I am, this year, in the annual Christmas Number One single news. So disinterested, in fact, that I wrote two whole paragraphs in it. But, having had to listen to that annoying Peter Kay Christmas song too many times over Christmas,* I decided to write another.

There’s no copyright on ideas, as you probably know. Nor on concepts, however many people try to make money selling gameshow concepts to TV production houses. It’s hard, after all, to prove that you came up with an idea independently of someone else.** I wondered, myself, what the comedian and writer Tony Hawks thought when he first heard Peter Kay’s song. Twenty years ago, Hawks recorded the song “This Is The Chorus”, about ear-worms. This year, Kay gets to the top of the charts with, ooh, a song about ear-worms. Kay’s business sense, though – I hesitate to use “genius” – is to write a song about Christmas ear-worms. Who has a reason to listen to “This Is The Chorus” now, when it’s twenty years old? Nobody. Who has a reason to revive Peter Kay’s song?*** Any DJ whose Christmas tape is a bit short. Maybe it will make it into the canon, and keep coming back onto the air over and over again every year. I hope not.

* twice

** as Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz famously found out the hard way.

*** I’ve (thankfully) forgotten its name.

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , , ,

*

Christmas Without Words (part two)


Christmas
Christmas
Christmas

No comments yet. »

*

Christmas Without Words (part one)


Christmas
Christmas
Christmas

No comments yet. »

*

Getting ready for Christmas

In which K makes decorations


As it’s Christmas Eve, and everyone is rushing about doing their last-minute shopping and getting ready to hang their stockings up, here’s some suitable photos. K, making some of this year’s Christmas decorations – in this case, a pair of felt stockings for either side of the fireplace.

K making Christmas stockings K making Christmas stockings K making Christmas stockings
K making Christmas stockings K making Christmas stockings K making Christmas stockings
K making Christmas stockings K making Christmas stockings K making Christmas stockings
K making Christmas stockings K making Christmas stockings K making Christmas stockings

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , ,

*

Presents

In which I rant about lottery advertising


Today, I suppose, I should really go out and start looking for Christmas presents for people. I have no idea, at all, what anybody wants; no idea what anybody needs; and no idea what I’m going to buy. I know what I’m not going to buy, though.

On the way between our house and the local library, there’s a bus stop,* and as bus stops tend to, it has a space for advertising on the side. And at the moment, the advert is nothing more than: a giant picture of a lottery scratchcard. With a slogan something along the lines of: “The ideal present for Christmas”.

Now. Just wait a minute. No. No, it isn’t. Excuse me for wanting to rant, but a lottery scratchcard is, in so many ways, just about the worst Christmas present imaginable.** Never mind a gambling ethics debate, it’s wrong in so many other ways. It’s small, flat, hardly anything to unwrap, no box to shake, no wrapping paper to tear off with abandon. Its entertainment value lasts for all of, ooh, about 3 seconds. It’s completely thoughtless and says nothing at all about the recipient, the giver, or anybody: it has no emotional or personal value whatsoever. And, finally, the chances are that it’s valueless: a piece of litter. It’s less use as a present than a sheet of wrapping paper. Or a stick. If I was given one as a present, I’d be crossing that person out of my address book straight away. And then hire assassins. Maybe I’m not the target audience for the advert, but there’s no way in hell that a poster is going to persuade me that buying a scratchcard for someone is a good plan as a present for them. What on earth would it say about me, for one thing? That I have so little imagination that I’ve bought them, ooh, a coloured piece of paper with that silver rub-off stuff on it.*** Because a poster said so. Because that’s how brain-dead I am.

So, no. That’s not going to be on the shopping list, at least.

* actually there’s several, but never mind

** if you can think of worse ones, please let me know.

*** What the hell is that stuff, anyway?

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , ,

*

Carolling

In which we prefer Jeff Buckley


K and I are both fairly interested in music, I’d say. We’re not experts, and we’ve only got one or two thousand albums between us; but we’re probably more interested in music than the average person.

Having said that: I’m utterly, utterly uninterested in this year’s Christmas Number One single news story. It’s slightly depressing, true, but not surprising that a plastic, packaged, and heavily marketed version of something should sell more than a genuine-but-unadvertised one. It’s good, too, that it might introduce some people to an artist who is definitely more artistic in some ways than the stuff they hear on X-Factor. It’s a shame, though, that they’re being introduced to someone who’s been dead for over ten years, and was barely known before his death. Better they were introduced to someone who would benefit from the support now.

One comment. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , , ,

*

The turn of the year

In which I consider the seasonal cycle


The night is drawing in, as I draft this post.* The sky is darkening, and the lamps are lit, to brighten the house and drive back the winter darkness. It’s a time to light candles, and fires, and stare into their hearts. We still have a visceral response to fire, glowing embers and flickering, crackling flames.

As we stare at it, though, the world turns. The world turns, and after today, ice gives way to fire again. It might take time for the darkness to lift and long days to return; but the world will turn, and everything will come around in its cycle. As it does every year. That doesn’t mean, though, that today isn’t time to light a candle and huddle round it, fighting back the dark.

* which was a few days ago, now; and when this post appeared online it was morning. But it’s a better way to open than: “The night is drawing in … well, it was at 4pm on Friday”

2 comments so far. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , ,

*

Photo post of the week

In which I spot a train


We discovered, the other week, that occasionally, just sometimes, if you drag yourself out of bed early on a Saturday morning and get down to our local railway station (1 train an hour if you’re lucky, to Weston-super-Mare), you can see something a bit more interesting than normal…

"Torbay Express" passing Parson St Station "Torbay Express" passing Parson St Station
Two "Torbay Expresses" passing Parson St Station Two "Torbay Expresses" passing Parson St Station

If one of the trains had been travelling a few seconds later or earlier, I’d have got a great photo of the equivalent 1930s and 1970s express engines passing each other.* As it was, the modern train is a blob in the distance. Ah well. Maybe I’ll get up early tomorrow too.

* With the added, slightly confusing detail, that both of the trains involved (not the engines) have the same name.

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

*

Search this site

*

Contact

E: feedback [at] symbolicforest [dot] com

IM: Ask me if you'd like to know

*

Post Categories

Artistic (118)
Dear Diary (349)
Feeling Meh (48)
Geekery (109)
In With The Old (34)
Linkery (37)
Media Addict (164)
Meta (79)
Photobloggery (94)
Political (113)
Polling (7)
Sub category (19)
The Family (31)
The Office (70)
Unbelievable (53)