Blog : Posts tagged with 'Christmas' : Page 1

*

Strange Loop

In which things get into a circular reference


Things go around in circles. This site has been quiet for a while in the past, more than once, and it will probably happen again in the future at some point. I can’t tell when, but it will probably happen.

Still, a new year is as good a time for a new start as any, even though I try not to believe in arbitrary starting-points. It’s hard to avoid it at this time of year, though: forced to stay away from work, expected to visit the family, exchange gifts, rest for a week and recover ready for the new year’s start. I’ve been staying in and reading one of the books I received for Christmas: Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter. It’s a long book, a complex book, and I haven’t finished it yet: but its essence is in loops, looping, and self-referentiality. How self-referentiality is necessary, as a minimum, before self-awareness can occur. It seems like an ideal thing to talk about on a blog which has always been highly aware that it’s a blog, but I’m not sure if I’ve taken in enough of the book to write about it yet. “It’s got a lot of equations in it,” said The Mother, giving it to me. It does have, true; it also has some truly awful puns, intertwined and nested ideas, and dialogues between fictional and/or appropriated characters who butt into the discussion on a regular basis.

Funnily enough, a letter came the other day from regular reader E. Shrdlu of Clacton-on-Sea…

The Plain People Of The Internet: Hurrah! We were wondering when that chap would pop up again. We were worried he’d got stuck putting shapes into boxes, or analysing what kind of linoleum he has in his kitchen.

Hush, you. As I was saying, a letter came, from semi-regular reader E. Shrdlu of Clacton-on-Sea:

“Gödel, Escher, Bach” is quite a work to try to emulate, isn’t it? Maybe you should try something simpler. Never mind the parallels between human consciousness, a baroque composer and a 20th-century artist: have you thought about the links between something simpler, like TV ghost stories and the British railway preservation movement? Or maybe: the parallels between the work of Robert Graves and books like “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”. Something nice and straightforward like that.

It’s an interesting idea there. Maybe I should indeed be starting off along those lines. Over the next few weeks and months, I’ll be writing a critique of a piece of writing I read for the first time a few days ago. It starts like this:

Things go around in circles. This site has been quiet for a while in the past, more than once, and it will probably happen again in the future at some point. I can’t tell when, but it will probably happen.

Still, a new year is as good a time for a new start as any, even though I try not to believe in arbitrary starting-points…

Somehow, I think I might be onto something.

No comments yet. »

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

*

Photo Post Of The Year

In which we look at the Christmas tree


Christmas Deer

Christmas Star

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

No comments yet. »

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

*

Photo post of the week

In which we visit east Bristol, and Clevedon


A month or so ago, we took a trip to Clevedon, Somerset. I wrote about it at the time, although, I realise now, didn’t actually say which town we’d been to. Here, though, are some of the photographs.

The derelict Royal Pier Hotel, Clevedon Clevedon pier The derelict Royal Pier Hotel, Clevedon

And, as that’s not very many, here’s some of Bristol just after Christmas, too:

Christmas decorations, Church Rd, Bristol St George's Park, Bristol Moon, Bristol

No comments yet. »

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

*

Photo Post Of The Week (sort of)

In which we remember Christmas


First off: we’ve got a visitor coming again, a week today. Does anyone from Bristol who might be reading this know of anything interesting that might be happening next weekend? Anything artistic, or musical, that’s maybe a little quirky and offbeat, that we can take him to? After all, there’s bound to be something.

Secondly: although I still have at least 6 or 7 weeks backlog of photos to get online, most of the ones I’ve been posting to Flickr this week are shots that have already appeared on the blog, in a few days over Christmas.

Having said that, though, here are a few of this week’s uploads, from Christmas itself.

Family Christmas Family Christmas Family Christmas

No comments yet. »

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: , , , , , , , , , ,

*

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: , , , , , , , , , ,

*

Advent update

In which we fail to open the Advent calendar


A few weeks ago, I wrote about the advent calendar my mother sent us:

So far this year we’ve opened it every day, but I’m not really sure how long that’s going to last.

This is a quick update to say: yep, we’re way behind now. So much so that we can now open at least two doors per day until Christmas and still not run out of chocolate. Well, at least my mother needn’t feel guilty any more about forgetting to buy us one each.

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , ,

*

Advent

In which The Mother sends an advent calendar


Despite my age, my mother still makes sure to send me an advent calendar every year. I’m not quite sure why she feels the need. She buys me one, sends it, we remember to open the doors for a few days, then leave it and suddenly remember, around the 20th, that we now have a few weeks worth of chocolate to eat. So far this year we’ve opened it every day, but I’m not really sure how long that’s going to last.

When I was small, of course, I got one every year – but always kept the previous years’. This was in the days before chocolate advent calendars – or, at least, the days before my mother felt it worth buying chocolate advent calendars, which I didn’t start receiving until the 90s. Back when I was a child, every year on the first of December the advent calendar collection would be stuck up on the doors of the house, and every day thereafter I’d run around the house opening each day’s doors. We did, after a few years, start running out of doors.

3 comments so far. »

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)