spirits of christmas

Thunk on or about 22nd December 2004

Carols in the Park

(and Eddies in the space-time continuum...)

On Monday night Pamela, Robert and I went down to Five Dock park for some carol singing. The folks in the houses around the park are into the Christmas lights thing in a big way and, as a way of bringing in the punters, have also organised the singing.

A small stage with indifferent sound system was set up. Three ice-cream vans descended like vultures. The local Rotary group provided sausage-inna-bun and Santa turned up in a police car. Presumably they let him out of the cells around this time of year as a way of keeping the elvish unemployment figures down.

My theory is they nicked him for illegal surveillance activities. "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you've been bad or good..." With probably a bit of breaking and entering on the side.

But I digress. I think the organisers got a bit carried away and they produced an entire concert, not just a singalong. I'm not convinced this was a good idea, although the quality of the acts wasn't bad.

Robert got a bit bored with all this so he and I went and threw a ball around for a while. Apart from giving me some much needed exercise, it also gave me the opportunity to lose my mobile phone, something I did not notice until near the end of the festivities.

This gave me the opportunity for some more exercise as I tramped around, looking for a black mobile phone in a dark park. What with the anticipated phone bill for the calls to Europe made by the lucky finder, and the tedious and expensive prospect of having to replace the phone, I had to dredge quite deeply into my stock of swear words.

Then an extraordinary thing happened. Santa Claus gave me my phone back! Apparently some member of the public, intoxicated with the Christmas spirit, had handed it in. Santa announced it over the P.A. system. My lack of faith in human nature was shattered.

My colleagues at work have unkindly suggested that no-one with any desire for street-cred would steal my old Nokia 5400. All right, you can't use it to take photographs, watch movies, play games or surf the web. That's because it's a phone. You use it to make phone calls.

Croquet anyone?

We've had a bit of an extended Christmas this year. For various reasons we have had groups of people meeting and exchanging presents for the kids. Convention seems to be that presents will be opened at the time, not waiting until Christmas Day.

At one of these events, some other kids received a small croquet set. It's quite a nifty thing - designed to be played indoors. Everything is light and padded. It has only two hoops but you can have plenty of fun with it.

Robert fell in love with it and wanted one too. We don't believe in just giving him everything he asks for but he was very keen. We found out where to get them and discovered they cost twenty dollars.

Robert has a little coin collection and we got it out and it added up to about eight dollars. We introduced him to the concept of working for money so that he could make up the rest by doing little jobs.

He was pretty dubious about this idea to start with but once he got the concept on board he took to it. He helped me rake up some leaves in the garden and did some other tasks with his Mum. He was up to eighteen dollars and helping to clean up the front garden when he found two dollars lying under some leaves. Clearly, it was meant to be.

Pamela had to go into town for a medical checkup the next day so she took Robert to the shop and bought the set with his bag of coins. Apparently he played it solidly for three hours while waiting for his Mum to finish at the doctor.

It's interesting how significant that croquet set has become to him. You can see he is proud of owning it and tells everyone about it. The morning after he got it I saw him come into the room and see it lying on the floor and his face broke into a huge grin.

I'm sure there's some folksy wisdom in there somewhere.

Merry Christmas

I'm told that in the US the religious nutters are trying to organise a boycott of Macy's because their signs say Season's Greetings instead of Merry Christmas. I'm surprised the term "Merry" is allowed through. Miserable sods.

Bar Humbug, I say. I shall wish my reader Merry Greetings in this Christmas Season. In fact, I so do:

Merry Greetings in this Christmas Season

See you next year - same bat time, same bat channel.


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