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As the evening sky grew dark

23 Dec

There you go; tree, lights and an illuminated fountain. Who says I don’t do Xmas?

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It’s beginning to look a lot like that old end-of-year scam season again

17 Dec

Do you recall the Xmasses of yore when families gathered round a blazing log fire and exchanged small gifts of oranges or maybe an apple if you were lucky, while outside was a snowy Winter wonderland with robins singing among the berries of the holly tree? Nah! Me neither it’s always been a greedy money grabbing time of flog them a pile of unwanted dross and make them feel guilty if they don’t join in the ‘Festive Fun’. As everything is ‘done by computer’ these days why not invent an app (I think that’s the word) that will virtually exchange your presents from one machine to another, no actual goods will be harmed by this transaction as only money will move from your account to the dealer’s. Then you can take pictures of yourself smiling as you ‘unpack’ your ‘gift’ and you can share your delight with millions of others by the magic of social networks. Awesome! Oh hang on, I think that’s already happening …

Margot took this picture.

These are local lights for local people

26 Nov
In a operation to delight the gloomy Grinch, Cottingham’s seasonal lights were switched on in strictest secrecy on the other day. The need for subterfuge was to stymie the urge of thousands of non-locals from, ermm, Hull and hereabouts to descend upon the village to enjoy an hour or so of entertainment before the lights went on. Such meetings of outsiders required, it was said, dozens of security attendants to marshall the throng, attendants that the Parish Council couldn’t or, I’m guessing, wouldn’t afford. Not that I care for Christmas and its attendant pap one way or the other but there was no need to marshall families with little children as they all behaved themselves impeccably. But there must be security or we shall most surely perish or be sued for a stubbed toe or some such. So there’s no big switch on, no happy children,  no opportunity for a little bit of business, no party, bah!, humbug!

Christmas Creep

19 Nov

It may seem odd to a youngster  but there once was a time when the Council did not put up lights and decorations for that consumer fest at the end of December. No, that particular madness started some twenty-five or thirty years or so ago after some shop keepers in Saville Street took it upon themselves to light up their street in mid December (J’accuse! ). The Council were then arm-twisted into putting up lights all over the town centre and to stick a tree in Queen Victoria Square. (One year the tree was so scrawny it had to swapped for a better one)
The lighting-up ceremeny became a bit of a feature with stars being hired to turn up on the City Hall balcony and flip a switch (Stars such as Rolf Harris!!! those were the days!). There’d be a big fireworks display as well. Thousands would turn up to be entertained. And gradually the switch-on date drifted into November. 
With austerity the displays began to be recycled and the stars were replaced by much cheaper ‘civic dignitaries’ (I love that phrase, who uses it these days?).
This year on the 12th of November that is 6 weeks and a bit before the actual day the mayor of this town flipped the switch to set off a three minute firework display and light up all the glittery  pap of the season. Now, as the town is engaged in self-renewal, the ceremony was moved to Queen’s Gardens rose bowl fountain and there’s four trees instead of one and the lights, I’m told are better than ever, (I’ve not seen them yet) and I’m just so excited I can hardly wait for Santa to bring me my presents as I’ve been such a good boy all year … what! it can’t still be November!

Christmas Sucks

14 Dec

Oh, give me a noose I can hang from the tree
I need no excuse to end my misery
this holiday season is all the more reason to die.
Oh, pull up a stool lend an ear to a fool
who once found some solace in the season of yule
this holiday season is all the more reason to cry.
I put on my mittens, one green and one red
and I walk alone where they bury the dead
the snow falls as I grieve its a gothic death rock
christmas eve.
The bottle is empty,
the sleigh has a flat,
the stripper in my bed is ugly and fat,
her tassles are tangled and what’s worse – my jingle won’t jangle.
This time of the year makes me sick to my guts
all this good cheer is a pain in the nuts
when it’s your career to be down in the dumps
tidings of comfort and joy really suck.
I feel like St. Nicholas is pulling my leg
this thing we call Christmas is a sorry black plague
this holiday season is….
… all the more reason to die
Peter Murphy & Tom Waits (allegedly)

Christmas Twee

7 Dec

Red and green? Check. Tree? Check. Gold decorations and seasonal lights? Check. Advent candles? Check. Little gifts under the tree? Check. Hint of religious overtones (but don’t over do it)? Check
OK that’s Christmas sorted….

As I battled my way through the massed hordes of Baron Samedi’s zomby army in town the other day it was nice to find this calm retreat where the true meaning of the end-of-year festival was being celebrated. You see it’s all about tree worship ….