Tag Archive: Christmas


Want one

BBQ

Yes, want one!

Saw this while I was browsing yesterday. Although grill plates on left would probably be replaced by pizza oven…

Who needs a garage anyway? I don’t have a car, it only serves to dry my washing on the line when it rains like yesterday.

Actually, it could be built and not encroach on the car parking space. Have to think more about that.

Fourteen bloggers ‘Liked’ my post HungWon-on yesterday, now I’m not complaining, I liked getting so many ‘Likes’ a good half dozen more than my posts normally attract. It has, however, left me grappling with the horns with a dilemma; did they like in sympathy, or were they chortling about an old fool. The latter was reinforced in a letter I got from my younger brother (I am 60+, he is 60-, will be 60 this year) when he referred to “my dotage”.

FalseTeethMy dotage… I was always under the impression that one was in their dotage as they became a little dependent, a little wobbly on their pins, forgetful where they put their beer, unable to spell certain words (I just had 3 attempts to get ‘forgetful’ right, but that was a typo – OKAY?) and mumbling when they speak because they forgot their false teeth.

Couldn’t resist that image… LOL

And, and… use a walking stick. Okay, so I use a walking stick, that’s only 20% of the way to dotage. I’m not there yet!

banhaMoving right along. I almost committed a heinous crime. This is my second ‘beefless‘ week of the month in my resolve to limit the amount of beef I am responsible for. I planned lunch, a lovely pork roast that would warm the cockles of my heart today being coolish, cold sliced pork to go with a salad on a day not cool like today and at least two days of pork sandwiches for nibbles. Then I realised I was going to use beef dripping to cook it in the roasting dish. See how easy it is to fall into little traps. Yes, I buy my dripping, because I don’t roast enough to collect the real McCoy. I used to buy pork lard, but I just recently discovered that the green pack was beef dripping, much preferred because of the flavour. So in the spirit of the ‘beefless‘ week, I will dry roast it and save the lard produced.

stopbelievinginsantaMonday, so far it has been an unMondayish Monday, but there’s plenty of time yet for it to be a Mondaylike Monday.

I’ll leave you with a thought for the week.

Ever wonder why you get socks and underwear for Christmas as an adult?

It’s because you grew up and  adults lack imagination.

The Silly Season

Here we are in the midst of the Silly Season.

We have survived the end of the world… again and have probably got through Christmas relatively unscathed. Although, can the same be said of your wallet?

I have been through with Christmas presents for some years; I get none and I give none. Now some may think that to be soulless, but it’s practical. I don’t have to compete in shops with the milling crowds, I am not held to ransom by inflated prices and I remain sane and unstressed, if not a little tiddly.

The world economy is in the shit. Governments want you to spend to boost the economy. But what have you got to spend? Certainly not money. So put it on the credit card and spend the next year paying off your excesses, just in time to do it all again.

Using credit cards is a fool’s game. It keeps you permanently in debt. Oh sure, it’s nice and easy, but can you control your spending. If you answer ‘yes’, then you are self deluded. The only way to control your spending is to cut your card in half. I did it, and now all my money is mine.

Next we must brace ourselves for New Year. How will you survive?

Just had a break, neighbours are having a BBQ, and I always get asked to make the garlic butter, they supply the ingredients and I make it. Most Brazilians believe that garlic butter should be made with mayonnaise, and as a result it tastes like shit, well burnt shit actually. I make it with margarine and it makes beautiful golden garlic bread.

So, I am now about to enjoy the fruits of my labour, it’s beer o’clock…

So, it came to pass…

Another Christmas Day.

Before I ruin it, I’d just like to wish the faithful, the followers and other assorted visitors, even if you landed here accidentally,

Merry Christmas!

Santa-CocaColaI had intended to do that yesterday. I mean, I really did. I had the ‘new post’ box open for so long that WordPress told me that my session had expired and I had to sign in again.

You will note that I didn’t use RED for the Merry Christmas. After all Christmas is red, isn’t it? Well it is, but only since Coca Cola used the paintings of Haddon Sundblom  who is generally accepted as to having changed the colour to red, although a red Santa had appeared earlier. But, Coca Cola saw the red Santa as fitting into its corporate image.

So, by not using red I am protesting at a corporate level because since 1984 Coca Cola has been using HFCS as its sweetening agent because cane sugar is too expensive. HFCS aggravates obesity and type-2 diabetes and should be a banned substance, but of course, with Coca Cola’s lobbying power, this will never happen.

Last night, as I tried in vain to sleep from about 10:30, the air was split with bangs and booms and the occasional ‘whumph’ in the distance sounding more like an artillery piece being fired.

Brazilians have decided that Christmas should be split asunder with fireworks like New Year.

The traditional ceia (midnight dinner) is a feature of Christmas for this largely Catholic country. the meal features a turkey, Brazilians are big on turkey, and features familiar dishes and the not-so-familiar. Bacalhau (slated cod) is always featured in some dish or other, along with staples like rice and farofa (a mandioca flour side dish). For many the midnight mass, then home for ceia, but this year they decided fireworks were needed as well. There have always been a few, but this year featured more than I can remember.

We continue to have hot. It has been two weeks since any rain, despite forecast promises. Today is already sunny and hot, but a wind has sprung up in the last few minutes which is refreshing.

Today, nothing will happen. Brazilians do not ‘do’ Christmas Day; their excesses are on Christmas Eve making Christmas Day rather a non-event. They don’t ‘do’ Boxing Day either, so tomorrow, it’s back to work.

Such is Christmas.

Next weekend we do it all again for New Year.

So far, not even a ripple

With the end of the world supposedly approaching, you would have thought that there may have been some signs already.

I am curious as to whether it will be a slow rumbling sort of end, or a ‘rip-whoosh-bang’ ending. The latter would be so disappointing for one such as myself expecting a spectacle.

I got an email from a great friend yesterday. The tone of which was most unexpected given that this person is a scientist who has published many papers and speaks several languages fluently. He is also a pianist and has composed hence his reference to Beethoven’s 5th. Being such a serious type of person, it goes without saying that he is almost devoid of a sense of humour, not quite, but close. I sent him the YouTube link of my passion fruit flowers being inspected by an abelha negra (big black bumble bee) for pollinating (you can find the clip in this post). This was the reaction…

“I always wondered who uploads these shitty videos on youtube 🙂

Very beautiful humble bee, indeed, I kept watching the video for hours. I mean, four hours. Again and again, absolutely stunning images. They fit very well to Beethoven’s fifth symphony (beginning). They also combine well with rice, vinegar and dehydrated cucumbers. And to the number 777. And, of course, to my favourite colour: smelly.

I think I am wheeled. Or at least, completely tired. Wheel, tire, who cares. The Chinese would anyhow say that I am a “wheeldo”.”

I was stunned. Having known this person for more than ten years, I never suspected, nor expected that.

Moving right along…

I see that the latest tragedy in the USA has planted the idea of gun control in Obama’s tiny little brain.  The aim of the government has been for sometime to de-arm the populace so as to reduce resistance to the government in the event of the coming crisis. What better way to achieve one’s aims than riding on the crest of the public hysteria wave; make it seem as it is what they want.

Today, I am classless. I cunningly combined today’s classes with yesterdays. So very shortly it will be beer o’clock, but before that I thought it only right that I should write a post.

The days continue to be hot, although yesterday showed promise of rain, lots of thunder and lightning, a light sprinkle and that was it. They have been promising storms since the weekend, so much for the hit and miss technology of the meteorologist.

People ask me if I am animado (looking forward) to Christmas. I am about as animated as a dead fish. Christmas fails to stir an iota of interest other than it’s a good reason to drink beer. The hype and commercialisation has destroyed any pleasure. In effect it is a day when I can’t give class, therefore don’t get paid.

My coffee cup is empty. I should consider lunch before beer o’clock looms over the horizon. The clouds of a good storm are already looming… probably come to nothing.

Makes you wonder

It’s Thanksgiving, it’s Christmas, it’s Hanukkah, it’s New Year’s and then, with no warning, it’s just Tuesday.

That was a tweet this morning from a RT by @AmidPrivilege.

The exhuberance of carnaval

But it makes you wonder what all the fuss is about. Here in Brazil it is a little different, in February we have Carnaval to soften the dreary days between New Year and Easter.

Carnaval certainly breaks the monotony as we head towards winter.

Now that the New Year is ahead full steam, I am back to work today, lesson at 4:30, it was supposed to start yesterday, but the student canceled, he was stuck in traffic on the way back from holiday.

With the week of torrential rain that we had over New Year disrupting traffic all over the country. The highway from Região dos Lagos (very popular getaway from Rio) experiencing 30km traffic jams. Apparently is was worse in both São Paulo and Minas Gerais states.

The price one pays for a weekend of celebration.

Me, being the wise one, I walked no further than the 11 metres to the botequim (neighbourhood bar) the whole weekend, most considered that I was quite correct. New Years Eve was the worst best day, I actually got sunburned when the sun shone for a few hours late in the morning before the rain started again. I am feeling the lethargy today, usually do just before I peel.

New Year is the one time of the year that I allow myself to get a little tiddly. I don’t get drunk, that’s a fools game. One of the valuable things I learned in the air force was that officers don’t get drunk, they merely become socially excited; it has stood me in good stead ever since. It has been many years since I had a hangover, probably more than twenty. The chaps at the botequim were surprised on Saturday and a few commented that theyd never seen me chapado (legless, drunk) ever. While I certainly was far from being chapado, I had a buzz and did trip over the gutter once saying “Whee, that was fun!”

More, or should that be less, carnaval

It is this year that I turn 61, hence I discover that there is life after 60. I must discover where…

There’s another shot of carnaval, just in case you were wondering where to spend February this year.

I should go and shower then apply smelly concoctions and run the nugget brush through what’s left of my hair so that my cadaver is acceptable to the world at large before my lesson. I should also put on my pants. Yes, it is true bloggers blog in their underwear, that is not just a horrid  myth.

Later.

So much coffee, not enough time

It dawned on me today while twittering that there are only 361 days until… Next Christmas.

Now there’s terrifying thought for you.

Damn, the connection has gone down, now I am continuing using Linux’s form of Word; but it’s not the same as blogging ‘live.’

Today is my last day of work. My students have canceled Thur & Fri, so in protest I’m not going to work until next year!

Net returned, and I want to post this before work…

later

All over, bar the shouting

Yes, here we are again. It’s Christmas Eve. In most Protestant countries Christmas Eve is merely the last chance to go shopping.

Ceia de natal, Brazilian style

But here in Brazil, being predominantly Catholic, they have a ceia de natal (traditional dinner) which I read is 12% more expensive this year and party at midnight whereas I am used to the celebration starting at 5am or thereabouts on Christmas morning with present opening and feverish activity until lunch and relatives arriving and of course more presents, including Aunt Louie’s annual handkerchief, I don’t think that woman had an ounce of imagination, but I had a good collection of handkerchiefs.

I have no plans for today. I have not been invited to participate in any of the festivities. Christmas Eve will be business as usual for me, although I will resort to a whisky or two with friends at the botequim (neighbourhood bar).

Brazilian cigarras (cicadas)

The day promises to be hot. Yesterday was hot, it got to 38⁰C and as the cicadas were making their shrill chirping last night in the trees around the praça it promises to be even hotter today.

My ravioli left over leftovers from yesterday were just fine, there were no added furry bits growing on them, so there was no waste. I chose to have them with some cheap plonk. It was indeed cheap, and it was indeed plonk; I got what I paid for. Serves my scroogish self right. It was a pessago (peach) cooler; a good half the chilled brew was duly donated to Denise, one of my neighbours, who arrived home hot and flustered after last minute Christmas shopping; call it a flourish of the Christmas spirit. She appreciated it because it was direct from the freezer and I know from past experience that she enjoys that kind of drink.

Now a note on English as a language… this has been around for a long time, but it’s always worth a reprint.

English Language

-The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.
-As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.
-In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.
-There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.
-In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where! more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.
-By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”. During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ets oza.
-Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.
-If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl…..

The Americans are already well on the way to butchering the language, so this is a real possibility.

I will wish you all the best for the festive season. Political correctness behooves that I don’t use the secular Merry Christmas because I am offending Muslims and Jews. There’s never anything said, however, when Jews have a Merry (or whatever) Hanukka, my sensibilities don’t count.

All this excreta has gone too far and one day it will hit the oscillating cooling device.

I don’t give a monkey’s toss; have a Merry ‘whatever-you’re-having’!

Twice I have started

…and twice I have procrastinated. The day has been interrupted by minor details like work and the more considerably important ‘beer o’clock’. Then there was the news, then reheating yesterday’s left-over ravioli and now I am watching my soap opera.

The Beer o'clock principle

You’re lucky that I am here…

It dawned on me on Monday (told you it was a bad day), that it’s Christmas week; which prompts me to ask, where the f*** has the year gone?

It went, simply went.

The Christmas hype, the TV ads, everybody is anxiously awaiting and animated. Me, it’s just another week. Ho hum. I see everything around me has absolutely no meaning. One of the most disgusting ads on TV promises you ten months of indebtedness so you can buy presents and have them paid of in time for next Christmas, just to repeat the cycle; perpetual debt… Some bloody Christmas present.

I have nothing planned, my pay was cocked up last month so I don’t even have enough to buy presents for the kids.

The most Christmassy that I have become is eating cashew nuts in front of the TV. How’s that for excitement?

The commercialisation of Christmas has left me nauseated, and each year more nauseous. The brainwashing involved and greed generated are part of what’s wrong with this bloody world.

Merry Christmas to all my visitors

While I am not religious, Christmas was one time of the year that we could be family, but that has all gone. Anyway, Jesus was born in September… nothing to do with Christmas.

So, having said all that, and got my annual grump out of the way; I’ll get in early and wish you all what’s left of the best Christmas spirit in the way it was intended.

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