Good that North Korea is getting back to some kind of normality after the demise of Kim Jong Il although “Salespersons and citizens burst out sobbing at fish shops in the capital city Friday” so clearly the authorities spreading pollacks hasn’t completely netted down the scale of the problem. I’m hooked on their news agency site (That’s enough fish jokes – ed)
Indeed Merry Christmas to all readers, whether you take part in the full religious thing or like me just reflect a wee bit on things and enjoy a couple of days off.
Our best present has been that Eve has been seizure free since her operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on 1st December. It will be a while before we can start reducing her medication but hopefully when we do it will confirm that the operation has meant she’ll be both seizure and medication free.
Thanks everyone for reading the blog in 2011. The number of email subscriptions has quadrupled in 2011 but the number of ‘hits’ has declined. I’m assuming that the two things are connected and that more folk are reading from their inbox.
However you read it, thank you. Thank you in particular to the folk who pass comment or send me stuff for inclusion – That is what makes the whole thing worthwhile.
So Merry Christmas to you all and I’ll blog again as soon as seasonal excess allows!
I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to my friends and colleagues, but it is difficult in today’s world to know exactly what to say without offending someone. So I met with my lawyer yesterday, and on advice I wish to say the following :
Please accept with no obligation , implied or implicit , my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible ,low stress , non addictive , gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious / secular persuasions and / or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all .
I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012 , but not without due respect for the calendar of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great ( not to imply that Scotland is necessarily greater than any other country ) and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee .
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms :
This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/ him or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. The wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher .
Best Regards (Without prejudice)
Name withheld (Data Protection)
Thank you to the incomparable Stu
There’s an excellent article on the Euro crisis by Gavin Hewitt the BBC’s Europe editor.
The last summit which senior European officials billed as the meeting “to save the euro” was a non-event. The row over treaty change a distraction. The inter-governmental agreement largely codified much of what had been previously agreed. It may well be helpful to enforce tighter discipline, but its impact lies in the future.
The central dilemma lies unaddressed: debt and lack of growth. Countries are squeezing down their deficits, but their debt mountains have only grown. In many European countries there is not only negligible growth but countries are sliding back into recession. The task of regaining financial health will only become harder.
In truth many senior European officials are weary, drained from twelve months of firefighting and often pointless summits that provide drama without solutions. Sometimes – as happened during the summer – the officials and heads of government did not even understand the conclusions they signed.
The European Central Bank dished out 500 billion euros in loans to European banks the other day. Of course now governments have their eyes on that money and will be arm twisting for those banks to buy up bonds and thus ease, at least temporarily, the debt crisis.
And so the Ferris wheel of money spins again.
To no effect.
Over at the North Korean News Agency grief and tributes are in full swing. Headlines such as “Kim Jong Il’s Life Bright as Snow”, “Kim Jong Il’s Field Jacket Cherished in Hearts of People” and “Korean People Stay up All Night, Deeply Grieved over Kim Jong Il’s Demise” are there. If you’re from the UK then probably the nearest thing we’ve had to this in living memory was when Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed chose the wrong chauffeur.
Anyway, the following article caught my eye and it has been picked up by media organisations worldwide. It claims a series of natural phenomena occurred in the time following the dear leader’s passing. The final couple of paragraphs are crackers (that statement works on at least two levels!).
“At around 21:20 Tuesday a Manchurian crane was seen flying round the statue three times before alighting on a tree. The crane stayed there for quite a long while with its head drooped and flew in the direction of Pyongyang at around 22:00.
Observing this, the director of the Management Office for the Hamhung Revolutionary Site, and others said in union that even the crane seemed to mourn the demise of Kim Jong Il born of Heaven after flying down there at dead of cold night, unable to forget him.”
An email arrives fae Colin the piper.
12 of the finest double-entendres ever aired on British TV and radio
1. Ted Walsh – Horse Racing Commentator – ‘This is really a lovely filly. I once rode her mother.’
2. New Zealand Rugby Commentator – ‘Andrew Mehrtens loves it when Daryl Gibson comes inside of him.’
3.. Pat Glenn, weightlifting commentator – ‘And this is Gregoriava from Bulgaria .. I saw her snatch this morning and it was amazing!’
4. Harry Carpenter at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race 1977 – ‘Ah, isn’t that nice. The wife of the Cambridge President is kissing the Cox of the Oxford crew.’
5. US PGA Commentator – ‘One of the reasons Arnie ( Arnold Palmer) is playing so well is that, before each tee shot, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them .. Oh my god !! What have I just said??’
6. Carenza Lewis about finding food in the Middle Ages on ‘Time Team Live’ said: ‘You’d eat beaver if you could get it.’
7. A female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn’t, turned to the weatherman and asked, ‘So Bob, where’s that eight inches you promised me last night?’ Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too, because they were laughing so hard!
8. Steve Ryder covering the US Masters: ‘Ballesteros felt much better today after a 69 yesterday.’
9. Clair Frisby talking about a jumbo hot dog on ‘Look North’ said: ‘There’s nothing like a big hot sausage inside you on a cold night like this. ‘
10 Mike Hallett discussing missed snooker shots on ‘Sky Sports’: ‘Stephen Hendry jumps on Steve Davis’s misses every chance he gets.’
11. Michael Buerk on watching Philippa Forrester cuddle up to a male astronomer for warmth during BBC1′s UK eclipse coverage remarked: ‘They seem cold out there. They’re rubbing each other and he’s only come in his shorts.’
12. Ken Brown commentating on golfer Nick Faldo and his caddie Fanny Sunneson lining-up shots at the Scottish Open: ‘Some weeks Nick likes to use Fanny; other weeks he prefers to do it by himself.’