Good morning to you all and I hope you’ve survived the end of the world. If not, well I guess those whom we mocked were right after all. And indeed, if the world did come to a fiery end, I guess this will never get posted. Too bad.
(If you haven’t already deduced, I am writing this a couple of days early – before the end of the world. In fact, we are off to town on Saturday for an outing with friends and won’t have time to put anything together before Sunday’s publication date. Hence, the early preparation).
I did enjoy Steph’s e-mail the other day which included the weather forecast for the week ahead.
As I say, we are off to London on Saturday for an exhibition, lunch, a play and dinner with our good friends Sue and Stuart and Dave and Sue Walton. We’re going to the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum. I’ve been the last two years and have enjoyed it very much. The photography is stunning but, at the same time, somewhat annoying. They have a young person’s category and they all take better photographs than I do – how annoying is that? You can browse the winning photographs here and you can also access previous year’s winning photographs here.
After some lunch we’re off to see Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy A Chorus of Disapproval which should be fun. I’ll have to give you more details next time (once we’ve actually seen it!)
Not much else this week apart from a few interesting snippets.
I ran across an article in the Guardian on Thursday with a summary of “special dates” similar to the palindrome 21-11-12 I wrote about a few weeks ago. It seems that Thursday’s date – 20-12-2012 (in European notation) will be the last in a plethora of interesting numerical patterns we’ve enjoyed over the last thirteen years.
It’s one of those dates where the digits create interesting patterns. It also comes at the end of 13 years that have been astonishingly fertile for such numerologically “magic” dates. The rest of the century is going to be a desert by comparison.
Then there was the amusing audio extract on the BBC web site on how to respond to a round robin Christmas letter which I think Nick sent me. As one who is guilty of producing a round robin Christmas letter, I suppose I should take note. But people keep writing to say how much they’re looking forward to this year’s letter and it would be a shame to disappoint them. Or, do you think they’re being ironic? If yours hasn’t arrived this year, you can catch sight of the online version here.
Susie sent me the following photos of the work of Simon Beck which seem appropriate at this time of year.
Artist Simon Beck must really love the cold weather! Along the frozen lakes of Savoie, France, he spends days plodding through the snow in raquettes (snowshoes), creating these sensational patterns of snow art. Working for 5-9 hours a day, each final piece is typically the size of three soccer fields! The geometric forms range in mathematical patterns and shapes that create stunning, sometimes 3D, designs when viewed from higher levels.
How long these magnificent geometric forms survive is completely dependent on the weather. Beck designs and redesigns the patterns as new snow falls, sometimes unable to finish a piece due to significant overnight accumulations.
The main reason for making them was because I can no longer run properly due to problems with my feet, so plodding about on level snow is the least painful way of getting exercise. Gradually, the reason has become photographing them, and I am considering buying a better camera. – Simon Beck
Finally, it just remains to wish you all a splendidly splendid Christmas. We’ll raise a glass or two to your good health, good fortune and good luck in the years to come.
Love to you all,
PS – There is a joke doing the rounds about the Christmas card being sent out by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It seems that George has decided that honesty is the best policy. Hence his admission during his Autumn Financial Statement that he had failed to meet any of the targets he had set himself when taking over the economy for the coalition government. The deficit is up, borrowing is up, productivity is down, the UK is now in triple-dip recession, etc., etc.
Osborne’s Christmas card, therefore, is alleged to bear the simple greeting:
Have a Christmas and New Year.
Since he’s made such a mess of the economy it’s clear that no one is going to have a Happy (or Merry) Christmas and there’s no chance of any Happiness or Prosperity in 2013.