23 December 2012

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.

Weather Forecast

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.

4 thoughts on “23 December 2012”

  1. Dear Befoule Weaky,
    Our good old US of A is following your Chancellor of the Exchquer – in our case the Legislature, and plunging us right into a “recession”, as we “Fall off the Fiscal Cliff”, come Jan. 2013. Do you have some personal coping suggestions?
    Have an enjoyable time in London, Greg and Penny, with your good friends. Love, Bunny W.

  2. Hopefully “For your Amusement”. And that’s how the fight started 🙂

    One year, I decided to buy my mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift…

    The next year, I didn’t buy her a gift.

    When she asked me why, I replied,

    “Well, you still haven’t used the gift I bought you last year!”

    And that’s how the fight started…..


    My wife and I were watching “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” while
    we were in bed.

    I turned to her and said, ‘Do you want to have Sex?’

    ‘No,’ she answered. I then said,

    ‘Is that your final answer?’

    She didn’t even look at me this time, simply saying, ‘Yes..’

    So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend.”

    And that’s when the fight started…


    I took my wife to a restaurant.

    The waiter, for some reason, took my order first.

    “I’ll have the rump steak, rare, please.”

    He said, “Aren’t you worried about the mad cow?”

    “Nah, she can order for herself.”

    And that’s when the fight started…..


    My wife and I were sitting at a table at her high school reunion, and she kept staring at a drunken man swigging his drink as he sat alone at a nearby table.

    I asked her, “Do you know him?”

    “Yes”, she sighed,

    “He’s my old boyfriend. I understand he took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear he hasn’t been sober since.”

    “My God!” I said, “Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?”

    And then the fight started…


    When our lawn mower broke and wouldn’t run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first, the shed, the boat,
    making beer. Always something more important to me. Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point.

    When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into
    the house. I was gone only a minute, and when I came out again I handed her a toothbrush. I said, “When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the driveway.”

    The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp.


    My wife sat down next to me as I was flipping channels.

    She asked, “What’s on TV?”

    I said, “Dust.”

    And then the fight started…


    Saturday morning I got up early, quietly dressed, made my lunch, and slipped quietly into the garage. I hooked up the boat up to the van and proceeded to back out into a torrential
    downpour. The wind was blowing 50mph, so I pulled back into the garage, turned on the radio, and discovered that the weather
    would be bad all day.

    I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. I cuddled up to my wife’s back; now with a different
    anticipation, and whispered, “The weather out there is terrible.”

    My loving wife of 5 years replied, “And, can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that?”

    And that’s how the fight started…


    My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary.

    She said, “I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.”

    I bought her a bathroom scale.

    And then the fight started……


    After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security.

    The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver’s license to verify my age.

    I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.

    The woman said, ‘Unbutton your shirt’.

    So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair.

    She said, ‘That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me’ and she processed my Social Security application.

    When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office. She said, ‘You should have dropped
    your pants. You might have gotten disability too.’

    And then the fight started…


    My wife was standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror.

    She was not happy with what she saw and said to me,

    “I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.’

    I replied, “Your eyesight’s darn near perfect.”

    And then the fight started……..


    I rear-ended a car this morning…the start of a REALLY bad day!

    The driver got out of the other car, and he was a DWARF!!

    He looked up at me and said ‘I am NOT Happy!’

    So I said, ‘Well, which one ARE you then?’

    That’s how the fight started.

  3. Funny jokes John. Any of the familiar?
    Regarding the award winning photos – to “Search the online gallery” it seems I need to “Enter a keyword to search for images from this year’s competition”… any idea what the keyword might be?
    Thanks and much love to all.

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