It’s just a few more hours till Midnight Mass, so it’s as good a time as ever to wish all my blog readers a very happy Christmas. I hope you have safe travels, good times with people you care about, and hope and joy throughout the holiday.
As reported to me by a mum in the clinic yesterday: her sister’s children were devastated after being taken to the local shopping centre to see Santa – just in time to see him being stretchered off into a waiting ambulance (he’d obviously had a funny turn).
I don’t remember ever particularly believing in Santa (I mean, I always knew all my presents were from mum and dad, aunts and grandparents etc), but I’ve seen it in little kids so I know the belief really is there. How traumatic a sight would Santa on a stretcher be?!
(I’m afraid I laughed at the thought. But do hope that he’s OK).
I hope you’re all having a good (or as good as can be expected) Christmas. Ours has been quiet but lovely. HD got me a couple of really thoughtful presents, and also introduced me to my new favourite blog:
For the last 3 years the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) has done a thing at Christmas of having multiple showings of the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life” in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas, finishing on Christmas Eve. Last year I went to get tickets but had left it till the last minute (now, what on earth was going on this time last year?!) and it was all sold out. This year I was a bit more organised, so HD and I went up to town today for the 1 o’clock showing.
I’d never seen the film before, and can’t believe that I’d left it this long before seeing it. It was fantastic! They don’t make them like that any more, that’s for sure. I cried like a baby, especially at the end but also in the middle (even HD confessed to not being entirely unmoved), but wasn’t embarrassed as I could hear sniffing all over the cinema so I know I wasn’t the only one! It was a really lovely way to get into the Christmas mood.
Since being home I’ve marked a few essays, and am now probably about half way through. I’m so bored with them – only one or two As so far (usually I give quite a few), no Epic Fails and, disappointingly, only one comedy typo so far (which is a really common one – talking about Stalin liquidising the kulaks rather than liquidating them, someone does it every year). I have also noticed an interesting phenomenon – this is totally unscientifically-based, but over the 4 years that I’ve been doing this, it seems that essays written in Arial font are loads more likely to not be very good. I wonder why that is?
I think I’ve got time to mark a few more before we head out to midnight mass (at 11.30, go figure). So I shall sign off wishing you a very happy Christmas, and whether this is a difficult or joyful time for you that you know the peace of Christ this Christmas.
As well as the annual procrastination-fest that is the Scotsman haggis hunt, today also saw me hunting down the vegetarian variety, for Christmas dinner. Our local Somerfield did two for the price of one this time last year which is why we ended up having one for Christmas and one for Burns Night, and that is how we discovered that veggie haggis and roast veg is a very very very nice combination indeed, and so we decided to do the same this year. Unfortunately this year for some reason Somerfield don’t seem to be getting them in until closer to Burns Night this time round, and the middle-class fruit-n-veg shop near uni weren’t expecting any till tomorrow (when I wouldn’t be there). I was a bit worried our Christmas dinner would end up as veggie sausages and baked beans, but fortunately on the way to the fairtrade shop to buy the Christmas pudding I passed the posh deli and thought I’d try my luck. There was one (count ’em!) left! Clearly this meal is divinely instituted. Mind you it was over twice the price it would have been in Somerfield, so not without cost, but the satisfaction of the hunt was worth it 🙂 (as will be the satisfaction of eating it).
A number of blogs today have posts (of varying levels of profundity) about today being the start of Advent, and it being a time of watching and waiting. See for example, Cal (hmm, blogger isn’t letting me link to the specific post – it’s the 30th Nov one), Folkie and Tractor Girl. Also, rain writes about her grandmother’s tradition of collecting santas and how she has continued this now that she’s put her tree up after Thanksgiving.
So, just to lower the tone somewhat I thought I’d report on our Advent and what looks like it is going to become a Christmas tradition in our house. I already mentioned a few posts ago that we have the alpaca on the top of the tree and with the addition of Miss Lisa’s kookaburra from Tasmania we may well start adding critters from around the world to our tree. So that’s one tradition.
Last Christmas (just a few days before we got married) we were stuffed and bloated after lunch and wanting to be as relaxed as possible before the wedding madness started. One of the things we ended up doing was looking at the lolcats blog and we read pretty much every page (I think there were about 100 pages or so at that point) and howling with laughter. We’ve kept on reading it throughout this year, but yesterday when we got back from the shipmeet HD looked all sheepish and said “This might sound a bit silly, but …” and I couldn’t imagine what he was going to come out with. He continued ” … I think we ought to stop looking at icanhascheezburger.com for Advent.” I got it immediately – after Christmas lunch, we’ll have a mammoth lolcats (and loldogs) session, and it looks like that’s our next Christmas tradition sorted. We’re so spiritual 😀
(I’m hoping to write more profoundly about Advent and Christmas at some point, to rescue this blog from total absurdity).
In other news, another great google hit: “PhD rabbit in headlights”. Yup.
I’m back, reunited with my laptop. Actually I have to say that not having internet at home for a few days, while the laptop and I were at opposite ends of the country, was really liberating! Though I was starting to get a bit twitchy, so maybe not *that* liberating.
I have sent about 75% of my chapter to the supervisors. It feels a bit superficial to me, but at least I’ve got something down on paper. The rest of it will have to wait till next week sometime, as before then I have to write a draft conference paper which I am presenting as a work in progress on Monday. No rest for the wicked, as they say.
I must apologise to my WISE (Wibsite International Secret Exchange) person. I have bought the present, but due to the week’s manicness I didn’t manage to buy the card I wanted or get anywhere near a post office, so that will have to wait till I’m back in Glasgow next week. Fortunately my person is UK-based, so it should still get there in plenty of time. I suppose it might mean that as they’re still waiting they might assume they’re waiting for something to arrive from Australia or somewhere else more glamorous and exotic, but hopefully the end result won’t be too disappointing (and, one part of the gift *is* very sparkly, so that will be worth the wait).
Glasgow’s bling is back. Yes, the Christmas lights were switched on this last weekend. Actually in George Square I do think that it is slightly less blingy than last year, but bear in mind that this is in relative terms. Maybe I’ll put up a picture of the bells as my icon instead, now that I discover that one person *did* think that my chocolate cake icon looks like a turd.
I’ll write something more sensible once I’ve done some work
and caught up with my scrabble games.
I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas. Ours has been very lazy – we had good intentions of going for a walk after Christmas dinner, but we got started so late that by the time it had all gone down and we’d finished listening to 84 Charing Cross Rd on Radio 4 and we were actually vaguely ready, it was dark already. Whoops.
Anyway. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas (what’s left of it) and I’m looking forward to catching up with people and blogs (proxy people) in the new year 🙂