Sunday, 17 December 2017

17th December 2017 - Pirates and Unwhamed Christmas Celebrations

Thought for the day:"If an American turkey comes back to spend Christmas with the family after Thanksgiving, is it a poultrygeist?"

Surviving - Day 17

Many stalwarts dropped yesterday. Despite the care of such veterans, they still managed to fall at the hurdle leaving us, a few , a mighty few to carry the responsibilities. Why do I keep hearing the cry from Highlander in my ears? "There can only be ONE!" But which one?

Last night we managed to survive through luck, judgement, judicial questioning and bloody mindedness.  Penarth Masonic Hall, Crystal Lodge's Christmas Party. Safe in the car travelling without music I had made advance application to try to ensure safety during the evening.

Before heading out I spoke with my host And Smuggler to see if we could bribe the music technician into ensuring a certain song would not be played.  I received this gratifying response.....

"Such is our presence of mind, and dedication to the preservation of the art of the musician, that we shun the player of recorded sound to fit inducing illumination, and this evenings entertainment will be provided by a gathering of individuals with an array of implements made variously of metals, Woods and plastics with which they will produce pleasing harmonic sounds none of which will be , whamadelic, whamfastic, whasonic and thus I feel safe in assuring your remaining one of the unwhammed.
But remember the words of our master h......a...... “turn on not the radio for fear that the unworthy and uninitiated world may corrupt you with the insidious sounds of the whammeisters”

So with a certain degree of complacency I approached the Hall - well actually the Sat Nav proved useless and we had to ask three people directions, but duly arrived in Pirate Costume at the hall.

This may be the appropriate moment to mention that Mr Smuggler had informed us all that we were to wear pirate or period costume as the function was "re-enactment" based. and so we did

Only to find that in fact our table was the only one dressing in costume - everyone else being in normal Christmas finery!!  Good thing that we spend more time in our costumes than we do in Mufti!

But as we sat at the table listening to the piped music, and happy in the knowledge that the "live" band would be playing and that they were a 30's to 50's swing band - the background music was also period music - no chance of it reaching to 1986 - the release date...... Even with the Post Modern Jukebox - it could only be a cover!
Then... disaster. Over the beef and yorkshire pudding I heard the music change from 30's to modern!!
How could this happen? How could it be allowed to occur.

Taking my future in my hands I searched the bar and environs for the "band" St Louis Express, and found the lead singer sat in comfort in an arm chair. As I tentatively explained the rules of Whamageddon he watched with fascination and with initial expressions that he probably did not have it on the list, and couldn't be sure what was on the list I gave up and took myself back to the table with a heavy heart - knowing I had done what I could but Christmas Pudding was calling, and I should drown myself in the half glass of wine that I was allowed for the meal being on driving duty...

But, praise be to all bards of whatever ilk. I looked to the stage to see him looking at his machinery and technology and a few minutes later he strolled passed the table.
"Was two songs away" he remarked as he came passed." Don't worry - I fixed it!"
So I lift my glass to the lead singer and the members of St Louise Express - who were a remarkably good band by the way with an awesome saxophonist and great choice of music.
I remain #unbowed and #unwhamed together with Andy Smuggler, Elidh Prentice, Phil Bartlett, Amanda Jane Evans, Andy Burke, and Frances Roberson

And with the finest looking lady at the ball I tempted her with my Gold ..

A good time had by all

And in Festive news...

And a Cautionary tale form the Christmas Trees

Do you like my decorations?
And so ...

Saturday, 16 December 2017

16th December 2017 - Shocking Whambehaviour

Thought for the day:"I'm here for the hookers and the booze - Sir this is a library !!  (whispers) Sorry..I'm here for the hookers and the booze"

Day 16....
Shameful behaviour this morning. It seems that Whamphobia can affect people in different ways. Some run and hide, some charge in fearless, but in some others a strange change seems to form in their whampsyche. A thought for the philowhamsopher - are some people inherently evil or do they learn this bad behaviour through exposure to whamthology?
What happened you may ask? I opened my pages this morning to find a message from what would formerly be called a "friend".  "xxxxx has posted upon your timeline" came the standard facebook message - a normal one... Regular appearances of badly parked cars, or Green Things appear upon my pages and most are welcome.
As I flicked across to look at the profile page - I saw it....  a shameful attempt at whamsassination!

A foolish move !! A cover of course... so would not work, and following the example of fellow survivor Pete Scott my videos will not autoplay..  In addition, there are no speakers attached to my desktop - only a pair of headphones which are attached when required... So - safe so far  #unbowed #unwhammed

In other news - heading for a pirate Ladies Evening in Penarth this evening ...
Should be fun !


Friday, 15 December 2017

15th December 2017 - Just a few thoughts

Thought for the day:"Wine Cork (n): an obstruction in a bottle of wine that comes between a person and happiness"

Day 15 of the Wham saga and I am being delighted by the creative writing that is forming on what is normally a pretty low level intelligence of Social Media. 

Saw this little snippet on the Youtube and, yes it looks just like the invisibility cloak from Harry Potter - quite intriguing ..

Seems to actually be a green screen blanket showing the background from the picture - but quite sneaky in reality ...

and so ....

Thursday, 14 December 2017

14th December 2017 - 14 Days Unwhammed

Thought for the day:"If you take the word MILK and change only three letters you get MEAD"

Day 14 - Like pulling Teeth -  
Dentist this morning. Something I do not cherish or look forward to. A childhood of pain and removed teeth - I have very few at the back and have learned to chew carefully over the years, but today, apart from a cleaning and discussion of whitening, my mouth is apparently in good working order.  However, it did little for my nerves. 
Why? you may ask.... Well, arriving a few minutes early, as  it is only polite to do, and taking my obligatory form for completion of changes in medication or address, I sat in the small waiting room upstairs. Previously, the television has played "Homes under the Hammer" or one of those day-time telly programmes where everyone gets angry but it doesn't matter because the sound is so low that you cannot hear what is going on, but follow the body language.... 
But, today there was no television. Had they forgotten to pay the Licence, or decided that they were not registered for public performance, or saving electricity? I had no idea. But in place of the television it dawned on me that there was not a silence.. No! there were the clear sounds of Christmas Music. Frantically I looked to see where it was coming from, and sure enough, embedded into the ceiling was the magnolia painted mesh of a speaker cover. 
Worse on Worse! As the song ended, the clear jingles of Heart Radio came through loud and clear. 
I looked to the dentist's closed door, for the first time in my life wishing that it would open and embrace me with the antiseptic smell and piercing sounds of High Speed Dental drills.... But it remained closed! Two songs completed... another jingle...  
And the door opened and I rushed in faster than a child at a sweet shop.
As I sat in the chair though - I heard the sounds of music coming from the DAB radio in the corner.
"Have you, eh...  heard of #Whamageddon? by any chance?" I asked of Mr Storer, the Dentist, who gazed at me with a slightly blank look  ...  Clearly he had not. 
Having established that he did indeed use Social Media, I dived into an explanation of the Rules and the repercussions....  "Fascinating" he said as I placed the protective glasses on my face and he reached into my mouth with his implements of destruction.
But - he did so in silence! He had switched the radio off "just in case". "Radio 2" he said - "but you can never be too careful"
Twenty minutes later I walked carefully through the waiting room, like an urban forager or ranger through enemy territory, but happy in the knowledge that I had safely achieved another morning of safety - and had, it seemed even enlisted one more to the numbers of the #unwhammed  - A good start to the day.

And in other news - Ireland is still proving a difficulty for Brexit - with the discussion over hard and soft borders...

Off to the Registrar this afternoon - ho hum

And no Chateau 41 left ...
I raise an empty glass

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

13th December 2017 - Just a thought

Thought for the day:"'You call this a musical?" asked  Les miserably"

A running around in circles day today..


Day 13 - Restricted Viewing
Start of another day, and sadly had to emerge from the Unwham Sanctuary into the harsh realities of the real world... Car needed its first year service in the Nissan Main dealer - a two hour job, and the only form of entertainment or occupation for the period was the local Leekes Store.. Crosshands.
Crosshands - the very name seemed to taunt me with the potential for anger, for idle hands and the consequent Devil who finds use for them - and worse, as we headed for the dark seclusion of the Aquariums and tropical fish, the jingle of sleigh bells started to permeate from the sound system... Clearly a playlist of everything Christmas... Talking loudly to attempt to cover the sounds, on the flimsy hope that failing to recognise a "certain" tune would keep us safe from disaster, but as we moved from "Santa Baby" and "White Christmas" I found myself in that age old trap - the principle of the dripping tap. The more you try to ignore a sound - the more your brain hones in upon it ...
While in soft furnishing and bedding, I had a brainstorm!!. I walked up to a member of staff, there appeared to be more staff in the store than customer, and none of them seemed to be anxious to engage with the public, but I bowled up to her in my most friendly fashion....
Clearly expecting to be quizzed upon the depth of tog in the duvet or design of reindeer or Christmas bedding sets, she was slightly taken aback as I asked her whether the playlist included a certain song - (one which will remain unnamed in this report - I may not be superstitious but I am not stupid in tempting fate)
Surely, I thought, if the staff were in the store all day then they must have the playlist etched into their brain, they must know!!!
Sadly the response was not helpful. "This is the first time it has been played - it only started today - we haven't heard it all yet!"
My hopes died as we examined the fires and the power tools ... and "I saw mummy kissing Santa Clause" drifting through the lighting and kitchenware, had they put the volume up? I hoped not but it was difficult not to listen to each song as it came - a Welsh Department Store Russian Roulette .... and then....
Then... I listened harder! Was I mistaken? Was that Sam Smith or Frank Sinatra singing "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" - certainly not Judy Garland !!! .... The voices were similar but not that close!! Was it Possible ? Was I really released? Was it indeed a poor and cheap rip off Playlist of Cover Versions ??
"Jingle Bells" - Who sang that? was not conclusive but my heart lifted - there was light at the end of the tunnel - red and rosy like Rudolph's nose.... and then... the proof !! "Merry Christmas Everybody" and clearly not Slade!!! COVERS !!!!
The two hours were up - we strolled out of the Store to collect the car - we remain #unwhammed
Keep the faith - we can do it ...


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

12th December 2017 - Just a Thought

Thought for the day:"I like your kitten photos - I have a recipe for every one"

London for Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank ..
A Long day...


Monday, 11 December 2017

11th December 2017 - Of Butterflies

Thought for the day:"The best things in life .. Aren't things - just saying"

At two thirty this afternoon Winifred Joan (Jan) Sewell fell calmly asleep after two days in hospital having been admitted with infection of the pancreas. Her breathing came slower and more gentle after some hours of  laboured breathing and in the last hours it was clear that the pain that she had been suffering over the last days had receded. Quietly she stopped breathing and lay still.

She always said that Eric came back as Hawk to watch over us all ..... and when a Hawk flew over it was his watchful eye....

She said that she would wish to come back as a butterfly...  and maybe she will...

And Bunnie in her best fashion brought a tear to my eye with her words .....

"Wagon Wheel House for Jan Sewell
"Are we nearly there yet?"
Red phone box on the horizon.
Pristine green grass with roses of every colour and scent
Skyscraping lilandie trees line the path
doors leading to warmth and love.
Pantry filled with jams and goodies waiting to be savoured.
Warm apple pie scents the air yearning for squirty cream.
Walking sticks at the ready, time to go.
Down a path, over a style, through a kissing gate.
Inquisitive cows approach bringing small pangs of fear.
But she defends and marches on leading the way.
Windswept hair and rosy cheeks, feet a little sore.
Home beckons.
A warm glow emits from the large yellow shade, shinning on baby dolls wrapped in butter trays. Baths filled with magic bubbles taller than trees.
Cozy bed with freshly ironed sheets invite the guest to blissfully dream of adventures passed.
Love from our Grandmamma which keeps us warm through the night.
Today we say farewell for now but I will see you again. You will fly free like a butterfly and I will feel your soul with me always. I will miss you my beautiful Grandmamma. 
Till we meet again on a balcony somewhere...luvoooo." 

and further

Love and hugs. She was a great lady and I am going to remember her tonight by cooking in the last of the Pyrex dishes she gave us when we were setting up house. Xxxx

When I gave her a photograph printed by a friend "H" - Harry Bryce... she wrote..

A brooding pirate troubadour
watches over me
and today a handsome
prince in black and white
with golden pony tail
shewed me true love
with deeds done
for a helpless old lady 
who is so proud
to be your mother

Never wanted to be 
this burden
your love and care
is beyond belief
I love you so much
Cannot tell you
too many times
how much I love you 

But Mythodea fascinated her and my travels inspired many poems ...

The Road to Mythodea

The wheels roll on relentlessly
over unknown roads
and landscapes not seen before
vanish into the void

The music plays softly
and a voice bursts into song
at the thought of events to come
and mysteries beyond

Long black hair 
shades topaz eyes
Golden tendrils
blowing in the winds
Dancing dervishes twist and turn
their corkscrew curls
shade evil beautiful faces

the mind returns 
from last years forage
Back to Mythodea
the Unknown Mythodea

And so I remember ..

a life to celebrate ..

Jan Sewell - 9th June 1927 - 11th December 2017 

Sunday, 10 December 2017

10th December 2017 - Hospital watching

Thought for the day:"Of all the utensils that could be used to pick up rice - how did two sticks win?"

Saw an interesting piccie today - since we have had a snow storm all over the UK except Llanelli

and on the subject of crashes

Sitting in the Hospital in Carmarthen with a poorly mum ..

so just a few thoughts.. and a piccie

Saturday, 9 December 2017

9th December 2017 - Castle Photos

Thought for the day:"Gave up my seat to an old lady in the bus today - how was I to know she had never driven a bus before"

Some photos from the Black Company Castle Event ...

That's enough for one day
Susie on the razzle dazzle - so a rare moment of sobriety

Friday, 8 December 2017

8th December 2017 - Turkeys voting

Thought for that day:"If you take the word MILK and change only four letters you get BEER"

Saw this today - tickled my intellect...

Turkeys vote 52/48 in favour of Christmas

In a shock result after a bitterly-contested referendum campaign, turkeys have voted in favour of Christmas by 52% to 48%.

“Christmas sounds completely brilliant!” said Xmasiteer turkey Simon Williams. “They’ve promised us so much: presents, a nice tree, cranberry sauce…”
The losing side, Vote Remain Alive, has already begun an investigation into what was perceived as a negative campaign, dubbed ‘Project Fear’ by critics.
Turkey Simon Williams agreed with some of the criticism, saying, “Those Remoan Alivers just kept going on and on about how bad it would be if we voted to all be indiscriminately slaughtered.
“Well, I think we’ve all had more than enough of experts, don’t you?”

A Vote Remain Alive spokesturkey admitted that their campaign had been somewhat doom-laden: “Perhaps we should have focused on a more positive message about how not having Christmas has given turkeys benefits they might not be aware of, improving their living standards in countless ways. Like, y’know, not being dead.”

With the triggering of Advent Calendar 24, time is running out, but Vote Remain Alive turkeys are still pushing for a so-called Soft Xmas, hoping to combine some of the advantages of Christmas, such as pretty fairy lights, with some of the advantages of no Christmas, such as not being herded into darkened crates, rendered unconscious, killed, plucked, decapitated, trussed, cooked and then eaten.

“We’re really hoping to find some kind of compromise, given how close the referendum result actually was,” their spokesturkey pleaded.
Turkey Simon Williams was left with the last word though: “You lost, get over it. Merry Xmas.”

seems legit in the modern world ...


Thursday, 7 December 2017

7th December 2017 - Head back int he books - 3 Ceremonies

Thought for the day:"Discovered 2 things today - Kitchen Sex can be wild and exciting - and IKEA Staff are quite narrow minded"

and so we find the rules of Whammageddon - the craze that is sweeping social media ... (yawn)  but is catching the attention of the intelligensia it seems ...   How to avoid hearing "Last Christmas" by Wham as the days come up to Christmas ... Oh well!

there have been worse crazes int he past

While in less important news ...

Well - head back in the book - discovered I have an installation as well as a 2nd Grade Ceremony in Scarlet Cord where I am DC as well as a double candidate in the Secret Monitor where I am in the Chair - ho hum

Cheers - I may be gone some time...

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

6th December 2017 - Of Travels and Songs

Thought for the day:"I couldn't believe it today when she came home with two armchairs and a settee. I've told her a million times, never accept suites from strangers."

In my memories from last year I found these rather nice photos from Last year's Black Company Barracks event ...

And today I found myself on the ferry to the Isle of Wight for the Consecration of Wight-Land Court No 123 in Cowes. A good day and good fellowship...

From the ferry home....

A long day - but a good one

So a glass of wine and the books are out again for the Scarlet Cord tomorrow - and Secret Monitor

Ho Hum!!