Happy Holiday is OK, I suppose, but it does seem a bit wishy-washy. I mean, this is a Christian celebration. I know there are a great many people whose religions allow a relaxed attitude to a good party. Let me, right now, extend a very warm welcome to you all. Come on in, sit down, have a piece of Christmas cake. All good Christians are happy to have you here to celebrate this time of year with us.
A Very Happy Christmas and a Uniquely Prosperous 2016 to you all
David, Jackie, and The Dog.
If you were to lump all of humanity into one big heap, then try to sort them out into a number of pigeon-holes, you would soon run out of pigeons. It would probably be fairly simple to sort them, say, with all the little boxes going in one direction, by something as basic as skin colour. You could start from the palest and work your way, horizontally, to the darkest. This ease of differentiation, though, would fall apart, as soon as you tried to filter the vertical columns by some other constant.
The trouble is that there are so many personality facets that we humans share in common, yet at the same time we we differ in so many more. This, luckily, keeps the likes of Google and Facebook fully employed. We all rush off to wherever the latest opportunity to pour all our foibles into the crucible of ‘Big Data’, is to be found – just on the chance of a selfie. It would seem that our individuality, our differences, is the thing we value most in ourselves, and the thing we disparage most in others. Ah well. It takes all sorts to make a world, I suppose.
The picture is a Great Tit and a Blue Tit on the bird feeder.
This part of the world stands at the confluence of a number of large rivers. Just before they empty into the Solway they combine into the River Eden – coming from the south, and the River Esk – coming from the north. They aren’t incredibly long, nor do they provide vital communication links to the many native villages scattered along their banks.
Today, their main duty is to function as a conduit to escort the refugee rainfall – from where it enters our territory, which extends from the North Pennines in the south, across the Scottish borders in the north – via a safe corridor, to the sea. Here it can be allowed to leave in peace (once we’ve counted the silver, of course).
Unfortunately, there is only the one exit. Under normal circumstances, this is perfectly adequate – although the environmental cost of dumping everything in the sea, has not been properly addressed, in my opinion. Currently, however, this flood of refugee rainfall has led to the breakdown of barriers, allowing the creation of illegal overflows and causing considerable damage and distress.
For all those who went through the worst floods in a hundred years, ten years ago – and thought that was that.
A sprinkling of snow on the Cumbrian Mountains – probably the UK’s biggest outdoor playground. Acres and acres of sheep and fell walkers. The fells are the mountains and the local sport of Fell Walking is a typical British understatement.
The lakes that constitute The Lake District fill the valleys, among the Cumbrian Mountains, that were left behind when the last lot of glaciers retreated – thanks to global warming. These glacial valleys are steep to vertically sided, and it is up this green and pleasant land that fell walkers ‘walk’ – usually on all fours clinging on for dear life.
Luckily, the area close to many of the lakes is encouragingly flat and an assortment of walks have been established here, for the less enthusiastic exercise fanatics – and people pushing babies in pushchairs. As can be imagined, the best views are at the end of pathways that no pushchair in its right mind would attempt.
There are, though, plenty of Lakeland Fables concerning groups of friends man-handling colleagues in wheelchairs to the point where they, too, could enjoy the view – if not the ascent and descent.