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A live camel in the thick of a Baptist Church Nativity-palooza.  What could go wrong?

Mrs. Robbo called me at lunchtime to tell me about a new field jacket she’d got me from Jos. Banks¹ as an early Christmas present.  “Promise me,” she said, “that you’ll throw your old one away now.”

The “old one” is a field jacket I bought from Burberry’s in London in 1987, and one to which I am quite attached.  True, there are numerous rips and tears in it now, and I confess that it looks a bit like what Edna Mode would call “dee hobo suit”.  But it’s extremely comfy and it also holds a lot of memories of fishin’, shootin’ and the like.

So I said that I wouldn’t throw it away, since it was still perfectly good for yardwork, but that I promise not to appear in publick in it anymore.

That seemed to suffice.  I’m keeping my eyes open, however.

(¹Yes, I know Barbour is the best place for this sort of thing, but have you seen how bloody expensive it is?)

Hmmm.  New evidence of possible early human settlements in what is now the Persian Gulf:

Veiled beneath the Persian Gulf, a once-fertile landmass may have supported some of the earliest humans outside Africa some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago, a new review of research suggests.

At its peak, the floodplain now below the Gulf would have been about the size of Great Britain, and then shrank as water began to flood the area. Then, about 8,000 years ago, the land would have been swallowed up by the Indian Ocean, the review scientist said.

Suddenly I’m thinking of Bill Cosby doing his God impersonation: “Noah! How long can you tread water?”

UPDATE: While we’re on the subject, enjoy!

I have noticed in my Netflix ordering over the years that I tend to toss films into the queue in thematic clusters, sometimes focused on a particular genre, sometimes focused on a particular actor.  Por ejemplo, I currently have in my hot little hands Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Longest Day and Bridge Over The River Kwai.

There’s no particular rhyme or reason behind my selections.  Instead, it’s most often the case that something I see or read or think of sets off a whim-by-association.  The only trouble is that my queue is long enough so that by the time the movie(s) in question show up at the port-swiller residence, I’ve often moved on to something else and am not much interested in the topic anymore.  (Another example: Last month I was on a Waugh kick, so ordered up Bright Young Things.  But I sent it back unwatched this week because I just couldn’t be bothered.)

Mrs. Robbo has started to make rumblings about going the instant download route instead of snail-mail.  That would certainly take care of the time-lag, but there’s just something about the concept that gives me a case of the Luddite willies.

You know, I’m sure that John Rutter, CBE, is a very nice man.  And I’ve no doubt that he is quite talented.  But lord-love-a-duck does he write and arrange the most awfully gooey Christmas musick!  “The Donkey Carol”? “I Wonder as I Wander”? “Jesus Child”?

Ack! I feel like I’m gaining weight just listening to it!

Of course, it’s not his fault entirely.  The Brit musickal world got infected with this strain of shmaltz some time in the early part of the 20th Century and has never yet shaken it.

UPDATE: Oh, speaking of good Christmas Musick, the middle gel has been picked to solo the first verse of “Once In Royal David’s City” for the Lessons & Carols festivities at RFEC this year.  Ol’ Dad is, as you might imagine, mighty pleased.


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December 2010