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goldfinchIn idly perusing a book over the weekend, I learned of a collective noun I don’t recall hearing before, a “charm of goldfinches”.

I’d certainly say this is apropos.   I keep a thistle-seed feeder on the porch of Port Swiller Manor specifically for the little chaps, who flock to it in great numbers.  (It is not unusual to see 10 to 12 in and about it all at once.)

The spectacle, especially when they’re all in their summah plumage, is, well, charming.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers.  Also happy new year and merry ninth day of Christmas!

Well, another New Year’s Day has come and gone.  We had spent the previous evening doing pretty much what we always do on New Year’s Eve, gabbing with our friends over adult beverages until somebody accidentally noticed it was about 8 minutes till midnight, whereupon the mad dash to get teh cork popped and the bubbly distributed.

And, of course, at 12:01 a.m., everyone went to bed.  Well, almost everyone:  I stayed up long enough to get as many dishes crammed into the dishwasher and as much clutter cleaned up as possible.  (I can’t abide facing the post-holiday mess the next morning, especially when the house is still full of human wreckage.)

New Year’s Day itself is also, of course, the Octave of Christmas as well as the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  So after getting rid of our overnight guests and other further cleaning, I duly toddled off to mid-day Mass and then came home and read Scott Hahn’s Hail, Holy Queen while the rest of the household sank into post-revelry exhaustion.

And that’s about it.

Oh, and Mrs. R announced with terrible finality at dinner last evening that the Family Robbo is going to go on a cruise together, probably next summah and probably round the Caribbean.   Her justification is that we all “need to have one big family adventure together before it’s too late”, by which I think she means when the gels start going off to school.   As I felt myself seized in the clutches of the press gang, I raised an unfocused but nonetheless definite foreboding that I’m probably not going to enjoy the experience very much.

“That doesn’t matter,” said Captain Bligh. “Whether you enjoy it or not is entirely up to you.  You’re still going.  Also, you’re going to look like you’re enjoying it.”

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

And, you’re not going to blog about this,” she added.

“Oh, yes I am,” I replied.

Just trying to enjoy myself.





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January 2013