Sunday, December 31, 2006
Christmas wasn't bad at all although it was much quieter than originally expected. The family gathering on Christmas Eve was cancelled due to family illness, although I saw my mother a couple of days before that. Instead we went to see the Husband's sister and her family and his parents a couple of days after Christmas instead, when everyone was feeling a lot more relaxed, much better.
I think that I've made a rod for my own back as I gave ther Husband an iPod for Christmas. So I've been hardly able to get near the computer as he is having a wonderful time adding music from some of his huge library of CDs. Still, he's enjoying himself and I hope that the iPod soon becomes an everyday item to him.
I hope that all my friends had a wonderful Christmas.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Christmas Day will be the four of us until mid-afternoon, after the Christmas meal, and then the Stepson will be off to his mother for a few days. I hope the Stepdaughter will stay the rest of the day with us but on Boxing Day she will probably be off to see some of her friends. The Husband has also invited all his family over here for New Years Eve but that hasn't been fully agreed yet. Some time between Chrstmas and the New Year I'll probably make another visit to Cardiff.
So, that is what we are up to and why I'm not around much at the moment. Probably most people are doing similar things this time of the year. That's why everyone I see in the town shopping looks so frantic.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
The trouble is that we British are not that forthcoming, well especially those living and raised in the South of England anyway. We tend to be reserved and diffident people and talking to complete strangers is considered a real taboo over here. It would be like stepping out of your own National characteristic and my own innate shyness. I was struck by the piece of the person from Nottingham who did start to talk to someone, who then changed their routine so that they never met again.
I am really attracted by the idea of doing something like this. I just wished I had the courage.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
US Puzzled by Princes' English
Princes William and Harry were subtitled when a recorded interview with them talking about the concert in memory of their mother was shown on American television because station officials thought viewers would not understand what they were saying.
CBS used subtitles when the princes were asked how people could get tickets. William says: 'They have to be very good and ask Santa nicely.' Harry interrupts: 'Or ring his mobile.'
William responds: 'Harry, shut up!' CBS said: 'They speak so quickly.'
I know I have made comments before about two Nations divided by a single language but both Princes speak received English and if British tv programmes and films are shown in the US without subtitles then I am sure that the lads could be understood.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I wanted to take a photo of the tree but it just wasn't possible to get the impact: either I stood back far enough to get in the whole tree and you couldn't see the decorations other than a coloured blur or too close and it didn't look like a tree at all.
Buffy in her blog here has talked about setting up a new tradition. Instead of sending cards, a tradition that has become to some extent mechanical and without true meaning she plans to write a letter a day to all her family and friends. It sounds an excellent idea in many ways but as far as my personal family is concerned they would think I'd gone bonkers if I tried that. It's just not the way we think or act. But they know where I am and that I am there if I'm needed.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Saturday we made another visit, this time to Cambridge to visit the Stepson, and we took the Husband's sister, brother-in-law and niece. The day was a really good one. They drove up from Whitstable to our place and then we all drove up together. As the city was built before cars were invented parking there is always totally impossible so we used the park and ride which was as efficient as ever. We met up with the Stepson who showed us his room and gave us a guided tour of his College (Pembroke College) including the College chapel, which was built by Wren before he started on St Pauls Cathedral in London. Then we went to Browns, the restaurant parents always take their undergraduate offspring to, to fill; them up. The meal was really good, serving a range of English dishes including their traditional and very famous Steak, Guiness and Mushroom pie. Then we took around the university areas of Cambridge, especially King's College and Trinity Colleges.
After we had said our goodbyes to the Stepson we returned to our home and we had a scratch meal together (fortunately I had made a pot of soup the day before so there was plenty for us all to eat). Then after a good chat John's sister and her family set off back to Whitstable.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Anyway the film was really quite good and really exciting at places. I am not a lover of violence although I've found with past Bond films that the fights and violence had an almost cartoon quality which made me not take it seriously. However with this film the level of violence seemed much higher and certainly had a much greater impact on me. I felt rather uncomfortable with the fights at times because of this. There were virtually none of the special spy equipment that was so important in the previous Bond films. Generally the film was played seriously with very few quips or puns.
I know that there has been a lot of fuss at giving Daniel Craig the role of Bond but in my opinion he did a very good job. I certainly wasn't worried that he is fair (rather than blond, despite what some commentators have said) or that he is only 5ft 11ins, rather than 6ft, his blue eyes at times have a real impact.
Generally the film was worth going to see and definitely took my mind off the fact that half my face was frozen following another visit to the dentist (one more to go!).