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xmas – 26 things

word 12 – light: there’s more to life than christmas decorations

my mum sells christmas decorations to garden centres to sell to people like you and I.
she said yesterday “i need to remember there’s more in life than Christmas decorations”. which i thought was a good quote.
these people who live outside Reading might want to take my mum’s advice !

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word 26 – picture perfect: HAPPY CHRISTMAS

here’s a photo i’ve been saving since july. it’s my christmas gift to you dear reader.
this couple very kindly let me take their photo in a scottish shopping centre. i suspect they might get asked this a lot as they instantly struck up this catalogue model pose.
they belong to the Clan Colquhoun (i wrote this down so i wouldn’t forget) and were totally lovely people !
they made me smile and i hope they do the same to you on this jolliest of days.

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word 16 – errand: no whole birds

my brother in law and i went to do some last minute shopping on christmas eve for our wives (we’ve one each). we were sent to buy skewers.
if we were after a turkey, it would have been too late …

word 11 – vacation

you may remember a two and half months back i gave up chocolate bars. well it’s all been going very well and i’m very pleased with myself.
to celebrate the fact i’m now on holiday for nearly two weeks i decided i will allow myself chocolate over the Xmas period.
so, how would i break myself back in to chocolate ? i couldn’t go straight back to my king sized mars bars. this seemed like a nice compromise. and so it was.

word 9 – day

here’s that church i took a picture of last week in Belgium.
i took this photo when i visited at the beginning of September.

word 8 – meal

i don’t like tomatoes. but i’m surprised they don’t feature more in christmas festivities.
they look a bit like baubles and are red. so they should be an ideal decoration. but they seem to have been snubbed in favour of berries.
here is someone’s tomato soup going round in the microwave at work

word 7 – tradition

do people anywhere else in the world have christmas crackers or are they just a peculiarly British tradition ?
i thought i’d best take you through the whole cracker concept. If you know all this already, just bear with me.
the ‘cracker’, seen here, usually comes pre-positioned on the Christmas table, allocated on a strictly one per person basis:
at the appropriate point in the meal, pulling commences. Depending on your local tradition this may happen at the start, end or middle of your meal and may involve a single unilateral pull, or multiple bilateral arrangements.
the unilateral single pull requires arms to be crossed thus pulling to the right with your left hand and vice-versa:
bilateral pulling is more adhoc. some fancy people can run a couple of bilateral pulls simultaneously:
pulling the cracker often requires some force. The cracker itself contains a small incendury device which makes a small ‘bang’ when pulled.
some people choose to grab the inner ‘tongue’ of the cracker which connects to the cracker bang to ensure a satisfactory explosion. Others simply grab a fist full and pull like mad things:
After the explosion comes the exploration. participants then search all over the table for the contents of their cracker which will usually consist of four things:
1) a paper hat
2) a naff toy
3) a very bad joke written on a piece of paper
4) a piece of thin cardboard used to hold the cracker shape.
here are my jokes and my present. you can read the joke for yourself (don’t laugh too much). the present was a ‘poppin eye ball’:
It’s obligatory to wear your hat throughout the rest of the meal:
and for the rest of the afternoon in my case:

word 6 – music

it was our church carol service this evening. here is what i could see from where i was sitting:
and here is the famous crib viewed through mic stands:
why is the crib famous you ask ? because it ranks quite highly [on the second page] when you do a search for nativity in google images (which lots of people do at this time of year)

word 4 – thankful

big eye is always thankful whenever he appears on the funkypancake blog.
i’m always thankful he’s happy with the pictures i post !
here he is looking very smart:
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word 19 – welcome: miserable sign

there was a model train museum on the Isle of Wight which claimed to be the biggest in the UK or something.
i quite fancied going until i saw this sign. then i went right off it.
sometimes a sign tells you more about the person behind the sign than the instructions themselves.
i feared for my children and mobile if we went in. so we didn’t.


word 18 – stranger: a new find

another one for davescollections. or is it ?
it was sent to me by the notorious Boy 34. He claims this time it’d real, but can we be sure ?
I’m inclined to agree this time as i think the strange holes in this photo are beyond a prankster’s experience. but i could be wrong.
whether it’s real or fake, it’s still fantastic !
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