Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year!

We are of course at that time of year when our thoughts usually look to the future and what the new year will bring. Well as you should have realized by now it will bring you nothing you have not worked for yourself, if you don't believe me then do nothing, then wait for poverty to knock on your door, it will be there faster than a butcher's dog.

I waited for years for Sicily to arrive in Somerset it never happened so I went to find it and lo and behold it was there isn't that amazing? I always enthralled my children with little sayings and anecdotes [yes, I can hear them groaning even now] If the mountain won't go to Mohammed Then Mohammed must go to the mountain.
I didn't actually say that it might got em off on the wrong religion. As it happened they have worked out ok in that respect. I have one lapsed catholic [small c you notice] one Atheist and one interested in Spiritualism but too bright to fanny about with it because she can see it's a con. Also you never said words like Mohammed to Katherine as she always wanted an explanation for everything and mentioning Mohammed would have led to hours of explanation, me giving in and the reading of the koran [small k] taking place and her still saying but why? But why? But why? Worse of all she would have had to tell James all about it and I couldn't inflict that on him. She still says "ye but" to everything I say even today What actually I used to say was; Input equals Output.

In other words what you put into life you will get out, I thought it's simple and I can't go wrong here. They have all grown up well, have good jobs and careers and don't work in Tesco, although the discount would have been nice! They are fit and wise [some later than others] and James in a turn up for the books [as once when he worked for me I had to sack him] now employs me, I am so proud to say as his Chipper Monkey a title and occupation I am proud to hold.

I suspect your New Year as mine will be a time for reflection of times and people past. You cannot discern what your future holds neither can you forward plan it, for life is what it becomes. Yes you can have a brain and decide to use it but the bits in between the knocks and setbacks come in random sequence. If you haven't got a brain then no problem. You take it aasit comes.

There is of course one exception to every rule.

I was married to a woman once who used to say "If I was six foot tall I would rule the world - Well she wasn't, so she didn't - except she has a brilliant brain [out of the top 5% in the country Mensa Rated] and with that, and the same height as Napoleon and Genghis Khan she could have ruled it, except she lacked the get up and go required [everybody else had got up and gone] and she studiously applied her brain to avoiding work, whereas had she applied same she could have made her mint and retired early doing exactly what she wanted to do but in comfort. Yet she was clever enough to have been brilliant at anything she chose to be at examples such as Piano and Art spring to mind. That I never understood.

So here we are at the Gate of the Year as my Mother used to say which her favourite short poem [Anon] was as it was hers and is mine.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!"
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."

It is a time for reflection, a review of events past, not just in the past year but over our life time and over the lifetime of those that have died but not slipped from our memories. We always talk about the good old days. Well invariably they weren't. What we really mean I feel is that time when all the people who we loved and loved us in return were with us, and that was the good old days when families all lived together and were part of our day to day existence.

Sadly that scenario is no more. My Nan brought me up as she lived in the flat below my parents house, a fact I will always be grateful for. Nowadays if your Nan is looking after you it is because your parents are divorced or you're a single mum [small m] or she's not yet succumbed to Alzheimer's.

So the toast at Hogmanay has to be; Absent Friends.

Even Hogmanay has changed mainly due to the influence of television. Why go and stand at Tron Church in Edinburgh with countless thousands of others as I often did until television came along awaiting the chimes of Big Ben, which we couldn't hear but were transferred through peoples wristwatches {the Tron Church clock being temperamental] to announce the moment, So we stayed home we first footed and we watched such Scottish Classics such as Moira Stuart, Kenneth McKellar and of course the peoples favourite [and his own] Andy Stewart all in their kilts of course.

I can't remember what Moira sang which says a lot, Kenneth always sang "the Skye Boat Song" a rather dismal song from a dismal island, all rocks and rain. Andy on the other hand sang his annual favourites [and ours apparently] which consisted of his one and only recording hit [funnily enough only in England was it a hit] which was "Football Crazy" which had nothing to do with Hogmanay but it was Andy's hit and he liked it and of course he didn't have to rehearse it so we had to have it. His other Annual contribution of course yes you've guessed it! "Glasgow belongs to me" a place in those days the Rest of Scotland would rather avoid like the plague especially if you came from Edinburgh.

The only reason Edinburgh folk went to Glasgow as my Granddad used to say was if you had a terminal illness and the NHS treatment lists were full, Apparently all you had to do was catch the train to Glasgow alight onto the platform and speak in an Edinburgh accent and death was almost instantaneous. Of course that doesn't happen anymore now that Glasgow has now been "A European City of Culture ". I believe you can actually make it to George Square before you get stabbed.

Anyway, on reflection, I suppose I'm just melancholy as I'm here and your there and as one of my many, many, Wives used to say you're a brilliant Father but not such a good husband [never understood that one] but I hope my children agree with her.

A Happy New Year to you all with special mention for Sarah and James moving into their first house together, My daughter Elly and Mr Crusty , this to be the year the IVF will succeed, Lillo [My Mate] a Trojan amongst men for putting up with my lovely daughter Kate, Jean whose Mr Right will come at last if only she would let him, Sarah and Simon in start of their first of many pub ventures or is it adventures? Nick and Jo - that they may eventually complete The Money Pit and Nick to realise there are other teams than Bristol City, Kurtis a future Prime Minister [or at least Minister For War], Keith [an Arsenal supporter] and Pat Rogers may her health improve. Joyce Mckay whose kidney problems hopefully will improve. Ronnie McKay for just being my friend, Jerome for just being him wins the lovely boy award. My art class and Miss for putting up with me over the years. Especially Mick Rogers whose whole family are beset with serious health problems. I wish them Health and Happiness and soon.

To the rest; A Happy New Year to You and Yours.

We now have three Scots families amongst the campers here all the rest are Germans and Netherlanders one Austrian, one Swiss One French no English odd that. Anyway we are having a bit of a do this evening something to do with The New Year or something. So I'll be off then to have a tinny or two.

Love to you All


Dad is writing his life story, Grover is explaining the finer points of grammatical composition and sentence construction to Dad (who clearly ignores the good advice the Grover gives!)

Grover has read dad's first chapter, and has fallen asleep (he has no eyelids so you can't tell!) or he has passed out with boredom!

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