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Archive for December, 2007

New Year’s Eve…

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
a stately pleasure-dome decree,
where Alph, the sacred river, ran
through caverns measureless to man
down to a sunless sea,
so twice five miles of fertile ground
with walls and towers were girdled round.
and there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
where blossom’d many an incense-bearing tree.
And here were forests as ancient as the hills,
enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

The famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge has been (and still is) interpreted in many different ways – but it has been in my life since my schooldays; the meaning developing, the pleasure it brings changing – and I thought of it tonight, the last night of a strange year, a year I am glad to see pass into time.

Have a good New Year…. I am staying in tonight at The Staterooms – a bottle of Rioja is open and I have poured a glass. I am listening to Verdi and see no need to go out 🙂

I may return for a final post this year… but I am composing for the 7th January. At the moment I have cannon to the right and cannon to the left and a lot of horses riding towards destiny. Seemed a good metaphor tonight. Whether it will survive the cold January light…. for publication on the 7th… who knows?

***

Have a good 2008.

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HTNOM TSRIF EHT FO YAD HTHGIE EHT NO GNIGWALB MORF ERITER YAM I

ITJDE PEXND SOKNW HEZTH ERUMY RIPOJ ASYUP PLWYL AKSTS

And… no… I haven’t been hitting the juice. (It does make sense…. eventually) No prize… but what am I saying? Any budding Bonds…. Spooks out there?

***

PS… I have also managed to place myself on The Blawg Review World Map…. unfortunately… I managed to type “Charoron QC” – but maybe that is appropriate this evening. Hopefully it can be edited!

Place yourself on Blawg Review’s World Map?: Click here

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I survived the night after my bout of bird ‘flu and walked down to the Hothouse Cafe for espresso and a read of the papers. This morning it was – The Mirror and The Independent. It was still dark, but it usually is at this time of year when I go for breakfast.

A quick check through the 2007 Honours list confirmed my worst suspicions… that all the fuss earlier in the year about “Cash for Honours” has meant that there will be no visit to the Palace, there will be no “Arise, Sir Charon” moment this year …. but, as we say down at The Bollo… each time we raise a fresh glass and toast the government binge-drinking watchdogs… honi soit qui mal y pense… (Old French: shame upon him who thinks evil of it)

I still like the response by Keith Richard when Sir Mick Jagger got his knighthood: “I’m not going on stage with someone wearing a coronet and ermine”… or words to that effect. It is, of course, quite possible that Keith added colour to this statement with an expletive… my memory may be at fault. The BBC reported at the time: “Richards said he doubted he would be offered an honour “because they know what I would’ve said… they knew I’d tell them where they could put it.”

Always did like Keith Richards… still do…. Moving on….

It has been a quiet time over Christmas for UK Blawgers. I did manage to get a podcast in with Geeklawyer (infra). He then decided to do his own ‘Urbi et Orbi’ and capped his posting off this week with this wonderful pic of French rugby players.

InformationOverlord informs that the Library of Congress has decided to re-classify Scots literature as ‘English’. You would think that the US had enough PR problems in the world without pissing off the Scots. Surely the CIA knows that Scotland is not English?

Family Lore has rather suprising news that disgraced barrister, Bruce Hyman, sentenced to 12 months prison on 19th September, was seen at a party before Christmas. Surprising indeed. The bloggers formerly known as Belle de Jure and Lawyer2B are back with ‘Reductio ad absurdum’ – keeping Latin alive.

So… not much to report on this front this week. I am hosting Blawg Review on 7th January – the first of 2008. Working on a theme… Please post a comment on this post if you wish to be included in my review…. no fee required…

J Dan Hull of What About Clients? has raised the game for blawgers with his own Christmas Video message. I wiped away a tear on this one… AND… What About Clients? is up for an award… against the Wall Street Journal. May I ask you to vote for WAC?… as I am sure they would like to win . I have voted… Unfortunately… it is only possible to vote once. Vote before 2nd January deadline… but as you may well be unable to do so on 1st January because you will be at the gym, not smoking, not drinking, not doing anything unhealthy… you may have to vote before 1st January: Vote Here…. for What About Clients?

POSTSCRIPT: I am not an American… so do not follow the subtle nuances of US politics. I have just discovered that Dan’s Christmas message is his parody of a US politician’s Christmas message. Good one, Dan…. like a bit of irony. Still enjoyed the vlog though! US readers of Dan’s blawg would, of course, have picked up on this.

***

I go now… to a place of quiet reflection… to consider how best I may live my life in the new year… I had a long look in the drinks cabinet and found that I need to buy some more Rioja… I must have been burgled over Christmas.

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I have been poleaxed…

I read tonight… that not content with giving a knighthood to Parkinson, those who dispense these things, now that we can’t buy them anymore, may be adding ‘interest’ to the list with a surprise award for Tim Henman. Telegraph story

***

I have got bird flu – and, news of a possible knighthood for ‘Tiger Tim’, hero to evangelical strawberry eaters each year at Wimbledon, was just too much for me to cope with in my temporarily weakened state. I am returning to my futon… Hopefully, I will make it through the night – but if I don’t blog for a few days, please telephone the West London Police Community Support Officer control desk and ask them to break in. Please make sure you tell them I should not be cremated. The amount of Rioja inside me could cause an embarrassing explosion at the crematorium.


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Boxing Day…

Issac Newton was born on the 25th December (under the Julian calendar then in use), a birth celebrated by fellow UK blawger and rational man, John Bolch of Family Law on his blog this Christmas Day.

One of Isaac Newton’s most important laws was the Universal Law of Gravitation: F = Gm1m2 / r2. I keep it in mind, John, when I open every bottle of Rioja…. and so to the business of Boxing Day and the days before the enforced bacchanalia of New Year’s Eve.

The Sun discloses, today, when the news seemed to be dominated by an escaped tiger killing and mauling people in the US, that Michael Parkinson will become ‘Sir Chatalot’ in the New Year Honours list. The Sun was also able to entertain their readers with the news from New Zealand that a “A 50-STRONG gang of rampaging drunken Santas ransacked a cinema frightening customers, damaging property and swearing.”

‘Judge not Tony Blair, for he is like St Paul’

While I prefer the richandmark.com take on this from Guido Fawkes’ blog I was astonished to read an article in The Times on Christmas Eve. Canon Timothy Russ, who guided Blair ‘on his path to Rome’ called on Catholics ‘who resented Mr Blair because of his voting record on abortion and stem cell research to remember the example of the Christian Church’s greatest Apostle, St Paul, a key figure in spreading the message of Christianity.’

The Church, of course, has a long record of absolving sinners and acccepting repenters into their faith. Head of Legal writes that he heard “Alastair Campbell on BBC News 24 saying he didn’t know whether constitutionally a catholic could be Prime Minister, his tentative implication being that that might have been one reason why Blair didn’t convert while in office.”

Head of Legal points out that while The Monarch cannot be a catholic, there is freedom of religion for MPs.

UK Blawgers appear to have shut down for Christmas – with the notable exception of Geeklawyer who decided he would give his own Christmas Broadcast. Even leading US blawg What About Clients? went dark for one day….save to wish everyone a Happy Christmas. Victorian Maiden managed to draw herself away from Tucker’s charms to watch a soccer match. Ruthie is trying on her new wig in time for the January 2nd change in court dress rules to allow solicitor-advocates to be wigged in court. Reactionary Snob, Edinburgh advocate, manages to draw himself away from the claret to reflect on the mud slinging about sleaze between Tory and Labour politicians.

And finally… for this evening:

“Don’t suffer from PTSD, go out and cause it,”

BOISE – Idaho’s newest police officers are not being trained to inflict post-traumatic stress, the head of officer training for the state says, despite a slogan to that effect that was featured prominently in the program for the latest police academy graduation. Story

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Christmas…

Without in any way wishing to upstage The Queen, who is now vlogging on YouTube, I thought I would have a few glasses of Rioja at The Bollo (open for the first time this year on Christmas Day for a few hours) and see what happened….

I see that Geeklawyer, podcasting with me but two days ago, managed to have an ‘urbi et orbi’ moment last night upon his return from revels and has spoken to the Nation.


I have eaten my mince pie… I may well return to the scene of my blawg crimes later… Merry Christmas…

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I was alone at The Bollo with a lot of other alone people…. We shared wine… the wind made it extremely difficult to smoke outside…and… I just could not watch My Fair Lady and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

And then…. the AngelGabriel.com delivered unto me… an email from Ed of Blawg Review.

Subject: Re: That’s “bling” mate…
Date: 24 December 2007 21:59:25 GMT

I had to reply….

Happy Christmas…. Ed of Blawg Review,

Thank ‘God’ you wrote to me. It is difficult being alone at this time of year. (Actually… it is marvellous.)

The current Archbishop of Canterbury Tales, Rowan Williams… has managed to get a piece in The Times about all the ‘god fearing, binge drinking Britons’ who are going to be turning up at midnight tonight in Church of England churches to find and have ‘communion’ with God. (The Times).

The only Archbishop in the Village seems to think that this reveals a surge in support for ‘God’ and a move away from those inconvenient people who enjoyed reading Richard Dawkins book ‘The God Delusion”… and have a more science based take on life and death.

Not even the Lib-Dems are that brazen with statistics and belief. (Editorial Note: For US, other overseas readers…and most English readers: The Liberal Party still exists, despite the hard work done by Jeremy Thorpe (Rinka the dead dog/ Norman Scott), Paddy Ashdown (The ‘Pantsdown’ saga), Charles Kennedy (‘Seriously over-refreshed’ drinker, bon viveur and smoker who diced with death by hanging out of train windows to smoke to avoid the smoking ban), Sir Ming Cambell (No salesman called because he was just too old to merit a free carriage clock with the sensibly priced insurance to pay for the coffin)… and now they have elected someone who appears to be rather like ‘Private Pike’ in Dad’s Army.

My own rather jaded analysis… but thankfully, I got bail….is less prosaic (I only do ‘prosaic’ when I am on duty). Many in Britain will go to Church tonight because of their beliefs and faith… but, after closing time… others will also pile in …. because they like a bit of karaoke at this time of year…. ‘Once in Royal David Beckhams’ City’… “Away on a Bender” … “What I really, really, want for Christmas” … and…then they will go off for a kebab.

Unfortunately…. I’ve got to go… I’ve just looked at my watch… it is 10.00 pm in Britain… and I haven’t managed to deliver any presents at all tonight.

When I agreed to do ‘Blawg Review’ on January 7th 2008… that was fine… it was just a bridge too far to agree to be Britain’s Father Christmas in 2007… I really did not want to disappoint… which is why I ‘outsourced’ it to Royal Mail….. Two Million presents won’t be delivered in Britain this Christmas, apparently. Not good. Thank God I was not greedy and didn’t go global with my Father Christmas franchise this year. I just hope the French will understand.

Sorry… but I just can’t drink and drive a sleigh tonight… and Rudolph has just been detained without trial for 28 days…Have a good one…

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