Merry Christmas my friends

To all my friends scattered across the Blogosphere and beyond, here’s wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a great start to whatever the adventure of 2009 will be for you. Thanks for your company this year and for all that you have taught me, thanks too for joining in with the laughter and the silliness!
I’m not going to be blogging now until the New Year ………. we’ll re-group then, eh!
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I thought it would be fitting to include the shed (this will have to be ‘Shedding the tradition 6’ as KTvS pointed out that I had missed that one out) and a bit of poetry ………

“And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?
And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,
No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine”


The last three verses of ‘Christmas’ by John Betjeman

Veteran Youth worker

fngrs.jpgIn the Nineteen nineties, my Youth work heroes were often described, at conference introductions, as being, Veteran Youth Workers. This badge of ‘veteran’ is kind of vague and I think it is largely conferred for having worked with young people for many many years, and for having greying (or no) hair. Having worked with young people for twenty five years now I’ve been looking out for signs that, in terms of longevity, I may be earning the prefix, veteran!
Having said that apart from the greying hair … and that it takes me longer to recover from a residential event, what are the signs one looks for?
I may have spotted one I think though at the Youth Group Christmas Party! My response to the comestibles was a definite pointer towards veteranism. The food there consisted of chocolate fingers, crisps and cakes, accompanied by Lemonade or Coke. Back in the day this would have constituted the three main food groups for me and an excellent choice of beverage. I did however this time find myself thinking, oh I’d love a cup of coffee and a decent sandwich!
Happily though, I still LOVED the malarky and fun of the party and the young people were, as ever, wonderful company and completely and wonderfully CraazZZy.

Nativity Horrors

During Youthblog’s first Christmas I threw down the gauntlet and challenged fellow blog dwellers to find the worst nativity scene that t’internet could yield. The results were both amusing and alarming, with ever more cringe-worthy examples making an appearance annually since.
Ship of Fools have posted this truly surreal Bath Duck Nativity?
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Even cooler though, Marko today has posted twenty examples of this ‘art form’
Enjoy?

Disestablishment and the Muppets

The newspapers this morning have much to say about Dr Rowan Williams views on separation of Church and State. A number of the papers though also pick up that in the same interview he revealed one of his favourite films was, “Muppet Christmas Carol”
For the record: I agree with his position on both of the above!
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Yuletide Condundrums for Verbiage prone Persons

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For overly-wordy quiz lovers everywhere, identify the Carol or Christmas song title:
1. Move hitherwards, the entire assembly of those who are steadfast.
2. Ecstasy towards the terrestrial sphere.
3. Hush, the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds.
4. Creator, cool it, you kooky cats.
5. O sanctified ebony atmosphere.
6. The thing manifested itself at the onset of a transparent day.
7. Embellish the interior passageways.
8. Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted metallic resonant cups.
9. Hey, minuscule urban area south of Jerusalem.
10. Nocturnal time span of unbroken quietness.
11. Us, the autocratic troika
12. The primary carol.
13. Natal celebration devoid of colour, as in a hallucinatory phenomenon for me.
14. Valentino, the roseate proboscis wapiti.
15. Diminutive masculine master of skin-covered percussionist cylinders.
16. O nativity conifer.
17. During the time ovine caretakers supervised their charges past midnight.
18. What offspring abides thus?
19. Removed in a bovine feeding trough.
20. Expectation of arrival at a populated area by mythical, masculine, perennial gift-giver.
21. Fantastical vista during the season of Mother Nature’s dormancy.
22. Proceed to declare something upon a specific geographical Alpine formation.
23. Obese personification fabricated of compressed spheres of minute crystals.
24. Jovial Yuletide desired for the second person singular or plural by us.
25. Thoracic-Squirrel diet being barbecued