Machine Nation

Irish Politics Forum - Politics Technology Economics in Ireland - A Look Under The Nation's Bonnet


Devilish machinations come to naught --Milton
 
PortalPortal  HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  GalleryGallery  MACHINENATION.org  

Share | 
 

 The Christmas Thread

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
AuthorMessage
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:23 pm

Spare a thought for the ordinary people in Bethlehem this Christmas. If Christ were born today the shepherds would not have been able to get to the stable to greet him owing to the security fence.



Last edited by johnfás on Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:51 pm

johnfás wrote:
Spare a thought for the ordinary people in Bethlehem this Christmas. If Christ were born today the shephers would not have been able to get to the stable to greet him.


And he was hardly in the lap of luxury when he was born, he was born in a stable and his parents did have to flee the soldiers of King Herod into Egypt after his birth. Jesus was a political refugee in his early childhood
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:20 pm

Enjoy some caroling from the festival of nine lessons and carols at King's College Cambridge. Magnificent cheers

Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:25 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Is that what this thread is for ?! I've already written to Santa asking him to bring theBear back but I don't know .. I'm considering asking him to bring back the Celtic Tiger instead.



Only joking.
He asked me to tell you that even if you wanted the Celtic Tiger, you can't have it! So he sent me instead.

(New job, with actual work involved, as well as moving to Casa di Bear, so less time to be online.)
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:40 pm

TheBear wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Is that what this thread is for ?! I've already written to Santa asking him to bring theBear back but I don't know .. I'm considering asking him to bring back the Celtic Tiger instead.



Only joking.
He asked me to tell you that even if you wanted the Celtic Tiger, you can't have it! So he sent me instead.

(New job, with actual work involved, as well as moving to Casa di Bear, so less time to be online.)
or Casa del Orso piu bella afro
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:17 pm

Anyone going to bring their kids to the NORAD (yep those yanks with nukes) site where they track Santa across the world on Christmas Eve?

http://www.noradsanta.org/en/home.html

Track Santa as he makes his deliveries all over the world! Google Maps will refresh Santa's position every 5 minutes.

To speak to a NORAD Santa Tracker in person:

Call toll free: 1 (877) Hi NORAD or 1 (877) 446-6723

Local, overseas: 1 (719) 556-5211 (cost incurred overseas)

Hearing Impaired: Contact your current relay service

Send an email
noradtrackssanta@gmail.com


its great! and aparently started in the 60's when a kid rang Norad and was put through to the watch commander, and said he was worried that the missiles and fighter jets might shoot down santa. the commander said that they had santa tracked on their radar and he was getting a fighter escort over US territory (or something to that effect). every year since, NORAD has tracked Santa progress over christmas eve for children all over the world. tax dollars well spent in my opinion!
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:53 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Someone was on the radio saying that refugees in Direct Provision accommodation have an awful job getting internet access that they need for trying to trace family and for getting information and services.

I was thinking of trying to do something about that.

I got library cards for a group from one of the hostels. They got great value from them.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:18 am

First part of an unintentionally smug but affecting account of an Englishman's recollection of his boyhood Christmases in London.

"Christmas in the 1930s Part I

When I was young Christmas Day was always spent at the houses of my Grandfather Cotter and my Grandfather Mandy. Therefore, on Christmas morning we would catch the Metropolitan Line train from North Harrow to Euston Square. It was invariably not the train intended as my mother was never ready in time for the one we planned to catch. When at last we were on the train, the relief to be sitting quietly in the warmth of the carriage after the rush and the nip of the sharp air on the open platfrom, where our breath had formed mini-clouds, was immense. The compartments with their twin rows of facing seats, the woodwork, the oval-framed sepia photographs of Colwyn Bay (they all seemed to be of Colwyn Bay!) and the leather-stropped windows added to the cosiness. However, for the short-trousered the moquette of the seats could be a prickly trial, leaving my legs indented with pimples like a nutmeg grater.

At Euston we caught the tram for Stamford Hill. Its rattling, clattering progress was punctuated by the ring of the conductor's ticket-punching machine which he wore firmly strapped to his chest like a warrior's breastplate. The ticket he handed you was a small oblong of thick, rough paper on which in the smallest of type were printed the names of all the stips along the tram's journey. The landmarks I remembr were the forbidding battlements of Holloway Prison (which for many years I thought was a castle), the two huge black cats sitting like sentries or Egyptian Gods at the entrance of the Carrera's Cigarette Building, and the Nag's Head public house which seemed attractively palatial and inviting.

Then, at last, Stamford Hill. We would pause to buy flowers from the great baskets, like small bright gardens, of the kerbside flower sellers, before embarking on the short walk through Christmas-Day deserted and hushed streets to Grandfather Cotter's house in the crescent. There, through the haze and incense of pipe smoke, I could make out a throng of uncles and aunts, cousins and others, crowded into a room already filled by glass cases of stuffed and exotically plumed birds. (One of my Grandfather's uncles had seen service in India and brought the collection home - or that was the story! Certainly they took up a great deal of room and were strangely out of place in that house in N15!)
'This is Aunt Beattie - you know Aunt Beattie, don't you?' It was best to nod and let them think so. She looked nice and round and kindly whoever's aunt she was and, with a bit of luck, she wouldn't kiss me. But there were so many of them! As the room filled I found myself more and more hemmed in by the peculiarly childhood forest of trouser legs, skirt hems and stocking seams. And, as each new group of the family arrived, the whole party seemed to begin all over again.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:20 pm

Christmas in the 1930s Part II

"The only time voices fell quiet was when King George V's Christmas Day broadcast came on the 'wireless'. Then, when everyone was reassured that all was right with the Epire, the party renewed itself. Aunts would be giggly by this time and uncles, emboldened, decided we should have some entertainment,. This was the bit I dreaded. I didn't mind Grandfather pretending to be George Robey, the great comedia of the day. No, it was the Butler brothers' efforts that I dreaded. They had a concert party in which they were pierrots (which was, I thought, the name of people who performed on the end of a pier.) They dressed up in baggy costumes of white satin with great ruffs and buttons like large snowballs, and wore conical hats. Sometimes they blackened their faces to sing songs like 'Rose of England', which seemed, even at my age, to be pretty odd! But at Christmas they performed in their best suits with watch-chain decorated waistcoats and stiff, white, wing-collars. They were the only people I knew who wore these collars all the time. My dad did when he was playing the piano on special occasions, but not everyday. The Butler brothers did however, even when such collars must have disappeared from the shops years before. Did they have a secret supply?

No costumes then, though they had come prepared. That was where my dread came in. Their special piece was their concertina band. The Butler brothers were reputed experts at playing this hexagonally-ended caterpillar. I have been told that it is a very gentle instrument. But not when a collection of them are played together in the sitting room of a house, and in the hands of players used to taking the roof off the local picture palace or competing with a force eight gale at the end of a pier. The volume was enormous. They went on and on these bespectacled brothers, like a group of musical owls. When you say them with their concertinas fully extend4d, ready for a srescendo, you knew the worst was to come! I would offer a silent prayer (the only kind likely to be heard) that I would survive it all!
At length my father would pull his watch dramatically out of his pocket. 'My goodness is it dark already?' (It had been dark for over an hour!)
'Give my regards to Mr Mandy', Grandfather Cotter would say as he gave me the predictable Christmas present of a half-crown. Grandfather Cotter and my other grandfather Grandfather Mandy, had known each other for over fifty years, but they still addressed each other as Mister. And always when out of working clothers they wore the formality of dark suits and white collars. Life was hard and wages low, but dignity was to be preserved.
My famly would then weave its way the few hundred yards to Sherboro' Road and Grandfather Mandy's house, where Christmas dinner was waiting.
AT Sherboro Road the gas lights were lit and most of the family already assembled, for we were always the last to arrive. There was great steamy energy, bustling and activity in the haze of the scullery where the gas stove was installed and in which a regimental sized turkey was being cooked. The puddings, wrapped in white cloths, boiled noisily in the copper usually employed for the week's washing.
The table was laid in the kitchen. A large room, it could accommodate easily the sixteen or more for dinner. It was designated the kitchen because that is what it had been. Cooking, however, apart from tea-making, had long since been banished to the cavernous scullery. There was also a large built-in dresser in the ktichen with numerous drawers which when opened released a woody smell and revealed a jumble of treasures - brightly coloured threads, buttons, old photographs, ribbons, letters, postcards, playing cards, hooks and eyes, knitting needles. There was no end to it and its promises of splendid explorations on rainy afternoons.
So there it was: the white table cloth in the gas light, the knieves forks, spons and plates hining in their places, the curtains drawn against the darkness outside, the coals glowing red in the fireplace, and Christmas dinner began. This meant that we would eat tea about nine o' clock at night with supper well after midnight. To be up after midight was one of the childhood wickednesses I cherished! I still do!
For dinner there was turkey, its stuffin flavoured witha fanfare of herbs, crips brown roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts which must have been very special. Every Brussels sprout I have eaten since has takted as if it had begun to rot on the stalk long before picking. These were fresh and crisp. Did Grandmother have a special magic? Grandmother, a small, slightly stooping lady who, from the wax-based picturein the front room had been a bautiful dark-haired young woman, did not say much, but was confortable be witha nd a superb cook. Sot it would distress her to know that what I enjoyed most about our Christmas visits was the fresh bread, cold ham and pickled onions for supper! Perhaps it had more to do with the special magic of eating after midnight.

But that was later. Meanwhile we wolfed through dinner - after all we had waited long enough for it, stuffing ourselves amid banter and laughter until we reached the dark rich, majogony cannon ball of the Christmas pudding. My grandfather ceremoniously poured the brandy and applied a match. The resulting blue flame shot up with a whoosh and threatened the ceiling and the paper chains that hung from it. The ceiling was too high for there to hae been any real danger, but we liked to pretend there was. So the flames were greeted with shrieks and oophs as we all feigned at being 'frightened'! We ate that seet, fruity, substantially overnourishing confection with custard and care. Care so as not crack a toot or even swallow the small silver threepenny bits that were hidden in it. It was part of the ritual that gGrandfather - to gasps of annual surprise - always found a half-crown in his slice. A piece of simple confuring in which he delighted. So did we. "
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:39 pm

Christmas in the 1930s Part III

"Then came the giving of presents. For the young, conjuring sets with nail-through-the-finger illusions and pcik-a-card tricks; dolls in chintzy dresses, with invariably blue eyes and extravagant eye lashes you could have dusted a shelf with; games of Snakes and Ladders and Happy Families with that lovable Miss Bun who seemed to be the only one who was actually happy! What secret was she cherishing, I wondered? Then there were teh more practical or 'sensible' presents: endless handkerchiefs for addicted nose-blowers, and socks or loose fitting jerseys on which aunts had practised knitting. For the adults a cascade of bath-cubes, scent, ties, scarves and Christmas-wrapped sweeties.
Present-giving was followed by a frenzy of washing up in the sculler and then the great quiet. A time when the women drank tea in the kitchen or went upstairs for 'a lie down' and the men floundered like beached whales in the armchairs in the darkened front room and lit unaccustomed cigars which were to remain half smoked. A time of small movements and grampus-type breathing. A time to restore energies for the festivities to come. A time spent sleepily and slowly until, as if a switch had been thrown, the house suddenly became alive again. It was tea-time. It was also somtime after nine 'o' clock in the evening. But who cared about that? Mince pies, tarts of various jams looking like multi-coloured sunflowers, custards and curds, prissy fairy cakes, conical coconut and cherry-topped madeleines, paper-bottomed macaroons and curranty eccles cales were relished rapidly in order to reach the Christmas cake. The Christmas cake was like the Christmas pudding its fruity extravagance, but topped thickly with marzipan and encrusted in an armour plating of white icicng which took much hacking and sawing to reduce the cake to person sized pieces. Most of us used to the leave the icing uneaten as you would the shell of anut or the tine from canned fruit. I suppose the icing was made that hard in order to peserve the cake inside (which it nearly did from the eaters) or, maybe, to provide work for dentists. I never discovered which. All I did know was that a slice of that ckae would have sustained a person a journey to the North Pole!
After tea the entertainments began. It was then that uncles regretted the purchase of the conjuring set, and we regretted having learned that poem about Robin Hood in the dell and that a cousin had taken dancing lessons! Was it all a sort of punishment for having over-eaten? The games too were a bit of a trial. They wre either crudely horrific, as when you were blindfolded and your finger was thrust into an orange having been told it was Nelson's eye, or they were complicated and difficult like 'Pit', a card game based on the American Wheat market, and way outside our everyday experience! It was a game forced on us by Aunt Win, the bright, modern one of the family who read books and played badmnton (and whose badminton knickers were so brief Grandmother would hot have them hanging on the family washing line in case the neighbours should see them). It was not until Boxing Day that card games as uncomplicated as Sevens of Brag were allowed, though as the drink eased the adults along, the rules of 'Pit' began to matter less and less and perhpas they too began to share my mistaken idea that iwas a game about zoos. And so we moved on to the climaxes of the day."
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:49 pm

Christmas in the 1930s Part IV

"First there were the indoor fireworks, one of which produced an ashy snake and chrieks from Aunt Edna, another which filled the room with a 'snow storm' which repeated itself for days afterwards when somebody drew the curtains. Then came the singing round the piano on which my father played from the sheet music stored in the piano stool: 'Smoke gets in your eyes'; 'Lady of Spain I adore you', and 'If you were the only girl in the world'. All this was followed by supper. Sweet ham accompanied by the sharpness of pickled onions, the jet secrets of pickled walnuts, the crisp, clean crunch of celery and the cheerful red tomatoes were the last treats of the day.
The final mystery was the sleeping arrangements. My grandparents ascended to their own room on the mid-landing. The women claimed the large bedroom at the front of the house which, as aunts and mums slipped back in years, took on the hushed, whispery, giggly atmosphere of a girls' dormitory. I and an uncle or two slept in the small bedroom at the back of the house and the rest of the men stayed downstairs on mattresses laid out in the front room where it looked much like the drawings Henry Moore was to make in the war of people sleeping on the platfoms of the London Undgerground. It took on the rough and ready atmosphere of a barrack room. It was all a bit prophetic if we had known, because it was the War that was to disperse the family and bring to an end these Christmas gatherings. It was the War that saw the end of the house in Sherboro Road as well, when it was demolished by a bomb in an air raid.
The silver of first light was just appearing when eventually we all got to sleep. The frost had already etched patterns on the windows and honed the air outside. I dreamed of the goodies tocome: Boxing Day was special too."

(End)
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:03 pm

~A selection of Irish stories, videos and poems at this google link:

http://www.google.ie/search?hl=en&q=Irish+Christmas+stories&meta=

And American interprets a traditional Irish Christmas:

http://www.christmasarchives.com/how2irish.html

For those who hate Christmas:

http://www.angelfire.com/movies/oc/tirades/xmas.html

And another page of google results for 'I hate Christmas' folk:

http://www.google.ie/search?hl=en&q=I+hate+christmas&meta=
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:48 am

Me and Tom Waits have just put the Christmas cake in the oven - smell is great already.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:17 pm

Tom's a fecker in the kitchen - he didn't get up to turn down the temperature during the night...
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:49 pm

Ah #~&$... is it ok?
Back to top Go down
Ex
Fourth Master: Growth
avatar

Number of posts : 4226
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:51 pm

Kate P wrote:
Tom's a fecker in the kitchen - he didn't get up to turn down the temperature during the night...

How long was it supposed to be in the oven for ?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:02 pm

4 1/2 hours in total with the temperature turned down after an hour or so. I was tired and didn't set the alarm for the right time. My fault.

Got up some time around four and knew before I even got down the stairs that it wasn't right. Husband will still eat it, because he has a weird obsesssion with fruitcake and will cut the top off and demolish the centre, but it's not what it should be at all. I wouldn't eat it and wouldn't expect anyone else to.

Ah well. Christmas Cake #2 tomorrow.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:07 pm

Kate P wrote:
4 1/2 hours in total with the temperature turned down after an hour or so. I was tired and didn't set the alarm for the right time. My fault.

Got up some time around four and knew before I even got down the stairs that it wasn't right. Husband will still eat it, because he has a weird obsesssion with fruitcake and will cut the top off and demolish the centre, but it's not what it should be at all. I wouldn't eat it and wouldn't expect anyone else to.

Ah well. Christmas Cake #2 tomorrow.

Doesn't a Christmas cake have to be ferementing for 4 months or something ? Maybe you can get some quick -fermenting powder from the shop and it'll do it quicker for you ?

Do you put marzipan and icing on your cake too ? Of course you do. Jaysus Christmas cake is great when it has a hiace-load of marzipan on it. There's lovely marzipan bars in Lidl - the Germans like it better than we do. The Spanish too funnily enough at Christmas.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:09 pm

Do you eat marzipan bars, Auditor? My girlfriend likes them but I think they're vile Razz.

I got given a peanut butter filled chocolate bar last week by an American friend - yuck!
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:15 pm

Quote :
Doesn't a Christmas cake have to be ferementing for 4 months or something ? Maybe you can get some quick -fermenting powder from the shop and it'll do it quicker for you ?

Theoretically it does and normally I'd make it earlier but would have lots of light fruit cakes in the meantime so he'll leave the big one alone - he eats it like a mouse, picking bits off the edges until there's nothing left but a pile of crumbs.
But I haven't baked a light fruit cake in months and there isn't a hope of allowing it 'ferment' as you so charmingly put it. Normally it would age, soaked in whiskey and wrapped up well for a couple of months.

Quote :
Do you put marzipan and icing on your cake too ? Of course you do. Jaysus Christmas cake is great when it has a hiace-load of marzipan on it. There's lovely marzipan bars in Lidl - the Germans like it better than we do. The Spanish too funnily enough at Christmas.

No to marzipan. Hate the stuff - though a Swedish friend taught me to make a dessert sauce with it, which is gorgeous. Husband doesn't like the white icing, so it goes uniced. Had planned this year to put lots of fruit and nuts on the top.

Like this

Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:38 pm

johnfás wrote:
Do you eat marzipan bars, Auditor? My girlfriend likes them but I think they're vile Razz.

I got given a peanut butter filled chocolate bar last week by an American friend - yuck!

God I love them ! I must get some for Christmas for myself. Chocolate covered ones. Some American vomit tastes like chocolate.

That's a pretty cake Kate. All you need now is a big can of aerosol cream. O lovely. Meringues, marzipan and cream - God bless us all.

What's with the nuts at christmas ? Is it a squirrel thing ?

TheBear are you there ? Don't you hibernate for the Winter ? Glad to see you back. I'll write a Santa letter for anmajornarthainig next .
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:46 pm

Quote :
That's a pretty cake Kate. All you need now is a big can of aerosol cream. O lovely. Meringues, marzipan and cream - God bless us all.


What is it with the aerosol cream Audi?

I was in Tesco the other day and saw rows of cans of the stuff - apparently 'real' dairy cream that didn't need to be refrigerated affraid

And I thought of you and my sister, who keeps a can in her desk drawer at work because there's never enough on hot chocolate....
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:50 pm

Has anyone had cheese in a can? It is absolutely disgusting. Think you can only get it in America... the same guy who has the peanut butter chocolate bars dared me to eat some... yuck, but I struggle to say no to a dare Embarassed.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:53 pm

johnfás wrote:
Has anyone had cheese in a can? It is absolutely disgusting. Think you can only get it in America... the same guy who has the peanut butter chocolate bars dared me to eat some... yuck, but I struggle to say no to a dare Embarassed.

Just couldn't do it. But I do like the peanut butter idea - Hersheys do a peanut bar which would be okay except that the chocolate is chocolate flavoured gunk.

Captain America's does a terrific Snickers dessert. Yum, yum, yum.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:00 pm

I like the Cream in a pressurized container alright. Better now that there is a version you don't have to refigerate. It's noisy and handy and immediately satisfies some craving without having to whip it I suppose. It's supposed to be psychologically healthier to be able to delay gratification though but I think I'd belive that the way I believe in Astrology.

Canned cheese ? Now that's an odd one. My mind is starting to go off on a mad tangent of trying to think of mad canned stuff now ...eggs, scrambled egg, toast, ice-cream, Kate Ps Christmas cake ...
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: The Christmas Thread   

Back to top Go down
 
The Christmas Thread
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 6 of 7Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 Similar topics
-
» FUNNY CHRISTMAS VIDEO - How dogs with hands prepair for Xmas!
» The Italian Thread
» The Tarot Collectors Thread
» Most viewed thread to date
» Sadr criticized the Christmas Bonus Speaker and his Deputies and deemed "not for justice has nothing"

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Machine Nation  :: Welcome and Chat :: Chatter-
Jump to: