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Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

A Little Christmas Ham

Posted by Dirck on 18 December, 2020

I will warn you at the outset– this presentation of the Dickens classic is… not great. I have no idea what the intended form of presentation was. Early TV? C reel in theatres? No clue. But the acting is… mostly not quite there.

Why am I offering it, then? Two reasons. One is the remarkable interpretation of the Ghost of Christmas Present; he’s generally promoted as a roaring giant (give yourself a treat if you get that reference), but I can’t think of anything else where he’s shown as an angry professional wrestler.

The other– Vincent Price narrates! It’s worth the struggle to listen to him read, and occasionally be shown his warm expressions.

Rest ye merry, folks. We’re almost through to the solstice.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Taranis
Today’s ink: Herbin Violette Pensée

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Second Childhood

Posted by Dirck on 11 December, 2020

A little change today– no movie, just me letting some associations run wild and free.

You could, if you wished, view this as a far-too-late-to-be-useful gift suggestion for the person on your Christmas list who is very hard to get a gift for. And it’s not even a pen.

My birthday has just passed, and as often happens to people of my culture, I got some gifts connected to the event. One of them fulfilled an ambition I’ve had since I was about 17, although it has only lately slipped out of the realm of utter fantasy. Check this out.

I promise that at no point during my drive to work did I shout “Fox 2! Weapon away!”

Yes, I have a heads-up display in my minivan. Whole unlapped Venn circles of humanity are now shaking their heads in despair.

And that’s fine. Let ’em. I’m a big boy, the boss of me, and doing no one any harm with it. In fact, quite the opposite on the last point, as I now appreciate how much contact with the traffic around me I was losing every time I darted a glance at my speed. I honestly don’t know why this sort of thing isn’t a government-enforced standard equipment in all new vehicles. It can’t be cost (yes, I know how much a birthday gift cost– big boy, me).

I can’t quite justify the altimeter display on the left in the same breath, but I swapped it for a heading indicator since the picture was taken.

Anyway, that’s me done showing off my new toy. This weekend should be merry– we’re putting up the the festive green object covered in lights tonight, and on Saturday I’m getting a late start on this year’s batch of Eggnog. Late? As you’ll see in the recipe, for it to be safe to drink on Christmas morn, I should have got it done a couple of weeks ago.

Oh, well. We may not be going around to the grandparentseses this year, but that’s no reason to not flirt with a food-borne disease!

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Montblanc Racing Green

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The Big Bounce

Posted by Dirck on 20 December, 2019

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the sun finally stops its southward trundle.

There’s also some kind of gift-giving festival associated with this time of year, isn’t there?

This week’s videos (yes, plural!) are all Christmas-y. I think I’ve mentioned previously that while I don’t follow Christianity, I have been embedded in it most of my life, so I’m willing to enjoy some plainly non-secular tunes in connection with the season. There’s a couple of those below.

But I also have an incorrect sense of humour, so one of these things is not like the others.

Today’s pen: Ohto Tasche
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert de Gris

 

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…and I in my cap…

Posted by Dirck on 24 December, 2018

Merry Christmas to all.  I have a few days off work, which will deform the usual schedule here. I will look in again on Friday, with a progress report. For today, here’s the foundation of a lot of our modern notions of Christmas, read in pleasing voices, to keep you company while you wait for the rattling of many hooves on your roof.

It must be more than one creature stirring up there. Right? So many hooves…

Today’s pen (a Christmas gift): Waterman Phileas
Today’s ink (a festive colour): Diamine Syrah

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Solstice Bonanza

Posted by Dirck on 21 December, 2018

The light, at least north of the equator, is as scant as it will be for a whole year. HOORAH!

To observe the day, and lower us all gently into the last shopping Saturday before Christmas, some films. First, for the unreformed Scrooges of the world, here’s a look at the worst jobs to do with the season (some, for you who hold the reason for the season to be axial tilt, are from pre-Christian Europe)

And in keeping with the theme… more or less… I’ve been pursuing this month with ghost stories just because it’s the dark time of the year, here’s another Blackwood story, told by someone else entirely.

If you’ve been out in the cold too long, this is a very… familiar… story.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Statesman
Today’s ink: Skrip Black

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An Astonishing Simulation

Posted by Dirck on 14 December, 2018

Today’s film exactly replicates the experience of watching TV as a child in the mid-1970s. It also gives a very good idea of what watching TV in the Netherlands is like for an English speaker.

On the second point, there’s not so many horrifying hellbeasts on Dutch TV… or at least there weren’t the last time I was there.

Today’s pen: Pilot Vanishing Point
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert de Gris

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Joyeux Kerstfeest, Y’all

Posted by Dirck on 22 December, 2017

I hope you’re all done the necessary running around, and have plenty of free time to bake shortbread or speculaas or stollen… or in fact to not do any of that and just sit in a contented heap with people you want to spend your time with.

This last one takes a while to get through, and I suspect it’s not to all tastes, but it’s worth a look at the manifestation of Christmas Past and the treatment of the Christmas Yet To Be segment.

Stay warm, be happy, and I’ll make words at you next week.

Today’s pen: Waterman Phileas
Today’s ink: Montblanc Racing Green

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Tinkling of the Season

Posted by Dirck on 15 December, 2017

Good news, everyone!  A change of location within the Regular Job building, which I somehow failed to moan about here last winter, puts me very very very far away from the radio which produces Offensively Repetitive Christmas Music (with Some Country Versions), with a couple of walls and a ninety degree bend in the building to complete the isolation.  I am blessed with silence, at least as far as seasonal tunes not of my own choosing go.  One of the primary generators of Humbuggery in my life has been shut down, and I am far more able to say Merry ChristmasSeasons GreetingsHappy Holidays, and Gruss vom Krampus without a scowl and a snarl.  Except that last one, because the snarl is traditional.

Since I am thus liberated from woe and light of heart, let me now inflict some of my less classical musical choices on you.  If you choose to listen.  No one will make you press play.

Now get out there and smile at the other people in the shops.  You’re all trying to brighten the world, right?

Today’s festive pen: Waterman Phileas
Today’s reflective ink: Montblanc Racing Green

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‘Twas Two Nights Before Christmas…

Posted by Dirck on 23 December, 2016

I’ve mentioned previously, at roughly twelve-month intervals, that I’m a devotee of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, to the extent that I’ve actually read it (gasp!).  However, I am happy with a relatively passive enjoyment of the work– I’m not what one might call obsessed with it.  Unlike the poor soul behind today’s filched film, who appears to have spent an awful lot of effort in composing a fugue and variations on the subject.  If you can’t enjoy it, at least be astonished:

For my part, I’ll be watching dear old Alastair Sim again tonight, in what I hold to be the definitive version.  But that’s merely my opinion.  Stay warm, be of good cheer, and keep the day in your hearts throughout the whole of the year.  I’ll see you next week.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant
Today’s ink: Diamine Denim

 

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Posted by Dirck on 22 December, 2016

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  14 manuscript pages, plus 1,840 second-draft words of “Free Balloons for All Good Children”.

The low novel output this week is only in part a result of Christmas pressure, or I guess direct Christmas pressure.  It occurred to me on Monday that the antagonist of the novel, who has yet to even appear as more than a suggested presence, is a lamentably two-dimensional character.  Twenty percent done is an uncomfortable place to run up against an objection like that, and like a ship running onto a sand-bar, I’ve lost a little momentum; hopefully I’ll glide over it presently rather than having to wait for the next spring tide.

Also, last week I was told by my banker we could presume upon the equity of the house to extend line of credit and give the credit card a good kicking.  I hesitated, because the reason the credit card currently needs a good kicking is immediately after the last time we played this trick (mentioned here in connection with needing to replace a vehicle), there was a string of disasters in the household which gobbled up all the available credit.  However, it was a sensible plan, replacing 28% interest with 4%, so yes, let’s do that.  Monday night this week, my son did something to express his joyful high spirits which saw the drainpipe of the bathroom sink snapped off at the outflow and the wall; it’s unclear just what he was at, since alone time in the bathroom is a right we respect, but since he’s eight it was probably literal rather than figurative monkey-business.  The impending expense of fixing this, just after having done all the Christmas shopping (and most of that on ready cash, like wise people do), lowered my own spirits substantially, and added more drag to my creativity.  That’s the indirect Christmas pressure at work.

Oh, while I’m talking about Christmas pressures; if you want to try something that will taint forevermore your happy associations of the concept “Egg Nog,” you need only get some of the Bolthouse Farms Limited Edition Holiday Nog.  An oily body coupled with a persistent pickled cedar undernote to an otherwise hard-to-define suite of flavours ensures that this is a product which will not be getting invited back to our celebrations.  I like some of Bolthouse’s other stuff, but this is just plain wrong.

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