It’s the Christmas Special!!!!!!

Welcome! Straight down to business. I have a nice little Christmas poll at the bottom, to keep you reading to the bitter end! But first, it’s the final life lesson learned for 2015. Add this to the recent ones, and you won’t go far wrong in life.

Number 1 – Life Lesson learned –

Never used cooked prawns in a hot meal. Always use raw, and add in last 2 minutes of cooking. Over cooked seafood is a crime!

Ok, I can now get on with my normal ramblings!

2015 has been a very special year for the Millard family, with our handsome Son, Howard, getting married to the wonderful Margot from glorious South Africa, landing his dream job in golfing and……STOP!!!!!

Sorry about that Christmas viewers. You would have had enough of that drivel in Christmas cards from friends, who wish to tell you about how wonderful little Sarah has been in 2015, and how coping with having to shop in Claire’s Accessories rather than Monsoon Accessorize has made her a better all-rounded child.

So let us start off with this..

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It’s our Dora and Poppy in their festive scarves and hats!

Thanks to Jolene at the House of fur (https://www.facebook.com/WalkiesWithJo)

Christmas usually involves, travel, family, weather, presents, parties, drink, television, over indulgence and arguments. So let me see how many of these I can demolish in this blog!

By now you might have just eaten your way through the gross national product of a small country. If you are reading this live, you might still have the joy of someone saying the classic phrase “Anyone want a turkey sandwich?”, at about 7pm, to look forward to! There must be space for that final turkey leg. Just how many legs did that bird have?

When I was young, I remember my mum getting one of these…

ElectricCarvingKnife
A powered carving knife – By Athol Mullen (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It was the absolute height of one-up-man-ship back then. No sharpening of a knife, just use a noisy chainsaw to carve the turkey, maiming your guests as your finger gets stuck on the button whilst turning round to put the device on the table! The good old days! Fortunately, I am still able to wield a proper knife, with the only risk being my own fingers or feet!

Christmas is about music. We all love the festive tunes, and it gets you into the mood for the food and family onslaught. It got me thinking actually, about the music and singer/bands that will be remembered in say 500 or even a 1000 years time.

I think we can all probably agree that the Beatles will be remembered. But who else? I think a lot will just fall by the wayside, even some huge bands. But strangely enough, in the UK we used to have Christmas number 1 songs that really blew the house down.

One of these is always played every year, without fail, “Merry Xmas Everybody” by Slade. I would contend, your honour, that because of the Christmas event, Slade are now actually truly immortal! Certainly Noddy Holder of Slade is certainly reaping the benefits. I understand he gets a royalty cheque every Xmas for over half a million pounds! (Its Chrissssssstmassssssssssssss!!!!!!!).

Slade - TopPop 1973 19

Noddy Holder and Slade by AVRO (Beeld En Geluid Wiki – Gallerie: Toppop 1973) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Now that is where my “Interview Trousers” went!

The sort of present we buy has changed in my life time. My granddad was a prolific smoker, I mean 90 a day prolific! The Millards don’t do anything by half.  I remember we actually bought him cigarettes for Christmas! They were in a celebration tin of course, we weren’t cheap skates!  He actually smoked a brand called “Senior Service”, which were filter-less, super high tar! My sister and I were also allowed to go and get the fags (for my American friends – this is slang for cigarettes) from the local shop for him. The good old days! Not surprisingly he dropped stone dead one night from hardening of the arteries! He was a great character, being a brickie (builder), and I remember him telling me how he built a house, to the architect’s specification, and there was no door!!

A memory I have of a Christmas visit to my grandparents was when I received an Airfix model of HMS Victory as a present and I made it whilst there.

Victory Portsmouth um 1900

HMS Victory -See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I suppose I shouldn’t  have left it on the chair. My granddad sat on it! Rigging is somewhat hard to repair from 500 pieces spread across the floor. The good old days!

My granddad was also an amateur electrician. Their old stone cottage had electricity downstairs, but none upstairs. He added some nice rubber cabling and piped it upstairs. You had to have the hall light on to get power upstairs! The days before regulations, fuses, and overload, what are they? “Black is neutral right?”. The good old days!

At the end of our Christmas stay, there was the journey home. As my grandparents lived in Kent, there was invariably 4 foot of snow on the ground.

I remember my sister and I getting bikes for Christmas, when I was 9, and our parents driving us home from Ramsgate (140 miles) in one of these…

Austin 1300GT registered June 1972 1380cc (sic DVLA)

By Charles01 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

My sister and I were in the back seats, without seat belts, and both bikes on our laps! The good old days! And that was back in the days when 140 miles without a breakdown was a long way! My parents couldn’t afford the AA back then, so we always had to prepare for a freezing time in a stranded car.

My mum always chose our stopping points on the journey by the cleanliness of the public toilets. Two of the nicest were Tenterton and Lewis.

On the subject of toilets, we were in Miami last year and I love architecture, and here are the loos on Ocean Drive.

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Funny old toilets. There were unusual waist level holes in between the toilet cubicles that I assumed allowed observation of the next door cubicle. What was all that about? Anyway, I made a rapid exit!

Jean said I looked pale when I came out!

Food of course is big at Christmas. Despite the world moving forward in every way, our local butcher has decided to go back to the stone age. When I phoned to order our turkey at the start of December, I was told in a rather blunt manner, that they didn’t take phone orders any more. “Cool, can I order on the web?” “No you have got to come down here, and hobble in and order it face to face!” Idiots! The reason being that they had been let down last year with some purchasers. We had ordered from them for the last 20 years! Well watch your trade slump this year, losers!

Well, it’s almost the end of 2015. By now, you should all be feeling pretty sick, smashed a child’s toy, run out of AA batteries, trodden on a piece of Lego, and settled down to watch a bit of telly.

What’s next? Oh yes, my Xmas guest blogger, back from the grave. The late great Frankie Howerd!

“Ooor err Missus, what a going on, it’s all been titsup in 2015!  ooooh, no don’t! Lee careful where you put that walking stick! Well it’s certainly a massive one today, no don’t! Your blog is massive today! I hope you have had a great dinner with your family and your nuts got roasted, ooooh r, and you got a face full of the cook’s vol au vents…. No don’t, please yourself …… titter ye not!…”

That’s enough, Frankie.

I love the people side of Christmas, it’s about joy to all. However, there are limits. On a recent rip to a garden centre, the marvellous Lions Club of Great Britain had a nice sleigh, raising money for local children and the community at this time of year. They were, however, playing Cliff Richard! I went across to donate, and I said “Here is my donation. However, I will double it, if you stop playing Cliff!” He refused.

On the subject of Cliff Richard, here is my Christmas poll. What is the greatest ever Christmas song? In the poll below, my favourite is hidden, and to me it stands above all others. Can you guess? Is this post a clue or not? Note, the list is 100% Cliff free! Of course there are hundreds of others, but how well do you know me, onein400!?

Now it’s time to slump on the couch and eat a whole box of chocolates! I salute you readers, and thank you all for following me on my journey this year. I wish you an amazing Christmas!

Next week, the year in review and 2016 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Dagmar says:

    Another mighty fine post Lee – – ah yes, the Good Old Days!
    But hey, we MND-ers know the best day is.. today! Because we can laugh at it all. BTW – can I do a write-in vote for: “All I Want for Christmas are My Motor Neurons Back.” 😉 ? ?

    Stay strong my friend, and keep moving forward!
    Merry Christmas from Arizona.

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  2. Helga says:

    🎄Well, did you eat too much? We certainly did – Tom & Rosie cooked for us this year: new home, new cooker, we just had to tuck in (worth every calorie!). Walked it off in Chichester today while David is practising organ music for a Rogate service tomorrow. Wondering about your turkey situation, hope there was one for you somewhere – tragedy otherwise! 😉

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