Monthly Archives: December 2012

Raspberry Pi is alive and kicking

Having helped the birth a while back and brought it’s BIOS into the world, I have now created a fully alive Raspberry Pi operating  my own Debian Linux OS with a “hard drive” and fully wi-fi operational!

Ah! It's first message. Bless!

Ah! It’s first message. Bless!


LUSH christmas walk

The Lush Christmas walk! Graham is the organiser and takes us to the Butler’s Retreat and back via Connaught Waters to the Hollybush. Most of the LUSH are there with the exception of Margi and Michael.

the Hollybush

the Hollybush

Amy, James and Adam also come and I meet James’ girlfriend Tara.

Spurs are beating Sunderland

Spurs are beating Sunderland

Punch and Judy celebrate 40 years of married bliss

We are off to Harrow to celebrate the  Crocker’s 40th wedding anniversary. Graham and Kevin (of Simon and Kevin) are coming with us.

The Crocker’s house is very atmospheric with candles and fairy lights and the occasion is very jolly and I spend a lot of time talking to everyone and introducing Graham where necessary. I talk to Sabina about her rheumatism, Joel and jude, Nicolas, Fiona and, of course, Kevin and Graham. Kevin talked a bit on the way home of his foster daughter, Teresa, who is physically handicapped from her father’s abuse (he once threw her out of a car).

A Fairy Story for Christmas

The Ice Queen arrives for her party with her brood of drug-addicted gun-toting bootleggers. Only they’re not. It is only her magic that makes them appear fiendish. Really they are gentle fawns and that is how everyone else, who is immune to the Ice Queen’s magic,  sees them.

As the party gets underway, the Ice Queen demands attention and entertainment and one of the fawns is made to perform. She does so trembling and with tears in her eyes and her siblings look on with anguish. “What is the fuss about!” shrieks the Ice Queen as the fawn rushes off sobbing after her performance is over.

christmas at home

It is our turn to host Christmas and all the family are invited. This was the event that Clare wanted to host but couldn’t because of clashing dates. Roger and Jan, Danae and Louisa and their families are also here. All in all there are 19 of us gathered.

It was all quite pleasant and friendly and I was pleased that Jo came. Clare’s kids are quite extra-ordinarily well-adjusted considering. Theo was very polite and well-behaved and the younger kids got on well together.

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christmas with Danae and Nathan

Nathan pulls out all the stops again with a delicious turkey and all the trimmings. I contribute a ham and a cake – both of which are edible. The cake is diabetically friendly and I don’t have a high glucose reading the next day.

Louisa and Julian join us after visiting Diane and Thom and Tara come a bit later after having an earlier lunch with Tara’s parents. This in no way inhibits Thom from a further xmas dinner.

We seem to spend the whole day around the table eating and drinking and talking. The rest of the time is swapping presents and playing with the children.

See Flickr for more pix and Day One for more the diary.

Nathan brings out last years xmas pudding

Nathan brings out last years xmas pudding

Harper and Me wearing our West Ham clobber

Harper and Me wearing our West Ham clobber


christmas with Louisa and Julian

The family get together at Louisa and Julian’s house where Nathan shows us the email that Santa sent Rocco. Father Christmas asks how he’s been at school and to our relief there is a positive report.

The kids are entertained with a game of charades whilst the adults have to draw pictures of newsworthy events that have occurred during the last year. Julian makes his famous curried eggs and Louisa has made lots of food including a cheese fondue.

Before we leave Santa appears and there is a snow shower. Harper, particularly is very excited and manages to eat a whole choclolate father christmas and a gingerbread man in an amazingly short time.

Santa says you can fool some of the people some of the time....

Santa says you can fool some of the people some of the time….

Christmas 2012 with Roger and Jan

All the Leamans except Thom and Tara came to Romans to see Kiri, Dave and Lily and Roger and Janet. We had a relaxing time eating, drinking, talking, playing with the children and giving out early Christmas presents.

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Tove’s Official Birthday

Like the royalty that she is, Tove has two birthdays. One is some time before Christmas so that it is special and not over-shadowed by some religious event. And the other, today, is her official birthday. She was born at 10 am four years ago.

we start with birthday brunch in Belgique

we start with birthday brunch in Belgique


present time

present time


the birthday cake!

the birthday cake!

the day the world didn’t end!

end of the Mayan calendar

end of the Mayan calendar

All the news, including the more reputable outlets, have been pushing stories about the Mayan Long Count calendar and how it ends at 11.13 am today – heralding the end of the world. Well, I’m writing this at 3.36 pm so it didn’t happen.


Haven’t really looked into it but it strikes me that if you use a cyclical calendar, as we do, then it repeats endlessly forever. But it is bound to become inaccurate because of entropy and the world slowing down over the eons (we already have to take this into account with our leap years).

On the other hand, if you use a linear calendar, which I think is what the Mayans were doing, you have a very accurate way of tracking time but you would need to keep updating it as each calendar came to it’s end. Unfortunately the Mayans are not around at the moment to create another calendar to take over from this last one.

It is, of course, the Winter Solstice – at 11.12 am – and the shortest day of the year.  From now on the world is moving into summer. It is also the day that John Donne describes as St. Lucie’s day in his nocturnal, although I gather that officially now St. Lucy’s Day is the 13th. December.