A Christmas pud


This is my dear old Nish, enjoying her last Christmas a year ago in her last few days with us. She was a very old lady cat by then, over eighteen-and-a-half at the time. She’s much missed.


 Christianity’s Own War on Christmas

To quote Valerie Tarico, “we humans are incorrigible scavengers and endlessly innovative, taking whatever bits of culture and tradition we have inherited and weaving them together into a fabric of our own making”


Christian War on Christmas2Guess who has been calling Christmas a pagan holiday for the last 500 years? Christians.  

If it feels like the “War on Christmas” is getting really old, it is. Over ten years have passed since Bill O’Reilly first opened December with a segment called, “Christmas Under Siege”—ten long years in which his cadences and refrains and echoing chorus have become as familiar to most Americans as Handel’s Messiah. More familiar, in fact.

Not that O’Reilly invented the idea. During the 1920’s, Henry Ford’s newspaper published a series of anti-Semitic articles titled, “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem.” Among the complaints:

“Last Christmas most people had a hard time finding Christmas cards that indicated in any way that Christmas commemorated Someone’s Birth. . . . People sometimes ask why 3,000,000 Jews can control the affairs of 100,000,000 Americans. In the same way that…

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Foyle morning III


These morning drives alongside Lough Foyle are giving some spectacular view in the early daylight. There are more oyster trestles (Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas) and a freighter making its way upstream to Derry.


Foyle morning II


Another view of Lough Foyle after the storm, but taken slightly earlier and closer to Derry than yesterday’s post. Just offshore are trestles for oysters. The posts are channel markers for shipping heading to the port of Derry.


Foyle morning I


I’m over in Ireland for a few days visiting family. This is the view this morning as I drove along the County Donegal side of Lough Foyle. There had been a heavy burst of rain and the clouds were clearing to the east, allowing the morning sunshine to break through. The hill in the distance is Binevenagh.


Chateau staircase


Inside the chateau at Cabriès.


Watcher in the courtyard


When we visited the chateau in Cabriès last year, there were a number of statues made from welded metal scrap. This is one of them.


Red door


A red door in Cabriès. Looks like they have fierce mice.


Colonnaded walkway at La Vieille Charité


One of the colonnaded walkways at the hospital and almhouses of La Vieille Charité in Marseille. From our trip to Provence in the summer of 2014.


Open window


The courtyard of the hospital and almhouses of La Vieille Charité in Marseille. From our trip to Provence in the summer of 2014.