12 December 2010 (Sunday) - Family Party

I had a bit of a lie in today. But only a bit of one. Next door were doing piano practice at 8am. I don’t mind really. All the time they are doing early morning piano and having late night rows, I have no qualms whatsoever about any noise I might be making. It has to be said that I would hate to live next door to me.

I had a look at the Internet over a bit of brekkie. Have you heard…..? Everybody’s heard….. (!) Did you know that today marks the start of the week in which the Xmas Number One record is decided. So in order to get that poxy X Factor rubbish kicked firmly in the pods, might I suggest that all my loyal readers click here and spent sixty nine pence downloading the Bird. After all, it *is* the word.
The news today was hardly surprising. Or was it? An extensive poll of two thousand people who voted for the Dribbling Democraps last May suggests that only fifty four per cent of them will back the Dribblers at the next General Election. They’ve lost half their vote.
On reflection I am surprised. I wouldn’t have thought that anyone would vote for Dribble ever again.

Yesterday I mentioned that I’d got a new telescope. This morning I spent a few minutes having a go with it. Yesterday I was quite enthusiastic about the thing. After five minutes this morning I realised why the nice man in Folkestone was giving it away. It’s rubbish.
As a telescope, it’s OK. It magnifies the image of far away objects so that you can see then close-up. And I watched a pigeon on a distant roof top for about thirty seconds until the pigeon flew off. And therein lays the problem. This telescope is ideal for looking at distant things that stay put.
Astronomical telescopes come on mounts which are designed to move about slowly and easily to track stars and planets and the moon as they slowly move across the sky. They don’t move very fast, but if you line up a scope on a celestial object and get it focussed, whatever you are looking at will have moved out of the field of view within a couple of minutes. Astronomical telescopes can easily and quickly be adjusted to track the object that’s moved. My “new” one can’t. It doesn’t have the mounting.
And to add insult to injury I can’t even salvage the tripod that the telescope is on, as they come as a fixed unit. If any of my loyal readers want a telescope, then let me know, otherwise I shall just stick it in the garden with a “Please Take” sign on it, and let some other mug take it up the tip.

And so to Hastings for the family Xmas bash. Rather than having all the hard work of putting on Xmas day for the family, this year we tried something new – a get-together in the local community hall. We set off an hour earlier than we needed to, and had a pint on the way. The plan was to have a pint of the Shepherd Neame Porter, but the Vine in Tenterden didn’t have it on. So we had a pint of the Shepherd Neame Xmas ale, which went down nicely. And then we carried on to Hastings where we met up with the family. A good buffet, far too much to drink, pass the parcel, shove ha’penny, table tennis, and a visit from Santa. It’s odd, but at family Xmas get-togethers, my brother always misses Santa’s visit.
And all too soon it was time to pack up and come home. Via the White Horse in Newenden and a pint of Level Best…

Over in lego-land the young chav has found out the major drawback with an open fire: they need fuel. Mind you, this has given him an opportunity to brandish his chopper. He’s found a large log and the fragments of his skateboard. They should burn well.
As will the nice man’s briefcase. And the nice man. They will need to dispose of the body now that Frosty has set the dog on the nice man….

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