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Blog for November

Posted on 5 December, 2021 at 0:05

Well Hi de hi and here we are again.


So where has Ted been this month? Lets see; Waterlooville, Wadhurst, Oxted, Carmarthen, Taunton (twice), Coventry (twice), Ross on Wye, Gloucester, Bath, Cleveden and Cheltenham.


I hope all you sparkies have been good all year as we are now just days away from what Chevvy Chase describes as when Santa “squeezes his fat white ass down the chimney”.


Now I know I’ve said it before but it’s my blog so I can repeat myself as often as my frazzled brain fancies; I love Christmas, always have. I used to work with an Algerian guy who hated Christmas and used to run back to Algeria for the best part of December. He just couldn’t get his head around the fact that Christmas does not necessarily have to be a Christian celebration but a time for peace and goodwill to all irrespective of religion. Jesus was mentioned as a prophet in the Quran anyway, I just think this guy was anti-Christian (he was definitely anti-Semitic). I always felt sorry for his kids, who had to stay in the UK with their British mum, says it all really…


Nonetheless, I enjoy Christmas along with meeting up with chums if possible over the festive season and special times with my family. I do consider myself a Christian and go to church when I can and the child in me particularly enjoys the church at Christmas.


I sometimes think that in Ted Barrett Land I wake up on Christmas morning to a Dickensian world covered in snow, where I put on my scarf and top hat wishing “Merry Christmas” to all I meet, while red-breasted robins watch me from the top of Victorian postboxes dusted with snow…


Anyway, pull yourself together man, for sparkies this is the time of year when cooker circuits overload on Christmas day as this might be the only time when everything on the cooker is in use. This is also the time of year when all those sodding Christmas tree lights come out, nuff said.


And for all contractors, this is when everybody wants all work “finished for Christmas”.


The leaves have all turned golden brown and that oak tree at the bottom of our garden has already dropped a million leaves that need to be disposed of.


That tree is watching me all year, even on a summer’s day it will discretely drop the odd leaf just to see if I notice.


As briefly mentioned above, I do think that Chevvy Chase’s “Christmas Vacation” is one of the very best Christmas films. It is an annual tradition for us and our family to watch. You can take the hammy Dickie Attenborough offering and stuff it. However, Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a wonderful Life” is still very high up on my agenda.


And, ooh getting into it now, you’ve got to have a ghost story on Christmas Eve. Don’t get me started on “The Green Man” or “The Dead Sexton”.


Christmas dinner I love. The scaremongering media made me roar with laughter “Turkey Shortage for Xmas”. Well, big fecking deal. When I was a kid it was a rarity to have chicken (at any time of year). I had no idea what a turkey was! To me, the culinary side of Christmas dinner is more about the vegetables, so long as we have chestnut stuffing what goes with that I really don’t mind, Turkey, Chicken, Duck, Beef, Pork, anything. What is more important is your family, we can’t always get together every Christmas but when we do, I don’t care what we eat.


And if you know me, you’ll know I don’t subscribe to all these scrounging charities that are little more than fronts for fiddlers. “£5 buys a tree in Ram a lama ding dong” or “£3 a week to adopt a Parakeet” I very carefully check who I give to and only give to a select few UK organisations.


I certainly don’t believe in this business of not sending cards to friends but sending to charity instead. I give a monthly subscription to my charities anyway. And a card means a certain amount of effort has taken place, it’s a small sign of reinforcing your friendship.


But I do feel very much that this is a time of the year to look back and reflect upon those we have lost along the way. There are too many empty seats at dinner tables that should still be filled. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost family and friends, I don’t have words enough to take that hurt away for you, I really wish I did.


I have lost a very good friend this month who I will miss forever, he was my friend and mentor, it feels like another part of my world has slipped away. RIP Mike, you will be sorely missed but fondly remembered old friend.


I often have a section in my blog where I mention somebody I admire. I have also often referred to shitbags who have crossed me. And as Christmas is a time for reflection, I will easily admit that sometimes, I have crossed myself.


I am ashamed to say that when I was younger, I didn’t have the brains or experience to deal with many situations and did not deal with certain things very well. Very often I felt that I could not live up to expectations of myself, but along with a habit of keeping things to myself and not wanting to hurt anyone I probably caused more hurt in that process.


All of that, I regret very much.


When I finally succeed in building a time machine I’m going to go back and:

a) Give myself a swift kick in the knackers.

b) Put a couple of bob on Red Rum.

c) Apologise to all the people I hurt, I’m so sorry for being a prat.


However, as it’s Christmas, I’m going to copy a few words from my favourite Christmas Carol to convey something I always felt:


If I were a shepherd

I would give a lamb

If I were a wise man

I would do my part

But what I can I give him

Give him my heart


Can you identify the Carol?


Merry Christmas folks, may you live long and prosper. And once again quoting Chevvy Chase as Clark Griswold, “remember that when Santa squeezes himself down that chimney, he’s gonna find the happiest bunch of assholes”.


My alter-ego, you know, that brave, swashbuckling adventurer version of me is currently languishing in a South American jail courtesy of the Panamanian government. “It’s just a silly misunderstanding over an old manuscript” he says “I’m just waiting for a letter from Boris to sort things out” but he did go on to say “Please wish all OUR readers a gut-busting Christmas and an extremely profitable new year””.


Knowing him, he’ll probably manage to have all charges dropped and turn up on my doorstep Christmas Day with some gorgeous Russian countess he’s met on Carib-Air (with the deeds to a Siberian gold mine in his back pocket). Sometimes I could bleeding kill him, but he’s a nice chap really and he means well.


However it falls, have a fantastic Christmas folks, even have a “Happy Holiday” if you are that way inclined, whatever, enjoy the moment and take some time out to contact old friends. I for one, would be really pleased to hear from you. I have asked many times before and that remains, I would love to hear from you.


Happy festive trails, and never stop believing in the magic of Christmas.

 

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