Blog Of A Blog 2:: Geen Nativity: Wassail.

In April the General Election was all the rage: here's what I wrote about two Party leaders.

Mr Cameron:
 he seems to be  looking progressively  tired the longer this election business goes on. He can't understand why he is not further ahead in the polls. After all, all of the indicators are pointing in the right direction. Unemployment is falling, inflation is staying low and the economy continues to be the fastest growing in Europe. He even has a Royal baby lined up ( please don't call him Edward! ) to keep the people happy.

He should now, I believe, stop sniping at opponents and rely on the good old mantra: ' It's the economy stupid. '  Eventually, the voters will get the message.

Mr. Milliband:

First of all I must congratulate him on his choice of tailor. He really has 'scrubbed up well. '
He must avoid constantly using the word " look " at the start of each answer.
' Look, we really,  do get the point Ed. '

If possible he should try to tone down his smile and particularly his 'pearly whites ', which rather dazzle, especially when viewing in in high definition. If he is to become Prime Minister, he will need support from other groups, so he needs a conciliatory approach to them, keeping avenues open and thus not breaking or making any deals.
The slaughter comes later when he produces his first cabinet and talking of which, they say two heads are better than one, but two Eds in Downing Street, I think not. Mr. Balls be very careful.

And the winner?  David Cameron, by a knockout. If I had a pound for every time PM Cameron uses the phrase ' strong economy, I would be a rich man indeed.

 Mr Miliband, last seen skulking in a dark corner in the Commons.

Talk about prescience, it came with a double dose for the Balls family. First Mr Ed Balls loses Parliamentary seat; second his wife loses in the post election Labour leadership contest to my Man of the year, ( the bookies former 100/1 shot ) Mr. Jeremy Corbin.

Interestingly Mr Corbin with his plan for the retro re-birth of his party, comes in  2015, when the film " Back To The Future 111" ( 1991) reaches its future point.


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I wrote this poem in 2009. It aims to speak about environmental issues with the theme of the Nativity .
So with the recent accord in Paris to limit global warming; it seemed to a good time to revive it.







Green Nativity

Under cover of darkness ,
bathed in starlight
three Magi sit watchfully
on camels seeking their way.
Hooves press lightly into the sand
making little carbon foot prints as they
slowly move ahead.

The Children of David from hillside
and village throng into Bethlehem ,
crowding evermore together , forming lines ;
to register for the census.
They are pushed and squashed and space
was denied ; making it uncomfortable
for people- producers like Mary.

The sheep lay in a valley , crisp and frosty with cold
watched by shepherds who were glad to be without
the heat of the day.
Each silent in thought until that golden solar powered
radiance crossed the sky and changed their lives forever.
Eternity had visited Bethlehem.

So it was that , a baby born in poverty , placed where
animals had laid , received Magi and shepherds ,
proud and humble , with offerings to match ;
a fair-trade indeed.
Angels came: a heavenly throng,
announced his birth with wondrous song.

Jesus was his name.

And now two thousand years on
of people now six billion strong .

So Dear Son of Man , please from us receive :
Fresh water to drink , clean air to breathe,

the seeds of plants and trees to birth
rejuvenating our dying Earth.

2009/ revised 2015 Ck.



By the by, a tip of the hat to Sainburys, who have just announced that they will not stock krill-oil supplements anymore.
The tiny Krill are a keystone species, vital to the Antarctic ecosystem. They form the diet of Blue Whales, Seals and Penguins. Indeed, amazingly the Blue Whale can consume 3.5 tonnes of Krill per day !
Worryingly the stocks of Krill have fallen by 80% in the last forty years and with the break-up of the sea ice, this can only get worse. Time to act now.

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In May D and I. paid a visit to the National Trust Property. ' Snowshill Manor ' I wrote about the eccentric collection of Charles Wade, which is housed there.


Last week, I mentioned Mr. Charles Paget Wade ( 1883 - 1956 ) and promised more information




Well briefly, Charles trained as an architect. He had an artistic frame of mind, together with construction skills. In 1911, following the death of his father,  he inherited a share in sugar estates in St. Kitts. How long  these  estates were held by his family is not known; but one always worries that the face of slavery may have been connected in the distant past. Be that as may, with his new income Mr. Wade purchased Snowshill Manor in 1919. He ordered and laid the gardens between 1920 - 1923.

He was a solitary figure and is best remembered for his eclectic collection of 22,000 items which he bought to the Manor, from around the world, including many pieces from China and Japan. He used the Manor for housing and lived by himself,(until marriage in 1956) in a small cottage on the grounds.

The manor itself is at the top of a hill and in idle moments I have often speculated  on the journey of these items; possibly docked at Bristol and then brought pre-car by horse and cart and certainly over quite a large time- frame.

However,  having seen this collection on a couple of occasions, I have little interest in it; but the gardens on different levels and the walk up from the car park, through verdant pasture land makes for many happy returns.



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June saw a new Manager for my Premier League Team Newcastle.

Here we go again. A new manager for Newcastle United,  Mr. Steve McClaren appointed on a three year contract. This will be the seventh manager placed in control of the first team, during the eight year reign of the owner Mike Ashley.

In an ill-thought out process, the local Tyneside newspapers were NOT invited to the unveiling  of McClaren as new manager; neither the BBC; only NUFC media partners. This high-handed attitude does not bode well for the future, in my opinion.

Pros for Steve: Has lived in the area for the last fifteen years, since being manager of Middlesborough. This is the job he has always wanted- What took him so long?

                       He is now a member of the board. Ashley has stepped down. This means he should have a better hand in team recruitment and selection.


                   He has the reputation for being a first class coach.



Cons for Steve 

                       Can he see through a job? Two seasons ago, as manager of Derby County, he guided them to the final of the play-offs to enter the Premier League. They were beaten by a lucky goal from QPR, having had the majority of the game. This last season having been at, or near the top of the League with Derby, he lost ground in the final weeks and didn't make the play-offs.

       I am  uncertain about his man-management skills. Newcastle need re-fashioning, with all the team playing for the shirt and having proven pride in the club. To do this he must create a player- leader; a true captain of the team; fully endorsing McClaren's philosophy and working to inspire the fans loyalty .

              He needs a centre-forward, big, bold and brave, who can command the penalty area and hold the ball-up. This is a top requirement and one that the new manager will be judged upon.

With next season's fixture list released on the 17th of this month, we shall soon see the task ahead.
In the meantime hopes spring eternal. Ho'way The Lads.

NnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnE

Well I have to say, as I write today, (19/12) Steve's record is not brilliant. Newcastle have played sixteen games. They have won four and drawn four making their total points score sixteen. They lie in fifteenth place, only two points above the relegation places. So Mr Steve McClaren the jury is still out.



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This is that time of year when the Mummers perform their plays; the Morris Men/ Ladies dance and the Wassail song is sung.

Here are two verses. The first from The Gloucester City Wassail  ( words by LJG ); the second from the Waterley Bottom Wassail ( trad. words Dursley/ Badminton) The chorus remains the same for both versions.

"And here's to the Dean with the bag in his hand,
We hope when we've finished he hardly can stand,
Because of the weight of all of the tin
Collected by letting those wassailers in ! "

CHORUS

"Come Butler, come fill us a bowl of your best;
We hope that your soul in heaven may rest;
But if you do  draw us a bowl of the small
Then down shall go butler, bowl and all.
Bowl and all
Bowl and all
Then down shall go butler, bowl and ALL!"

CHORUS

"Wassail! Wassail, all over the town,
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown.
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree,
And our wassailing bowl we'll drink unto thee.
Drink unto thee
Drink unto thee
And our wassailing bowl we'll drink unto thee"


So all that remains for me to do is to give you the Mummer's salutation and write you again in 2016 A.D.

" We wish a Merry Christmas , and a Happy New Year,
A pocket full of money, and a cellar full of beer. "
Cheerio,
Ck.

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