December 24…

Christmas

It’s Christmas eve… So merry Christmas one and all and have a happy new year. See you in 2013…

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December 23: The Hiding of the Brooms

One of my favouritestest countries in the world is perhaps Norway… Nice, snowy, Scandinavian but not as popular as Sweden… Yeah. I likes it. And when i found this Christmas tradition it made me smile… On Christmas eve the Norwegians believe that spirits and hags and all kinds of evil demonic spirits come out to play. Now these spirits, being spirits, can’t just wander the street and cause mayhem… They need some form of transport. And that’s why every year on Christmas eve Norwegians hide their brooms… Because, to put it simply, brooms are the prefered method of transport for hags, witches and other demon spirits. So therefore if those spirits are deprived of their main method transport then they can’t commit any acts of mischief and spoil christmas… And just to make sure they don’t come anywhere near once the brooms have been hidden all the men go outside and fire shotguns into the air just to make sure the spirits stay away. There’s not much to it but I thought it would make an interesting (and brief) christmas post. It’s far too close to the 25th now to be writing long essays anyway 😉

I’ll have one last advent calendar post for you tomorrow so stay tuned for that.

December 22: Naughty or Nice?

So it’s only a few days till christmas and stuff is about to get real… Very soon presents will be unwrapped, wine will be drunk, babies will be conceived… (?) But right now I’m guessing that Santa is compiling his naughty and nice list ready for christmas eve. So whilst he goes through the A,s the B’s and half the C’s (basically before he gets to the part of the list that could be categorized as ‘Ch-J.P’) It’s time to work out which list I’m on…

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December 21: The Druids…

Today is December 21st and that means the Winter Solstice… But this also means that people who call themselves ‘druids’ will have been dancing around Stonehenge like there’s no tomorrow. And i hate to break it to you but those aren’t druids… Sure they call themselves druids but they aren’t really druids in the proper sense of the word. They all think they’re practicing an ancient pagan tradition but no… they’re not. Everything about the modern druid is wrong… seriously wrong… And there’s a good reason for this.

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The First ‘Charlie Fuller’ Plot…

I’ve talked a lot so far about the new Charlie Fuller book and only a little about where he actually comes from. The truth is that the original book was, in short, ridiculous, silly and without a doubt one of the most awful stories ever put to paper. It is so bad it makes Twilight look like the complete works of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens combined… a work of literary genius if you will. In the new version of the book I’ve only kept the bare necessities, the characters and the few decent ideas that could be salvaged. However, as you are about to see, that doesn’t leave me a lot to work with as I present you with an early christmas present: The original nonsensical and truly awful plot of the book once known as Under the Führer’s Control….

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December 19th: The Man in the Corner…

As promised we are back on the Christmas trail today and i want to point to that man in the corner of the nativity crib scene. Who is he and what is he doing? Is it Angela Merkel? Is It David Beckham? Is it even Barrack Obama? Well he’s been all of those people and more for if there is indeed a man in the corner of your nativity scene you are looking at what is refered to as a ‘Caganer’… a tradition that comes from the catalan region of Spain (and can be found in a many other areas as well) And in actual fact he’s defecating…

This tradition dates back to at least the Baroque age  (Late 17th/early 18th century). Now in places such as Spain, Italy and France the nativity scene isn’t always just the stable/lean-to where Jesus is being born it’s sometimes the whole of Bethlehem and comes complete with all sorts of extra figures such as washerwoman, the inn keeper and the man having a poo in a corner somewhere He’s usually there in smaller, stable-only nativity scenes as well. Children will usually gather around and search for him. There are a few ideas behind why he’s there but i think my favourite is that ‘God will manifest himself at any time, no matter what we are doing…’

There are some people who believe that the idea of the defecating man is entirely inappropriate for such a holy scene… But it is really popular. It’s so popular that when one public nativity scene didn’t contain a Caganer there was an outcry and the council were forced to place a Caganer into the scene.

In modern times the Caganer has taken on the persona of a well known person or politician such as Barrack Obama for instance and in the past it has been people such as George Bush, Prince Charles and Paris Hilton. I kind of like this idea as it happens and i can see why the Catalonians (and others) do it… It’s a bit of a fun, jokey christmas tradition and maybe one that is actually worth adopting elsewhere… Who knows… Maybe one day I’ll find myself defecating in a corner of Bethlehem… (Ok that sounded wrong!)

The Piper…

There is a town in Germany and you all know its name, for throughout the years it has garnered much fame. You can go there today to see if you must, perhaps even taking a friend that you trust… For once, long ago, there were rats of distaste and they called in a piper to make the streets safe… He led them away and demanded they pay… But when they refused he turned nasty and frightful, taking all of the children who thought him delightful… That’s enough of bad rhymin’ so let’s get things grindin’ and have a long talk of the Piper of Hamelin…

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