Monday, November 24, 2008

Stepping into Christmas

Step Into Christmas - Elton John

According to my Google analytics thingy, readership of this blog has dropped nigh 11% recently. Damn this credit crunch! Damn it all to heck! It's ruining everything.

Of course, the fact that I haven't blogged in a coon's age could also be to blame. Indeed, the only thing keeping me afloat these days are those false-return searches for farm-animal-loving Asian teens. Ah well, someone's got to click the ads for mail-order brides (true fact: this site was advertised on my Welsh blog this morning).

As apology for my blogging dearth, I direct your attention to this video, which is the most beautiful thing I've seen this week.

It's not that I've necessarily been too busy to write (although, I should be -- the end of the semester speeds near), but that I've been too lazy. Or melancholy. Or both. Or something in between. Whatever that is that causes you to fail to send a REALLY important e-mail for five weeks simply because you can't be arsed to turn on the computer when you're actually thinking of said needs-to-sent e-mail.

I have at least now reached the stage of telling myself that I am going to do some work. However, that evil awareness that I have previously put off things until far later and still got them done just before deadline keeps me from displaying any actual signs of productivity. Especially now that I have switched into Christmas mode. As I write this, Johnny Mathis is pontificating on the state of our marshmallow world.

Since Christmas means not trudging to campus each day to fake alacrity for middle ages Welsh poetry, I find myself embracing the Yuletide with far greater readiness than usual. And with Thanksgiving now past, I can do so with clear conscience.

Every year I encounter at least a few of you playing along at home who are surprised to hear that Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Britain. It isn't. This Thursday is just Thursday. So, the child bride and I, the Joneses and the Phins gathered Saturday evening to eat the flesh of some poor stupid animal and take pictures of ourselves making faces for Señor Phin's undoubtedly expensive camera.

It was a good Thanksgiving, as far as I'm concerned. Although it was short a few people that I had hoped would be there. I say that not as a taunt to those absent but to convey that they were missed and will be invited again next year. Well, except for Mared (a).

For our friends in the Home Nations, Thanksgiving serves as a kind of festive levee against which the waves of Christmas batter. Traditionally, we don't really start our Christmas shopping until the day after Thanksgiving. Although Christmas music has slowly been working its way into the hip mixes with which we are bombarded in Borders and Starbucks and Chipotle (b), it is only after we have been worn down by tryptophan that the musical onslaught really begins.

So, with my Thanksgiving done and dusted, I have brought back to life the almost 90 Christmas-related songs dwelling on my iTunes and am wholly looking forward to the long port-and-brandy-confused afternoons that Christmas has come to mean for me. And in the time between I have plenty to keep me busy.

This Wednesday I am going to the launching of Owen's latest book (if you'd like to come along, let me know). I'm going to the Wales-Australia match on Friday; next week I'll be in Historic Bath on both Friday and Saturday, with the latter being dedicated to celebrating the birth of Jenny; the weekend after that we're going to a wedding. In between there are a handful of concerts and gigs to attend. This is the most socially active I've been since coming to Wales. I am dizzied and frightened. Thank the sweet baby Jesus there will be brandy-infused holiday treats to steady my nerves.

(a) That's a joke. Apparently my attempt to compliment Mared in this year's Thanksgiving invite was misinterpreted as a cheeky insult, so I now feel a desire to play on her insecurity.

(b) To my knowledge there are not yet any Chipotles in Britain. As soon as there are, I think we can officially state that the take-over is complete and slap a 51st star on Old Glory (c).

(c) Some part of me cruelly looks forward to that day, because it will mean we can replace Noddy Holder's warbling with A Charlie Brown Christmas.


Anonymous said...

It was an excellent Thanksgiving feast, thank you so much! Those that couldn't make it really missed out, especially that bit where we all stripped to the waist and wrestled in giblets. Good times.

Wow, you and the child bride are really hardcore Historic Bath lovers to make two visits in two days! Even Jane Austen didn't like it that much.

Chris Cope said...

Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without topless giblet battle.

Anonymous said...

Well, I still read your blog, though I wish I could read the Welsh one as well!

Anonymous said...

Missed your warblings...
enjoy the rugby this Saturday( not Friday)
Toodle pip