"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Posts tagged “Christmas

A Maiden’s Prayer

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Picture of Robin’s mother in prayer on Christmas evening, before the party festivities begin.


Helping Hands

Making our way to the local shops this morning, I was struck by just how many houses and hotels were being repainted:
part of the preparations for Christmas and this year’s lamentably quiet “high season”.

Fort Cochin’s economy is largely dependent on tourism.
After-shocks from the West’s economic woes are having considerable impact.
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Picture taken today in Fort Cochin, five days before Christmas.


Fun And Games

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There are many ways to celebrate this festival.

One of the most touching is when friends, having heard that your plans for a family Christmas collapsed,

 

Invite you as “Guest of Honour” to share Christmas evening with their family.

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Then enchant you with the innocent entertainment of song, dance, party games and laughter,

All served with warm affection.

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Christmas Morning

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A walk along Fort Cochin sea front on Christmas morning.

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Happy Christmas!

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To The Commonwealth Of Nations

My staff formally extend to you the season’s greetings.

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Informally, Dalila Shaji and Anu wish you:

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Stars In Waiting

 

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The Ghosts Of Christmas Shopping

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As the decades slip past, Christmas shopping can be strangely poignant:

Ghosts of Christmas Past, that we think lie safely buried, merely rest.

They are always ready to be conjured up.

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“My fiftieth year had come and gone,

I sat, a solitary man,

In a crowded London shop,

An open book and empty cup

On the marble table-top.”

From Vacillation IV,  by William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

 

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Star Gazing

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A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter.

And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,

Lying down in the melting snow.

There were times when we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,

And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling

And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,

And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,

And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly

And the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,

Sleeping in snatches,

With the voices singing in our ears, saying

That this was all folly.

 

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;

With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,

And three trees on the low sky,

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,

Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,

And feet kicking the empty wineskins.

But there was no information, and so we continued

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon

Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

 

All this was a long time ago, I remember,

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down

This: were we led all that way for

Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,

We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was

Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

Journey of the Magi   T.S. Eliot

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