Well we’ve been hammered with all the Poppy day propaganda (although not much from the Poppy day organisation [wasn’t it once the Haige Fund?]) wonderful pictures which could be called “Click Bait” (a method of gaining thousands of “Likes” and “Shares” so the site is more appealing to advertisers therefore a money spinner and not always for the benefit of others) They say it is in aid of the British service personnel but what about the millions of civilians killed, maimed, made homeless because of war? Looking at the news it would appear that we have no time for them at all. We make up stories about the grand houses and cars the refugees are given the vast amount of money they are given and all the jobs they are taking. In our heart of hearts we know that this is all poppycock and not true. However the old saying is coming to pass “give a dog a bad name – then kick him”

And so next is Christmas the second most important season of the Christian calendar. All will be self-righteous and pontificating about how Christmas is for the kids, how much they spend on presents, how drunk they plan to get, some will even to calling it “Winterville” or “Wintertide” in order to be “politically correct” what tosh! Christmas has become the time for businesses to make a mint and to fleece the citizens of every last penny. Over Christmas I wonder how many will even step inside a church and say – even quietly under their breath – Happy Birthday Jesus.

         Christmas

The bells of waiting Advent ring,

The tortoise stove is lit again

And lamp-oil light across the night

Has caught the streaks of winter rain

In many a stained glass window sheen

From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green

The holly in the windy hedge

And round the Manor House the yew

Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge

The altar, font and arch and pew

So that villagers can say

“The church looks nice” on Christmas Day

Provincial public houses blaze

And Corporation tramcars clang,

On lighted tenements I gaze

Where paper decorations hang,

And bunting in the red Town Hall

Says “Merry Christmas to You All”

And girls in slacks remember Dad

And Oafish louts remember Mum,

And sleepless children’s hearts are glad

And Christmas-Morning bells say “Come”

Even to shining ones who dwell

Safe in the Dorchester Hotel

And is it true? And is it true

This most tremendous tale of all,

Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue

A Baby in an ox’s stall?

The maker of the stars and sea

Became a Child on earth for me?

And is it true? For if it is,

No loving fingers tying strings

Around the tissued fripperies

The sweet and silly Christmas things,

Bath salts and inexpensive scent

And hideous tie so kindly meant

No love that in a family dwells,

No carolling in frosty air,

Nor all the steeple shaking bells

Can with this simple truth compare —

That God was Man in Palestine

And lives today in Bread and Wine

John Betjeman.

Happy Christmas everyone

My Christmas Quiz 2013

Every year i used to set my family a Christmas quiz for something to do over the holiday. The cheating so and so’s went straight to the computer so I made it harder.

This year I have been asked by my grandson, Jacob,

All my children and grandchildren

All my children and grandchildren

to do it again as a result I have decided to share it here for anyone who wants can have a go. No prizes just fun. Some are hard some are easy. I will post the answers after Christmas

Have fun

2013 Christmas Quiz Questions

  1. What is the most northerly capital in the world?
  2. Which bear would find in the 100 Acre Wood? 
  3. What is the capital city of Afghanistan?
  4. On a Monopoly board, which street shares the same colour as Leicester Square and Piccadilly?
  5. What is the national currency of Egypt?
  6. Which actor was the first to play Doctor Who?
  7. Which actor played the original ‘Grandad’ in Only Fools and Horses?
  8. Which actress links ‘The Darling Buds of May’ and ‘Rosemary and Thyme’?
  9. In the 1994 Disney film the Lion King, which actor provided the voice of the evil lion ‘Scar’?
  10. In the film Mary Poppins, who played Mrs Banks, mother to Jane and Michael                                                            Name the book that these first lines come from 
  11. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
  12. “Call me Ishmael.”
  13. “Now is the winter of our discontent.”
  14. “It was seven o’clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day’s rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips.”
  15. “When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.”
  16. Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, featured heavily in the news during the 90s – but who was he married to?
  17. Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ was featured in which film?
  18. What was the name of the handheld digital pet which was created in the 90s and started a craze amongst children?
  19. Freddie Mercury topped the charts in August 1993, two years after his death – but with which song?
  20. What was the name of the housekeeper in the 90s Irish sitcom, ‘Father Ted’?
  21. What was the name of the first cloned sheep, hitting headlines in 1996?
  22. How many pints are there in a firkin?
  23. Which juice drink takes its name from the Maori phrase meaning ‘be healthy’?
  24. Who invented the electric, pop-up toaster?
  25. What was the name of the first test-tube baby?
  26. Which is the only orchid plant that produces edible fruit?
  27. This English naval administrator and Member of Parliament was born in February 1633, although he is now more famous for something else he created.
  28. How would you translate the Latin phrase ‘cave canem’? (Pronounced ‘car-vay cay-nem’)
  29. What is Madonna’s middle name? 
  30. Which famous celebrity is ‘A Pretender’ – when the letters of his name are rearranged?
  31. What was Miss Marple’s first name?
  32. Who painted ‘The Laughing Cavalier’?
  33. Which British Prime Minister was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature?
  34. In maths, what is 4 cubed?
  35. Who is attributed with the quote “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
  36. Who made the catchphrase ‘correctomundo’ famous?
  37. Which singer’s real name is Vincent Damon Furnier?
  38. Which 2 main London railway stations have the word Cross in their names?
  39. In which capital city would you be if you had visited Grafton Street and the Ha’penny bridge?
  40. What type of beans would you find in a tin of baked beans?
  41. Who invented the jet engine?
  42. What was the name of the first British woman to travel into space?
  43. From which English port did the Titanic set sail on April 10th 1912?
  44. In Douglas Adams’s book ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy’, what is the answer to the universal question of life, the universe and everything?
  45. What is the capital city of Peru?
  46. What does a Hippologist study?
  47. What substance is the lead in pencils made of?
  48. In the term CAT scan – what does CAT stand for?
  49. In the nursery rhyme ‘Jack and Jill’, what did Jack bind his head with?
  50. According to the bible, what animal did Noah release out of the ark first, when the rain stopped?
  51. What was the name of Adrian’s love interest in Sue Townsend’s book ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ ‘?
  52. What were the first names of the Brothers Grimm?
  53. What is the name for a word or phrase which is spelled the same forwards as it is backwards?
  54. I have no feet but I can run. I give you health and also fun. What am I?
  55. The Battle of Edgehill was the first of which conflict?
  56. Who was the first man to walk on all 5 continents?
  57. In what year did the London Underground first open?
  58. How many spots are there in total on two dice?
  59. What was the name of the cat at 10 Downing Street between 1989 and 1997?
  60. What is the name of the pigment that makes leaves green?
  61. Which actress appeared in ‘Brighton Rock’, ‘The Calendar Girls’ and ‘Gosford Park’?
  62. Frederick Bulsara is the real name of which singer?
  63. What name was taken by Cardinal Joseph Sarto when he became pope?
  64. What is a baby oyster called?
  65. What is the capital city of Croatia?
  66. What is stored in a Bodega?
  67. How would a French person wish you a Merry Christmas?
  68. Christmas Island belongs to which country?
  69. Which city is generally considered to be the birthplace of Jesus?
  70.  “Twas the Night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…” What is the next line? (18 words)
  71. Which 1846 book tells the story of a little girl selling matches on the cold streets on New Year’s Eve?
  72. Name all 8 reindeer, as listed in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’?
  73. What name is given to small sausages wrapped in bacon, a staple at a British Christmas dinner?
  74. 26th December is known as Boxing Day and which saint’s day?
  75. What is the greatest-selling Christmas single of all time?
  76. True or False; if you add together all of the gifts in the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, you get 363 gifts.
  77. What is the name of the dot above a lowercase ’i’ or a ‘j’?
  78.  What is the nautical term for the back of a ship?
  79. Sophie Ellis-Bextor is the daughter of which former Blue Peter presenter?
  80. What musical instrument does Lisa play in the Simpsons?
  81. Who wrote the first English dictionary?
  82. In Sandro Botticelli’s famous painting, ‘The  Birth of Venus’, what object is Venus standing on?
  83. Which country elected the first female Prime Minister, in 1960?
  84. Which two of Henry VIII’s six wives outlived him?
  85. King Zog ruled which country?
  86. How many main balls are there to choose from in a National Lottery Thunderball game?
  87.  What is the currency of Uganda?
  88. Petra is a World Heritage site in which country?
  89. Colin Fry has made his name as what type of entertainer?
  90. Who is the famous television presenter wife of Vernon Kay?
  91. Which Beatles album had the original artwork banned, as it contained images that were deemed too shocking?
  92. How many pieces does each player begin with in a game of chess?
  93. Who provided the voice of the evil lion ‘Scar’ in Disney’s ‘Lion King’?
  94. Mount Rushmore has sculpted heads of four American Presidents; George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt… and who else?
  95. In ‘Back To The Future’, Marty McFly travelled back in time – to which year?
  96. Calvados is a brandy made from which fruit?
  97. In the nursery rhyme ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’, where was the queen?
  98. How many people survived the sinking of RMS Titanic?
  99. The river Po flows through which country?
  100. Did you spot the deliberate mistake?