Sad Music, Dark Literature and Positive Thoughts 2

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Tag Archives: whisky

2018 Awards

With it being New Years’ Eve, I thought that I would announce my return to WordPress with a 2018 Awards post.

I thought that a post would be a better idea than organising a formal ceremony as I suspect few people would want to attend. Also, I am too tight to hire a venue and lay on catering.

Most disappointing social media presence award

Well, I need to present this award to myself.

At one time I was blog posting weekly and throwing in extra Tweets for good measure. This year has been quite pathetic.

I don’t intend to defend this award during 2019 so I will invite certain others to do their utmost to win this award next year. I give every encouragement to Donald Trump and Piers Morgan to lead the chase for this accolade in the New Year. (Please guys, please!)

Worst country to be a girl award

Unfortunately, many countries continue to clamour for this award.

There continues to be a depressingly high number of countries where the lot of being born a girl is a likely life of neglect and abuse unless you are born into a rich family or your parents believe in fighting for your rights. Sometimes, even this is not enough.

The unfortunate irony of war within countries such as Yemen is that the lot of boys is more equal to the lot of girls in that both have an equal chance of a short and suffering life.

This is all a little depressing, so let’s listen to some music…

Movie action hero award

Chloë Grace Moretz’s turn as Mindy MacReady aka Hit-Girl in the 2010 movie Kick-Ass is a great nomination for this award should it be awarded only once every decade.

However, there are plenty of deserving cases for 2018 that aren’t in the movies.

I am plumping for Trash Girl this year. That is, Trash Girl aka Nadia Sparkes.

The ‘how on Earth do I live in the same country as these people’ award

I realised a long time ago that there are a number of my fellow country people in Britain who are not quite the full packet in the common sense stakes, so to speak.

However, this year demonstrated how even I had underestimated how inept a number of my country folk are.

KFC decided to ditch Bidvest and use DHL to distribute their chicken to their outlets. They didn’t check how many depots DHL had and this led to most of their branches running out of chicken in February during the first week of DHL’s contract.

Well, that was funny until it was headline news how people seemed to be struggling with KFC not selling chicken. Going to another fast food outlet or even heating some chicken up at home seemed to be beyond some people.

Best glass of whisky of the year award

About a month ago, I really enjoyed an evening out with an old friend fuelled by some Jameson Irish Whiskey.

My Christmas Eve tradition of a shot of whisky whilst listening to Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto led to my first glass of Glen Keith Scotch. Interesting drop of stuff.

Both of these share the 2018 award.

Best cultural misappropriation award

Whenever I enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon I think of Catherine of Braganza who, as the wife of Charles II, brought the practice to England from Portugal.

In further irony, my wife’s parents hail from St Helena, an island originally discovered by Portugal and now a British dependency.

…and now for 2019

These awards hopefully get us all in the mood for 2019 and more noise from me.

Anyway, a great new year to you all.

In readiness for Christmas…

In readiness for Christmas, I’m testing out a new cocktail called Ginger Storm.  It’s a whisky cocktail and will make a change from the usual Black Russian.

As you can all see, the drinks cabinet is full.  This year is the first time that this has ever happened.  When I was a kid there was never a full drinks cabinet and since I’ve been married there has never been a full drinks cabinet.  Not until this year, anyway.  Go back about eight years ago and Christmas saw a cabinet with just a few fizzy drinks in it.  This year Gloria and I have been blessed with some money to spend on ourselves and I am thankful to God for that.GingerStorm

You may notice a few things in my cabinet.  On the shelf above the drinks there are five photos.  The two at either end feature Gloria’s father who passed away from a heart attack when she was ten years old.  To Jesus’s right is a photo of my father’s grave and to the left of Jesus is Gloria and Yasmin when Yasmin was only four years of age – nineteen years ago!

Gloria’s parents were both from Saint Helena while my mother is Jamaican.  Because of this differing heritage, you can notice that Gloria and I have different textures of brown skin when we stand next to each other.

Yasmin, meanwhile, has that enviable skin that tans nicely in the summer thanks to the brown blood on her mother’s side.  In spite of this, she still resorts to using fake tan from time to time.  A total waste of money in her case.

To the right of the picture (for those using tablets or mobiles, you may have to open the photo in a new window to see this), hanging on the door handle are two tabards that Gloria wears to her work in a local infant school; the same school that both she and Yasmin went to.  Gloria really enjoys her work there and it’s the most relaxed that she’s been in years.  She gets on amazingly well with her bosses and we’ve been to a few of their private parties.

Generally, we have been blessed when you look at where we have been in years past.  But, there’s always someone that you wish that you were sharing the good things with.  I know who I’m missing, who are you all missing this year?

Innovation at work

Did I mention before that I work in IT, installing software for a Multi-National company? If I haven’t already mentioned it…well, I just have.

The office desk of the innovation director - complete with 1990s floppy discs

The office desk of the innovation director – complete with 1990s floppy discs

In the corner of our larger shared office is the Innovation Director’s office. It’s his job to develop the cutting edge ideas for the company to take forward into the future. So, it was with great amusement today that we looked through his door and found a stack of floppy discs on the side of his desk.

Close up of the floppy discs

Close up of the floppy discs

I still have a zip drive and zip discs under the bed or elsewhere in the house. Maybe I’ll take them into work tomorrow and convince him that they’re the next big thing which will kill off floppy discs. He might not have heard that prior to CDs, zip discs were doing just that! I wonder if he has any punch cards…

In all seriousness, I think he is doing a review of all of the old ideas within the company to see if anything from years before can be successfully re-visited now that the world has changed.

It is amazing how some things can be abandoned one year and then come back into fashion at a later date.

Staying in the field of IT, I enjoyed the return of old PC games on the Wayback Machine site. Those games coming back to be played sure made for a great revival.

Until then, the only great revival that I enjoyed was revisiting an aged bottle of single malt whisky!

Boy, me talking a lot of IT will reinforce the perception that some people have always had of me. Before I’d even seen an episode, people would compare me to Maurice Moss from the IT Crowd.

Harry...er, I mean Maurice Moss from the IT Crowd

Harry…er, I mean Maurice Moss from the IT Crowd

I think that there are worse people to be compared with than Richard Ayoade, so I was never offended.

Tomorrow – and for this I should thank the internet and the nature of my job – I will be connecting to my desk computer from home when I start work in the morning.  That will confuse everyone else in the office when they see me replying to internal emails but not answering my desk telephone.

Why am I starting work from home, you might ask?  Actually, you might not be too bothered why but I’m going to tell you anyway.  We have a workman coming to our house tomorrow morning and the only promise I could get was that he will be here by 12:30pm.

Maybe, I should cut a wedge into the side of my hair and say that my name is Maurice Moss.  Will he get the joke?

John Barleycorn should die…I’m thirsty

As in the words of the poet Robert Burns –

There was three kings into the east,
   Three kings both great and high,
 And they hae sworn a solemn oath
   John Barleycorn should die.

John Barleycorn smiles as you drink his blood, the result of fermented barley

John Barleycorn smiles as you drink his blood, the result of fermented barley

I do have a passing interest in ancient beliefs and folk lore.  One of my favourite books on my bookcase (yes, I do have a bookcase in my lounge) is a collection of old folk tales of the British Isles.  One tale within this book is called The Wee Bunnock, the original version of The Gingerbread Man which was a nursery rhyme read to me when I was a toddler.

For those unfamiliar with John Barleycorn, you may want to read this wikipedia page.  I will tell you in summary that it is a story and song dating back centuries with John Barleycorn a metaphor for barley, and the whisky and beer that is made from the barley.  It examines his life, indignities and death and subsequent new life as an invigorating drink.  Man, I offer thanks for his passing every time I have a glass of whisky.

One of the facts that Jehovah’s Witnesses have said to my wife Gloria is that Jesus Christ was not born on 25th December.  She later asked me about this.  I explained that that’s true but this does not disprove anything in the Bible as the Bible never actually tells us Jesus Christ’s birth date.

The date of 25th December as the celebration of Jesus’ birthday should bring a wry smile to every Christian’s face.  This date was previously Dies Natalis Invicti which was probably first celebrated in Rome by order of the Emperor Aurelian who was an ardent worshipper of the Syrian sun-god Baal.  The worship of Baal features repeatedly in The Old Testament as an idolatrous religion.

And as for the twelve days of Christmas, look no further than the twelve day Yule festival.

Well, this is the pity with Britain.  We have a rich history of pre-Christian beliefs, festivals and architecture but it seems to me that not enough Britons care about them.  Our pre-Christian history is as exciting and frightening as that of South America or Africa but do we care enough about this in Britain today?

Okay, you are right.  I am a little biased.  I got a grade A in my History GCSE exam and I enjoy a glass of whisky when it is etiquette to do so.  So, I will continue to shout that John Barleycorn should die…I’m thirsty.

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