Monthly Archives: December 2016

Happy New Year!

There were so many highlights in 2016 that it was really difficult to pick just ten. So many memorable moments and photos to choose from. Photographs here:

10 Tango at the Dance Connections holiday in Paphos, Cyprus.
9 Minack Theatre in Cornwall.
8 Parasailing in Paphos.
7 Extensive tapas lunch on the Jeep Safari, Cyprus.
6 Cruising on the Nile.
5 Abu Simbel, Egypt.
4 Chatsworth, Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition.
3 Doomsday South: The Ripper Walk with Tracy Wise.
2 Rufford Park with Anna, Harley and Maggie.
1 St Ives.

In fact the whole of 2016 was a highlight! Thanks and very best wishes to our family, friends and all who shared these and other bits of our year together. Happy New Year from Julie and Russell xx.

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Timmy’s First Christmas

Here is this year’s Christmas verse for my grandchildren. I’d intended to write a follow-up to Matilda’s Magic Christmas, but it didn’t really work out satisfactorily. So, meet Timmy…

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing was stirring, except Tim the mouse.
His Mum was asleep and so was his Dad,
But poor little Timmy was feeling quite sad.
He’d heard about Santa and all of his toys
He dropped off each Christmas for good girls and boys.

So this Christmas Eve he’d said to his Mum,
“As we don’t have a chimney, will Santa still come?”
“A visit from Santa,” she said, “Would be nice,
But Santa’s for humans; he’s no gifts for mice.”
Christmas, thought Timmy, was really unfair,
And down his nose ran a solitary tear.

nbc

So on Christmas Eve he lay in his bed,
Thinking of Santa and what his mother had said.
Then in the distance he heard a soft jingle…
His whiskers were twisting and starting to tingle.
He crept from his bed and through the mousehole,
And spotted a sight that gladdened his soul:

A guy dressed in red with a long curly beard!
Timmy, on tiptoes, got as close as he dared.
Then Santa turned round, giving Timmy a fright,
“What are you doing awake on this Christmas night?”
“Sorry Santa,” said Timmy, “I just couldn’t sleep,
I’ll go to bed now; you won’t hear a peep.”

nbc-1s

He set off for his hole, but Santa called, “Wait!
Why the sad face on this joyous date?”
“Well you see,” Timmy said, “I’m only a mouse,
But I know that at Christmas you visit each house,
Bringing for all the good girls and the boys
Some sweets, or a book or lovely new toys…”

“That’s right,” said Santa, “Look under the tree.”
Timmy ran over, and what did he see?
Presents wrapped gaily, laid out in a row,
At the end a big package tied with a bow.
He grasped the box tightly between his two paws
For the label attached read ‘To Tim, from S. Claus.’

nbc-2s

“Thank you Santa,” he said, with a smile ear to ear,
“Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year!”

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Terrible Tales for Curious Kids: 3

Those of you who notice these things may have noticed that there is a gap on this blog betwen Terrible Tales 2 and 4. Not unnaturally, in this case, that position was filled by Terrible Tales 3, which, because of the dance connection, I posted on my tango blog. To save you having to click over and expose yourself to unwanted terpsichorial esoteria, I thought I’d repost it here in the earnest hope that it will serve as a warning to anyone contemplating tripping the dark fantastic on the heaving deck of a small to medium sized sea-going craft.

hull-trawler-ss-new-zealand_2cs

Norm’s Last Tango

Norman was a square-dance caller
On a North Atlantic trawler.
Should the crew be feeling low
He’d get them all to dosey-do.

Even in quite stormy weather
He’d gather all the guys together.
“Come on chaps, let’s get dancing.
You’ll find it really life enhancing!”

One day he thought he’d raise the bar…
Which turned out to be a step too far.
How much further could a man go
Than teaching fishermen to tango?

When walking backwards in high heels
He tripped upon a box of eels,
Which quite upset the swarthy captain,
Whose close embrace poor Norm was wrapped in.

He’d planned on cutting quite a dash
But his hopes all ended with a splash.
He’d probably be still alive
If he’d stuck to salsa, waltz or jive.

[Vintage photographs of Hull Trawler SS New Zealand adapted from whatsthatpicture.com]

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