December 2012 (AKA Not Euro 6)

Carrying on from where I left off… we were in Hong Kong and once the gas reached the restaurant we thought briefly about the lunch special but decided against it. (I hate onions).

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clip_image006You’ll recall that whilst driving around England from Blackpool-on-Benefits to Wetwang-on-Widdle we were looking for oddball things like this new cattle-proof fence, which I found in Norfolk. (Incidentally Norfolk is where the toothbrush was invented – because anywhere else and it would have been called the teethbrush).

clip_image008Unknown fears stopped me taking the turn signposted “Dork” but now having seen Dork’s ancestor, maybe the relative in Surrey wouldn’t have been so scary after all – presumably just less rusty.

I just want to brush up on the toothbrush thing so may I just squeeze and paste in this bite? I tried to get a handle on which Norfolk cavity had cleaned up on the toothbrush idea. I thought it might have been scraped together on Floss Street but if it was, there was no Plaque.

clip_image010Also in the UK, for local elections polling stations dispensed voting papers as well as sage advice.

The RAC reported that a driver survey revealed that 6% of regular commuters had resorted to spending a night in their car to save money on fuel costs. A further 3% said that they had camped close to work to avoid tclip_image012he cost of the drive home. I think those commuters should make the move to my latest development the Crudworth Caravan Commuter Camp.

clip_image014Back home in Christchurch we re-acquainted ourselves with the ever-changing landscape of what used to be the city centre. I won’t bore you with the gory details but we have now passed the point where 1,000 buildings have been deconstructed and there are still many more to come down before the rebuild can get rolling in 2013. I still find the scale of the damage too much for my tiny mind to cope with. Sometimes the little people show the best way to keep your chin up.

Spring in Europe was cool and damp which proved to be a terrible season for cider apples in the UK. The Daily Telegraph reported: “Ma-Girdle and Hens’ Turds usually thrive, but many trees are bare or carrying just a few miserable fruit.” I assume those names are correct but sometimes autocorrect can be your worst enema.

clip_image016It was Spring in NZ by the time we were home and the weather was very changeable. The snow caused problems for new-born lambs and a trial for livestock in the hills, even for sheep with dogged determination.

In the USA, I thought these were some of the year’s best newspaper headlines: ‘City unsure why the sewer smells’, ‘Man accused of killing lawyer receives a new attorney’, ‘Federal Agents raid gun shop, find weapons’, ‘Statistics show teen pregnancy drops off significantly after age 25’, ‘Homicide victims rarely talk to police’ and ‘Hospitals resort to hiring doctors’

clip_image018Meanwhile in Poland, the newspaper “Fakt” reports a man answered the “telephone” whilst ironing and suffered serious burns to his head. “My wife had gone to work,” the 32-year old told the Polish newspaper. “After breakfast I started to work. I turned on the boxing channel on the TV, opened a beer and started ironing. The ‘phone rang and I put the iron to my ear.” Perhaps he should box on and press for a job at his nearby McDonalds.

clip_image020Elsewhere, in the Arab world there was good news for women who had been campaigning for the right to drive when the Mullahs finally approved a vehicle they considered appropriate.

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Polish scientists released the results of a lengthy study and concluded that the movie wasn’t actually a documentary and that ET hadn’t returned home after all.

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The amazing Austrian scare-devil Felix Baumgarten after a slow ascent, had to abort his first jump when the tethering rope got caught.

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Here at home in Hobbiton to celebrate the
upcoming release of the movie: An Unexpected Item in the Baggins Area, clip_image028Air New Zealand painted up a 777 and Ground Staff joined in for a spell.

clip_image032The release of Apple’s iPhone 5 saw the core switch from Google maps to Apple’s own pithy version which was error prone and became an instant iFail. A shame I thought, as it offered much shorter air routes to Europe and led me to hope that low-cost carriers would soon be offering cheap flights from Christchurch to Berlin. I’ll fly just about any airline (I once took a flight on Aeroflot, it wasn’t a clip_image030real plane it was just an Ilyushin), and I can nearly cope with short-haul flights on airlines like Ryanair where passenger comfort is a low priority and everything is an extra charge. They even charge twice for schizophrenics and extra for emotional baggage. The good news is – kids fly free.

Speaking of Google (I’m sure someone was somewhere), I see their top search results for 2012 have just been released. Out of 1.2 trillion searches in pole position was Whitney Houston and as Google turns into a 14 year old teenager, all future searches will be returned with “I will always hate you!”

It’s OK, you’re nearly at the end now.

It’ll soon be Christmas and then we’ll be knocking on the door of 2013. Pointless of course as the door will be permanently shut on the 21st when we find there are no more calendar pages with pictures of chocolate-box stone Mayan cottages to tear off.

We were going to decorate our house this Christmas but didn’t have the time or money to match the neighbours so we took the easy way out. Although I suppose we could have bought the lights on our credit card as it wouldn’t have been due until after the 21st.clip_image034

Some may have forgotten the name, but Cecilia Giménez theclip_image035 80 year old Spanish pensioner who decided to restore Ecce Homo or “Behold the Man” a 19th century fresco by Spanish artist Elias Garcia Martinez, has achieved a degree of fame after her botched restoration has become the “must see” sight of 2012. Crowds have swarmed to view Giménez’s handiwork, paying the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja, near Zaragoza, €4 each to marvel or mock. Giménez wants a slice of the action as clip_image037she claims only the church is making money out of it. Well, actually Ryanair do too as they fly to Zaragoza and then ask for payment to point the way to the church).

I thought her financial plight was all a little unfair so we commissioned Giménez to paint something memorable that we could use as a Christmas card for all of you.

So from us to you with the warmest wishes for a happy Christmas, here’s Cecelia Giménez’s interpretation of the “Last Supper”.clip_image039

As we say in New Zealand,
Fleece Navidad

As for New Year? My only resolution is 1680 x 1050.

Gruntle

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