Christmas snippets

This one just because I like it! Three of my grandnephews/nieces: Nathan, David and Lauren Parkes:

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I spoke to their uncle, my nephew Warren, who lives in North Queensland on Christmas Day. This is Warren:

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You might like to read A Guringai Family Story.

Since I came back to Wollongong it has become something of a custom to spend Christmas lunch, or in the case of this year Boxing Day lunch, with my cousin Helen Langridge and her husband Jim. See So, Christmas Day! (2016). This is Helen and Jim ten years ago on Jim’s retirement.

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Quite a distinguished fellow is Jim. As usual there was much great conversation, including among other things the fact that next month will be their 50th Wedding Anniversary! Here is a picture of my mum and dad at that wedding in January 1968:

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Jim brought out the wedding album which includes a photo of me looking SO THIN! And of course young.

Helen has a copy of her brother Ray Christison’s recently published book Shapeshifter. The strange life of John Hampton Christison, Professor of DancingThat is about our rather spectacular great-grandfather.  Ray’s book is beautifully done!

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See among my posts Neil’s personal decades: 14 – 1885 — Christisons.

You can read more about this rather amazing but tricky character in my post My great-grandfather: “morally dubious to say the least.”  My cousin Ray Christison is mentioned quite a bit on that post; he has written a book about John H: Shapeshifter – the strange life of John Hampton Christison, Professor of Dancing. Here is an interesting snippet by Ray from the comment thread on my post:

Neil, I have been trawling through my old notes and have begun writing a full biography of John Hampton Christison (currently about 5,000 words and growing). I will publish it as a small book. You asked about John dancing before Queen Victoria. John listed his major dancing awards in the 1882 Manual of Dancing & Etiquette. He stated this: “at Edzell Castle, 1873 I took first prize, a Highland dirk, at Balmoral Castle in 1875, second against thirty, most of them professional men”. Queen Victoria may or may not have been present when John danced at Balmoral Castle. Given John’s penchant for self-promotion I find it bizarre that he would not have specifically mentioned this in a work as important as his Manual of Dancing & Etiquette. I have a very vague memory of Kathleen Christison telling me that he danced there before one of the other royals, however I can’t find any notes to corroborate this.

Another delightful Chinese movie.

Thanks again to the mid-day movie on SBS Viceland. (See my previous post What a delightful surprise! Delightful Chinese movie….)

This time it was Apart Together (2010), set in Shanghai.

Liu returns to his native city Shanghai after 50 years spent in Taiwan. He has come to find the first love of his life, Qiao, who he left behind pregnant. In the meantime, Qiao has married and formed a family. But Liu is determined to get the family’s approval to take her away with him.

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I found it very moving. Though I have never been there, thanks to M I know something of Shanghai life and customs, and this movie hit the spot — very much so! Just for starters– the food culture, as seen in the still above!

This reviewer is clearly Chinese, judging from his/her English, but most importantly he/she  gets the movie right! Let’s just say I will watch it again if I get the chance. Beautifully done.

Maybe I am older, have experienced accidents, close to death and had a lot of regrets in life, so this movie gives me a lot of mixed feelings. I think a few episodes below are the most memorable:

Old Mr Lu said: “I will NOT live for several years, too much money means nothing! ” Mrs Yu’e said to Mr Yan Sheng when they farewell at the dock:” I don’t know when I’ll see you again since today’s farewell. ”

All these make me difficult to calm of mind and cry.

They three sat around dinner several times, all that matters to me.

They repeated references to the term “time”, in Shanghai as saying “Guang Jing”. Three of them live away from those happy times whey they were young, and finally got a short happy time at the end of life. The most beautiful scene, Mrs Yu’e sang a pop song of the old time which put back 50 years. Shanghai has been changed so fast, but the old time elegant and melody will stay in the memory forever.

Looking back at 2017 — 1

Here is where my visitors have come from in 2017 to date:

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Now for January, avoiding Donald Trump! Mind you, if you insist:

Sorry, but it has been rather hard to avoid Donald Tweet lately, who even after a day or two is turning out to be as bad as, if not worse than, I had imagined. Also, can you see any resemblance? I can…

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But I don’t think Donald Tweet smokes, or at least I am not sure he does. Mind you his performances sometimes suggest he might have been smoking something. Take just one example:  Trump Goes to CIA to Attack Media, Lie About Crowd Size, and Suggest Stealing Iraq’s Oil. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

“I love you. I respect you,” said the president, who ten days earlier likened U.S. spies to Nazi Germany for their role in publicizing an intel dossier packed with allegations that Russian intelligence services have compromising information on him.

“There is nobody who feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump,” Trump said, speaking before the wall at CIA headquarters engraved with black stars for the officers who died in the agency’s service. “You’re going to get so much backing that you’re going to say, ‘Please don’t give us so much backing.”

The substance of Trump’s speech focused on the fight against what he called “radical Islamic terrorism,” echoing his inaugural line that it be “eradicated off the face of the earth.” While Trump did not offer any details on how he would do that, he hinted at a more aggressive approach in prosecuting the war on terrorism….

White House spokesperson Sean Spicer used his first press statement Saturday to deliver an angry broadside against the media and reports of the inaugural crowd size. “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong,” he said.

Trump claimed between 1 and 1.5 million attended the inauguration; estimates put it closer to 250,000 attendees.

“I have a running war with the media,” Trump said. “They are among the most dishonest human beings.”…

God help us if this is the garbage we can expect for four more years! Oh, and as all of us could see with our own eyes on our own TV sets in live coverage a day or so  back:
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Personally, January 2017 was when I took delivery of Junior HP:

Baby HP may be moribund, but there is hope…

First off though, I am being a bit spoilt here in Wollongong Library with their free big screen access to the Internet via the NBN’s fibre optic cable! Fast!

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That’s a kind of farewell pic of Baby HP: see Computer tragedy (February 2014). And here is another.

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Now the news! Yesterday I had a phone call from a Wollongong friend offering to set me up with a new computer! I’ll let you know how it works out! Apparently he is one of a group of Wollongong friends. 🙂

Lunar New Year and HP Junior

And today I paid for JUNIOR HP! Thanks to those WHS friends for their kindness.192772-l-lo