Archive | 9:52 pm

Merry Christmas, everybody . . . .

24 Dec

So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun….

For me, there really is something spectacularly wonderful about Christmas. I’m the guy who deliberately goes out shopping on Christmas Eve because I love the atmosphere (it’s not so much fun in Melbourne – can’t quite get in the Christmas spirit when it’s bright and sunny)… who gets all sad when the Christmas adverts disappear as soon as the shops shut on Christmas Eve. I’m convinced Santa Claus is still alive and well and planning a comeback tour (that’s OK, but he needs to leave the elves behind). I love the sparkle, the lights, the cuteness of it all… and (in the UK at least) we manage to brighten up a dismal time of year with lights, and tinsel, and angels…

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I don’t miss ‘Lonesome this Christmas’ playing on rotation in supermarkets – but I’ll be lining up The Pogues, Wizzard, Slade and all those fabulous Christmas hits (including, to my eternal shame, the ‘Girls Aloud Christmas Bonus CD’). Picnic time for Christmas dinner this year though.

And watching ‘It’s a wonderful life’. On the big screen. Outdoors. Now, if I can just find that Nunnery copy of ‘Love Actually’

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Somehow, Christmas is one of those times when the barrier between our usual world and the magical world starts to grow thin – when, somehow, anything might be possible. When it just might be possible for one man to travel round the world in a night and bring hope and happiness around the world. Where it might just be possible to deliver presents down a chimney that’s been blocked for years. Where happiness is real, and love is guaranteed. And where ‘anything is possible’ here might be where love, finally, breaks through. Sure, sometimes Christmas can be a real tough time, putting a huge strain on relationships and bank balances.. And it can be a time when love finally wins through – when we actually try and be kind to each other. And who’s to say that’s not the reality, anyway? So let’s just reach out to one another.. Let’s be kind to each other.. Let’s enjoy each other’s company..

So to all my friends across the world – wherever you find yourselves, whatever you find yourselves doing – I am eternally grateful that you are part of my life in some way. The world is a richer, warmer and more wonderful place simply because you are in it. So, this Christmas, wave that magic wand. Make a difference. Share some love. Make a friend. Reach out to someone. Tell someone you love them. Call someone you haven’t seen for ages. Give someone a hug. Give lots of people hugs. Get good value out of the mistletoe. Forgive people. Love people.

And if that makes you feel good… carry on doing it. Create magic. Create miracles. Bring heaven to earth.

I may be a long way away from many of you (and probably sufficiently close to some others of you that you’re actually starting to get nervous) – but thankyou for who you are. Thankyou for what you’re doing. Thankyou for being part of this wonderful, glorious,beautiful world. And thankyou for being a part of mine.

It’s time for magic . . .

Alton Towers (15)Wizard

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Melbourne–city of nuns, trams and bonkers Aussies

24 Dec

Well, here I am in Melbourne. I’m staying in The Nunnery which used to be a – well, nunnery. A bit bereft of nuns, though, unless you count the bearded Australian in a hat on reception, and the Spanish cleaner in a short skirt. Probably neither of them are actually nuns. We have Brother Francis, although he’s not likely to count on the basis of a) being a brother and therefore almost certainly not a nun, and b) being a cat. There are nunnish pictures on the walls, and the kitchen clock has Jesus at the last supper.. But the nuns are charging huge amounts of wonga for internet access, so I’ve toddled off to the library where it’s free, and I’ve spent the whole day planning the next couple of weeks’ fun (and it’s going to be fun…)

But this is a completely bonkers city anyway… and I love it. Not sure if it’s the fact that the weather is almost completely perfect at the moment – just the right temperature, just the right humidity, just the right breeze… perhaps it’s the free trams that run round the city centre. Perhaps it’s the fact that every time I cross the road at a crossing I feel as if I;m in a scene from ‘The Matris’. Perhaps it’s the crazy Melbourne hook turn that involves turning right by first turning left… it might be the brave attempt at having Christmas (a televised outdoor broadcast of carols from Sydney, anyone?)… or the fact that you can shop til midnight the day before Christmas Eve…it might be the bonzer architecture, which can’t decide whether to be Victorian, Georgian, or competing with La Defense in Paris (my favourite skyscrapers). Or where they’ve built completely pointless roofs (on the museum) which serve no practical purpose other than lookin good. You’ve got to love a city which, instead of tearing down a landmark lead shot factory (complete with chimney), builds a complete new shopping mall and entertainment centre AROUND it. Only in Australia, eh? And it’s full of really friendly people too. Just as well, cause I’m staying here longer than I thought!

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Well, here I am in Melbourne. I’m staying in The Nunnery which used to be a – well, nunnery. A bit bereft of nuns, though, unless you count the bearded Australian in a hat on reception, and the Spanish cleaner in a short skirt. Probably neither of them are actually nuns. We have Brother Francis, although he’s not likely to count on the basis of a) being a brother and therefore almost certainly not a nun, and b) being a cat. There are nunnish pictures on the walls, and the kitchen clock has Jesus at the last supper.. But the nuns are charging huge amounts of wonga for internet access, so I’ve toddled off to the library where it’s free, and I’ve spent the whole day planning the next couple of weeks’ fun (and it’s going to be fun…)

But this is a completely bonkers city anyway… and I love it. Not sure if it’s the fact that the weather is almost completely perfect at the moment – just the right temperature, just the right humidity, just the right breeze… perhaps it’s the free trams that run round the city centre. Perhaps it’s the fact that every time I cross the road at a crossing I feel as if I;m in a scene from ‘The Matris’. Perhaps it’s the crazy Melbourne hook turn that involves turning right by first turning left… it might be the brave attempt at having Christmas (a televised outdoor broadcast of carols from Sydney, anyone?)… or the fact that you can shop til midnight the day before Christmas Eve…it might be the bonzer architecture, which can’t decide whether to be Victorian, Georgian, or competing with La Defense in Paris (my favourite skyscrapers). Or where they’ve built completely pointless roofs (on the museum) which serve no practical purpose other than lookin good. You’ve got to love a city which, instead of tearing down a landmark lead shot factory (complete with chimney), builds a complete new shopping mall and entertainment centre AROUND it. Only in Australia, eh? And it’s full of really friendly people too. Just as well, cause I’m staying here longer than I thought!

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Lead Shot Tower – rom the days when they made lead shot by dropping it down a tall tower until it went spherical and cooled down before it hit the ground.

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