Friday, December 25, 2015

A good Christmas

On Xmas eve Jenny put on a sausage sizzle for 6 of us: Herself & Nanna, Joe and Kate and Anne and myself.  The sausages were allegedly by Heston Blumenthal but the degree of his involvement must be speculative.  They were good anyway.  Sausages are one of my favorite foods.  And we had a good Pavlova for dessert.

So Kate had a real family occasion for Xmas even though she was away from her own family.  There were 3 generations present, including a 91 year old grandma.

Jenny had presents under her tree for us all and Anne brought along some presents too. I just handed out cheques of a sufficient amount to buy something pretty good.  They seemed well received.  Nanna said she is going to spend her cheque on a "nice" new watch.

Joe got a game called "5 second rule" which we all later played. To progress in the game you have to answer simple questions very rapidly.  My brain has slowed down in my old age so I was hopeless at it.  Kate was the youngest present and she won it.

And on Xmas day Joe drove us out to Suzy & Russell's place -- our frequent venue for family occasions.  We had cheeses for morning tea including one that was vegetarian -- made from tofu or some such!  I didn't try it. Lunch was mainly the product of a big and nicely cooked ham, with accompaniments, of course.  There was no food-freakery about our Xmas fare.  It  was totally "incorrect" according to a lot of modern notions but we all just bogged in to it all.  Timmy had brought along some creations based on Tim Tams that seemed likely to cause instant diabetes!

I talked mainly to Jenny, Ken and our Squadron Leader.  He really is a Squadron Leader -- back in Brisbane for the holidays.  Not being an airforce type, I always have to ask him if he is a Squadron Leader or a Wing Commander but he informed me that Wing Commander is way too high up for him.  He doesn't fly aircraft but he does supervise them.  We had a big debate at one stage over whether fantasy fiction is good fiction.  Ken and I thought not and Kate weighed in with a defence of Harry Potter.

We talked a fair bit about global warming at one stage, which we all find hilarious.  Kate was not aware of the facts about it so Joe, Ken and I explained it all to her.  As a psychology graduate, she is familiar with the concept of statistical significance so was surprised to hear that the differences between average global temperatures for recent years have not been statistically significant.

In that case, a scientist should report that global temperatures have been flat for nearly 20 years -- with no warming whatsoever.  As Kate said in proper philosophy of science terms, the null hypothesis should have been accepted. The media however always report the tiny differences -- usually in one hundredths of one degree -- as showing that the recent year has been the "warmest".  Sadly, most people believe it.  Tiny random fluctuations are held to prove something.

I actually spent most of Xmas eve writing a small essay about global warming and I made some other points to Kate that are the same as the last two paragraphs of that essay.

So it was a day of interesting and fun discussions.

For the kids there was a water balloon fight in which some of the adults joined too.  That was obviously the biggest fun of the day. There were three littlies present: Dusty, Sahara and Ava-Marie.  Little Ava-Marie has turned out to be a very pretty little girl.

We arrived at about 10 o'clock and left at about 3 o'clock. As soon as I got home I had a big nap.

At around 7pm Anne arrived at my place after being at her son's place for most of the day.  We watched the Queen's Xmas message and then had our usual Christmas night supper: ham sandwiches.  I always buy the ham for our Christmas lunch so get to take a few  offcuts with me when I leave to go home. So it makes very nice ham sandwiches later on

I liked the Queen's Christmas message.  I was pleased that she quoted chap. 1 of the Gospel of John, a most interesting chapter that I have studied at great length.  I can even recite some of it in the original Greek!  The gnostic elements in it make it interesting.

I am rather pleased to see that the Queen, who is Head of the Church of England, is actually a Christian.  As she said in her 2014 message: "For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the prince of peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life."


And Anne and I carried on our gastronomic adventures into Boxing day.  For breakfast Anne made us some chipolata sausages and beans with fried onions and and a fried egg.  Plus toast off course.  It is undoubtedly humble food but I enjoyed it.  It is food of my own ethnicity and I am happy about that.

And that night was a Saturday night, which is my sandwich night.  I don't like going out on Saturday night among all the drunks so I eat at home and use the time to indulge myself with another of my likes: Sandwiches.

And the bread you use for sandwiches does matter.  For some reason unknown to me the far-and-away best white bread in Brisbane comes from Chinese bakers. So I went to the brilliant Chinese bakery at  the Woolloongabba Fiveways and got a loaf of it for my sandwich night.

We still had some ham off the bone left over from Christmas so we had ham sandwiches without any pickles or anything else on them.  And that was great.

The Chinese also make brilliant meat pies, rather surprisingly, so when I was there I saw some of them winking crustily at me in the display cabinet so had to buy one of them too.  Anne and I had half of it each.

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