Advent 4

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That’s it.  I have reached the end of the year.  I have bought gifts to take with me to Invercargill.  Tomorrow I leave on the bus to see my family and share Christmas Day with them.

It is part of the silliness of this season that the War on Christmas has migrated to New Zealand.  When asked her opinion on saying “Merry Christmas” the Race Relations Conciliator, Came Susan Devoy, said she had no ruling to make and New Zealanders were quite capable of making up their own mind.  Some reporters and opinion makers have declared she was stopping us from saying “Merry Christmas” as it was culturally offensive.

As far as I can make out she said no such thing.  It has nothing to do with your offense if I wish you a Merry Christmas.  Nobody is going to stop me from saying it.  Nor will it stop me from saying “Season’s Greetings”, “Festive Greetings”, or even “Happy Holidays”, if I feel like saying it.  It comes from me, a Christian in a secular society which values everyone.

Nor am I offended by “Happy Diwali” graffitied outside an Indian restaurant, or “Happy Eid” written in flowers on the lawn of a house a Muslim family was renting.  The greeting comes from the heart of the person expressing it.

I am less likely to say “Happy Hanukkah” or “Chag Shameach”.  There is only one Synagogue in Dunedin and their impact on local society is individual.

So at the end of Advent, and nearly the end of the year I would like to wish any reader a . . .


Let’s work together to make 2016 more fun, and more fabulous, than 2015!

Hobbit in Advent

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It’s December, what’s happened?

I went house sitting again.  This time up in Opoho, for friends going overseas.  Unfortunately for them they were going to Paris, just before the attack on that city.  Chaos and confusion on their arrival.  They were able to leave and stay with family in Germany.

A change from Manono House was restful.  I looked after the chickens.  Evans Street is about 20 minutes walking from work, half the time from Manono House.  There are a couple of houses on the street that I would call crooked houses.

At the end of November I visited Invercargill for the Burt Munro Challenge, our annual family gathering.  I will be back there for Christmas.

I caught most of this season’s Doctor Who, not every episode.  I had hoped that when the Doctor got to Gallifrey there would be changes.  I confess to being disappointed.  The Time Lords fought what appears to have been a standing war against the Daleks and nearly lost.  They have the powers of gods and no imagination to exercise it.

I guess Lord President Rassilon regenerated after the Doctor sealed the Master in the imprisoned Gallifrey.  This new Lord President gave the Doctor his new regenerations. The Master regenerated into Missy and  spearheaded Gallifrey’s escape from the time-loop.  The Time Lords have retreated to the end of the universe, maybe not the wisest choice as the fruit-jube Daleks also fled into deep time.

I had speculated on the idea of Time Lord renegades escaping Gallifrey, a revolution overthrowing the High Council’s power.  The chances of this look unlikely from what we have seen of Gallifrey.  It is under the control of a powerful aristocratic elite.  The ideas of change lie outside the agenda of the programme.

The idea of Missy / the Master as an agent of chaos makes sense.  Her motive is to undo the Doctor’s plans, a mean intellectual agenda, the Doctor’s antithesis.

I have returned to Manono House from house-sitting to find changes.  One person who was proving to be difficult has moved on, which has improved the house.  Another person who was away from the house for part of the year has returned, which I find good to see.  It promises better things next year.

My workplace at the Presbyterian Archives also changes.  The newest appointments have up-sticks and left.  After two to three years of their leadership this is a disappointment.  It means changes in the new year.  It may work out for the better.