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Corona quarantine diary
Autor de la hebra: Mervyn Henderson

Chris S  Identity Verified
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Shell shock Dec 23, 2020

I paid through the nose for some oysters once, and the waiter got all snotty.

Merry Basque Christmas, Mervyn!


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Shell shock Dec 23, 2020

Shell shock! LoL!! A Merry Welsh Christmas to all them Taffs down at the Dog and Leek, too!

This is very useful, too, because I was planning a pre-Xmas Santa Claus File to do an overall greeting, but blaargh pressure and a script as inane as it is wayward have forced the last Santa Claus File to be post-Christmas. You'll see why ...


And so meanwhile, ahead of the Spanish State's Christmas, at least, this thread wishes a wish to wish one and all:


... See more
Shell shock! LoL!! A Merry Welsh Christmas to all them Taffs down at the Dog and Leek, too!

This is very useful, too, because I was planning a pre-Xmas Santa Claus File to do an overall greeting, but blaargh pressure and a script as inane as it is wayward have forced the last Santa Claus File to be post-Christmas. You'll see why ...


And so meanwhile, ahead of the Spanish State's Christmas, at least, this thread wishes a wish to wish one and all:



A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


... Sniff.



[Edited at 2020-12-24 06:48 GMT]
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Thanks Dec 24, 2020

Thanks for sharing.

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Shell shock II Dec 24, 2020

Actually, Chris, in a few hours I'll be going down to the market to pick up the clams and fish I've ordered for tonight's dinner (25 December is nothing over here, just a hangover from the big night the day before), and I expect to shell out through the proverbial nose for those shells too. But we'll slurp them down happily to do justice to the price!

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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Mission accomplished Dec 24, 2020

Walked past the queue outside La Suiza cake shop. Walked past the queue outside Nº 1 fishmonger's (Bilbao's most expensive, selling mostly to restaurants - but not so much these days, obviously), and didn't walk past, but saw, the queues outside fish shops 2 and 3 nearby, but when I got to the market fish place, there was only one lady in front of me. They'd told me 9.30, but I was there at 9.15. Got to look sharp, right? And all I had to do was pick up and pay for the order.

Down
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Walked past the queue outside La Suiza cake shop. Walked past the queue outside Nº 1 fishmonger's (Bilbao's most expensive, selling mostly to restaurants - but not so much these days, obviously), and didn't walk past, but saw, the queues outside fish shops 2 and 3 nearby, but when I got to the market fish place, there was only one lady in front of me. They'd told me 9.30, but I was there at 9.15. Got to look sharp, right? And all I had to do was pick up and pay for the order.

Down to the bakery on calle Ibáñez de Bilbao, where I was waiting with maybe six people, but then the girl came out to see if anyone had orders, and only little me had, so she went straight back inside to get it ready.

It took me thirty minutes tops for both things, and there must have been twenty people queueing by the time I emerged from the bakery (actually, the name of the place is "Basquery" ...), and all those other queues were much longer by the time I passed them again.

Maybe not quite on a par with that other miracle of the loaves and fishes, but it's another little victory in the game of life all the same.

[Edited at 2020-12-24 11:51 GMT]
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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28 December Dec 28, 2020

Today is Spain's All Fools' Day, so we can expect to read in the press that Boris is now attempting to negotiate a "Breturn" with the EU, kneeling on the floor in a nappy with one of Von der Leyen's stilettos grinding into his neck as she cracks a whip over him in her plush office at the Berlaymont, screaming "Du bist mein kleines Mädchen, Johnson, nicht wahr?", all dressed up in her leather dominatrix outfit (don't tell me it's not a rather titillating thought ...), or hear on the TV that the ... See more
Today is Spain's All Fools' Day, so we can expect to read in the press that Boris is now attempting to negotiate a "Breturn" with the EU, kneeling on the floor in a nappy with one of Von der Leyen's stilettos grinding into his neck as she cracks a whip over him in her plush office at the Berlaymont, screaming "Du bist mein kleines Mädchen, Johnson, nicht wahr?", all dressed up in her leather dominatrix outfit (don't tell me it's not a rather titillating thought ...), or hear on the TV that the outgoing president was actually born Donna Trump.

One hopes the vaccine crescendo isn't a December Fool, in that case, as the Corona News seems to have been replaced by the Vaccine News (about half an hour last night). How many times can you watch someone being given a shot? I saw thirty or forty last night, which means one or just less than one every minute. Amid interviews at senior citizens' homes with María (98), Juan (94), Paquita (84) etc. as the guinea pigs, I mean priority patients. Somebody wrote a letter in the paper yesterday asking why they didn't do the politicians first, since apparently they're all so necessary. Good question.

And on the night of 24 December we had the long-awaited King's Xmas Speech to the Nation. Rumour had it he was finally going to mention his Pa's naughtiness with public monies and public ladies. And he did, but in a roundabout way. Felipe used to have a photo of Dad behind him as he sat there in his office at the Palace on these occasions, but not any more. He reiterated what he had said when he became King, that principles were principles, ahem, and they had to be observed by each and every citizen, ahem, regardless of any concerns such as family ties, ahem.

Considering he really only became King because Pa abdicated following a nasty little incident involving a mistress who accompanied him on a hugely expensive elephant-killing trip abroad while his subjects were still in the throes of economic crisis, Felipe's always been under pressure to showcase a squeaky-clean monarchy. He could have done without the latest round of cookie-jarness from Pop, and so he had to throw Pop under the bus this Christmas without actually mentioning him. Such are the affairs of state.

[Edited at 2020-12-28 07:02 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-28 13:28 GMT]
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Crips Dec 28, 2020

We used to do it quite systematically at one time, but in the last year or so I’ve been failing miserably in my efforts to teach the Basques English. Not that they don’t speak it, but they need a lot more of it. So Xmas gifts included a book, which I thought would be reasonably simple but still not exactly for children, The Woman who went to Bed for a Year, by the late Sue Townsend, the author of The Diary of Adrian Mole.

I’m remembering now, however, some of the intricacies o
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We used to do it quite systematically at one time, but in the last year or so I’ve been failing miserably in my efforts to teach the Basques English. Not that they don’t speak it, but they need a lot more of it. So Xmas gifts included a book, which I thought would be reasonably simple but still not exactly for children, The Woman who went to Bed for a Year, by the late Sue Townsend, the author of The Diary of Adrian Mole.

I’m remembering now, however, some of the intricacies of our diction I’d clean forgotten about. Some of this is easily overcome – for example, no word in Spanish begins with ST or SP, because there’s always an initial E in there, but it’s easy enough to teach them to say street instead of estreet, and Spain instead of Espain. But, as many of you out there will know, there are other words that are a genuine nightmare for anyone trying to correct pronunciation, and a deep source of frustration for the person reading.

So there I was listening to the Basques reading Chapter 1:

“ … a squash, squashèd packet … (I mean squashed in two syllables)”

“No, that’s only one syllable, squashed.”

“ … OK, a squashed packet of cr- crips.”

“Crips? There's no such word.” I took a look. “Ah, crisps.”

“That’s what I said, crips.”

“No, it’s crisps. The S comes first, then the P, and then another S.”

They kind of took a run at it: “Cr-cr - crisp- crispis.”

“No, only one syllable. Look, just say the word crisp.”

“Crisp.”

“Right, now just say it again and quickly add an S.”

“Crispis.”

“No, no, one syllable, only one. Crisp-s.”

“Crisp-….s.”

“OK, but now try to do it without a pause, crisps.”

“Cr- crispis.”

After a while they had it. But I had to listen to that word for ages after that, usually right by then, but sometimes wrong, so then you have to say it again yourself. Many times. Crisps, crisps, crisps, crisps, crisps, crisps, crisps, crisps, crisps …

Afterwards we had a beer. “Oh, do you want something with that? Maybe some crisps?”

“Don’t start,” I said.


[Edited at 2020-12-28 09:12 GMT]
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The Santa Claus Files – File 7 (final file) Dec 29, 2020

Phew! It’s all over for another year. Well, it is for you, of course … Mrs Claws, the reindeer, the elves, Jeff and I, we have to start all over again for Christmas 2021. Some of those Santa Claus letters start arriving right after Christmas, children who want to get their orders processed before they misbehave all year round! Anyway, I hope you’re all happy with the presents I got for the kids.

At our end, it was a fairly normal round this year. Only two incidents. One in Mil
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Phew! It’s all over for another year. Well, it is for you, of course … Mrs Claws, the reindeer, the elves, Jeff and I, we have to start all over again for Christmas 2021. Some of those Santa Claus letters start arriving right after Christmas, children who want to get their orders processed before they misbehave all year round! Anyway, I hope you’re all happy with the presents I got for the kids.

At our end, it was a fairly normal round this year. Only two incidents. One in Milton Keynes, and one in Bilbao. There I was in Milton Keynes. I crept into the house. Yes, crept in. All that stuff with the chimneys went out years ago. I mean, think about it – sliding down millions of chimneys in a single night. How can a bloke keep his suit clean like that? Plus I’m a bit on the weighty side, as you know. More than once I’ve had to call out the fire brigade because I got stuck in one of them. You can imagine how embarrassing that can be. Anyway, there I was, filling up the stockings over the mantlepiece with goodies, and this head peeps around the corner of the lounge, all furtive. When he sees the red and white getup, he sighs, “Oh, Jesus, thank God, it’s only you”, all relieved, like.

So this bloke tiptoes in, and he’s totally naked bar the Y-fronts, holding a load of clothes in his hands. He laughed a kind of strangled laugh as he started putting on his clothes. “I heard a noise and I jumped straight out of bed because I thought you were the husband,” he said, jerking his thumb upwards, to the bedrooms, I suppose. “Can’t be too careful,” he grinned rather horribly. “Some men go wild when they find out wifey’s playing around”.

I looked him up and down. “Yes,” I said, looking at my house list, “might not be a good idea to rile … er, … Mr Richards”.

“Mr Richards?” he asked. “Mr Richards? … Just a minute.” He looked off into the middle distance, then he looked around the house, open-mouthed, like he was suddenly recognising everything, and then he slapped his thigh, and started taking off his clothes again. “Oh, bugger. Jesus, what a dickhead! I’m Mr Richards!!! It’s me. I’m Mr Richards. And this is my house. What a prat!” He was sniggering now. “Force of habit, what can I say? You’re a man of the world, Santa. You know what it’s like. Married for years, no surprises, no freshness, no nothing. What’s a man to do?” He shrugged. “So I play away from home a lot, hey.” He was openly laughing now.

“Sssssshhhh, you’d better get back to bed, Mr Richards,” I told him, a little stonily. And he did. I went out to the sleigh and picked through some of the packages. I found his wife’s present, looked at it for a minute, and then put it back and took another one instead. As we flew on to the next drop, I wondered if she’d like her book. One of those self-help things. “How to leave a serial cheater, get custody, and fleece him for all he’s got”, it was called.

A bit later on, we were coming down over the Pyrenees into Bilbao, and I thought we’d stop on Pagasarri mountain for a laugh, and just sleigh down the rest of the way. Well! The lads loved it. Donner especially, clicking his joints like nobody’s business as he sped down the hill, but as we came to a stop in the field at the bottom just off Rekaldeberri, the long arm of the law was waiting for us. I wasn’t actually expecting anyone at that time of day, but over he came.

“Kaixo, kaixo, kaixo. Zer pasatzen da hemen, ba?” he said, winking a couple of times to the side, although I couldn’t work out why.



[Hey, don’t look at me. Jesus. Nothing to do with me. All I’m doing is tippety-tappetying at the keyboard here. You have a story. A bloke has a story. And just as it seems to be going reasonably well, then a bloody policeman keeps barging into it looking for his fifteen minutes of fame …]



“I’m sorry?” I said.

He took off his sunglasses. Ever so slowly. Do you know, I thought I recognised this bloke. Then he looked down at the ground. Then he put them on again, ever so slowly. Then he looked up at the sky.

“'ello, 'ello, 'ello, what’s all this, then?” that means, sir. Got any ID on you, sir? Can I see your ID?”

“ID?” I scoffed. “ID? It’s five o’clock on a cold snowy morning on 25 December. I’m a small fat man with a big fluffy white beard and moustache, white hair, white bushy eyebrows, and I’m wearing a red suit with fluffy white cuffs and collar, a floppy red hat with a bobble, and black boots, riding a sleigh with a gang of fucking reindeer, so how about an educated guess?”

Well, I was sorry about the expletive, but I don’t suffer fools gladly at that time of day.

He winked and nodded to the side again. “I’ll thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head, sir." He stood in front of Rudolf and Donner and stared at them. “Is this your sleigh, sir? Do you have the documentation for the vehicle? And … in a bit of a hurry, were we? You were doing at least 90 kph down that slope, sir, I’d say. Constituting a public hazard, not to mention jeopardising life and limb. Under cover of darkness. And with possible malice aforethought, I reckon.” A huge wink to the side this time.

He brought his face up close to mine. “We can sort all this out down at the station if you’d prefer, sir. And … are these your reindeer? Are these reindeer working for you, sir? And are they officially registered with social security, sir? – What about you, Red Nose?” he said, turning to Rudolf, “Are you registered for contributions and possible benefits? How many full hours have you worked today? Have you had your statutory rest periods?” But naturally Rudolf just champed his big reindeer lips, stared at him with his big reindeer eyes, fluttered his big reindeer eyelashes, and said nothing.

I sighed a heavy sigh. “There isn’t any such thing as sleigh-speeding, is there? Or reindeer licences either.”

“I cannot comment, sir, I’m afraid. But I’m willing to overlook these infringements of yours. It’s Christmas, after all,” he said, looking down at the ground. “Yes, Christmas. Fact is, we might be on a Christmas investigation here quite soon, so I’m out early this morning,” he said, rather airily. “A Mystery, sir,” he said, nodding to the fourth wall again and winking. “A Murder Mystery.” He paused. “A Christmas Murder Mystery. With Santa Claus. A Santa Claus Christmas Murder Mystery.” Another wink to the side.

[Oh, Christmas Christ Alive. As you might have surmised, I had to intervene. Now, I’m not at all used to walking into my own stories myself, I mean, why would anyone do that, but I did, and I took Garmendia aside:

“Look, just bugger off, will you? I’m on a Santa Claus File here. Last episode, too, and you’re bloody ruining it.”

“But it’s not even a wavie, this,” he hissed, “and last time you said, you said we’d do a big mystery thing, you promised …”

“Garmendia,” I spat, “the time will come. Now get out of this story without further ado.”

Characters. You’re fond of them, of course you are, but you have to take a firm hand with them, I’ll tell you. You turn your back on them for two seconds, and they’re taking over the bloody story on you ...]



Anyway, after that, it was getting late, but I still had one more visit to make. I crept into the bedroom. I’m always creeping, aren’t I? But there’s a lot of creeping around in this business. And I was doing quite a bit of creeping around in the last bedroom, filling up a stocking, when I heard a little yawning voice behind me:

“Mr Claus?”

Well, as you know, only two people call me Mr Claus, and here it certainly wasn’t Mrs Claws, because she was back at base:

I ceased my creeping momentarily. I turned round and addressed the small figure sitting up in bed rubbing her eyes. “Miss Phillips,” I admonished her gently, “you really should be asleep, you know.”

Her eyes were red and swollen, but it wasn’t from sleep. She looked over at something next to the window. There were a couple of drapes over it, but you could still tell it was a cot. An empty cot.

“I couldn’t sleep, Mr Claus,” said Deirdre, still looking at the cot. “My little brother …”

“I know, Miss Phillips,” I nodded.

“You know?” she said, a little angrily now. “How could you possibly know?”

“Because I know lots of things, Miss Phillips. I’ve been other places tonight, too. I know that when little Helga Happel saw old Frau Weber could never get across a busy road on her own, she and her friends made a load of Achtung! signs and they all flagged down the cars every day to make sure she could get across safely. I know that Martin Briggs stole some sweets from right under the shopkeeper’s nose by slyly getting him to turn round for something else behind him. I know that Marie-Claude Rousseau pulled another little girl’s hair and kicked her in the playground just because she wore glasses. I know that Juanito Morales gets up early in the morning just to make sure his homework is perfect before he goes to school."

"And, if I know all those things, Miss Phillips,” I said, looking at her, “then I know about your brother too. I know that once you even stood there looking down at him breathing hoarsely in his cot, wishing he would just leave for good, because you were tired of being second best to a pathetic sickbed case around here. And then one day he did leave for good.”

She covered her face with her hands, and her little shoulders began to heave.

“Shhh, shhh,” I said. “But I also know how much you’ve been crying for months now, because you didn’t mean it, and I know you miss him so, so much.”

“Yes,” she sobbed. “I didn’t mean it, I truly didn’t. And I’m trying to make up for it. I am, really. I have to help my mother now. She’s even sadder than before.”

“Oh no, you don’t,” I told her. “You don’t have to help your mother at all. It’s the other way round. Let me show you something.”

I walked across to a corner of the room where I’d left a little basket with a small blanket over it. I uncovered the basket and showed it to her. “Isn’t she beautiful? That’s my Vixen’s little girl. My wife and I gave her the first name we could think of. Her name’s Deirdre. You know, they aren't usually born this time of year, so Deirdre’s a kind of Christmas miracle.”

Deirdre looked down at the tiny reindeer stretching and yawning in its basket. She stopped weeping, and smiled at it happily as she stroked its ears. “Oh yes, how lovely she is, and so tiny ... but … is she my present, Mr Claus?”

“Oh no, of course not. I just wanted to show her to you. This little girl has to be with her mother and father, like all little girls. Like you. And, like you, she doesn’t have to help her mother and father. Her mother and father have to help her. That’s their job. And that’s your parents’ job too. Your job is just to be a little girl. Remember that. This is your present here …” – and I handed her a thin package, and returned the basket to its corner.

She brushed away her tears. “Can I open it now?”

“Of course you can, Miss Phillips. It’s Christmas morning, after all.”

Deirdre removed the gift wrapping paper, and held the contents up in front of her. She frowned a little, and I could see the rather haughty Miss Phillips I knew kicking in again:

“A mirror? I already have mirrors. I have lots of mirrors. A mirror in the lounge, and a mirror over there at the table, and mirrors in the bathroom, and my own mirror for when I do my hair. What good’s this stupid mirror to me? … and it isn’t even a proper mirror either. Look, it doesn’t even reflect anything. What a useless, useless present!”

“But you don’t have a mirror like this one, Miss Phillips, because this is a Magic Mirror. Look into it again,” I said, watching as her angry little face stared into it.

“I’m looking! There’s nothing there! I told you!” she snapped.

“Now try smiling into it, Miss Phillips,” I advised, coming closer to look from the side.

“Smile? Why should I smile?” said she, but her mouth widened all the same and her eyes lit up, and suddenly a happy little girl smiled back at her from the mirror. Such a beautiful smile, too. And Deirdre’s smile became even wider as she looked at it, and then even wider still.

“It’s magic because you only see yourself when you smile. If you don’t see yourself, it’s because you’re unhappy, or annoyed, or tearful. But then all you have to do is smile, and you can see what a beautiful, happy little girl you can be, and I think that will keep you smiling all day long.”

She sat there smiling at herself. In different ways. She seemed to be trying out different smiles. I had a feeling she was learning how to smile all over again ...

“Miss Phillips,” I said, “I have to get back to Lapland now with Deirdre and the others. And you’d better get back to sleep, too. A Merry Christmas to you and your family!”

She gazed long and hard into the mirror, and then put it on the bedside table, and snuggled back down under the sheets. “Yes, Mr Claus,” she sighed. “Goodnight, then.”

I picked up the basket, and was making for the door when she spoke again:

“Mr Claus?”

“Yes, Miss Phillips?”

“Thank you. Thank you, Santa. Merry Christmas!”

I chuckled as I returned to creeping mode, and crept out. I kind of preferred the Mr Claus, but hey …

And so back to base. There was some discussion of the policeman incident over a warm mug of cocoa with Mrs Claws in the kitchen back home. “ … and there this bloke was, standing there talking to a bloody reindeer. What a prat. Can you imagine?”

“Well," said Mrs Claws, “it’s been a long year and a long day. You’d better take yourself off to bed and get a good rest, dear.”

“Yes, you’re right. Night then, Mrs C. Night, Mr C.” And off Rudolf trotted to his little straw bed in the corner of the barn.

Then I told Mrs Claws about little Miss Phillips. I suppose my eyes must have been rather watery, because she giggled as she got up from the table:

“Dear me, Mr Claus. I do declare you’re getting sentimental in your old age.” And then she giggled some more ...

Now, you should know that physically Mrs C is really just a kind of female version of me – jolly and plump. Plump in the sense that there’s plenty there to get hold of, if you know what I mean. So I got hold of quite a bit of it as she went past, that big round bottom of hers to be specific, and I got hold of it with both hands, too:

“Sentimental, Mrs C? Sentimental?” I said, in what I hoped was a suggestive, racy tone. “Get yourself up those stairs, woman. I’ll give you bloody sentimental. Santa Claus still has a sack to empty here ...”

THE END


[Edited at 2020-12-29 06:26 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-29 06:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-29 06:37 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-29 09:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-29 10:30 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-29 10:38 GMT]
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Chris S
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Chris S  Identity Verified
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Unbelievable Dec 29, 2020

😂😂😂

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Grand finale Dec 29, 2020

Well done, Mervyn, you gave us another great romp with all its ingredients in the right proportions. I'm in awe!

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@Chris and PLF Dec 29, 2020

Thanks a lot! But Chris ... unbelievable? Do you think I'm making this up or something? Santa himself told me all this down at O'Leary's last night over a pint or two of the black stuff, before it got too scary to stick around any longer.

[Edited at 2020-12-29 08:53 GMT]


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Birthday management Dec 31, 2020

The Basques have their birthday tomorrow. I mean, really, getting yourself born on 1 January? Means I have to sneak in the flowers and things today. I've told them before they're going about it all wrong ...

A lad I grew up with also has his birthday on 1 January, but since we were all about 18 or 19 years old over there on the Wet Rock, he's had it taped and well stage-managed. He would invite us all to his house after the chimes. His mum, a divorcée, was a right-on mum, so it did
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The Basques have their birthday tomorrow. I mean, really, getting yourself born on 1 January? Means I have to sneak in the flowers and things today. I've told them before they're going about it all wrong ...

A lad I grew up with also has his birthday on 1 January, but since we were all about 18 or 19 years old over there on the Wet Rock, he's had it taped and well stage-managed. He would invite us all to his house after the chimes. His mum, a divorcée, was a right-on mum, so it didn't much matter if she was there or not, although she'd usually go out with her mates until the wee hours at some hotel or other.

It works like a charm. At 12.30 or so, everybody starts arriving at your house, everyone's pretty merry or wasted, or both, you know most of them so there's little chance of any trouble, most people arrive with a bottle or something, so you don't even have to buy anything in, some of them even bring you a present as well, and outside fireworks are going off everywhere. Although they banned fireworks in Northern Ireland for many years, because they could have been mistaken for gunshots, they said - like Tom inferred on another thread, if it involves anybody having a good time, then they ban it!

The TV is showing footage of Melbourne and Sydney earlier in the day, then they switch to live celebrations in London, Rome, Madrid, Lisbon, everywhere, tonight nobody's going to complain about the loud music, everyone's dancing and having a good time, and it's like the entire world's celebrating your birthday.

You don't even have to stagger home at 5 or 6 in the morning, because you're already there, aren't you? And talking of already being at home, what about that pretty lass you've been patiently working on all evening? You don't even have to persuade her to come back to your place. All you have to do is keep her there. Or maybe a woozy girlie even asks you if she can crash at your place. Of course, of course you can, my dear, come into my parlour, like the spider said to the fly. What, sleep on the sofa, love? Oh no, no, no, no, I won't hear of it. You have to sleep in a bed, dear, no, no, I insist - the thing is, my brother's already gone to his bed, you can't use my mother's, and there's mine, of course, it's only a single, but never mind, we'll fit in somehow. Me on top of you, or you on top of me. Or we can alternate if you like ...

...

Anyway, over here in Bilbao we're going to have a fun pre-birthday and a fun birthday too, but I've got to rush off and get the goodies prepared, so all that remains for me to say here is

A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!

or, as those Basques say:

URTE BERRI ON DENOI!!



[Edited at 2020-12-31 11:02 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-31 11:03 GMT]
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expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
Zibow Retailleau
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 18:51
Miembro 2015
inglés al portugués
+ ...
Wishing Everyone a Wonderful Year Ahead! Dec 31, 2020

Happy-2BNew-2BYear-2B2020-2BWishes

Cheers to another new year!
“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!”
Sending a ton of virtual hugs and kisses to everyone!


Thomas T. Frost
P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
Matthias Brombach
Mervyn Henderson
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Zibow Retailleau
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Miembro 2014
danés al inglés
+ ...
Happy New Year Dec 31, 2020

expressisverbis wrote:

Cheers to another new year!
“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!”
Sending a ton of virtual hugs and kisses to everyone!


Thanks, Sandra. To you too and everyone else here who has kept encouraging others throughout this car crash of a year. Let's hope for a better year and remain optimist and upbeat to make good things happen in 2021.

Happy New Year.

[Edited at 2020-12-31 12:38 GMT]


expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
Matthias Brombach
Christel Zipfel
Mervyn Henderson
QHE
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 19:51
español al inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Birthday merriment Jan 2

We had booked the Basques' birthday lunch for today, as 1 January can be difficult for eateries. At a place not ten minutes' walk from here. I was to pay for it in situ, because men are supposed to pay, of course, gents that we are, but I was refunded later because, as you probably know, on your birthday here it's you that gets them in for others. By and large this works quite well, but people are people, and I imagine some Scrooges would rather shut themselves up all day with a sixpack rather t... See more
We had booked the Basques' birthday lunch for today, as 1 January can be difficult for eateries. At a place not ten minutes' walk from here. I was to pay for it in situ, because men are supposed to pay, of course, gents that we are, but I was refunded later because, as you probably know, on your birthday here it's you that gets them in for others. By and large this works quite well, but people are people, and I imagine some Scrooges would rather shut themselves up all day with a sixpack rather than have to go out and face all those wellwishers waiting at the bar.

The head waiter, whom we know from previous occasions, was suitably unctuous, but he spreads his unctuousness - or maybe that should be unctuosity - exceeding wide, and is unctuous with one and all. I look at those people, and think I could never do their job without punching a wall when I get home from work.

We shared tuna tataki and carabineros for starters. I have no idea how to say carabineros in English, and you can never find a Spanish-English translator on a Saturday, can you, so I'll cop out and call them very large bright red prawns. The usual French-sized portions on the tuna side, of course, but we didn't mind, because this was all being washed down with Laurent Perrier bubbly. Water as well, but more by way of a merely decorative concern for the table.

Second course for the Basques, lovingly battered, crisp-fried hake medallions (the entire laborious process was explained to Johnny Foreigner in great detail during the meal, naturally), and anglerfish for me, with fried potato slivers and crunchy veg. Plus more Laurent Perrier.

Now, I like to say I'm not a dessert man, so I was thinking of not bothering with it at all, and maybe going for a relaxing, smooth-sipping G&T (Seagram's) instead. But when the Basques ordered the house speciality, in-house cheesecake, and I was asked what I would like, I asked for two forks. It might have been the schlurred schpeech (Laurent Perrier had been taken), but imagine my surprise when two cheesecakes arrived, especially since in Spanish, "fork" does not sound anything like "cheesecake". Still, I took mine on gamely. With more Laurent Perrier. Although I decided against the G&T in the end.

The door to the restaurant opened, and we fell out. Luckily I had a Bilbao street plan in my pocket, and so we found our way home in well under an hour, albeit by an alternative route. My siesta is usually between half an hour and 45 minutes, but it was more like two hours today.

A good start to the year, all in all.
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Chris S
Zibow Retailleau
P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 
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