Christmas Day in the Black Country
This Christmas Day post will be syndicated to my local readers later and a link will go on Twitter for all my followers on there; Facebook will also get a instant link. That is the power of the Internet at Christmas. There is no need to send a letter to Santa these days, you can email the guy. You might remember that I wrote and published a Christmas Story last year. You can click that link and read it today! I am writing a sequel, but it’s still not finished. It took me weeks to think of an ending, that is always the hardest part.
What am I doing? I’ll be doing even more writing than usual today. For the benefit of my international readers, I live in the heart of England. The church in the picture is on the hill, high above my house. It’s very cold today and my heating is struggling to keep the house warm. It could be ideal for photography this afternoon though, with a clear sky and little traffic on the roads. I’ll keep my options open, but first, I shall cook my Christmas lunch. I won’t be over indulging and no I won’t have to worry about my weight after a binge. I tend to think of people less fortunate and be grateful for what I have rather than being greedy. There is too much greed in the world. I wonder what David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith are having today? Will they be doing more with less? Judging by Boris Johnson’s reputation for the ladies, he’s probably out pulling a cracker…
This is a time when we think of new beginnings and make resolutions for the new year. I have set a few goals for the New Year, nothing very different from what I have been doing. More writing and a lot more photography. I do need to get out more, so if any of my local readers have any ideas what I can do in the afternoons after I’ve finished writing, let me know.
There are trends and one trend has been for choice. You can choose which energy supplier rips you off; that’s competition. You can choose which bank sells you dodgy loans, that’s freedom of choice. Parents choose the school their kids go to and drive miles to take them there and every afternoon drive miles to fetch them back. They are going to the ‘best’ school of course. You know the one, it’s co-educational, culturally diverse, multi-racial and is in the top ten of the league tables. All the children get chauffeured to school in a four wheel drive, BMW or Mercedes by mummy twice a day. I might be nuts, but I think we could do more with less petrol, if all schools offered a decent education.
I do talk to people in other countries and it seems they have education systems that are even worse. Education in China isn’t so good and the heating systems are even worse. They are a developing nation, so maybe they have an excuse. Most complaints from the great United States of America isn’t about education so much, but health care. We moan about health care in this country, but it has been improving. Choice is a watchword in health care too. It seems to be getting more politically correct. Healthcare workers seem to have a language all of their own. They love committees and acronyms. It seems very important to involve the patient these days or at least appear to be doing so. Their idea of listening to patients, is an online survey with loaded questions. They don’t want to know about your constipation, they want to know your ethnicity and how many times a week you use the bathroom so their computers can calculate the average amount of ethnic constipation in the Health Authorities Hub Catchment Area (HAHCA). The median state of people’s bowel habits in the HAHCA is very important to them, so they set up an internet survey and ask trust members to participate.
The turkey is often cited as the culprit in after Christmas dinner lethargy, but the truth is that you could omit the bird altogether and still feel the effects of the feast. Turkey does contain L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid with a documented sleep inducing effect. L-tryptophan is used in the body to produce the B-vitamin, niacin. Tryptophan also can be metabolized into serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that exert a calming effect and regulates sleep. However, L-tryptophan needs to be taken on an empty stomach and without any other amino acids or protein in order to make you drowsy. There’s lots of protein in a serving of turkey and it’s probably not the only food on the table.
It’s not really that bottle of Shiraz that sends you to sleep after lunch, it must be the turkey. The Queen’s speech made me drowsy in 1976 and I’m still finding it hard to keep my eyes open…
Anyway, from here in the Black Country, in the heart of England. I will wish you all, where-ever you are in the world a Merry Christmas. Be nice to someone this week, you never know; we could start a trend.
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