Sunday, 26 December 2010

Christmas is not just for Christmas!

I've had worse Christmases but I've also had better! It was always going to be a quiet day but I hadn't planned on it being quite this quiet! I was unwell, you see, nursing a bad headache and sore throat; just feeling very run down with no energy. I had been invited along to my landlady's evening meal but, in the end, spent most of the day in my room, getting hot and cold, lying in sweat on my bed, doing not a lot. The evening thing had grown from being a sombre gathering of four to a lively gathering of twelve and I just couldn't face the noise and inevitable party games and loud people. No doubt I would have been ridiculed for being quiet and not wanting to join in. On the other hand, getting sloshed on Arrack sounded attractive!

Some of the white people here - they are not elderly and yet they may as well be! It's cheaper to live in Sri Lanka than in the West so there are a few expats around, spending six months a year here, or here permanently. And, as far as I can tell, they do virtually nothing; they're completely self-absorbed. I guess it's just a different way of living but, to me, it's such a waste.  I mean, just spend an hour a day helping in schools, or helping kids with homework, or doing something of social benefit. I guess it's just different values, and I shouldn't judge, but I can't help myself.  

Meanwhile, I've upset my landlady by saying I wasn't going to her party - she'd catered for exact numbers, she said. Maybe she thought it was just me being my usual anti-social self. Well, maybe she was partly right!

Best was phoning home and having a chat with my son and daughter for an hour. I also phoned my parents. My father was telling me that as a child he'd lived a couple of years in Ceylon when his father was stationed in Colombo, and he remembered how the monsoon season could be - heavy downpours coming at the same time each day, usually at 4pm he recalled, just as he returned home from school.  Here, they were coming regularly at 5pm for a while - perfect for drenching me on my way home from work!  But that was a month ago. We seem to be having mostly dry mornings and mostly wet afternoons at the moment.  And the mosquitoes love it!

We did have some other Christmas celebrations here - on Thursday, Adopt Sri Lanka had arranged a day in Galle having a few party games and going for a pizza. It was good fun, overall. I did spend four hours in a van with a coughing Field Officer - I reckon it's a 100% certainty he's the one to blame for what I've now got. Thanks, mate!  Actually, there seems to be a lot of it going around, so it could have come from anywhere.

Anyway, today I'm feeling a bit better. I'll probably wander up to town to the Polla, and buy some fruit and veg.  I also have a  little project on  - I've collected 400 educational blogs, partly for me, partly for the teachers I teach, and partly for the folk on Twitter. I now have to plan how to make the file available so that everyone can subscribe, should they want to. I'll tell you more tomorrow.

So, that's it. You'll notice that religion doesn't feature largely in my life. That's because I have no religious beliefs. I always feel a bit of a hypocrite wishing folk "Merry Christmas" at this time of year because of the religious connotations. But, in so far as it means goodwill to everybody, we should be wishing that all year round, really, shouldn't we? Christmas is not just for Christmas! But I guess that once a year is better than nothing.

Christmas, in so far as it means buying frivolous junk, over-eating, over-drinking, and doing everything to excess, should remain just for Christmas. Or better, never!

And, bringing it home about the over-indulgent side of Christmas, I just spotted an advert in the Washington Post "how to stop your brain from over-eating" next to an article about desperate Ethiopians risking everything so that their families have enough to survive.

Anyway, hope you all had good Christmases, and may the good bits continue for the next 12 months!


  1. Hello Clive
    Merry Christmas! Actually it's 5.30pm Boxing Day here, but anyway!

    A good tool for your bookmarks might be

    I haven't made one yet myself, but have used a Christmas one shared by someone else.


  2. Hi Judy, Thank you and Merry Chistmas to you too!
    Yes, Boxing Day here too. A poignant date in this part of the world - more than 230,000 people died this day in 2004 Tsunami.

    Don't think Live binders allows you to search all subscribed blogs and their archives. That's what makes these RSS readers so valuable!

    All the Best