19 December 2008

Icy, Icy, Icy. . .

Here is a late-Victorian image of Father Christmas/Saint Nicholas. I like his chest full of old-fashioned toys that he is emptying out. Remember when people were satisfied with simpler items and found pleasure in simpler activities? Now, it's all about blinking lights, bells, and whistles -- Blackberries, I-Phones, I-Pods, Tivo, mobile phones, FaceBook, and MySpace. Or so it seems. My, how times have changed.

I think that one of the unstated (and perhaps unrealized) little tragedies of our age, and I'm guilty of this myself to some extent, is that many of us, regardless of our age, have lost the ability to find pleasure in simple things. For example, sitting quietly with a book, or a walk in the country/park. Well, I hope the coming holiday period will see many of you Stollen regulars being able to do just that. Or perhaps playing a game of toy soldiers with other enthusiasts. Or maybe a few productive afternoons or evenings of painting? Or just a nice conversation with your spouse, partner, or a friend over a cup of coffee or tea. You know, the simple things.

As you can see from these two photographs, we had quite an ice storm in the night, which brought down a number of large limbs from our Sycamore trees (Plane Trees I think is what people in the U.K. and Commonwealth countries call them). This happened up and down the street. So, the Grand Duchess and I will have to brave the ice later this afternoon and clear up the front yard a bit. Fortunately, nothing actually hit the house when it fell. Last June, a large branch fell on the corner of a house in the next street and cause quite a bit of damage, so we feel lucky there.

You can see how much of a mess we have in our front yard at the moment. Looks like our work is cut out for us. Whew! Nothing that a cup of coffee and a slice or two of stollen won't cure afterwards though. ;-) Now, wasn't there a game of soldiers going on here recently?


andygamer said...

Toronto is getting a big storm right now with the winds coming hard from the east, Stokes. So you'll probably be having alot of snow in IL tomorrow. Luckily, it's so cold that it's keeping the snow fairly light and not slushy, 'packing' snow, so it's not been too bad for shovelling the twice I've been out so far.

Bluebear Jeff said...

I agree with you about 'simple things' . . . another that I might mention is just lying on the grass watching the clouds (a bit difficult this time of year, of course).

Another is playing 'fetch' with your dog . . . and enjoying their joy.

My dear wife's baby sister and her three-year-old daughter just arrived for a six-day visit. It is 'Holiday Time' here on Vancouver Island.

-- Jeff

tradgardmastare said...

Photos quite amazing. We know of folk ,through my wife's family in America and have heard of the Ice Storms- I had not seen photos before.I trust the clean up went well and the Stollen was well earned I'll bet...
Simple things message was just what ,me for one , needed to hear. I wish that for my fellow bloggers.
I watched the end of Miracle on 42nd street with the family after tea ( the remake one) and fell asleep... waking up for the lovely ending. I'm off until the 5th and count myself really fortunate- books,paints,mulled wine await I hope...

Martin said...

Hi Stokes,

Say....That's quite a potential woodpile in the front yard! Are you going to run it through a wood chipper or just pile it together and light it up on New Year's Eve?!

I'm looking forward to the next installment of the wargame.



Fitz-Badger said...

At least none of the branches look too thick.
I'm looking forward to a few simple things myself over the next couple of weeks.

Stryker said...

Stokes - that looks vey exciting. Here in Devon (UK) it's a major event if a slight frost is reported!


Grimsby Mariner said...

Stokes couldn't agree more.
I have a stack of novels I want to read and weith almost two weeks off work soon I'm looking forward to reading and drinking coffee whilst watching the world go by.
Perhaps a bit of painting too.

Looks like some mighty big bonfires around your way soon.

Bluebear Jeff said...

I guess I'm weird . . . I see those pictures of those downed branches and I wonder how much of it would be useful in making trees and other terrain pieces for the table top.

-- Jeff


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