Sunday, 22 November 2009


"I wear the chain I forged in life,'' replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?''

Scrooge trembled more and more.

"Or would you know,'' pursued the Ghost, "the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!''

This is Jacob Marley's revelation that since his death and the ending of his partnership with Ebenezer Scrooge seven Christmas Eves past, Scrooge has continued to increase the burden he will face in the afterlife through his unkind attitude and deeds in this life.

This may sound overly sentimental to you dear blogger, but since the early nineteen eighties, every year, without fail, in the run up to Christmas I have read Charles Dickens Christmas Carol. I don't know what it is about the story and sentiment of what Dickens wrote about in difficult early Victorian times back around 1843, but it is evocative of hardship, inequality, hopelessness but in the end gives rise to a certain hope that things can be changed with simple good deeds, good intentions and kindness. Either way, it is an addictive story, beautifully constructed.

Of course these days are like a Sunday afternoon picnic compared to the England that Dickens knew and cared desperately about, none-the-less lessons can be learned and people can make a difference.

Last night I went to see 'Scrooge' a musical at the Hull New Theatre starring Tommy Steele. Although the script took liberties with the original because it had to be adapted to become 'easier on the ear' family entertainment, the story was not lost. It was fun with good effects, sound, singing, acting and sets all in top form and Tommy Steele at 73 still has the most extraordinary voice.

If you can't get the book or don't want to buy it, you can read it online for free. Click here to get it.

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

In the dead of night, a Navy Captain saw a light dead ahead on collision course with his ship.

He sent a signal straight away which read, "Change your course ten degrees east."

The signal fired straight back, "You change your course ten degrees west."

Infuriated, the Captain sent another signal, "I'm a Navy Captain, you change your course."

The reply came straight back, "I'm a seaman second class, you change yours Sir."

Now incandescent with rage the Captain signalled, "I'm a battleship - I'm not changing course."

The reply came, "I'm a lighthouse, please yourself."

Chat soon


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