Merry Christmas 2013

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184 Responses to Merry Christmas 2013

  1. Steve D

    Merry Christmas to all.

    Especially Cats.

  2. Infidel Tiger

    Joyeux Noël to all.

    It really is the most wonderful time of year. Short skirts, champagne, no work, cricket and hangovers. Thank you lord.

  3. Gab

    A peaceful and joyful Christmas wished to all.

  4. Megan

    A very Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

  5. Percy

    Merry Christmas to all at Catallaxy.

    It has been a pleasure to learn from, and occasionally be infuriated by, all of you here since I found this site. Hope everyone has a great day and stays safe over the holidays.

  6. Tintarella di Luna

    Hi Gab

    Hope you have a lovely day, it’ll be a quiet family do this year only a dozen, one sibling can’t make it so numbers are down. At least it’s not stinking hot. Another hour and the turkey will have it’s goose cooked. Then it’s goodnight/morning heaven knows when the big boy will nod off, he was so excited this afternoon he knows Santa is coming and was trying mightily to get into the room where all the presents are wrapped. One year vigilance was lax and I had to re-wrap the lot, another he got to the presents for his support workers (chocolates in china cups) – well he broke the cups and ate the chocolates – so you can see it’s a work in progress or is that regress? no, no it’s definitely progress.

    Best wishes .

  7. JC

    Have a great Xmas everyone.

    If anyone wants a stoush I’ll be up until 1/2 hour after the market opens in the US, which means an 1 1/2 of good solid stoushing.

    Anyone notice what I have, in all the years stepford and his bobsey two, Fatboy have been here, they haven;t once wished people here a good Xmas and New Year. Not even once. What a bunch of miserable grudge induced douchebags.

  8. JABL

    To one & all, even the trolls and the atheists, particularly the atheists, may God bless you one and all.

    He is born.

    And like it or not [and believe me I have tried the not] he died for us.

    It all seems so treacly. But the glory of God persists.

    May you all find the peace in this life that otherwise we only find at the end.

  9. M0nty issued a Christmas wish in the open thread today, the devious bastard.

    (Merry Christmas, M0nty).

  10. gabrianga

    Merry Christmas and a Guid New Year folks.

  11. Helen

    Merry Christmas all cats, hope you all have a wonderful day, get merry and utterly enjoy it. And hope you food tastes wonderful all you cat cooks and that it is consumed with love and appreciation, if not sheer gluttony. XX

  12. John Comnenus

    Merry Christmas to all.

  13. Turtle of WA

    Merry Christmas everybody.

  14. JC

    M0nty issued a Christmas wish in the open thread today, the devious bastard.

    (Merry Christmas, M0nty).

    Did he? I bet it was gritted teeth. The other bobsey didn’t though and never has. Spuds possibly can’t because after the last outbreak of madness he maybe locked up in the padded cell getting electric shock treatment. That fucker is a complete commie and I’m surpised he never went to the other side. He would have loved it in NV.

  15. John Comnenus

    Spare a thought for the forgotten Christians living in the Islamic world. A number will be killed for their faith over the next 24 hrs. No one in the West will say a thing.

  16. sdfc

    Merry Christmas JC, you scum sucking pig.

  17. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Merry Christmas, one and all. I remember my Scots heritage, and kick off at New Year……

  18. JC

    Merry Christmas JC, you scum sucking pig.

    Any reason for that outbreak of abuse, SDFC? Do I deserve such a thing.

  19. Ant

    Thanks. My best Christmas wishes to all and a safe and happy 2014.

  20. sdfc

    Just pissed and taking the piss JC. I’ll be glad when it’s all over. The best thing about Chrissie is watching the kids open their presents.

  21. JC

    I know SDFC, you’re a good guy and was fucking with you. Merry Xmas too. What a year. Stocks are up to a record in the US and The Kenyan is like TB in the polls.

  22. sdfc

    Good year for you JC? I assume you got on the QE wagon.

  23. JC

    Good year for you JC? I assume you got on the QE wagon.

    Best fucking year ever SDFC. I had this year pegged from the very beginning. First with the Japanese QE and then with the US QE add on middish year. The best and laziest year ever as I really didn’t have much to do.

    Currencies were shit though. There were two trades for the year as far as I’m concerned. Short the Yen at the beginning and then later short the aussie above parity.

    I think 2014 is going to be pretty good too again in the US and I’m betting a stronger dollar and the introduction of QE or more aggressiveness from the ECB, so it could also be a Europe year.

    I’m really personally happy how this year turned out for me in my trading.

    The thing I’m watching like a sea eagle is the Jap bond market as I’m concerned though no a great deal that it could rupture and then all bets are off.

  24. JC

    The US reminds me an awful lot of Australia in the 90′s and we could have a virtuous circle for years and years without another recession. I really think the Fed is moving towards a form of NGDP targeting and that would be massive for stocks.

  25. sdfc


    The missus is wrapping the last of the presents, once she’s done I’m likely to be called in so I may disappear at any minute.

    But before I go

    Even with the deleveraging we’ve seen US private debt levels still worry me. Where is the money growth going to come from once QE is done?

    Europe still has major problems. What assets is the ECB going to buy?

    The BoJ will set a price for JGBs to keep a lid on rates if it comes to it I reckon

  26. JC

    Even with the deleveraging we’ve seen US private debt levels still worry me.

    I’m not hugely worried as i think the Fed will keep rates low for a very long time.

    Where is the money growth going to come from once QE is done?

    If the economy gathers some steam there won’t be a need to QE.

    Europe still has major problems. What assets is the ECB going to buy?

    Bonds, possibly a sprinkling across the board.

    The BoJ will set a price for JGBs to keep a lid on rates if it comes to it I reckon

    Yea and if they do, then the yen will go through the floor. You skin the cat that way then :-)

  27. Foggyfig

    Merry Christmas to all.

    I wish to thank you all for some fun reading since I stumbled upon the Catallaxy Files. I have also been educated along the way.

    Hope you all have a peaceful and safe holiday.

  28. westie woman

    Merry Christmas to everyone

    Thanks again to all who post here as I have really learnt a lot – my previous understanding of economics was pretty woeful

    I’ve joined IPA this year – influenced by this blog

    I’ve picked up some great lines to use with my lefty friends and family – thanks

    And tonight I can’t sleep because I’m busy watching NORAD’s Santa Tracker!

    Actually I’ve just finished making the trifle for Christmas lunch…

  29. kelly liddle

    Merry Christmas to all.

  30. squawkbox

    Happy Xmas and thanks to all of you cats, who have convinced me that even if I’m crazy I’m in excellent company.

  31. will

    Spare a thought for the forgotten Christians living in the Islamic world. A number will be killed for their faith over the next 24 hrs. No one in the West will say a thing.

    “The most under reported foreign news story of 2013 is the pogrom against Christians in Islamic countries. It is doubtful that there is a close second place finisher. The story is gruesome and the rationale for both the killing and the silence about it lies in a mainstream interpretation of Islam – one that is far more prevalent in the Middle East than the West will admit.

    The pogrom is the inexorable result of Islamic teaching and Western indulgence. It is, after all, directed at Christians because there are no more Jews left to persecute.”

  32. will

    That fucker is a complete commie and I’m surpised he never went to the other side. He would have loved it in NV.

    NO. That would be too capitalistic for him. North Korea would better suit.

  33. will

    Merry Christmas to all and a big thank you to both Sinc for hosting and all those who wrote articles for the Cat.

  34. will

    As always, David Thompson’s Christmas Tidings is worth a look.

  35. will

    There is a point that, if you collect too much information, it becomes too big to analyse. One marketing executive I worked with called it Paralysis by Analysis.

    The NSA’s controversial phone-records program has been of little real value to American security. Yet its defenders continue to insist that it is necessary, clinging desperately to long-debunked claims about foiled terror plots. Their stubbornness fits a decade-long pattern of fear trumping evidence whenever the word “terrorism” is uttered—a pattern it is time to finally break.

    Since the disclosure of the NSA’s massive domestic phone-records database, authorized under a tortured reading of the Patriot Act’s Section 215 authority to obtain business records, intelligence officials and their allies in Congress have claimed it plays a vital role in protecting Americans from “dozens” of terror attacks.

    But as the expert panel Obama appointed to review the classified facts concluded, in a report released Wednesday, that just isn’t true.

    “Our review suggests that the information contributed to terrorist investigations by the use of section 215 telephony meta-data was not essential to preventing attacks,” the report found, “and could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using conventional section 215 orders.”

    In other words, instead of vacuuming up sensitive information about the call patterns of millions of innocent people, the government could have followed the traditional approach of getting orders for specific suspicious numbers.

    As for those “dozens” of attacks, the review groups found that the NSA program “generated relevant information in only a small number of cases, and there has been no instance in which NSA could say with confidence that the outcome would have been different without the section 215 telephony meta-data program.”


  36. gabrianga

    Santa left me a little message before he and Rudolph f****d off home.

    Passing over my home base in the Gorbals he picked it up that the hit name for boys born in Glasgow during 2013 was Muhammed

    Scottish pride?

  37. Cold-Hands

    A Happy and Holy Christmastide to the Cat and all who sail in her.
    I hope everyone gets to enjoy today with friends and family.

  38. gabrianga

    Oh such relief. It was Muhammad with an A.

    Still it looks like” hey Jimmy” will soon no longer be the friendly address when meeting a stranger or someone whose name you’ve forgotten?

    An early malt is on the cards this Christmas Day.

  39. A Lurker

    Merry Christmas to all here (even the Lefties).

    Btw, I was driving around yesterday doing last minute Christmas chores and shopping when I heard on the car radio Shorten’s Christmas message and him going on how wonderful Christmas was – because it was all about family and how watching children unwrap presents etc., made the day unforgettable. I almost gagged when I heard that – I mean he wasn’t thinking much about family when he up and left his (previous) wife Deborah Beale, to have an affair with the already married Chloe Bryce, and then to top if all off, to break up that marriage and then marry her instead; and then there are these new allegations which I will not mention except that if true, Shorten will be in a world of trouble about.

    Shorten = hypocritical tosser

  40. Robert Blair

    Merry Christmas everybody.

    Many thanks to Sinc.

    Because of this blog I’ve joined the IPA and the LDP.

    It is 6:30 am Christmas Day – the little kids next door woke me with their shrieks of delight opening their first presents at 6:00 am.

    My own 15 year old is sound asleep – he has grown out of the early morning Christmas excitement.

    Luke 2:10: And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people”.

  41. Blogstrop

    Apologies for my meltdown last night at the stupid spaminator!
    Now, best wishes to all for Christmas day, except for those who delight in the insults along the lines of Sky Fairy and Imaginary Friend. You guys just have the usual day, ok?
    And a big thanks to all who make this site work, Sinc, Jaques, and all the regular posters.

  42. Rudiau

    Prettige Kerstdagen – Happy Christmas(days)
    Vrolijk kerstfeest – Merry Christmas(party)
    Fijne Kerst – Fine Christmas

    But I like this one, Merry Christmas because the Dutch speak better English than we do.
    Have a safe and happy holiday all.

  43. Rudiau

    John Comnenus
    Spare a thought for the forgotten Christians living in the Islamic world. A number will be killed for their faith over the next 24 hrs. No one in the West will say a thing.


  44. Mike of Marion

    Merry Christmas to you all. May the brandy-laced pudding be wonderful and full filling!!


  45. Dianeh

    Merry Christmas to all at the Cat.

  46. Mike of Marion

    Channel 9 Christmas Concert last night. Good perfomance from boy soprano Woodridge – hope circumstances are kind to him when his voice changes.

  47. calli

    Happy Christmas to all the Cats, naughty and nice, silly and smart, far and wide.

  48. struth

    Merry Christmas to all Cats.
    It’s a great blog, and I have enjoyed it this year. “Venting” is a healthy thing.
    So I wish you and yours a Great Christmas .

  49. Beef

    Merry Christmas everyone

    Fa la la la la…….la la la la

  50. There is a point that, if you collect too much information, it becomes too big to analyse. One marketing executive I worked with called it Paralysis by Analysis.

    It’s a quandary, I’m sure. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t and later realise you missed a piece, a la 9/11.

  51. WhaleHunt Fun

    It’ll be a merry Christmas only when the Australia resigns from the refugee convention and gives the leeching parasites 24 hours to leave before they’re subject to the death penalty.

  52. gabrianga

    The “big” news in U.K. Media 25/12/2013 is that “Toothy” Branson has called for a boycott on Uganda and it’s Government for it’s rules on homosexuality.

    The sooner he finds his way to and takes residence in outer space the better for all

  53. Bruce

    Merry Christmas to all blogging Cats!

    Sadly its not only the islamists who are persecuting Christians. There has been serious persecution by the Marxist government of Eritrea this year and some of the 80 people executed recently in North Korea recently were done so because they may have had bibles in their posession. Marxist utopias always seem to be fueled by blood, why is that?

  54. ChrisPer

    Merry Christmas everyone!
    Spare a thought also for those on the front lines, such as the private security here in PNG who daily face low-level combat to try and keep the business standing, and those on the front lines for us in the world struggle. And I give thanks because my boys came home OK.

  55. sabrina

    Bruce – also the violence in South Sudan continues with all the ething killing and rape.

    Also, spare a thought for the family in Perth – Teenage bashing victim dies in Perth hospital. What a sad loss of a young life. What has our society become? Will the legal system come down on the culprits with full force of law leaving political correctness aside?

    Nevertheless, Merry Christmas to you all; enjoy with your near and dear ones.

  56. WhaleHunt Fun

    But as the expert panel Obama appointed

    There has to be a stronger word for “expert panel Obama appointed” than merely oxymoron.
    I propose di-oxy-moron to mean twice as oxymoronic as oxymoron and with just a hint of the jaded scam that carbon dioxide induced is.
    This then is a dioxymoron of a phrase if ever there will be one.

  57. WhaleHunt Fun

    … induced global warming.

  58. GC

    Happy Xmas Cats! Presently holidaying in NYC and have just completed the Macy’s/Tiffany’s Xmas run …. -madness! Hope the family appreciate Dad’s (my) hard work, but am finally enjoying a Xmas eve drink in a bar on Madison Ave (solo).
    Wishing all the best to you guys!

  59. Makka

    Merry Xmas to all and have a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year!

  60. Tom

    I have a largish family do to attend in bushfire central, Diamond Creek, in Melbourne’s leafy northeastern suburbs (near the hippiedom of Eltham). I love every last one of my family and we all get on famously (the last Christmas Day ill-temper about 30 years ago is part of the family folklore). Apart from prezzies, all I have to make/bring is the brandy sauce (which I almost stuffed up last year). Hope you all enjoy you day and thanks for making the Cat so good.

  61. Jazza

    Merry Christmas, one and all
    My first vegan Christmas after all these long meat filled years, though I have bought four thick slices of ham for myself to liven my salad selections. (It’s damned hot lately on the Gold Coast!)

    Just got all the five salads and the fruit salad and fruit punch to do during the day and all my lot–14 of them at last count will be here at “big grans”–name courtesy of the 4yr old G/grandie boys and nothing to do with size!– by tonight’s Chrissie dinner!
    Oh and the cooking angels smiled on me as my very first try at a nonmeat meatloaf for them to cut slices, has held together,and I’ll know how it tastes about 1 minute after it hits a plate
    But what a pity I didn’t write down my exact measurements while I experimented!
    Oh well, 2014 is another year,and I’ve asked Santa to make sure I’m still here on earth next Christmas,please!.

  62. pete m

    have a merry time all.

    off to a lunch soon at mum’s. just turn up and cut the chooks – love it

    youngest of the brood had her usual quota of 2 tantys this morning

    oldest is quietly enjoying herself

    mum and dad worked $#%$#% off and now relaxing

    nice to just have own lot in the morning – calm before the storm later!

    don’t be silly with the drink peoples!!!


  63. eam

    Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year everyone.

  64. Boy on a bike

    Merry Xmas everyone. Try not to let your arteries explode.

  65. Mater

    Merry Christmas to all the Cats.
    May the best of your past be the worst of your future.

  66. Carpe Jugulum

    メリークリスマス 新年明けましておめでとうございます。

    Meri Kurisumasu shinnen akemashite omedetou gozaimasu

    Enjoy the day troops

  67. J.H.

    Merry Christmas one and all.

  68. Baldrick

    A joyous Christmas to all at the Cat. Have a good one.

  69. johanna

    Eat, drink and be merry, everyone.

    Special wishes for Sinc – whose Christmas bonuses from Big Oil, Big Pharma etc are now presumably safely lodged in the bank. ;) After all, no-one would do all that work just because of conviction, would they?

    Also, to fellow members of the Canberra Cats Collective – there’s a big year coming up as the bureaucracy fights back. Let’s build up our strength with good food and drink for the fight ahead!

  70. Vicki

    Thank you all for your good humour, irony, sharp wit & humanity throughout 2013.
    God bless you all and all who you love.

  71. Tracey

    Best wishes from me to all at the Cat. I enjoy every minute I get to spend here. Have a lovely day everyone.

  72. Michel Lasouris

    Can I put a contrarian view? I’m so over Christmas. I have now managed to completely stop the sending of cards to this house, together with the giving and receiving of presents. I just ignore this out-dated and pointless festival.
    Mind you, it has taken about five years to achieve my nirvana, made somewhat easier by not having any relatives. All necessary rations bought in well before, so now I hunker down and wait until the Sales have finished. My only regret is the paucity of sensible comment on the blogosphere…..

  73. JimD

    Good morning and Merry Christmas everyone.

  74. Kaboom

    A joyous and safe Christmas to the Cat-people!

  75. gabrianga

    Perhaps Michael of ” My only regret is the paucity of sensible comment on the blogosphere” you could be nominated sole contributor….but then again….that might just increase the paucity?

    Merry Christmas and cheer up, even just a wee bit?

  76. larrikin

    Merry Christmas and many happy returns, Cats.
    The war against the enemies of civilization resumes tomorrow

  77. Ronaldo

    Merry Christmas to all, and let’s hope that with a new Senate, 2014 sees the termination of some of Labor’s disastrous policies. And thank you Carpe for the Japanese greeting – I am trying to learn some Japanese and was pleased to find that I could actually read the Hiragana characters!

  78. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Merry Christmas, Cats. I would cook for you all if you turned up here. And don’t forget my cooking is improving. The turkey is stuffed and ready to go in the oven. Big sis will be noisily around soon bringing her own bicarb for the beans. Refuses to eat them otherwise. Shades of our Sainted Mother whom we will remember with a glass of Green Ginger Wine, her favourite tipple. All kids have had their Santa presents but the family present opening is after lunch, a tradition from Da Hairy Ape’s more formal upbringing. Twelve here for lunch today and sis’ s large set of affinal rellies (aboriginal, Maori, Indian and Sri Lankan, and Okker Ozzies) here tomorrow. She’s been married a few times. HIA and I both see those from our earlier marriages tomorrow night. Christmas does bring in so many people who matter to you. Hope all Cats enjoy and get through the merriment safely and without undue tears. Hug your family and condolences to all near and far to the Cat who grieve. Rembering here also those who are being persecuted for their beliefs.

  79. Nanuestalker

    Merry Christmas Cats.

  80. Mike of Marion

    Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.
    #1123578, posted on December 25, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Green Ginger Wine – a crucial survival “package” when at the after-meeting upper car park discussions at the former Rowley Park Speedway in Brompton, South Australia in the 1950-1970s.

    Or if you were a section checkpoint crew in an overnight car rally in the outback of South Australia on a cold night!!!!!

  81. Merry Christmas Cats.

    Thank you again Sinc’ and Jacques for providing this wonderful site.

  82. Gab

    John Comnenus
    Spare a thought for the forgotten Christians living in the Islamic world. A number will be killed for their faith over the next 24 hrs. No one in the West will say a thing.


    The “big” news in U.K. Media 25/12/2013 is that “Toothy” Branson has called for a boycott on Uganda and it’s Government for it’s rules on homosexuality.

  83. C.L.

    … Branson has called for a boycott on Uganda and it’s Government for it’s rules on homosexuality.


  84. MacBeth

    Thank you Cats for an entertaining 2013. Time to reflect and count our blessings. A happy Christmas to you all.

  85. Steve of Glasshouse

    Merry Christmas all. 0400 start with 4 cats in the house deciding to carol in the day.
    3rd espresso..

  86. The Pugilist

    Merry Christmas Cats…

    Apologies for not posting regularly and not catching up with my Canberra Cat Collective mates lately. I’ve been busy getting fit and losing weight. 2013 has seen me lose almost 30kgs and I’ve run more kms in the last year than I have in my other 35 years on earth…
    Rest assured I have been lurking and enjoying the banter.

    P.S. I promise to catch up with my CCC buddies in the new year…

  87. rafiki

    Not being with it re Cat conventions, I posted on the open thread. So as to to be thought a devious bastard by JC, may I say season’s greetings to you all. (And thank you, old boy, for the tip re US shares.)

  88. Mindfree

    John Comnenus
    Spare a thought for the forgotten Christians living in the Islamic world. A number will be killed for their faith over the next 24 hrs. No one in the West will say a thing.

    But the US LSM will still bang on about the Robertsons

    Merry Xmas all – seafood today, turkey tomorrow

  89. val majkus

    Hi Cats
    Happy Christmas to all Cats!
    I’ve recently been on a little trip. Whilst there I spent some very pleasant time with Armadillo (ladies think a young Clarke Gable with a dash of Russel Crowe) and his delightful other half (gentlemen think of the glamour of Audrey Hepburn).
    Since returning home I’ve decided to relocate to my old haunts so busy buying, selling, polishing, cleaning cupboards for all those open houses, and betwixt persuading my little Burmese that it’s all a good idea about which she’s not at all sure. So no time for measured considered comments on the Cat blog.
    But I have lurked some evenings and the quality is as high as ever!
    Thanks to Sinc and Jacques for making it all possible and to all commenters for the entertainment

  90. Jo Smyth

    First Cat Christmas for me. Have enjoyed this year reading all your comments..

    Happy Christmas and healthy New Year to you all. At my age, health is number one thought. X

  91. rafiki

    JC – that should have been “not to be thought a devious bastard”.

    Michael Smith notes that Bill Shorten has a Christmas message for all those who face an uncertain future. Hmmn.

  92. Infidel Tiger

    … Branson has called for a boycott on Uganda and it’s Government for it’s rules on homosexuality.


    I notice Branson hasn’t called for a boycott of India. That would cost him too much money.

  93. Denise

    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all the Cats. Thank you Sinclair for maintaining this site.

    Just a reminder of our Lord’s ‘wish list’ for us humans:

    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8.

    Let us hope our Prime Minister will be merciful when mercy is necessary and just when that is necessary too. No misplaced compassion for criminals who’ve fleeced the Australian people with impunity for years. Hoping for a new broom sweeping through many dusty, bat and spider infested corners. And light to expose all that and stop it.

    Thank You Lord that I didn’t have to hear Gillard or Rudd’s Christmas message this year.

  94. By way of Christmas cheer, I commented on another thread about ABC staff:

    Or worse, read the news in an air-conditioned studio for 30 minutes, 20 nights a month for 9 months, and then need a 3 month ‘well earned break’ on full pay.

    I am put in mind of this by the sight of our cat doing something which we refer to as ‘reading the news’.

    When he uses his litter tray for a wee, he squats down in a very human-type position, and his face assumes an expression of quite unexpected intelligence and seriousness. The first time we saw this, my sister said, ‘Put a pair of glasses on him, and he could read the news’.

    And he doesn’t need a three-month break, and he’d work for sardines.

  95. Rafe

    I will work for peanuts!

    Merry Christmas Hammy and all the other Cats.

    Pray for me, my cable went down last night and Telstra will have to send someone to fix a problem in the street.

  96. I’ve been searching to find something appropriate to post at Christmas.
    This turned up in the parish newsletter, and it fits well.
    The baby Jesus was, it should be remembered, a displaced person at the time of His birth.
    If posting this makes me a bleeding heart, so be it.
    That’s a badge I’ll always wear with pride.
    Anyway – a Holy Christmas to the Cat readers, and read the following with the season in mind….

    Lazarus at Our Gate. Australian Catholic Bishops ‘ 2013 Social Justice Message

    “In the Gospel parable, the rich man’s failure is not an overt cruelly, but an indifference to human suffering. The rich man passes Lazarus constantly but never actually ‘sees’ him – never actually recognizing Lazarus’ need.

    We cannot be at peace, eating our fill, in the knowledge that a sister or brother lies hungry or sick at our gate. We know that such a state of affairs is as far as it can be from the vision of God. Our God is revealed as a God of abundance and hospitality who gives life to the world, bread to the hungry ·. And Christ as our guide and saviour… God in Jesus chooses humility, service and self-emptying as the hallmarks of a love which is everlasting – sumptuous and rich”.

    By the end of 20 12, the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide exceeded 45 million, the highest level of displacement since 1994. These are men, women and children driven from their homes by war or civil violence.

    Often these people are forced to seek refuge in countries that are themselves facing significant struggles. Eighty per cent of refugees are seeking protection in developing countries, making it even harder for those nations to lift themselves out of poverty in 2012, Pakistan hosted the largest number of refugees ( l.6 million), followed by Iran (868,000) Syria hosted 477,000 refugees and, with the recent terrible violence, 647,000 have fled seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

    For millions of refugees, it will be many years before they can find a home again some never do. Of the refugee population under the mandate of the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees, around two thirds – 6.4 million people. – had been in these circumstances for five years or longer Refugee camps can be the size of small cities. T he one in Dadaab , Kenya, is home to about half a million people, including some 10,000 third-generation refugees born in the camp. Not only have these people lost access to t heir livelihoods, their extended families and their faith communities , but they are very often prevented from moving around freely, earning a living wage or planning for their futures.

    Those displaced from their homes are prone to trauma, causing them to experience poverty at many different levels no matter how high their education or employment levels before.

    Facing these odds, it is no wonder that many are forced into desperate choices — living hand-to­ mouth in slums or shanty towns — are spending their last savings on risky journeys to places they hope can protect them . The Catholic Church has been a source of hope and assistance to those on the move around the globe. That basic level of human solidarity – hospitality to the stranger and refuge for those seeking protection – as been lacking in our national political debate over the past decade The recent increase in the n umber of people arriving by boat is insignificant by world standards. In 2012, as a country like Pakistan struggled to accommodate 1.6 mill ion refugees, Australia’s political leaders and media whipped up hysteria over the arrival of 17,000 asylum seekers in Australian waters.

    We have been saddened to see part of our international aid budget diverted to funding for asylum seekers being processed is n our community These are men and women who richly deserve our support, but not at the expense of others in desperate need Any reduction or diversion of international aid funds remains a concern, particularly where those funds are directed at addressing many of the problems that ca use people to flee their homelands.

    The depth and breadth of poverty that still exists in our world calls us to action. That so many suffer multiple burdens of deprivation prompts deep soul searching. How is it that so many are excluded from enjoying spiritual, cultural, educational, social, economic and political freedoms? How is it that so many still lie like Lazarus at our gate, bearing in t heir bodies the cost of their struggle and denied access to the table of participation and solidarity time and again. This is the challenge for us, as Australians and as members of the global community, as we seek the path to reducing and eliminating poverty in the years to come.

    The parishioners have put their money where their mouths are, making a refugee appeal the target of the usual Christmas masses. I was one taking the plate around at the 8.30am mass. My plate had lots of $20s and $50s in it…..

  97. eb

    Merry Xmas to all at the Cat!
    Looking forward to catching up with the Canberra Cat Collective in the New Year.

  98. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    The baby Jesus was, it should be remembered, a displaced person at the time of His birth

    Wasn’t his father a carpenter? Even then, a good tradie could find work whereever he went?

  99. jupes

    Merry Christmas to all at the Cat.

  100. stackja

    #1123690, posted on December 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm
    Merry Christmas to all at the Cat.

    My Fav

  101. The baby Jesus was, it should be remembered, a displaced person at the time of His birth.

    This is a lie, a deliberate lie.
    Either a lie, or the author hasn’t bothered to brush up on the bible lately.

    Jesus, at the time of his birth, was a victim of a controlling nanny state.
    He was born in a pub, instead of at home, coz his parents were travelling. The law at the time was you had to return to your place of origin to be counted in the census. Mary & Joseph were poor people, forced by a nanny state to travel to somewhere they didn’t want to be, so they could be counted by some government jobsworth.

    Jesus was anything but displaced.

    Anyone stating he was, is either a liar, or is stupid.

    Which are you Numbers? Liar or too stupid to know what you are typing?

  102. Merilyn

    Merry Christmas everyone thank you for some excellent comments this year, looking forward to reading comments from you in 2014.

    Take care and enjoy the break.

    Numbers just once couldn’t you have simply said “Merry Christmas”‘ ?

  103. Porcelain Monkey

    Merry Christmas to all the Cats.

    May your over-indulgence be spectacular, and peace be upon your family gatherings.

  104. Annie A

    Merry Christmas Cats!

    I have enjoyed reading your musings this year and the occasional participation!

    Stay healthy and happy in 2014!

    Annie A

  105. He was born in a pub, instead of at home, coz his parents were travelling (sic).
    Yep – He was traveling – not out of choice – so he was by definition, displaced.
    Nothing you have said alters the historical fact – but you have sought to make a political point.
    Very bad manners.
    You’ll notice that I didn’t go into why He was displaced.
    It took Steve at the Pub to drag that into the discussion.
    Have a Holy Christmas Steve, and leave your bigotry out of it.
    Most can…but there are always exceptions.

  106. will

    Numbers, I think everyone here is fed up with your fuckwittery

  107. Michel Lasouris

    Just read a yarn about a Ms Nicholls who travel 3000kms a week delivering mail to the outback.
    What a pity that Australia Post can’t deliver mail to me, just 4kms out of their “town Limit” and, moreover makes me PAY for a post box at the post Office, the cost of which makes each letter sent to me cost another 25cents on top of the stamp (60c?)

  108. Makka

    #1123730, posted on December 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm
    Numbers, I think everyone here is fed up with your fuckwittery


    Let’s hope Sinc agrees.

  109. John Comnenus

    Numbers, you are an ignorant clown, clearly bereft of any education on matters biblical and grossly offensive to raise such cheap idiocy at Christmas. The Roman census required all citizens to be counted in the place of their birth. Mary and Joseph travelled from their place of residence, Nazareth, to the place of Joseph’s birth, Bethlehem.

    Joseph was a carpenter and therefore a small business man. Furthermore, Jesus was explicitly pro profit, see the parable of the Talents, and pro flexible wages paid at differing rates to workers, see the parable of the workers in the vineyard.

  110. Delta A

    Happy, holy Christmas to all cats. Thanks for all the years of education, stoushes and scintillating repartee.

  111. Des Deskperson

    Jah Rastafari, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah!!!

  112. John Comnenus

    21 Christians raped and killed in Congo by Muslim extremists. No comment from the Catholic Church. But of course the Bishops have plenty to say about those fleeing Islam without mentioning the cause. The Catholic Bishops are pathetic shepherds who lay silent whilst the flick is ravaged, only making comment about the pitiful plight of the wolves. Disgusting.

  113. John Comnenus

    I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas as much as I did.

  114. incoherent rambler

    I’ve been searching to find something appropriate to post at Christmas.

    A clear majority wish that you would not.

  115. blogstrop

    Even today, Numbers can’t resist being a complete prick. He does not deserve to be here.

  116. 1735099

    Jesus was a carpenter and therefore a small business man
    And Mathew 21:12 provIdes a pretty clear account of His views on the free market.

  117. Tiny Dancer

    Merry Xmas everyone all the way from the fabulous Canadian Rockies.

  118. Tiny Dancer

    Numbers. You’re an idiot.

  119. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Tiny Dancer – a magnificent piece of scenery, are they not?

  120. CD

    It’s eventide and I finally got to sit down only to see a thread esp for greetings. My first year so I erred and placed them on the OT yesterday.

    Wishing you all bar certain trolls a Wonderful Xmas and may 2014 be another wonderful year at the Cat.
    Thanks Sinclair, Jacques, Steve, Judith, Rafe and all contributors I may have left out.

    Evil as it may be we went for a live crayfish which I had to slaughter as hubby had named it Craig and watched it flap around before anaesthetising the rather large beast. One half Thermidor, the other BBQd with garlic butter. Followed by hubby’s own plum pudding. What a splendid meal it was.

    Missed our only son in Melbourne as work wouldn’t give him time off but Brisbane put on a lovely day.

    Hope you all had the best day ever surrounded by family and friends or like us alone but enjoying a quiet time together.

  121. Tiny Dancer

    ZK2A. Truly truly magnificent and I’ve only seen less than 1%. I shall return in the future. Bloody big trees everywhere.

  122. JohnA

    1735099 #1123774, posted on December 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Jesus was a carpenter and therefore a small business man
    And Mathew 21:12 provIdes a pretty clear account of His views on the free market.

    Wrong again, Numbers. He was expressing his views about insider trading, currency manipulation, dishonest weights and measures, graft and corruption.

    You didn’t quote the next verse:

    “13 ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘“My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it “a den of robbers.”

  123. 1735099

    Insider trading, currency manipulation, dishonest weights and measures, graft and corruption
    All bog standard features of the unregulated free market.
    Jesus was right……..

  124. Brett_McS

    Merry Christmas to everyone! Started off well this morning when our lovely Persian cross cat (my avatar) returned after 8 days away. Very hungry. We thought he was lost.

  125. Gab

    Aww, he’s a gorgeous pussy, Brett by why’s he cross? (Har har).

  126. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Tiny Dancer, we did the touristy thing a few years ago, and crossed all of Canada by rail. Truly, truly magnificent as you say. (Montreal is the largest French speaking city in the world after Paris, and it was Oscar Wilde who said that Niagara Falls was the second biggest disappointment the American bride experienced on her honeymoon….) Flew out of Halifax – the site of the great Halifax explosion of World War One, and the last signal sent by a railway telegrapher “Stop all Trains..Stop all trains..Ship on fire and drifting to wharf. Goodbye boys, this is it.” still causes sober reflection. It is estimated that that signal halved the death toll.

  127. Gab

    returned after 8 days away

    Same thing happened to a friend’s moggy. Took off for about a week and returned two days ago. Must be Christmas :)

  128. Bons

    So who was the Labor appointed Federal Court judge that overturned Morrison’s expulsion order for an Iraqi thug.
    More importantly, why are the ‘refugee advocates’ still able to spend my money on court cases.
    Common Santa – no more pressies for the ‘naughty’ – we ‘nice’ can’t afford it any longer.

  129. wreckage

    All bog standard features of the unregulated free market.

    Um… no.

  130. Leo G

    Numbers may be presumptions to imply his fellow commenters are the goats to His left, but I do agree with his Catholic Bishops’ judgement that our government should not process asylum seekers in Australia- no matter how much they deserve our support- while there are others in more desperate need waiting to be processed offshore.

  131. blogstrop

    Jack The Insider decides to marshall the historical facts as he finds them and cast doubt on the traditional view of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.

    I’m sure we can look forward to his examination of the exploits of another well-known prophet and his night ride from Mecca to the site of the dome on the rock mosque in Jerusalem, thence catapulting heavenwards for a personal interview with God.

  132. Infidel Tiger

    Jesus was right……..

    Yep. He thinks you’re a fuckwit but forgives you. Oh and he thanks you got your service.

  133. harrys on the boat

    Merry Xmas everyone. Just hope nobody had to spend it alone.

  134. hammy

    More importantly, why are the ‘refugee advocates’ still able to spend my money on court cases.

    It’s not your money, Bons. It belongs to the community, and is allocated by the state.

  135. Michel Lasouris

    Hammy,technically you’re right, but I thought we voted the Socialists out so’s we could stop this labor profligacy

  136. iamok

    Google banner on Christmas Day – Happy Holidays!

    Govt worker I am meeting early in the New Year in response to my Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – “enjoy the break in between”.

    WTF is it with these Christmas turkeys? We live in a culture that traditionally celebrates Christmas, but maybe it’s the wrong tradition for the luvvies huh?

    Anyway, we Cats will press on. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, will enjoy a Happy and safe New Year, and enjoy the break in between. That is, of course, if you have a break – many don’t.

  137. Leo G

    WTF is it with these Christmas turkeys?

    Blogstrop offers the example of Jack the Insider- who insists Jesus was a Palestinian, despite the fact that the Romans only remained the province Palestine as a measure to reduce its association with the Jews after the Shimon Bar-Kokhbar Revolt was suppressed in 132AD.
    Moreover, the earliest Christian tradition for the birthdate of Jesus was based on the Orthodox Jewish Bible, which implies it was on the 25 September -5BC (15 Tishri AM 3756), and Jack’s assertion that Jesus had four brothers needs to be tempered by the knowledge that he was Mary’s firstborn.

  138. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Slightly irreverant thoughts of a couple of sheep farmers, after a very fine Christmas lunch, indeed.

    “Right, so you were the guys looking after the mob in the hills over Bethlehem. Right, so you went off to check out some story of a virgin having a baby in a manger in a roadside inn. Something about an angel?”

    “Well, while you were away – a virgin having a baby ? Rght. Somebody lifted the yellow tag ewes. All five hundred of them. Boss says that if that’s the best you can do, you can start looking for another job – now. Don’t ask for a reference, and the stock stealing squad says yours would be the thinnest alibi they have ever heard. An angel, right?”

  139. wreckage

    Merry Christmas! I had a fantastic day with family and lots of food. The kids had a great day and even overtired as they were, behaved admirably all day and into the night. It was ace!

  140. Splatacrobat

    Merry Christmas to all.

  141. Blogstrop

    Before the feeling passes, and the cargo cult of Boxing Day Sales takes over, check in to Peter Hitchens’ blog for a pointer to the past, a cause for carolling, a reminder of richness not born of mere material goods and services.

  142. Leo G

    I have no cause for carolling this morning Blogstrop, for the Beast of St Stephen torments me. Aspirin and coffee are my only allies.
    But before coffee, a correction.
    The Romans did not remain their province Palestine, but rather renamed it in 132AD. Before then, it was known as the Roman province of Judea (part of the larger province of Roman Syria) and before 6AD as the Herodian Kingdom of Judea (part of the Roman Territory of Syria). When the region was under Assyrian control, Herodotus referred to it as Palestine, apparently after Philistia, but none of the Assyrian, Babylonian or Persian administrations used that designation.

  143. Bons

    Wrong Rodent. It is a portion of my EARNINGS allocated to the GOVERNMENT on a contractual basis by the ELECTORATE to undertake the provision of certain services agreed under the Government’s mandate. The electorate chose on 7 Sep 2013 to no longer approve allocation of funds to kaftan wearing baby lawyers to work against the interests of the electorate.
    If the community (read don’t pay tax; only parasite on the productive element of the electorate) want to fund these type of cases then the will need to sell more tie dye at the local flee market to fund them.
    Back on your community treadmill.

  144. Rabz

    Well, back in ZP after a whirlwind visit to Sydney to catch up with family and friends. Had a fantastic time, lots of great food and company. Prawns and beer out in the backyard on Christmas Eve with my best mate, contemplating life and our general good fortune.

    Amazing to see the accumulation of toys that the little ones have nowadays. Back in my day of course, we were happy with a couple of rocks and some twigs.

    Third Christmas day in a row that has been cool and wet. Makes doing the Bay Run on Christmas morning a whole lot easier of course. Not the normal kind of hot indeed.

    Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas.

  145. Driftforge

    I hope a merry Christmas was had by all. We have 21 in the house over the break, so I was rather busy on the day; apologies for not catching this earlier.

    Have a good Boxing Day !

  146. jupes

    Who’d want to be a Pom these days?

    Not only have they lost the Ashes but back home the Muslim population has doubled in the last decade.

  147. Jazza

    Happy Boxing Day, folks!
    I’m very contented,as after all the fine feasting–two married grandies also cooked some noshes,and the extended 6 seater now 10 seater table fairly groaned–my youngest grand daughter of 18 announced to all as we started the big clean up-”The very best Christmas EVER!”
    So today is THE BIG BLUDGE except for the washing an ironing,and I’ll be full of leftovers by nightfall–guess I’m not going to be on my Pat Malone there!

  148. 132andBush

    Better late than never.

    Merry Christmas to all and thank you Sinc and others for a fantastic blog.

    Thanks also to the regular contributors. Lurking here is good for the mind.

    Hoping for a good season next year to make up for a rather patchy harvest this year.

  149. John Comnenus

    Been mixing it up while cleaning up after yesterday’s feast. Great fun to annoy the kids by playing the Beasts of Bourbon, Nick Cave, Nina Simone, Robert Cray and the Flowers on volume 11 on the new Bose docking station. LOL, kids going crazy – begging for mercy.

    I hope you all had a great Christmas.

    Now about stocking up on the Champagne for New Years!

  150. johanna

    John C. – now that’s what I call festive music!

    Since I’m feeling a bit fragile this morning, I have reverted to Steely Dan and Mazzy Star for now. But by 2pm I intend to be ready for Hawkwind!

  151. Gab

    Watching the cricket. FGS, they had some pale-skinned woman clutching a eucalypt branch doing “Welcome to Country.

    Sickening. This entire “welcome” farce is an absurdity dreamt up by Ernie Dingo and Richard Walley in the mid-1970s.

    Once more for the dummies:

    As recently elected Northern Territory MP and traditional Warlpiri woman Bess Price told a reporter from The Australian last month, these ceremonies were not meaningful to traditional people. “We don’t do that in communities,” she said.

    “It’s just a recent thing. It’s just people who are trying to grapple at something they believe should be traditional.”

    Moreover, rather than the acknowledgment of traditional owners being a symbol of reconciliation, many of its utterances are, on any objective assessment, disrespectful. Those who make them rarely take the trouble to discover the actual name of the local clan, but simply acknowledge nameless “elders” or “the traditional owners”.

  152. JC

    Those who make them rarely take the trouble to discover the actual name of the local clan, but simply acknowledge nameless “elders” or “the traditional owners”.

    Andy Leigh is always doing that.

  153. David

    Watched that pale skinned sheila also Gab. Dr Aunty someone or other.

    Gets up my nose as I refuse to be welcomed into the country I was born in and for which my family has borne arms over four generations in some confected feel good wank. I have walked out of several conferences where this rubbish has preceded the official opening. It is devisive crap and does nothing to advance the genuine needs of aboriginal people.

    The one I didn’t walk out of due to prior intelligence about the first speaker following “the Welcome” was a hoot. His opening went something like this;

    “I also have an acknowledgement. I wish to acknowledge the men of the 39th Battalion and the 2nd AIF who stood across a track in New Guinea and without whom all you pricks would be speaking Japanese if you were here at all”

    Can’t remember what his paper was about but he got a large and long round of applause.

    Enough of that. I trust all at this blog had a great Christmas Day [including the trolls] and I look forward to the coming year

  154. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I refuse to be welcomed into the country I was born in

    My grandfather pioneered this place soon after the First World War. When a “welcome to country” ceremony was first mooted here, he was emphatic. “Nothing. No campsites, no fireplaces, no middens, no skeletons, no cave paintings – no sign that mine weren’t the first footprints ever over this land.” The local school continues to “acknowledge the traditional owners of the land” – most of the children couldn’t care lass.

  155. struth

    The welcome to country is pure crap.
    You know that for the simple fact that although they do this all over the country now, and mostly exactly the same, in defiance of the fact that all the different langauge groups had different dances/ songs/ traditions. There were over 200 different language groups. Welcome to country means “you don’t own this, you’re just visiting”. It is confrontational and provocative.

    Numbers is using christmas to pontificate to all those that don’t show the great level of humanity and compassion he does. Thank you numbers, I have seen the light. You lefties are so much more compassionate than us backward hillbillies. Make sure people see you take that plate around church. Cast a concerned eye down upon those that don’t reach deep enough. Make sure you look compassionate while following a political ideology that strips people of their freedom and (as in many cases around the world) causes poverty, famine, and millions of deaths. Conspicuous compassion not real deeds is what the left’s all about.
    You really are an insufferable pontificating, decietful hypocrite.

  156. struth

    One more “land rights” story.
    For many years, crossing the barkly heading toward qld. as a tour guide, I used to stop with my tourists for a “bush camp”. I often stayed at a place called “Barry caves” It was named after a yank who had died in the area during ww2, on the then, well trodden route to get troups up to Darwin from the East coast. It was on station country, and the cave was just off the road a couple of hundred metres and was just an easily reached cave in the side of a little mesa.
    The tourists could swag it in the cave and therefore not have to put their tents up, and have a bit of fun.
    One time, after many years of camping in the cave, I pulled up to find the cave had been fenced off, and an aboriginal mural had been laid inside on the floor of the cave.
    Then the land claim goes in.
    Today it’s gone again.

  157. johanna

    People I know (not getting more specific here because of possible recriminations) owned a bit of land, which they discovered had clear signs of previous Aboriginal activity – grooves in rock from grinding seeds, middens etc.

    They immediately covered them with leaf much and branches, and swore me to secrecy. It’s an oath that I’m keeping.

    The stupid thing is, if there was not this punitive, greenmailing, bloodsucking mentality about the Aboriginal Industry, things like what my acquaintances found would be celebrated. The way they have set things up, all the incentives are to hide or destroy signs of Aboriginal activity, or risk having your property or business frozen for ever.

  158. Megan

    My cousins in Sydney had a three year delay in building their house because locals dobbed them in to the local land council regarding a midden on the block. They were peeved because the new house would have blocked their view and access to the water. The midden sits on the edge of a specially created courtyard since it was not allowed to be built over. The cousins then closed off the pathway to the water that they had intended to leave open for the locals to use for access.

  159. johanna

    Megan, when I worked in the NSW government in the 1990s, a colleague in the Treasury told me a lot of stuff about people in a prominent Aboriginal Land Council. As she said, they would be in jail if the weren’t Aborigines. She had done the work – hundreds of thousands disappeared into the pockets of the people who appeared on TV and in the printed media as saviours, heroes and champions – not to mention their relatives and friends.

    No-one would touch it, because to do so was “racist.” That must have been a great comfort to Aboriginal people who actually need help.

  160. Megan

    I worked in a project for a federal government department here in Melbourne in 2007 and saw exactly the same thing in action. It’s a shame, there are a lot of good people trying to improve the lot of their communities but the graft and corruption of some of those at the top is an absolute disgrace.

  161. Megan

    In fact Johanna, one of the aboriginal big names in the industry as you’ve described above, issued a not-so-subtle threat to me when I refused to give him access to my project report before delivering it to the client.

  162. johanna

    Megan – that is perfectly along the lines of the intimidation handbook, as far as I know.

    As we both know, the answer is to tell them to get f*****!

  163. srr

    [belated] Merry Christmas to all, and early old calendar best Christmas Wishes.

  164. Pauly

    The funny thing about all of these “welcome to the country” ceremonies. My father has a whole bunch of anthropological books about Australia and its inhabitants (all kinds) written from the early 1800s onwards. There is no mention of any “welcome to the country” or “smoking ceremonies” in any of them written before the 1970s.

    In fact the most likely “welcome to the country” ceremony was a spear to the leg followed up with a braining by a nulla nulla. Especially for single travellers or small unarmed groups, no discrimination was applied – anyone weak enough to be killed was in danger be they white, black or Asian.

  165. sdfc

    So Pauly wants to discuss the white/black body count in the colonial era on a Christmas forum. Interesting subject choice.

  166. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Well, thank goodness that’s all over for another year! Big Sis arrived with loud and pointed declamations about the rather minimalist decor and nature of our place (why so much white? don’t you like colour? can’t stand the echo; what’s wrong with curtains?), and she’d forgotten her stash of bicarb intended for the beans (told you about that earlier). It was all downhill from there. She proceeded to drink her way through the day, to the protestations of her teenage daughter who kept thrusting the Diet Coke at her (she is a serious diabetic).

    We both did our best to keep her upright at least until after the presents, the turkey and the pudding, a meal which she pronounced inedible, ruined because of the bicarbless state of the beans. My meal was a triumph, btw. Nothing went wrong. Except for a few lumps in the gravy, quickly ignored by all; Sis was beyond noticing such small matters and I’d given her the non-lumpy bits from the top of the pan anyway to forestall a further barrage of comments. Later that night, teenaged niece rang to say Sis was having a hypo so I had to talk the girl emotionally through that (take no notice of her hostility, whatever she says, just get an orange juice and biscuit into her), even though my niece is used to handling these.

    My disabled brother’s current girlfriend and his two children (currently all are living in our beach house) were a pleasure to have around in our city home, but she has a stomach problem and became ill in the night, so I was up helping her for a few hours too. As I was driving one of my little nephews, his children, to the airport to go unaccompanied to his grandma in Queensland at 7am it hardly seemed worth going back to bed, so I started organising for the next group on Boxing Day: mostly Sis’s affinity (her first husband was part-aboriginal; Sis’s son doesn’t claim that, but his old Grandma, now gone to join my own Sainted Mother, most certainly did, and everyone has kept in touch). We also had around one of HIA’s old troppo mates from Far North Queensland days, who was mercifully on his meds.

    Plus our company included, for the first time since his troubles began, Sis’s drug-addled son, upon whose hedonistic enjoyment ill-health is beginning to put a brake. His Maori ex-girlfriend is a great support to him and although she looks a bit weird (once a big girl, now thin, and with bad teeth) she is a sensible person who cares for him, for which we are all grateful. She has a wide kin group in Sydney’s west and her sister and brother also came along for Christmas with us. Da Hairy Ape has got on well with them at the Ari’s when we have had family ‘meets’ there.

    All the kids had a great time on both days. We established a ‘swear fund’ for them to keep adult behaviour in line, with the s-word garnering 50 cents and the f-word a dollar. Consequently the older kids spent their time trying to elicit these words and certainly monitoring every appearance of them in any of the increasingly noisy conversations, counting their gains gleefully. The c-bomb is never even contemplated let alone countenanced in our house, and visitors are aware if they use it they will be shown the door, but as ‘s’ and ‘f’ seem to pepper conversations with these relatives as a general patois, we control it in a market manner. Offenders pay. Naturally, no-one ever does, except us, who settle all kids’ accounts later.

    A more normal conversational tone ensued when these Boxing Day rellies and others all went home and the next lot arrived for a few drinks in the later evening: my philosopher ex and his historian wife and HIA’s literary and arty ex’s family. Politics and climate change are generally off-the-agenda then, of course, and as HIA was quite well-oiled by this time, my work was cut out for me. It’s vaguely strange, with all the ex’s, but I guess that is just the Labor Way.

    I’ve had three glasses of champagne and two of red over the whole two days. That’s been my full complement for this Christmas, as I have been, as usual, the sober one. Tonight’s the night – we are going over to friends for dinner and it will be taxi home for a ‘non-designated’ Lizzie and HIA.

  167. Tom

    Your mum would be proud of her sainted daughter.

  168. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Haha Tom, just had to tell you, Da Hairy Ape has restored his reputation as a possible sober one too. Tonight he ‘designated’ himself, drank very little, topped up on mineral water and has just driven us home. I am merely pleasantly mellow. We should do this more often, I tell him. I know this thread is now all down the memory hole, but never mind, I don’t mind writing just for myself in the space of a few loose pixels on a dying thread. We’ve successfully managed to have another ‘family’ Christmas, plus tonight our dear friends have just announced to us that ‘they’ are pregnant (IVF! A genuinely joint effort – they are overjoyed, and so are we for them; a wonderful mum and dad coming up).

    For the next three or four weeks we will be flitting between States and three homes, packing up our lives in Melbourne. I won’t know whether I am Holgar or Helga (Arthur and Martha have no panache, so I have gone all German in my clichés). Lots to do, but a New Year coming up in which to do it. I hope it is the happiest year ever for you and other old mates on the Cat, especially Gab. Special thoughts also to JamesK and Winston, who haven’t been around much in 2013.

  169. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Hey, Birdie. Sorry. Forgot to say greetings and best wishes to you too. Maybe you’ll browse in here.
    You always turn up unexpectedly. One day you really should meet HIA’s troppo mate. You’d like him. A brilliant mind. Sent down from Cambridge for riding his motorbike into the Great Hall of one of the ancient colleges (not Da Hairy Ape’s one, which belongs to Jesus; another one). An apocryphal tale perhaps, but when you meet this man you do wonder: he once stole a small plane and was apprehended trying to proceed down the runway in it. He had no idea of how to fly it, but was having an experimental turn of mind.

  170. Sinclair Davidson

    Lizzie – I’m a firm believer in having a tipsy wife.

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