Happy Thanks Giving

November 27, 2008
Thanks To Mrs V for finding this one again.

Thanks To Mrs V for finding this one again.

I am British (English to be precise), so I don’t really celebrate thanksgiving. I am therefore a little shaky on the details. I know, or at least I believe I know, it to be to do with the early pilgrim settlers being thankful for their first harvest and the help afforded to them by the natives, resulting in the two tribes sharing a celebratory meal. How much of that is apocryphal and how much is true, I don’t know… But what is thanksgiving to modern Americans? Is it a bit like harvest festival over here? Is it just a chance to have a few days off work?

For my sister-in-law it is all about shopping. She is off to the “Great Big US of A” to visit her brother and from what I can understand accompanied by my brother-in-laws significant other, they plan to attempt to see how far they can go to stimulate the American economy. However with the recent dollar-sterling rate changes recently, there are likely to be significantly fewer dollars to do the stimulation 😦

For me it just legitimises my ongoing campaign that we should be listening to Christmas songs and watching Christmas movies. This has been the case in my house for about three weeks already, but as of thanksgiving I am far less likely to get moaned at for it 😀 (I think I am the only person that starts playing Christmas music before the stores)

But without getting too mushy, I think that there is something to be said for giving thanks before the festival that is Christmas. A chance to stop and take stock of all the wonderful things that we often take for granted. Many of the things I concern my self with really are First World Problems, so without wanting to sound like Bono, I am glad that I know that there will be food on the plate at Christmas, presents under the tree and loved ones with which to share this Christmas.

Operation Christmas ChildThis is why I am so cross that, due to my bad blogger absence, I am too late to plug this year’s Operation Christmas Child appeal. So if you haven’t heard of it (or your local equivalent) please give it a click and put it in your diary for next year.

I’ll leave you with a message from Bing…


Looking For Suggestions

November 25, 2008

Being a typical man, Mrs Geek takes care of a large percentage of our Christmas shopping, and as much as I enjoy going shopping with her for Christmas presents I am usually only really responsible for presents for My Best Friend and Mrs Geek.

Now I am not suggesting that I have usually bought everything before December, but I usually have very specific ideas of what the highlights will include. But this year I have not come up with anything and I am beginning to panic.

It's The Thought That CountsDue to the aforementioned tightness of budget in our house, last year and this we have given ourselves very strict spending limits. Now last year I cheated and used the reward vouchers that I receive for spending on my credit card, but that was after saving them for 4 years, they will not stretch so far this year.

Cheating like this did leave quite a disparity between her pile and mine, but that really does suit both of us, because I know it sounds like something you tell children, but I really do prefer to give than receive.

So I am looking for inspiration.

Now being that Mrs Geek rarely reads the blog if not forced into it, and I certain she never reads the comments, I feel fairly confident that she wont find out, at least until after Christmas. So does anyone have any Ideas?

On The Subject Of Being Busy

November 24, 2008

Over the past few months as I mentioned, I have been horrendously busy. Now I have made all my best efforts to ensure that I don’t neglect seeing my children as much as is possible, but it is impossible to put in the hours and be there for the children as much as I would have liked. However at the moment, we need the money, and when needs must…

This is not a credit crunch thing… to be honest I don’t think that has hit us at all yet (other than a slight increase in mortgage).

Last year through a rather long winded process Mrs Geek and I decided that we were not getting on with Bart’s local school. The specifics result in a long story that we can skip, but the long and the short of it was that we decided that we should look elsewhere and we came to the conclusion that for Bart, the best option was to go private.

And I will go on record now that for us it was totally the right decision. He has gone from being really turned off of school to really being enthused again (in the summer he was counting down the days until he went back). His results are good. All is well.

Lisa is now at the same school, and after a brief settling in period, she seems to be really loving it too (don’t as about her parents evening or I will really get all gushy).

It is however a rather expensive luxury. And with Mrs Geek still being on maternity leave, it means that we have to watch the pennies. I have therefore taken as much work as I can get, which has left me not getting to see as much of the people I keep telling myself I am doing it for.

I can live with this. I just convince myself that it is all for the best, and that I am doing what is right for them, and it really is what I believe, but at this time of year where every which way you look there is some story telling us that “Christmas Presence is more important than Christmas Presents!”.

To this I will say … Bah Humbug!

Back Again

November 24, 2008

OK so I have been gone a while… OK more that a while… Mea culpa.

Let me explain. I will start by saying that none of the following is meant to extract sympathy from anyone (Quite the contrary, I am in a rather happy place at the moment). However it seemed impossible for me to start writing again without addressing the fact that I have been gone for so long.

Recently I have been burning the candle at both ends in trying to keep on top of everything.

For those of you that do not know my personal arrangements, I am in the process of starting a photography business, and for now it is still small steps, but as is often the case with these things, work seems to come in spits and spurts. Add to this I am currently averaging around about a 50 hour work week with my day-job (needs must and all that), and I am trying to not make it impact too heavily on the time I have with the family, it leaves me getting up early and going to bed late.

Thus many of my “optionals” have had to go out of the window… I already watched little enough TV to make it a non-issue, but much to my horror I seem to have now stopped reading entirely. The last book I read was Witches Abroad back in April. I have also failed to keep to any kind of regular running schedule since the summer. I have even neglected twitter and I believe I am in danger the geek police taking away my membership!

As I said in the intro though, I am actually enjoying the current arrangement, I have been taking the kids to school each morning, I have ensured that I have not missed any of their events (Bart seems to have a significantly more active social life that I do) and I have made sure that I get to see Maggie as much as possible.

I have also resisted the pressure to stop playing rugby, and thus I continue to make Mrs Geek into a rugby widow each Saturday, a fact that has not exactly gone unnoticed in my household.

I also think that podcasts have kept me relatively sane over the past few weeks as I have been listening to them whilst travelling/processing photos/doing the dishes and any other time that I can multitask (I am a male so multitasking only works on a limited basis).

But blogging is for me a “Whole Brain” activity. It needs to be what I am doing. But I really do like doing the whole blogging thing. As well as being the closest thing that I am likely to keep to a diary, by describing what is going on in my life and venting frustrations etc, I really like reading other people’s blogs and adding to the community. But I now have over 1000 unread bloglines entries. I made an attempt to start reducing the number, but I feel I am unlikely to catch up.

The OCD in me makes it difficult to admit that I am not going to catch up with all I have missed, but the more I refuse to admit it the further I get behind… and the larger the barrier to my rehabilitation 🙂

I therefore declare myself BLOGRUPT!

However I recognise that the same OCD will make it really difficult to be a “casual” reader so I will have to cull the heard and slim down the number of blogs I try to keep up with.

P.S. Thankyou to RC and Tendrils for nudging me out of my blog paralysis! I will do the meme, when I get back to my computer (honest).