Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year for 2011 from JMB and Miss Moggs


And so ends 2010, the fourth year of this blog, and what I have previously called my annus horribilis. Posting has been very sparse here over this past year as I have undergone various treatments for Thyroid cancer, a disease so curable in younger people but far more deadly for the age challenged. Thus it required an all out attack with all the weapons available and it seemed never ending as one treatment followed another. But it did finally conclude and I am now considering myself fully cured, although still enduring some of the side effects of radiation. No, while stronger, my voice has not returned and it's still a cross between Lauren Bacall and a man who smokes 3 packs of cigarettes a day. I'm beginning to believe it will be permanently thus. Sighs.

I say this every year and it still remains so true I'm will repeat it. You, my blog friends, have all enriched my life in so many ways. You've challenged my mind with your posts, you've helped me with my tech problems, you've taught me so much about your different worlds, you've entertained me with your humour. Some of you have shared your poetry and stories and your beautiful paintings and photographs. You've welcomed me into your lives and shared your innermost thoughts and I am grateful to each and every one of you.

I wish you all health, happiness and prosperity for 2011, may it be infinitely better than 2010 and being half Scottish, I'll close with the words of Rabbie Burns in Auld Lang Syne and make a toast (non-alcoholic, of course) to you all.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

or for the linguistically challenged English speakers

And there is a hand, my trusty friend!
And give me a hand of yours!
And we will take a right good-will drink,
For old long past.

Eddi Reader, Scottish singer/songwriter, in a very different version of Auld Lang Syne

NB: Words and translation from the World Burns Club

Saturday, December 25, 2010

For Unto us a Child is Born --- 2010

The Adoration of the Magi
Fra Angelico and Fillipo Lippi

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

To everyone who is celebrating this feast, may I wish you and your families a very Happy and Holy Christmas.

From Handel's Messiah the wonderful chorus, For unto us a child is born.

Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all from JMB

I don't know if there is anyone out there still reading Nobody Important. Although while I have been on hiatus of late for various reasons Miss Moggs has been doing her level best to keep things alive and well here.

It's been quite the year, 2010, but after finally finishing my medical treatments and regaining some of my lost energy, I went to spend American Thanksgiving with my daughter and her family in New York and visited the theatre a few times. The past couple of weeks I've been brought down by the worst cold but now I am looking forward to Christmas which hopefully will not be a "White" one, despite being so beautiful.

But as you can see I did bring a White Christmas to my Second Life home at Nestor, my little log cabin.

Those outdoor Christmas trees are ablaze with lit candles which are perfectly safe in Second Life but would be unthinkable in Real Life. Poinsettias adorn my front deck just as they do my Real Life house.

It looks so warm and inviting at night. Come in out of the cold snow and sit by the warm fire with me and let's share some spiced mulled wine and some shortbread. The snow is falling gently, thanks to a snow emitter I put into place. My snowman and his family keep guard outside and while they are not in this photo two reindeer have come to investigate the log fire on the other side of the front steps.

Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends. For almost 50 years we have celebrated Christmas with a Scottish family, expats like ourselves with no nearby family. Our children, who were so small or not even in existence when we started, now have their own children, who are with us some years. Some of them are adults now and maybe there will be another generation joining us soon. We alternate houses for the celebration and we have evolved our own traditional menu, which hardly varies. This year I made the Christmas pudding and will make Foamy Eggnog sauce while my friend cooks the turkey and trimmings. Cranberry sauce is a North American dish we have added but mostly we follow the British traditions we both grew up with. Yes even Australians of my generation followed British Christmas traditions, although they hardly suited that hot climate.

May I wish all who are celebrating this festival a very Merry Christmas, filled with much joy and peace for you and your families.

Ms JMB Balogh and Rudolph sent this Christmas card to Second Life friends

* Click on any photo to enlarge.

Moments in time

Just before Christmas in one of the biggest cities in the world.

It is cold and grey, the wind chills. Warmly wrapped people hurrying bustle about. The pedestrian lights are against me, waiting to cross the road. Two young Japanese touristgirls, Christmas shopping, are waiting to cross on the other side.

I see the traffic lights change to red and I start to move. The green crossing guy lights up a second later. The touristgirls do a double take, hold hands, and hurry across, almost running.

As they pass me I hear them saying to one another “Run Fores’. Run!” .Smiling.

And I smiled to myself, feeling somehow lifted because of it and thought.. Life really is soo like a box of chocolates...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Counting your blessings

I had something happen to me just a little while back in rl. It was something that, if things had happened just slightly differently, I might not have seen Christmas 2010. Slightly different in another way and it would not have happened at all.

Some of the things that went towards it were chance, other things were actions of someone else and my own too, all coming together in a certain way.

It really made me think. If that bad possibility had happened then for those who know me in sl... and here on this blog, I would have just not bee seen or heard of again. Dissapeared. No one would have known anything else for sure.

Then there is RL as well...

One thing is it has really made me count my blessings. It is Christmas anyway and I think Christmas makes a person do that some anyway, so it is even more so for me just now.

If I find myself thinking “O that is a nuisance.” Or feeling badly done by for some reason then I pull myself up and there comes the understanding... like a cold drip of water running down my neck.

And I really know that it could really be worse. Like the glass resets its self from being half empty to half full.

It is a bit like those perspective puzzle pictures that swap between two ways of seeing the same thing.

Mostly we don’t actually really get our heads round really realising things. We just use the word, Like we might say “Awesome” or “Fantastic”. Mostly it is a sound, we are not actually “getting it” properly. We don’t see the wood for the trees.

So. Next time you feel put upon like the world treats you unfairly. You count your blessings. And as it’s Christmas maybe watch “It's a wonderful Life”.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas from Moggsy

Christmas is approaching. It is moving like it is on Nikes in fact. I guess that would be red ones with white laces and white fur trim maybe? The tread ought to look like reindeer prints.
(Nike Guys. If you want to use that design idea then show me some Linden$ love)

In SL (Second Life), like RL (Real Life), everyone is getting ready.

There is snow in many places, but unlike RL it does not disrupt, or cause inconvenience... and never messes with your travel. Sometimes you can’t TP (Teleport) to a destination, but that is another thing.

People have decorated and put up trees, presents and cards are exchanged.

I am no exception. There is a tree in my lounge, now decorated and surrounded by interesting looking boxes bound with ribbon, green garlands hung on the walls, Cards put up on the walls and a bottle of bourbon with glasses ready on my coffee table.
I have on a nice not, specially seasonal outfit, in a seasonal red looking a bit like I just stepped out of the movie White Christmas.
One of the cards I have up is a cute one from JMB, well from her and Rudolph actually... ^_^ TY JMB.

That is the thing about sl cards, they are mostly personally designed and often a lot of work has gone into them. One I got plays the sound of jingling bells when you are close to it.

Like every year since I got here I made a new card. When you touch it, it says “Merry Christmas from Moggsy” I have sent it out to my friends and now I am ‘posting’ it now to you ^_^.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Contrasts and Beauty

I almost did a post on the beautiful autumnal fall colours this year.. now I am I guess ^_^

The other day I was driving home through a frozen wintery wonderland.

Lots of the snow had melted. There was still some in the fields and in places where it had drifted, but we had some mild weather for a couple of days and lots had melted. Then it was really cold the night before and we had a hard frost. The next day it didn't get above freezing all day.

There was a freezing mist that blued out the distance. Low cloud and no sunshine and all the twigs and trees in the hedgerows and all the dried out plants in the verges were coated in icy frosting and looked beautiful. Wintery and beautiful all whites, greys, mauves, pinks and blues.

...and then it struck me how short a time separated this very beautiful scene I was driving through from an equally beautiful autumnal scene I had experienced.

So here it comes... One Sunday afternoon, only a few weeks ago, I had been driving over to a friends. It was a lovely afternoon with intensely blue skies, there were birds playing high up and warm golden honeyed sunshine painting everything.

I was really struck by how truly beautiful the fall colours were, they seemed so much more vivid than usual, with wonderful golds, and red in so many different shades. Dare I say as good as new England usually is if not a tad better? It lifted me up emotionally, so much in fact that I still remember it very vividly.

A perfect combination of time of day and season. Sky, sun and foliage.