Tag Archives: Christmas

NCIS: Los Angeles back-to-back

What kind of rubbish is this?

I left NCIS: LA a few weeks before Christmas, because I was busy and because they ceased to excite me even slightly. So the episodes started piling up, waiting to be watched, but I was in no hurry, and it was only a lull in life in general that got us going, watching three episodes this last week, ending with the Christmas one.

Even this close to February, I can be a sucker for a Christmas episode; a little too sweet and a bit soft. But this was ridiculous, and not eased by the team drinking to Hetty and Granger.

While not averse to some team romance, there is too much of it, and it is too silly. Our previously normal people act like idiots over extremely minor aspects to life and love. OK, I know not everyone can be Gibbs of over ten years ago, but the restrained way he and Hollis Mann conducted their affair is to be admired, and copied.

And the crimes! There isn’t much to them, and they might not be ‘easy’ to solve, but some of the clues are obvious, but the agents still labour over them forever.

As for their succession of bosses, they ought to be embarrassed. Retire Hetty in an official way. There is no reason not to. Mosley, well, I don’t know. But she’s not there, is she? Ochoa? Nice looking. Too nice. Rogers could be good, but they are not letting him. He could be a new Granger if he hadn’t been made to look like a fool.

Is there a reason to continue watching?

And for anyone who thinks I like nothing, I do. The green booths in Deeks’ and Kensi’s new bar look fantastic!

From me to you

Happy Christmas!

Postbox in snow

Christmas card 2017

Christmas card

Happy Christmas!

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I was lacking the Christmas peace I craved. When not even the three tenors helped, I resorted to Roger Whittaker and his Tidings of Comfort and Joy. The 22-track selection, which came on LP and cassette. Not the short measure of the CD.

When I’ve not listened to music for a while, such as during the gap from one Christmas to the next, I fear that something won’t be as good as I remember it. But Tidings of Comfort and Joy is every bit as excellent as I discovered that first January after I’d bought it, more than 25 years ago. It was so wonderful that I gave myself special dispensation to listen to it even after the tree had been taken out, and for a couple of weeks mid-January I listened intensively.

Now I’m back doing the same thing, only at the ‘permitted’ time, as it’s still before Christmas. I find that a half hour or so last thing before bed sets me up feeling nice and calm.

It’s not only Roger’s voice. It’s the songs. Some are the same songs ‘everyone’ records, but others are less clichéd, giving me that little bit extra.

Red River Valley

It was an oblivious kind of torture. I never meant to plague my uncle, nearly driving him crazy. I was merely being seven years old. And oblivious to anything but the latest EP I had found in his home.

It didn’t belong to him. Obviously. No, this deliciously red-coloured EP must have been bought by Eldest Cousin, and once discovered by me as we visited over the Christmas holidays, I played it. All. The. Time.

Hence my poor uncle’s despair if he had to listen to it One. More. Time. I heard him, but I still played on. It was so good.

The best of the four tracks was Red River Valley. Except that’s not what it was called in Sweden where it went under the slightly outlandish title Vid foten av fjället, sung by Sven Gösta Jonsson. He was labelled The Rocking Sami, and he performed wearing traditional dress. And he was lovely! I was a fan for quite some time (he now comes across as more mediocre than I was aware of at the time).

And then one day, many years later, I discovered there was a version in English as well! Lots of them, really. My own personal favourite is by Roger Whittaker, but any version will do.

Christmas card

Advent candles

Wishing you a Happy Christmas!

Torbrex Inn

We left our builders to their own devices and disappeared off for Sunday lunch out today. Son and Dodo were visiting for the weekend and had hinted that a meal out would be nice. (I trust it’s not my cooking?) As usual, Son had money off deals going, and we chose between two old feeding grounds, deciding on Torbrex Inn.

It’s conveniently close and getting there is literally a walk in the park. This is such a rare thing nowadays that you should grab the opportunity to have a pleasant walk instead of always getting in the car.

The Inn at Torbrex

They had their Christmas menu up, and even Son who can be hard to satisfy, felt it looked good beforehand, and we all said how much we’d enjoyed it once the meal was over. (I’ve not had anything else to eat since…)

The Resident IT Consultant was pleased to have an opportunity to order turkey, while Son and I both had the nut roast. Smoked and deep fried cheese for starters was good, as were the puddings. The others had Christmas pudding – obviously – while I grappled with a very nice cheesecake, and ended up not being able to eat all of it.

Nicely presented food, and friendly serving staff. Clean pub surroundings with just the right amount of tasteful Christmas decorations, and a furry white cat outside.

And then a walk home again, allowing us to feel we could walk off some of those calories. Ten, maybe even twenty?