Sunday, 1 January 2012

Year 2011 Round Up

This year (2011) has been my first year on a blog and, when combined with Twitter, has given me some sense of connection with the outside world and allowed me to retain some level of independence.  As a visually impaired person I have to get all my information through audio (I do not know Braille) and sometimes one forgets that in communication one has to make up for the non verbal part of social discourse. 

Several themes run throughout the blog and these are more or less consistent with my Twitter output.  I have deleted only a few tweets mainly on account of errors in twitter punctuation and grammar.  My tweets reflect my own exasperation with some of the world’s politicians, though I have also taken a swipe at some aspects of “jargonista” and management speak when heard in the Health Service and sometimes on air. 

The year finished with a Hogmanay Party and I managed to make a few tweets into the small hours of the New Year 2012.  I have gone through my blog adding new labels and making a few updates where I feel there may still be interest or there have been developments. 

I have quite a few blog posts in preparation though my reading of books has been limited of late on account of the very mild winter in South East England. I seldom listen to books or music when on the move. On the basis that one should not skip through music or literature, I can only cover events as they happen.  I can just about listen to some radio in the background and using headphones can use the computer, though if a phone rings on radio or in the house I scramble to a phone and get the wires tangled and before I know it I answer the phone wearing headphones. 

I may allow myself a bit of Cognitive Dissonance but there will be some tales to tell in 2012.  Meanwhile I wish all readers of this blog all the best for the New Year and thank all those who have helped. Some have asked not to be named. 

My Hogmanay party reconstruction is shown below.  On this occasion, another kind friend had taken me shopping for some party food.  This was quickly used as was much of the drink and the photograph contains evidence which will now be visually described for the visually impaired! 

The first Monday in the new year was known as handsel Monday, though usually pronounced hansel.  Traditionally, children would pester relatives saying they had been given a new wallet/purse/bag/clothes with pockets and so needed something to handsel the new accessory.  This was usually money, silent money being preferable though coins to jingle were also part of the ritual.  This probably goes back to a benefactor in Edinburgh known as George Heriot, who was known as Jinglin' Geordie.  George Heriot's School is named after him and I have vague memories of my grandmother telling her grandchildren to pester her sisters for something to handsel new clothing.  This shows the pester power is nothing new!

Dr Whitestick Jr is going to describe the photograph:

Starting from the left and moving across to the right, there is a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck champagne, a bowl of fruit containing a melon, oranges, lemons, bananas and an apple, a box of panettone on which rest two music cassettes – one of Jim Mcleod and the other of Calum Kennedy; next to this is The Professor’s Mongolian hat and to the far right is a cafetiere and a cup of coffee.  In the front stands a bottle of Tokay from Hungary /Tokaji Aszú (1991, 3 Puttonyos) and a plate containing sliced mango from Brazil and dates from Tunisia. There are also two cds in the middle: one of a group called Mánran and the second of The MacDonald Sisters.