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December 26, 2012


Oh my, what lovely indulgences. Just remember, in the Catholic theology, indulgences must be "earned". So what did you all do to earn such tasty ones! Merry Christmas on glad tidings of goose with wings of Calvados.

Back in 1966, when I was only a few weeks into my six-year stay in the USA, I was still gobbling up the linguistic goodies that hadn't appeared in the US fiction I'd read at the other side of the pond. I needed some memo sheets in the office and someone said "Try Pat," a catholic ex-marine who'd had a hard time in Korea, the war that tended to be mostly forgotten even in those days.

"Got any memo sheets?" I asked.

"Does the Pope have indulgences?" he said and there was yet another cast-iron reason why I'd spent a year of my life organising and finagling a Green Card for work in the US.

Stories about Calva almost always end in tears; never was there a liquor that so effortlessly bridged the gustatory gap between innocent enthusiasm and profound penitence. With a working knowledge of chemistry you can always mount a useful defence based on the end-effects of esters. Far more plausible than anything that attempts to invoke the liberal arts.

Loretta, that's a most excellent Christmas wish! Thanks. As for what we did to earn our indulgences: just be friends, over a long period of time, I think. Love makes you want to treat those you love, as you know so well!

Roderick, you're delighting me on this cold morning! What a great anecdote, and, frankly, so American! Do tell us a Calvados story sometime. Merry Christmas!

I over-ate at Christmas, too. Ah well.
I find that sugar, especially drives up my appetite. It's addictive.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.