holidays

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Christmas pudding & compliments

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 00:50 -- Bee

Yesterday I was at the grocery contemplating the phenomenon of Christmas pudding, a tradition that has survived modern concerns about hygiene, and an overall improvement in the gastronomic desires of the average Brit. I have never been offered a slice of the heritage dessert, but it is sold everywhere at this time of year, along with mince pies. Whatever they are.

Dimly, I perceived that the woman scanning my groceries was talking to me.

"I like your lipstick," she said. "It suits you."

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celebration, protest, revolution

Fri, 11/04/2011 - 01:03 -- Bee

Here in the United Kingdom we don't have Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or the Fourth of July.

This seemed like a real loss at first but everyone I mentioned it too was dismissive. They said, yes, but we have Bonfire Night: on November 5, all across the country, in towns large and small, people gather to light fires.

The practice has evolved over the centuries into a carnival, with rides and fireworks. To an outsider it would appear to be a leftover pagan tradition, a celebration of the turning of the seasons.

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Badass Union Queen 

Mon, 09/05/2011 - 09:57 -- Bee

Happy Labor Day.

For years now it seems that all the news is about global economic turmoil, political assassinations, ruinous storms, and rioting in the streets - and the most our elected leaders have offered is the distraction of new puppies and royal weddings. The last decade has been enough to extinguish hope. It seems like everything good is being destroyed, not least the progress made by the labor movement. Before he was executed Joe Hill famously said: "don't mourn, organize." I agree.

In the face of disaster, I don't know what else to do but believe - and sing.

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magical bunnies & coloured eggs

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 04:20 -- Bee

Belief in magical bunnies is a prerequisite for receipt of Easter baskets.

So obviously, everyone in my household believes!

Though I suspect this long tradition is drawing to a close, since the elder child is twenty, the younger fourteen.

No more babies!! No more coloured eggs!! No eager rush to the baskets, no yelping joy at what was contained therein!

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birthday, symbolism, Shoreditch

Sat, 04/09/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

In the midst of waves of visitors we threw a party, collecting an extremely random assortment of people at Jaguar Shoes for a belated joint fortieth birthday celebration.

The whole thing was hilarious, not least because our friends, when offered the opportunity, imposed their own natural social segregation. All the scientists and business people congregated together, all the literary types huddled on the other side of the room, with just a few confused new recruits and one Israeli attempting to mingle.

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sentimental & specious

Sat, 04/02/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

I have two children. I have two passports. Clearly, I should therefore get two Mother's Days.... right?

My daughter agreed but had to rush away for the weekend, telling her brother it was his turn to take care of the holiday. He however maintains that the prevalence of celebratory days cancel each other out, and thus, I do not deserve any attention at all.

Heavy sigh!

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parents, protectors, punk

Wed, 03/09/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

So the First Official Houseguest was. . . drum roll please. . . Stella!

The punk ethos is largely anti-heroic and as such does a disservice to pioneers and progenitors. We all want to pretend that we are self-invented, lawless, new. But we all have parents and protectors, we all need a place to start. Even if our work is about ripping it all up and starting again.

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Plenary

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

Since 1988, no matter where I am in the world - from Tacoma to Olympia, London to NYC - I just have to think "I wonder what Karl T. Steel is up to right now...." And hey presto! There he is!

I have too many commitments to see friends this week, let alone on my anniversary, but how could I ignore the startling coincidence that KTS once again showed up improbably nearby?

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Anniversary

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

Today we decided to go to Malibu and live out our Rockford Files fantasies. Except, you know, the car.

In theory this was our anniversary, but of what exactly? It has been fifteen years since we rocked up at the 24 Hour Church of Elvis, got hit with a magic wand, signed some papers, accidentally ended up on the evening news. Though in my view that was simply the day we scammed a discriminatory system, the day I became officially eligible for health insurance.

The only vows we took, the only promise I could have made given the distrait circumstances? To remain friends.

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