The Twelve Days of Christmas or Happy Holidays!

This may seem late for those who aren’t familiar with the liturgical calendar,  the old celebration of Christmas, or what exactly the Twelve Days of Christmas happen to be.

 The 12 days of Christmas is the period that in Christian theology marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day). The four weeks preceding Christmas are collectively known as Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on December 24.

The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the middle ages and are a time of celebration.

So, my comment about taking the whole month of December off isn’t too outrageous if we add the four weeks prior to 25th December to the time to Ephiphany (6 January). Christmas day is only beginning,  yet few families choose to mark the 12-day period by observing the feast days of various saints (including St. Stephen on December 26) and planning daily Christmas-related activities. Things go back to business as usual after December 25 for most people.

For those who are into the liturgical 12 days, each traditionally celebrate a feast day for a saint and/or have different celebrations:

  • Day 1 (25th December): Christmas Day – celebrating the Birth of Jesus
  • Day 2 (26th December also known as Boxing Day): St Stephen’s Day. He was the first Christian martyr (someone who dies for their faith). It’s also the day when the Christmas Carol ‘Good King Wenceslas‘ takes place.
  • Day 3 (27th December): St John the Apostle (One of Jesus’s Disciples and friends)
  • Day 4 (28th December): The Feast of the Holy Innocents – when people remember the baby boys which King Herod killed when he was trying to find and kill the Baby Jesus.
  • Day 5 (29th December): St Thomas Becket. He was Archbishop of Canterbury in the 12th century and was murdered on 29th December 1170 for challenging the King’s authority over the Church.
  • Day 6 (30th December): St Egwin of Worcester.
  • Day 7 (31st December): New Year’s Eve (known as Hogmanay in Scotland). Pope Sylvester I is traditionally celebrated on this day. He was one of the earliest popes (in the 4th Century). In many central and eastern European countries (including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and Slovenia) New Year’s Eve is still sometimes called ‘Silvester’. In the UK, New Year’s Eve was a traditional day for ‘games’ and sporting competitions. Archery was a very popular sport and during the middle ages it was the law that it had to be practised by all men between ages 17-60 on Sunday after Church! This was so the King had lots of very good archers ready in case he need to go to war!
  • Day 8 (1st January): 1st January – Mary, the Mother of Jesus
  • Day 9 (2nd January): St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, two important 4th century Christians.
  • Day 10 (3rd January): Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. This remembers when Jesus was officially ‘named’ in the Jewish Temple. It’s celebrated by different churches on a wide number of different dates!
  • Day 11 (4th January): St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint, who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the past it also celebrated the feast of Saint Simon Stylites (who lives on a small platform on the top of a pillar for 37 years!).
  • Day 12 (5th January also known as Epiphany Eve):

Even if you are like me and are more pagan/Tudor about it all and just want to celebrate the season, you have Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay), New Years Day, and Twelfth Night.

Let’s toss in that the Puritans pretty much wiped out the extended Christmas celebration. After all, it’s not too far out to start preparing in November if your Christmas begins four weeks before the 25th of December.

But the bottom line is that the Solstice/Christmas Celebration tend to be long because it is intended to “drive the cold winter away”. It is something to keep seasonal affective disorder at bay and seems really weird when celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere where the days are long.

Television Licence Fee Fraud?????

Screenshot from 2018-12-29 14-47-10Seriously!

I’ve been getting obviously fake e-mails telling me there is a problem with my Television Licence. OK, they are using the e-mail addy that the BBC has for me, but these are fake.

And they are so obviously fake that it boggles my mind. First off, the licence number is wrong. Secondly, this isn’t how I pay my fee. Thirdly, my licence doesn’t expire at the end of this month.

I thought I would be nice and pass the e-mails on to the licensing folk, but they appear to not want to be bombarded with fake licence e-mails. And I’ve gotten a few of these, which I usually blow off. This one was too silly to not comment about.

headerAnyway, the Licensing Authority has a page on this nonsense for what it’s worth. One of the Licensing Authority’s suggestions is to check the e-mail address of the sender, which this one is fake.

BBC and its rerun policy

Not sure why the BBC isn’t rerunning Banksy’s Alternativity this year. Also annoyed that it is not available to watch online. I am tempted to post it on Youtube just to get it back out there since it needs to be SEEN.

On the other hand, if the BBC programming folk are interested in a suggestion for a rerun: The Last Duel has my vote. It was first broadcast in 2008. The last broadcast was in 2010. They have been rerunning a lot of things, but this one has been missed. It’s based on Eric Jager’s book, The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France.

BBC’s description of the programme is:

Drama-documentary telling the story of one of the last trials by battle to be fought in Europe, a tale of sex, brutality and political machination set in 14th century medieval France.

A knight, Sir Jean de Carrouges, accuses his former best friend, Jacques Le Gris, of raping his wife Marguerite. Unable to obtain justice from his feudal overlord, Carrouges appeals to the king for the ancient right to fight a duel to the death to find out God’s truth. There is much at stake. If Carrouges dies in the battle, Marguerite will also be burned to death as a liar.

This tense story, told from records of the day, is set against the backdrop of the 100 years war between England and France, 14th century attitudes towards women, crime and punishment and the political intrigues of the feudal system.

While I wouldn’t mind either being rerun, the Last Duel definitely has my vote.

As for Banksy’s Alternativity: I’m surprised he hasn’t posted it on Youtube. If Banksy or any of his minions see this and tell me it’s OK to post it, I will.

New Age Rip Offs

OK, it really plays to people’s greed, or curiosity in my case, when people offer you the key to manifest your deepest desires. it’s especially true when they say you can buy Versailles with pocket change.

OK, the promise wasn’t made in those exact words. It was more like “you can buy ANY house you want with cash”, but that taken to extremes means you can buy Versailles with pocket change (“Hey Manny, nice place you got hereL how much do I have to pay you to own it????”).

OK, I don’t really want Versailles, which the new agey types would tell me is the reason I can’t do this. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be too disappointed to have something like it when it was still a hunting lodge. Hunting lodge being very relative. Not to mention that there are Chateaux like that in France and Belgium waiting for people to pick up.

And maybe it wouldn’t be pocket change, but it would be nice to pay for one with cash and have more than enough change left over for upkeep.

Anyway, I won’t reveal who the person is making these claims (although there is a hint above), but the programme is nothing new in so many ways.

Not sure what would happen if  someone did have the real “secret behind the secret” that they could articulate. Personally, I would be handing it out for free if I know it wouldn’t cause havoc.

I would like a better world than the one I see around me.

Sinterklaas en Zwarte Pieten

OK, once again it is time for the cries of “War on Christmas” to begin, which are amusing since (1) the holiday has had problems since the Early Christian Fathers and (2) the people whining have no real reason to whine.

Anyway, over in the Netherlandish countries (Holland, Belgium, and sort of Luxembourg), they are having a row over this tradition for good reason.

I said I would post these pics from my time in Belgium when I found them.

 

Vrolijk Kerstfeest!

BTW, be sure to check out “Six To Eight Black Men” by David Sedaris. Try to find the version where he compares this custom to US gun nuttery!

Not posting much

OK, it’s pretty obvious that the world is insane and trying to fix it seems to be a pointless task. Way too many fucked up and insane things going on in the world, but the internet makes me feel as if I am a voice screaming in the wilderness.

So, I am spending time trying to get my house in order. Literally. Contemplating a permanent move to somewhere in Europe, but not sure where. After Britain, Belgium seems most like home.

Posted 13/11/2018 by lacithedog in BREXIT, current events

Get_iplayer file storage

How do I change or specify where get_iplayer saves downloaded programmes?

We can set the output path of programmes get_iplayer downloads on a case by case basis. You can do this globally, but it makes more sense to do this on a programme by programme basis, particularly if you are trying to ensure the relevant XBMC and Plex folder structure conventions are met.

To specify the directory/folder get_iplayer outputs downloaded files to, we use the “output” command which looks like this:

--output

…to which we simply add the folder path:

--output "/path/to/output/folder/goes/here/" [...]

DON’T FORGET THE QUOTATION MARKS!

The file path should go within the quotation marks. You are free to type out the location and get_iplayer will create it for you if it doesn’t exist already, or it will simply add files to the directory if it already exists.

If you are unsure of the exact folder path to use, you can use the Graphical User Interface file explorer to navigate to the folder where you want the programmes to be downloaded and simply press “ctrl+L”.

On Ubuntu at least, this will reveal the folder path at the top of the explorer window, as shown in the example below, and you can just copy and paste this into the terminal window.