New Year Carvery

You know, things go on. The world still turns, the seasons follow their customary order, stretching ahead from those first, unwitnessed moments. It is man’s tendency to carve time up into chunks, allot measures and names and meaning. Apparently this is the year of the monkey. But only until the portion we call January 28th, for then it becomes the year of the rooster.

I’ve even heard that this year we are adding an extra second-a leap second, to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation. That’s going to cock the fireworks up, isn’t it?

I’m not sure if we make it up as we go along, I put my trust in the experts. Maybe we could add an hour-give everyone some extra drinking time?

The days are gone when I spend New Year’s Eve in a pub, congratulating everyone after the countdown with a firm handshake, a kiss, and “Another year closer to death.” But that’s just me-I temper it with a smile. But you guys know that, for you follow City Jackdaw.

But I will join in and welcome (after impatiently waiting that extra second) the carved segment that we will call 2017. And 2016: close the door on the way out.

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Hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve, however you want to mark it.

See you on the flip side. Let the segment begin.

Pain Is Love

I woke this morning to the news that Debbie Reynolds had died, just one day after Carrie Fisher. The strain must have been just too much for the aged star.┬á“She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken,” said her son, Todd Fisher. “She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie’, and then she was gone.”

Debbie wanting to be with her daughter is a nice thought, but what a time their family must be going through. On hearing the news, the lyrics of Ja Rule came to mind:

If pain is truly love,

for my family I die.

R.I.P both mother&daughter.

We, At This Time

We, At This Time

A virginal shroud settles upon our abodes.
Fairy lights flicker in the long night.
Inside, all manner of songs and odes
are offered to acclaim our rite.
Those of us not overtly religious
indulge themselves out of tradition.
Those of us not openly pious
offer tacit prayers without petition.
But all desire to feel the joy
that shines forth from every child's eyes.
An augury, in innocence's employ,
that lifts the soul amongst the winter skies.
Though we partake in the gathered feast,
and survive the night imbibing wine,
we recognise, when all has ceased,
that part of man inherently divine.


┬ęAndrew James Murray

A Child’s Perspective

Yesterday I read an article about an amateur fossil hunter who had discovered a 133 million year-old ‘pickled’ dinosaur brain. The man who found it, Jamie Hiscock, has a knack for this kind of thing: he and his brother five years ago also discovered the world’s oldest spider web, encased in amber. 

I showed the photograph of their most recent find to my daughter, Millie. It shows the brain next to a coin, included for scale.


“Look at this, Millie. Someone has found a 133 million year-old dinosaur brain.”

She looked. “Wow-they’ve found two pence as well!”