A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 25 December 2015

Hooptedoodle #204 - Christmas - The Sweater


This year I finally unwrapped the very fine Christmas Sweater I was presented with last year. You may consider that my wearing such an item is a bit of a surprise, given my normal commitment to understated style, not to mention dignity. However, things have been a bit dismal for us this Winter, so I decided that I should man up and try to spread a little festivity, however feeble, and The Sweater has already been called into service.

On Wednesday night I made a rare visit to our local folk music club - what better way to spread a little Christmas spirit? In fact the evening was sparsely attended and not awfully jovial, despite the knitwear. I got into a chat with Serious Angus, who commented that he noticed that I was wearing a seasonal jumper - there are no flies on our Angus, I can tell you. Being already fired up on the topic, I said that the thing I loved best was the CELEBRATE RESPONSIBLY bit - I feel it is hilarious that a Christmas sweater should carry a Health & Safety message; Angus explained that this was obviously because the sponsors are a brewery - I'm glad we cleared that up. However, he also explained - probably more usefully - that the mysterious Christmas horses are in fact a reference to Budweiser's famous stable of Clydesdales, which feature in their advertising.

The horses feature in the close-up detail pictures. Now I am familiar with horses - there are a great many on the farm where I live, and I paint dozens of the little beggars - but I was intrigued that the horse on the sweater pattern, if you follow it round under the arm, has a head at each end, which is certainly not a standard configuration. However, it all makes sense - when you place the sleeve into a natural position you find that the missing horse's backside is present on the sleeve. Impressive, eh? I am beginning to suspect that this garment was actually designed by someone. Excellent.



So this afternoon I think the time is right to inflict my sweater on Liberton Hospital when I go to visit my mother. I am definitely getting into the swing of this new role as Ambassador for Responsibly Sponsored Good Cheer - I do hope they appreciate my efforts. The message will also be welcomed by the constabulary, I am sure, if they stop me for a random breathalyser test on the way there.

14 comments:

  1. "Ambassador for Responsibly Sponsored Good Cheer" is a commendable assignment and carries a quite heavy responsibility. My image of you may never be the same.

    May you act as The Guidepost for all!

    Merry Christmas!

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  2. Replies
    1. It has to be admitted that the hospital staff thought the sweater was a gas, though the patients did no notice. That's show biz. Elvis Who?

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  3. And it silently encourages good posture since you need to stand erect with your arms by your side, thumbs along your trouser seams in order to display the design properly. A marvelous guft.

    Best wishes for this Christmas for you and your family.

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    1. Thanks Ross - the posture thing is the main reason we got it, of course...

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  4. Serious Angus sounds a blast, perhaps he needs a loan of your jumper??

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    1. Angus could probably do with a firecracker up his exhaust pipe, though i suspect he wouldn't notice.

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  5. I thought I'd round off a nice Christmas Day with a quick surf of the blogs I'd missed because of being otherwise engaged. Unfortunately I stumbled across Serious Angus and the Christmas jumper. It made me realise what a charmed life I lead and why I haven't frequented a folk club since the 70's. Nevertheless, I hope you and yours had an otherwise happy time of it.

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    1. I'm not sure the jumper has been an unqualified success - the jury is still out. Angus is a backbone of the folk club - he's always there, and he sings a lot of very earnest nationalist stuff - his appearance (beard, white sweater and leather waistcoat) and his performances must have been frozen in time since about 1970.

      On Wednesday he surprised everyone by performing a new piece which he had been learning - the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere". This is not a complicated song, but it involves a number of chords greater than 3, and poor Angus got terribly lost - give him his due, though, he stuck at it and reached the end, but the song should have been titled "Here, There and All Over the Bloody Place".

      Since I have a day off from driving into Edinburgh tomorrow (one of my older sons is taking a turn at the visiting), I actually had a drink with my Christmas dinner, which is an unfamiliar luxury these days.

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  6. Normally I disapprove of Christmas sweaters as being frivolous and unbecoming of gentlemen, but in this case I shall make an exception. It combines humour and earnestness in such equal measures that one would think it was Canadian.
    Serious Angus - I am guessing he was a big fan of Steeleye Span back in 1970?
    Best,
    Michael

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    1. Hi Michael - today the sweater has gone back in the drawer for next year - that's quite enough festive behaviour.

      Serious Angus - Steeleye Span would certainly have been offensively English in his opinion - I think Angus has only ever admired people like Christy Moore and maybe Gaberlunzie. He has been failing to play their stuff ever since.

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  7. Steeleye Span? Gaberlunzie? My kind of music, although I'll skip the anti-English nonsense...best wishes for the so-called festive season, and for the coming year.

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    1. Many thanks Iain - and the same to you and yours!

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