December 24th, 2011

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Christmas Cracker, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cadogan Hall

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Cut and pasted from the Cadogan Hall website:

Nick Davies Conductor, Mary Carewe and Michael Dore Vocalists

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel Overture
Tchaikovsky: Waltz of the Flowers
Hairston: Mary's Boy Child
Head: The Little Road to Bethlehem
Torme: The Christmas Song
Martin/Blane: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Anderson: Sleigh Ride
Waldteufel: The Skaters' Waltz
Pola/Wyle: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

...and many more, not forgetting audience carols!

Back by popular demand, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Christmas Cracker is a delightful evening of festive musical gems. This enchanting and melodious concert is sure to fill you with good cheer as the Orchestra and guest vocalists get the yuletide celebrations off to an entertaining start.

Raks's Review

Photo credit: aithine

I went to this tonight - It was OUTSTANDING and I loved it.

I booked to go to this because I could not attend either of the All Souls Christmas concerts (clashing engagements). It was a mix of carols, Christmas songs and Christmas music. It was great to hear a full orchestra again and the audience got to join in with many of the carols. And where it had the edge over the All Souls concerts that I missed, was that it was packed to the brim with traditional carols and songs. I am a sucker for tradition! Having been this year, I would recommend it and I will be there next year.

I have also now decided on the carol I will be running on the blog on Christmas day - it is one of the most traditional that there is and featured in just about every Carol concert that I have ever attended!
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Mycroft Holmes

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The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans

It was the maid with a telegram. Holmes tore it open and burst out laughing.

"Well, well! What next?" said he. "Brother Mycroft is coming round."

"Why not?" I asked.

"Why not? It is as if you met a tram-car coming down a country lane. Mycroft has his rails and he runs on them. His Pall Mall lodgings, the Diogenes Club, Whitehall--that is his cycle. Once, and only once, he has been here. What upheaval can possibly have derailed him?"

"Does he not explain?"

Holmes handed me his brother's telegram.

Must see you over Cadogen West. Coming at once.


"Cadogen West? I have heard the name."

"It recalls nothing to my mind. But that Mycroft should break out in this erratic fashion! A planet might as well leave its orbit. By the way, do you know what Mycroft is?"

I had some vague recollection of an explanation at the time of the Adventure of the Greek Interpreter.

"You told me that he had some small office under the British government."

Holmes chuckled.

"I did not know you quite so well in those days. One has to be discreet when one talks of high matters of state. You are right in thinking that he under the British government. You would also be right in a sense if you said that occasionally he IS the British government."

"My dear Holmes!"

"I thought I might surprise you. Mycroft draws four hundred and fifty pounds a year, remains a subordinate, has no ambitions of any kind, will receive neither honour nor title, but remains the most indispensable man in the country."

"But how?"

"Well, his position is unique. He has made it for himself. There has never been anything like it before, nor will be again. He has the tidiest and most orderly brain, with the greatest capacity for storing facts, of any man living. The same great powers which I have turned to the detection of crime he has used for this particular business. The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience. We will suppose that a minister needs information as to a point which involves the Navy, India, Canada and the bimetallic question; he could get his separate advices from various departments upon each, but only Mycroft can focus them all, and say offhand how each factor would affect the other. They began by using him as a short-cut, a convenience; now he has made himself an essential. In that great brain of his everything is pigeon-holed and can be handed out in an instant. Again and again his word has decided the national policy. He lives in it. He thinks of nothing else save when, as an intellectual exercise, he unbends if I call upon him and ask him to advise me on one of my little problems. But Jupiter is descending to-day. What on earth can it mean? Who is Cadogan West, and what is he to Mycroft?"
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Empire's Top 20 Films Of 2011

Cut and pasted from the Empire website:

About a month ago, Empire's writers and contributors were given their most difficult task of the year: to choose their top films of 2011. How to measure up the likes of Fast Five against, say, The King's Speech? How to remember whether True Grit qualified as this year or last year? But we finally pulled it together, forced ourselves to focus and came up with this, a testament to the very best films of 2011. Read on, see what you think, and give us your thoughts on this year's best films in the comments ...
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Andrew Scott/Jim Moriarty/Jesus Mash up

This photo for me symbolises the darkness and the light that is within each and everyone of us. May the light triumph!

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Holy Bible: King James Version

John 8:12
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
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Tis the Season to be jolly ...

... Unless you are Sherlock!

I just love this photoshopped image. I have never seen a photo embody "Bah! Humbug!" better than this one!

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Cut and pasted from Wikipedia:

Humbug is an old term meaning hoax or jest. In modern usage, the word is most associated with Ebenezer Scrooge, a character created by Charles Dickens. His famous reference to Christmas, "Bah! Humbug!", declaring Christmas to be a fraud, is commonly used in stage and television versions of A Christmas Carol and also appeared frequently in the original book.