December 21st, 2005


I didn't like it when LJ told us to lose our old passwords and replace them with meaningless, unmemorable combinations of letters and numbers. I fixed on a formula (it has a key) and wrote it down and promptly lost the piece of paper. Oh, well, I thought, I'm permanently logged in so I'll never actually need the damn thing anyway. But- of course- the time came and with it the judgement and I was asked for my password and didn't know it, but- did I panic? No, I went and fetched the book that holds the key and retraced the steps by which I'd devised the password in the first place and- bingo- worked it out at the first attempt.

I'm so pleased with myself. Fetch me a crown of tinsel and holly. I am the Conquistador of cryptograms. The Caesar of seasonal smugness.

Happy Holidays

The Winter Solstice has been THE big seasonal festival in the Northern hemisphere since prehistoric times.

Stands to reason: This is when the sun starts coming back. Who wouldn't want to celebrate?

Very few of the trimmings of Christmas are specifically Christian. Fir trees, holly, mistletoe, fat beardy men in fur-coats, reindeer- not many of any of these were to be found in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem in the good old days of Caesar Augustus.

The early Church worked on the sound principle "if you can't beat 'em join 'em". Finding they couldn't stop people decking their halls with boughs of holly, the fathers co-opted the festival by declaring it the birthday of their own Sun-god.


Come on in, Jesus, and meet the gang. The guy in the mask is Horus and that's Dionysus presiding over the punch-bowl and the Japanese lady in the shiny dress is Amaterasu.....