Did you know that Pantomime evolved from what was a long tradition of cross dressing for Christmas?! Or that Joseph Grimaldi was the first ever panto superstar?
The poor and the entertainers of London were invited to feast on the scraps of the royal feasts at Christmas. 24 courses would have provided a lot of scraps – and the kitchens were asked to over provide to ensure there was enough for all. (Bit like Christmas tax then).
In the Christmas Carol Dickens writes of Cratchit playing snap dragon – a game involving currants floating in a shallow bowl of flaming sprit where small children had to be quick at snatching the currants out of the flames to feast on them. Cant imagine schoolkids participating in that little game nowadays! Im mildly surprised the story hasn’t been ‘adapted’ – just in case…
On a similar Dickensian Carol note this years Scrooge award goes to Ken Livingstone our esteemed mayor. Not content with chucking insults at Jewish journalists – he took a swipe at those of us ‘mad’ enough to feel strongly about the Routemaster bus. Apparently according to endearing Ken we all need to get a better sex life. (…We probably would Ken – if we could get home without feeling totally shagged before we step foot in the door).
Since Kenneth prides himself on championing the put upon (unless you’re a hapless put upon commuter that is) perhaps he would like to hear from one young London mother I know who suggested she would rather walk ten miles with a pushchair then even attempt to get onto one of his bendy buses. “They were designed to gobble up passengers at bus stops and as an afterthought provide access for people on wheels” she wails. They might allow for access on to the bus but aren’t that good at allowing enough space once youre on board, in fact its a bit like being on the tube. Imagine being on a really rammed bus with a pushchair where essentially you cant get off. If that’s not terrifying enough for a toddler then imagine being in a wheelchair! I have to agree – I was unfortunate enough to be stuck on an over packed bendy bus with only a small suitcase to contend with and getting off was an experience and a half.
Perhaps, in his spare time, and in a much needed break from being gobby and insulting he might like to consider consulting some sex starved Londoners on their travel needs next time round (he is standing again for the 2008 elections! Groan)
….. on a happy note the congestion charge is suspended over Xmas so im taking advantage of this opportunity to pick up the first members of my family arriving for Xmas by driving to Victoria (I must be mad!)
****Happy Christmas to everyone out there in the blogosphere! It has been such a treat discovering all those wonderful blogs I have visited these past few months – to all those listed on the right and to anyone else who happens by – wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a wonderful 2006****
Signing off til January!
We are into Week 6 of the Jack Idema campaign and whilst Xmas is on everyones minds make sure you catch up on the latest both primarily courtesy of Caos Blog (link right) where you can join the campaign and c/o Rottweiler Puppy below.