More importantly…stay well!
Our cousins, the Kiwis, actually came up with this perfect Antipodean Christmas Carol but…it’s all in the family so I’m claiming it for Australia too! Mwahahaha…-cough-
My thanks to Carol of Carol Cooks, for introducing me to the Summer Wonderland video, and some fantastic foodie delights during the year. Apart from being a great cook, Carol also has a wicked sense of humour which is why I believe she should be an honorary Antipodean. Welcome to the Downunders, Carol!
As for everyone else, wherever you are, and whatever you plan to cook for your <<insert name of holiday here>> I hope you have a safe holiday even if it isn’t the most joyous one. Next year will be better, and next holiday will make up for this one.
Stay strong, stay safe, stay well.
Writing sci-fi involves a lot of research, most of which never appears in the finished story. I created the following schematic so I could see the layout of the Undercity apartments in my story, The Christmas Roast:
The diagram of the SL’ick tank below details how the SL’ick are harvested:
None of the details about the SL’ick tank appeared in the story, but I needed to know them in order to make Caitlyn’s feelings ‘real’.
The Christmas Roast is one of the sci-fi short stories found in my book, The Vintage Egg. I hope you enjoy the story and have a safe and happy Christmas. Cheers, Meeks.
Christmas was supposed to be a time of happiness and good cheer, but fourteen year old Caitlyn Nguyen knew that Christmas was going to be horrible this year. That was why she was still awake at 3am on Christmas morning.
Caitlyn’s two younger brothers, Jeff and little Michael, had gone to sleep hours before, and she could hear them snoring softly in the bunks below. They were probably dreaming of the presents they would find under the tree when they got up in the morning.
It wasn’t a real tree of course. It was illegal to grow pines anymore because of the bushfires, but the fake Christmas tree was still very pretty, and Caitlyn had been happy to help decorate it until the moment her mother had started talking about the huge roast she was going to bake for Christmas lunch – real potatoes, real carrots, real pumpkin… and their very first, home-grown SL’ick.
The boys had jumped up and down in excitement, wanting to know if they could help get the SL’ick out of its tank. Neither of them had given a thought to the fact that taking the SL’ick out of its tank would kill it. All they had cared about was that there would be meat for Christmas lunch…
Carnivores! Caitlyn thought in disgust as she stared up at the ceiling just a couple of feet above her head. All they care about is food!
Before being assigned to their very own apartment in the undercity, Caitlyn had been much like her brothers. They had never gone hungry, her parents worked very hard to make sure that never happened, but still, meat was not something they could afford to eat.
There had been special occasions of course, birthdays and anniversaries and such, when they would all go out to have a hamburger as a treat, but the meat inside the bun had been mostly soy anyway, with just a bit of SL’eef for flavour, so Caitlyn had never really had to worry about where the meat came from. But eating a whole SL’ick was different, especially when it was a SL’ick she knew.
Like everyone else, Caitlyn had grown up knowing about Synthetic Life Animals. She knew they made precious compost because they were engineered from earthworms. She knew they had no bones, or eyes or anything, and she knew her family was incredibly lucky to be assigned an apartment with its own SLA tank. However none of that changed the sense of horror she felt at the thought of eating one. No matter what anyone said, she knew the SL’ick in their home tank were not just giant worms!
When the Nguyen family had first moved into their apartment, everyone had been given one special chore, even three year old Michael. As the eldest, Caitlyn was given the important task of feeding the five tiny synthetic life chickens her mother had bought. Three times a day she would have to scrape the leftovers from their meals into the SLA tank, and three times a day she would have to look down into the tank and see the brown, segmented things that moved around inside.
While the SL’ick were small she hardly even noticed them, however once they became bigger a curious thing began to happen. Instead of staying below the surface of the compost, the SL’ick began squirming up to the top, their toothless mouths opening and closing as if in anticipation of the food she was about to give them.
When Caitlyn told her parents about the SL’icks’ odd behaviour they laughed it off, saying it must have been a coincidence because SL’ick were too primitive for such ‘purposeful behaviour’.
Even the boys had laughed at Caitlyn’s fanciful story, so she had not brought the subject up again, but the strange behaviour of the creatures in the tank continued. She did notice, however, that the SL’ick only seemed to respond to her. Whenever anyone else opened the tank they would hide below the compost. It was almost as if they recognized her in some weird way.
And then two weeks ago the biggest one, the one that was going to end up as Christmas lunch, began bumping its mouth-end up against Caitlyn’s hand, almost as if it was saying hello or something. The first time it happened she had fled to the holoscreen, desperately searching for answers, but all the wiki clips said the same thing – SLA did not have heads as such because they didn’t really have any brains, so there was just an in-end and an out-end.
Nonetheless every time the big SL’ick bumped her hand it was always with the mouth-end, the end that would be its head if it had a brain. Could it be that these SL’ick were made differently to normal SLAs? But why would the company that made them suddenly give them a brain?
It didn’t make sense, unless the company hadn’t meant to make them this way. Maybe Buffa and the others were part of a batch that went wrong. Glitches did happen. Usually they were caught before people bought them, but there was that Eterna face cream recently. It made hundreds of women’s faces turn blue…
Fearing the ridicule of her friends and family, Caitlyn told no-one of her latest suspicions, but in the privacy of her own mind she began thinking of the big SL’ick as Buffa. It was a silly name from a little kids holo, but somehow the name seemed to fit; just like the fat cat in the story, Buffa really was very smart. Before each feed it would bump up against her hand as if telling her to hurry up, but afterward it would slide gently beneath her fingers, back and forth, for all the world as if it was saying thank you.
Buffa is smart, Caitlyn thought as her throat tightened up, and the first tear slid down her cheek. More tears followed, leaving cold, wet trails down her face before pooling in her ears. Rolling onto her stomach she buried her face in the pillow, but the tears kept coming. Soon the sound would wake the boys, and then they would wake her parents and-
Sliding to the side of the bunk, Caitlyn grabbed the guard rail with both hands, and swung her feet onto the rungs of the ladder that connected the three bunks. Once on the floor she tip-toed from the small cubicle, and swiped the panel that closed off their bedroom from the round hallway.
Like all of the apartments in the honeycomb of the undercity, the Nguyen’s 20 foot square of living space had a circular, multifunction ‘hall’ in the middle that provided access to the two bedrooms, the kitchen and the communal living space. However when all the openings in the hall were closed, the circular space automatically turned into a bathroom. The toilet and basin would rise up from the floor while the shower-dryer would drop down from the ceiling. The bathroom was also the only space in the apartment that was sound-proofed.
As the door leading to her parents’ room was already closed, Caitlyn only had to close off the living, and kitchen spaces to gain the privacy she needed. In moments she was alone in the bathroom, but she made no attempt to use any of the fixtures. Instead she just sat on the toilet and cried.
She had already made up her mind that she could not, would not eat any of the SL’ick her mother served up for lunch, no matter how much trouble she got into. However, as she sat there with snot running from her nose, and her shoulders bouncing up and down with hiccups, she suddenly realised that refusing to eat was not going to be enough. Buffa knew her and trusted her. She couldn’t just stand by and let him die. She just couldn’t.
When the hiccups finally stopped, Caitlyn took a deep breath, washed her face and hands, and opened up the doors. Creeping back into the room she shared with her brothers, she grabbed her clothes and school bag, and crept out again. She knew exactly what she had to do, but guilt still made her shiver as she crept into the tiny, compact kitchen. SL’ick were expensive.
Placing her shoes and the bag on the floor with exaggerated care, Caitlyn stared at the door to her parents room as she pulled on her coveralls, and slipped into her shoes.
The only light in the kitchen came from the night light that always burned in the hall, but the apartment was so tiny even that dim light was enough to see by. If one of her parents got up to go to the bathroom, and saw her standing in the kitchen fully dressed, they would know something was up.
Nervous sweat made Caitlyn’s hands feel wet, and she wiped them on her coveralls before she reached out and opened the SL’ick tank.
During the day, the soft hiss of the servos was impossible to hear against the background noise of five people moving around inside a very small space, but now even that slight sound seemed unnaturally loud.
Caitlyn held her breath as her eyes flicked to the door of her parents’ room. She expected to see her father standing there, cricket bat in hand, ready to repel intruders, but the door stayed closed.
Breathing out in relief, Caitlyn turned back to the SL’ick tank, desperate to grab Buffa, and leave before her imaginings turned into reality. However when she looked into the tank she could not see the big SL’ick anywhere. The little ones were all coming to the surface, but there was no sign of Buffa.
Cold hands seemed to clutch at her heart. Had her mother killed Buffa already? Was that what her parents had been doing after the rest of them had gone to bed?
Sorrow, relief and guilt battled it out in Caitlyn’s mind as she stared at the small SL’ick waiting hopefully for an unscheduled feed. I’ll never see Buffa again. I won’t get into trouble. I should have rescued Buffa sooner.
After all the crying Caitlyn had done in the bathroom, she should have been all out of tears, but there they were, blurring her vision all over again.
“I’m so sorry Buffa,” she whispered as she gently patted the surface of the compost. “I did try. Really I did.”
Caitlyn was shaking the compost off her fingers when something wet, and slightly slimy, rose up and nudged the palm of her hand. It was the big SL’ick and it was still very much alive!
Thrusting both hands into the compost, Caitlyn scooped up the big SL’ick, and placed it gently in the bottom of her bag before quickly covering it with some of the moist compost from the tank.
SL’ick could survive in the air for a short time, but she knew Buffa would never survive the trip to the surface without compost.
She was just about to close the tank when two of the medium sized SL’ick slithered up, still looking for food. They were only about half the size of Buffa, but as she watched their little mouths open and close in entreaty, Caitlyn knew she couldn’t leave them behind either. Even though they were small, her mother was a very determined woman, and she had set her heart on having roast SL’ick for Christmas.
Sorry Mum, Caitlyn thought as she grabbed a SL’ick in either hand. They too went into the bag with a blanket of compost. Catching the two smallest ones was a little harder as they were only as big as her index finger, and quite fast, but she kept combing her hands through the compost until she had them both.
After covering all the SL’ick with a few more handfuls of compost, Caitlyn quickly sealed the bag, and hoisted it onto her shoulder. Five SL’ick and a load of compost turned out to be a lot heavier than she expected, but desperation and a strange, wild excitement gave her the strength to tip-toe away.
A few moments later the front door irised shut with a soft snick as Caitlyn and her SL’ick made their escape.
* * *
As soon as Caitlyn stepped out into the corridor running past her home, the guilty elation fled. She had never been out this late before, and the corridor looked spooky, and somehow alien with only the dim blue of the floor panels to light the way. They led off in either direction like the footprints of a ghost.
Maybe this had not been such a good idea after all. Passive sensors guarded every corridor of the undercity, but Caitlyn knew they wouldn’t be much help if some psycho jumped out of the shadows. Security would come, but not in time to save her.
That was a lesson the whole undercity had learned two years ago when a nightshift worker had been found, raped and strangled. Security had caught the psycho responsible, but that had not been much consolation to the victim, or her family.
Maybe I should just put the SL’ick back, Caitlyn thought as her hand groped blindly for the access panel next to the door. Surely if she made enough of a fuss her mother would change her mind about the roast…
Yeah, right. And maybe we’ll have snow for Christmas too.
Ever since Caitlyn had put the SL’ick in her bag, they had been quiet and still, but now she could feel them squirming around against her back. There really wasn’t enough compost in her bag to keep them alive for long. She would have to decide one way or the other very soon.
It’s not that far to the recycling plant…
Caitlyn’s parents both worked at the recycling plant, so she knew the way. All she had to do was walk to the first main intersection, and ride the strip until she hit the Hub. From there it would only be a short ride up to the recycling plant on the surface.
C’mon, c’mon you can do this!
The SL’ick seemed to agree as they intensified their squirming. Or perhaps they were just getting more uncomfortable.
What if they died before she could get them up to the recycling plant?
That was one of Michael’s favourite sayings, and the thought of her four year-old brother steadied Caitlyn’s nerves. Both boys would think this was a great adventure. How could she wimp out now?
Hitching the heavy bag a little higher, Caitlyn took a deep breath and started walking up the corridor. The floor panels brightened at her approach, and dimmed again as she walked on. The added light should have been welcome, but being in her own cone of light just made her feel more exposed. She longed to run, to get this all over with, but the bag seemed to get heavier with every step, and a slow trudge was all she could manage.
It seemed to take forever just to reach the first side corridor, and when she got there, Caitlyn had to put the bag down, and catch her breath. She did not rest for long though; the sound of her own breathing seemed terribly loud in the silence. Picking up the bag again, she trudged on.
The main corridor was much wider than the narrow residential one she had come from, and the lighting was brighter, but the emptiness stretching ahead and behind scared her in a way she could not define. During the day, this corridor teemed with people and bots, all hurrying to someplace else. Now it was as if she was the only person alive in the whole of the undercity.
If Caitlyn had been less tired she might have given in to her fears then, and trudged home again, but with the moving strip just a few feet away it seemed easier to keep going.
Hefting the bag onto her shoulder once more, she turned the corner, and stepped across the west bound strip at an angle so she would not be carried too far in the wrong direction. Once on the east-bound strip she lowered the bag to the moving pavement, and stared at her feet, refusing to look at all the empty corridors trundling past. Yet not seeing was somehow even worse than seeing, and her head quickly snapped up again. The back of her neck crawled, as if hundreds of tiny insects were marching up and down in feathery little boots.
Adding to Caitlyn’s fears was the lack of movement from her bag. The SL’ick had stopped moving, and she was terrified they would all die for nothing.
By the time Caitlyn finally saw the Hub in the distance, its massive ramp corkscrewing its way through the centre of the undercity, her coveralls were sticky with fear sweat. The only thing that kept her from crying like a little kid was the sight of one of the freight elevators standing open, its interior bright with light. Sanctuary beckoned, and she shuffled inside like a lost soul coming home.
“S-surface,” Caitlyn whispered as the massive doors slid shut.
With no other passengers getting on or off, the ride up from the nineteenth level of the Hub took only seconds. All too soon, the great doors slid open once more, and the AI’s impersonal voice was wishing her a Merry Christmas.
Caitlyn had never felt less merry in her life. The plexiglass dome that protected the entrance to the undercity was awash with stars, but their light was too fragile, and too distant, to relieve the immensity of the blackness pressing in from the Outside. Even the strip lighting that led the way to the brightly lit portal of the recycling plant seemed ineffectual. Each cone of bright light just made the shadows beyond its reach even darker.
Anything could be hiding in those shadows, absolutely anything.
Almost there… Almost there…
Making herself walk that last quarter of a mile to the recycling plant was the hardest thing Caitlyn had ever had to do. Every time she left the light and stepped into shadow, it felt like walking into the maw of a ravenous beast.
By the time she reached the portal she had reached a level of fear beyond terror. Mouth open in a silent scream, eyes wide and dry, she walked like an automaton with just one program functioning – get inside.
Five paces from the portal, the sensors detected the presence of a human, and the massive, metal petals of the portal irised open.
Caitlyn kept walking, hardly aware of her surroundings. Only when the rich smell of humus assaulted her nose did she stop, and look around like someone waking from a terrible dream. To her left were the sealed vats where human wastes were processed by a series of engineered bacteria. In the middle were the administrative areas, and behind them were the compost farms that turned all food waste into rich, soil-nourishing humus.
But the young girl with the tear-stained face had eyes for just one thing – the neat rows of hover-trains lined up against the right hand wall. That was where she had to go. And then her job would be done.
Too tired to carry the bag any longer, Caitlyn dragged the SL’ick behind her on the brightly polished floor as she staggered to the nearest hover-train. The huge container was resting on the ground, waiting for the teleoperators to arrive in the morning. She knew it would be full of precious soil for the farms.
With the last of her strength, Caitlyn opened the floor level door and climbed the narrow plasteel steps of the service hatch. When she reached the top, she opened her bag and wrestled it to the top of the guard rail.
As the bag fell, compost and five brown shapes fell onto the pile of humus. The drop was not that long, but none of the five SL’ick moved.
Caitlyn knew she should be feeling something, but there was a strange emptiness in the middle of her chest where her heart should be. Only the need for secrecy still drove her, although why it should matter now was lost in the fuzzy concept of ‘tomorrow’. Turning from the railing, she trudged down the steps, and closed the access door to the hover-train behind her.
She had to hide.
Looking out across the expanse of faux marble, Caitlyn’s eyes brightened a little when she saw the curved reception desk facing the portal. There.
Beneath that desk was a safe, dark place. She had played there many times as a small girl. No one but her mother would know to look for her there.
Moments after crawling under the desk, Caitlyn was asleep.
* * *
Caitlyn was eventually found by the skeleton crew who came in to keep the recycling plant ticking over during the holidays.
She spent the rest of Christmas day in hospital, under observation. Despite being questioned by Security, hospital staff, and her own family, she refused to say what she was doing at the recycling plant.
The only person who did not question Caitlyn was her mother. She did not need to. As soon as she had found the SL’ick gone that morning she had known something was very wrong. Finding Caitlyn missing as well had confirmed her worst fears.
She had known Caitlyn would be upset by the idea of eating the SL’ick, but she had hardened her heart, telling herself the child would outgrow her squeamishness. Now she just prayed her daughter had not paid too high a price for her soft heart.
Mother and daughter were finally reunited in the hospital where they spent some time alone together.
When Caitlyn was allowed to leave the hospital, she looked less stricken than she had when she first arrived, but it would be another six months before the haunted look finally left her eyes.
The family were eating dinner, and watching the nightly news, when an odd little story appeared on the holo. Apparently a group of young men had gone Outside during a drunken binge, and one of them swore he had seen a giant earthworm burrow into the ground just a few feet from where he was taking a leak.
The newscaster made a snide reference to pink elephants before going on to discuss the latest findings published by the Global Climate Change Authority.
Caitlyn and her mother just looked at each other…and smiled.
As some of you may know, I was born in Hungary and was four when we arrived in Australia as refugees. To keep some of our Hungarian heritage alive, we spoke only Hungarian at home, and we always celebrated Christmas on the 24th. That’s a tradition the Offspring and I have continued to this very day, so we’ve already had our Christmas, but now I’d like to invite you all to share a digital Christmas feast with us. 🙂
We had duck last year, so this year I decided to cook a whole eye fillet with scalloped potatoes [a la Mumma], and the Offspring made a huge green salad. No turkey [not fond of turkey], and salad instead of hot vegetables because it was hot, hot, hot yesterday. I think it got to about 35 C [roughly 95F].As it was, to counteract the heat of the oven, we had to have the air conditioner on all day.
If any of you cooks out there are interested, I made a stuffing/marinade for the eye fillet by mixing together:
Next, I lightly scored the ‘skin’ of the eye fillet [just enough to expose the meat underneath] and gently pressed the stuffing/marinade all over the top of the fillet. Then I placed the fillet in a small baking dish, covered it with foil and placed it back in the fridge for about 8 hours [overnight is fine too].
About an hour before we were ready to eat, I placed the dish containing the fillet in a cold oven and turned on the heat [approx. 160 C on fanbake]. I left the foil on for the first 1/2 an hour so the meat would cook gently.
After 1/2 an hour, I removed the foil and continued baking the fillet for another 1/2 an hour until the ‘stuffing’ on top turned into a crust. I allowed the fillet to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
Baking the fillet for an hour created a moist, juicy roast that was just a tiny bit pinkish in the middle. That’s how we like our beef. If you want your beef to be more rare, reduce the amount of time the fillet stays under foil.
I have to say that the fillet was literally melt-in-the-mouth tender, and the tiny bit of heat from the chillies went perfectly with the full cream goodness of the scalloped potatoes and the tart freshness of the salad.
Everyone has a scalloped potato recipe, and mine comes from my Mum. It starts with pink, Desiree potatoes. I cooked them, in their skins, along with the eggs. The eggs came out first, obviously, and went straight under cold tap water. The cold water causes the inner membrane of the eggs to slightly detach from the whites so the eggs are dead easy to peel.
Next, I tested the potatoes with a bamboo skewer. As soon as the skewer just managed to go through, I drained the water and plunged the potatoes into cold water as well. Again, this made it much easier to peel the skin, plus it stopped them from cooking further.
Finally, I sliced both eggs and potatoes and layered them in a baking dish with a generous drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of table salt between in each layer. I drizzled more cream over the top, then placed the dish into the same oven as the fillet. When the potatoes turned a golden brown, everything was ready to come out of the oven:
To say that the potatoes were rich would be a monumental understatement. To cut that much richness, you just have to have a big salad:
The Offspring made the salad with Romaine lettuce, sweet red capsicum [peppers?], cucumber and spring onions [scallions?]. The dressing included oil, Balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and freshly chopped parsley [about 1 tablespoon].
But, of course, no feast would be complete without dessert. The Offspring made Gingerboys, lots and lots of Gingerboys:
…and I made chocolate mousse cupcakes:
These cupcakes were made using the exact same recipe as for Chocolate Mousse Cake. The only difference was in the banking. I made ten little sponge cupcakes [approx. 7 minutes in the over], glued two together with about an inch of chocolate mouse and shaved dark chocolate over the top. Bite sized versions of death-by-chocolate. 😀
Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, The Offspring and I wish you all a very happy Holiday with oodles of delicious food and even more good company.
Meeks & The Offspring
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know about my kitchen sink. Well, after doing the dishes in a bucket last night, then needing the Offspring to lift the bucket out of the sink [coz I put too much water in it], I was not a happy camper. As soon as I woke this morning, I was on the phone to a plumbing company called H2Pro.
‘Is 8 am tomorrow okay?’
Oh god, yes! Babbling my thanks, I did a jig around the kitchen. I really did think I’d be without a working kitchen for Christmas.
I won’t know the cost until tomorrow, but I’ve used H2Pro before and found them to be reasonable in price. More importantly, they come when they say they will and always do a good job. To me, that’s even more important than price because I’ve had so many bad experiences with plumbers in the past.
If that sounds like a plug for the plumber, you’re right, it is. These guys do good work. If you’re in the general Warrandyte area, give them a try:
Oh, and this is my kitchen ‘sink’ at the moment:
I had to race out to Bunnings yesterday to buy it. At least the colour is nice.
The end is in sight!
For a number of years now, I’ve noticed that on or around Christmas, something major always goes wrong. Sometimes it’s to do with the cars, but mostly it’s to do with the house. One year it was a blocked toilet. Another year, my fire-fighting pumps stopped working because the idiots that did the servicing filled them up with 2-stroke petrol. That was a very bad year. This year, it seems the kitchen is taking its turn.
The Offspring and I had planned on doing some baking today – cupcakes and gingerbread men – for a pre-Christmas visit to family. Not gonna happen because the kitchen sink has sprung a leak, a big one. We found out when water started flowing from the cupboard under the sink.
Being the daughter of a mechanical engineer, I mopped up the water and started experimenting. Yup, the connection from the sink outlet to the pipe below isn’t just leaking, it’s spraying water. What’s worse, because of the way the two sinks are plumbed, we can’t use the smaller sink either. No sinks, no dishwasher, no baking or cooking. And it’s Sunday, less than 10 days before Christmas. I wonder how long it’ll take for a plumber to get out here…
I did consider calling an after-hours, emergency plumber…for all of about 5 seconds. Then I remembered the last time I’d had to do that. It was over twelve years ago and cost me $500 back then. Nope, definitely not gonna happen.
So here we are, up the creek without a sink. Sometimes I really wish I’d been born a plumber’s daughter. 😦
Inevitably, this major something ends up costing a major amount of money.
Apologies in advance but the timezone differences always trip me up. I hope I’m still in time to point you towards Sue Vincent’s blog where Ani [the 2nd cutest dog in the world] is hosting a different Christmas related story each day. Hence the ‘Advent’ theme. 🙂
Today, it’s my turn and Ani very kindly agreed to host my sci-fi short story – The Christmas Roast. You can find it here:
Huge hugs to both Sue and Ani. I’ve enjoyed the Advent stories others have told and I hope everyone enjoys mine!
As an antidote to all the marketing I did over the last few days, here’s something that’s just for fun:
Yes, it’s a bright, red teapot on wheels and it sells Mulled wine, Eggnog and something called a Maple Warmer. At those prices I doubt you’d want more than one, but the concept is so lovely I think I’d splash out on an Eggnog just for the fun of being able to say that I ‘bought it from a teapot’. 😀
I don’t have much information about the photo, but you can find it on http://www.jigsawplanet.com, under the category of ‘Christmas’. The puzzle creator is known as ‘puzzleaddict2’ and the photographer is on Instagram under the moniker of @nellcavallo.
Hope this brightened your day. 🙂
I know who bought one set of the Innerscape print set, and I thank her most sincerely. Huge hugs going to you my friend. 🙂
But who bought the second set????
Given how expensive the print books are, I truly hadn’t expected any sales at all. To find that there have been two is…phenomenal. Whoever you are, please know that you’ve given me the best Christmas present I could ever have asked for. Thank you.
Now I’m going off to have a little happy sniffle.
The lead up to Christmas 2016 has been grim, but I hope that from here on in, a little of humanity’s brighter side can shine through.
I don’t believe in any religion, but on a good day, I still believe in humanity. Let’s show that the Naked Ape is capable of more than just hate. Hate destroys. Only Hope has to power to build a better future.
May this Holiday Season be full of Hope, Charity and most of all, Joy.