This is the Message Centre for Gnomon - time to move on

The 8th

Post 1

Gnomon - time to move on

Today is the traditional day for people from the country to come to Dublin to do their Christmas Shopping.

In the old days, it was a day off work for many people and all the schools in the country were closed due to it being a Catholic holy day (the Feast of Immaculate Conception of Mary*).

At a time when you could buy all your Christmas presents in one day, thousands of rural people would take a trip to the big city to do their shopping, and true Dubliners would keep away from the city centre due to the crowds.

Times have changed - every day is a shopping day and people living in the countryside can order on-line the same as everybody else - but I still think that many country folk will make the trip today.

* Mary was supposed to be the only person after Adam and Eve who was conceived without the stain of original sin on her soul. All the rest of us are flawed from the start. Today is 9 months before the traditional birthday of Mary, on 8 September.


The 8th

Post 2

You can call me TC

My (French) colleague is in Paris at the moment visiing her sister. Today is the day when everyone puts candles in their windows. She is looking forward to that, as well as dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant she ate at last time she was there.


The 8th

Post 3

Galaxy Babe - spaghettified editor

The older I get, the less inclined I am for Christmas shopping. Even card-writing is a job I keep putting off smiley - sadface


The 8th

Post 4

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

This is a delicate question, but are we to think that Jesus was conceived in Late March?


The 8th

Post 5

Gnomon - time to move on

Yes, the conception of Jesus took place according to tradition on 25 March, the feast of the annunciation. The angel told her she'd been chosen and she agreed to it on that day so they didn't waste any time.

Today, though, is the date Mary was conceived.


The 8th

Post 6

You can call me TC

It really is huge in France especially in Lyon. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festival_of_Lights_(Lyon)

Or google images for fete des lumieres


The 8th

Post 7

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

smiley - smiley

I can believe that the French would jump at the chance for a feast. smiley - drool


The 8th

Post 8

Recumbentman

I had a diary once that listed the feast days, and it had the 8th of December down as "The feast of the immaculate consumption".

I corrected it, so now it reads "The feast of the conspicuous consumption".


The 8th

Post 9

Rev Nick

I briefly looked forward to the 6th - the Feast of St Nicholas.

Then it was pointed out, I am no saint.


The 8th

Post 10

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

In a way, you might be a saint, though.

Remember, saints can be pains in the neck who nobody understands. It isn't until later that people realize how saintly they were.


The 8th

Post 11

Recumbentman

Saints are famously hard to live with.


The 8th

Post 12

Gnomon - time to move on

Nick Hornby wrote "How to Be Good" about a man who was the grumpiest, most cynical man in the country - he wrote restaurant reviews which caused businesses to collapse. He was continually urged to be nicer by his family. Then he had a Road-to-Damascus moment and became a saint, inviting in a homeless man to live in the family house and giving away the children's electronic games and computers.


The 8th

Post 13

Recumbentman

Worst-case scenario


The 8th

Post 14

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

I dreamed I was in a sausage factory where workers were preparing the outer skins that ground meat would be put into. It was the wurst-case scenario.


The 8th

Post 15

Sho - with added slapping hand

I've always wanted to live in Austria. 8th December is a public holiday. And it's my birthday smiley - smiley


The 8th

Post 16

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

I've been to Austria twice. They have obscene statues in their central cemetery, a Woolworth's store, cross attendants at the public swimming pools near the Schonbrunn Castle, and a hotel just around the corner from Joseph Haydn's house [which is now a museum].

The Austro-Hungarian Empire looks benign to us because of the lush music and architecture of its golden era, but by Beethoven's time the government was growing more repressive. Only about 800 people in Vienna really counted.

There was also Metternich, the leading exponent of counter-revolution.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klemens_von_Metternich

It is said that Beethoven's populist sentiments might have gotten him in trouble with the government had his friends not cautioned him about going too far in what he said. Then again, it should have been obvious to all that Beethoven was sui generis, a person who had about as much chance of leading a revolution as Mickey Mouse has of running the Louvre.


The 8th

Post 17

KB

I heard that Dubliners are so sick and tired of country people flooding in on the 8th that they started a campaign to repeal it!

It was similar in Belfast. Not all schools got a holiday, but quite a lot did, and from my earliest days I remember my father nearly having a fit if we suggested going into town on the 8th. "Nooooo! smiley - yikes"


The 8th

Post 18

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

I read Joyce's "The Dubliners." smiley - yikes

But it was easier to understand than his "Ulysses. smiley - yikessmiley - yikessmiley - yikes


The 8th

Post 19

Recumbentman

Try Ulysses again. It is really a continuation of the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners, with a lot of the same characters turning up.

People say it's hard to get into. I suspect that is because Stephen is presented as such a superior person with such huge pretensions. We flee the poet.

But Stephen is a secondary character. Every chapter is written in a different literary idiom, from newsprint to heroic legend, including the Night-town stream-of-consciousness vein that was shamelessly mined by William Burroughs to produce his entire output.

If the first chapter daunts you, try listening to it. There are brilliant readings on CD: I have a great one read by Jim Norton which I return to on headphones while walking the dog.


The 8th

Post 20

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

I got about a third of the way through it.


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