I have to say that I am feeling rather pleased with myself !
It's my birthday, UNFORTUNATELY, on Friday when I will SADLY be 67 years old. That image, that handsome young man was taken fifty years ago. My Facebook picture, there on the right, is more what I look like today but it is the me on the left who is writing today's blog.
I spent most of yesterday working on the OurRebekah website, completely re-writing our Secret Santa pages. While I worked, for part of the day at least, I was watching The BoatThe Rocked - I'll talk about that in a moment but first let me natter on, let my ego inflate, while I tell you all about Secret Santa.
SANTA is, of course, an Americanism of Father Christmas and while I would not normally depart from the Anglicised version SECRET FATHER CHRISTMAS does not easily trip off the tongue.
At the top of Santa's home page - PLEASE CLICK HERE AND CHECK IT OUT - the reader is invited to click a video and listen to music while they read.
The page does not work so well if the reader is not listening to the music. Throughout the presentation characters are dancing to the music.
So I guess I had better ask you to play the Secret Santa music while you read the blog !
When you look at the website area you will find it bears absolutely no resemblance to what was there before. It has taken Secret Santa and kicked it into orbit. The new plans for the project are ambitious !
First of all the project asks friends to put gifts of love into Santa's Sack. We need 84 gifts for Ronald McDonald House in Liverpool, 69 for Birmingham and 29 for Bristol.
There is a gallery showing the gifts we have received. This gallery will be updated every time a new gift pops into Santa's Sack.
Ronald McDonald Houses do not close their doors for Christmas you know. Of course they don't ! 24/7, 365 days a year they are there with a loving arm around families who have a child sick in hospital. At Christmas there will be staff and volunteers on duty looking after the families.
Santa wants you to bake some treats, mince pies, cakes, gingerbread men which he can give to the staff and volunteers. OK, you can cheat if you like - pop into Morrissons, Asda orTesco and pick some off the shelf.
Just one thing .........
When you assemble the ingredients, when you read the recipe please make sure you TRIPLE the amount of LOVE it tells you to put in the mixing bowl.
The website has its own Advent Calendar. Each day from 1st to 24th December it will open a window to play a piece of Christmas Music. There are thirty two days until Advent starts so until then I have chosen my own personal favourite piece of Christmas music to play.
Tony from Radio Secklow 105.5 commented on the music, saying how beautiful it was. Just wait until I play my second favourite piece of music - THE FAIRY TALE IN NEW YORK.
When we started OurRebekah I spent hours and hours and hours contacting people, famous people, asking them to give me autographed items we could use in an e-bay auctions. Many of these are valuable, all are special but we just could not make e-bay work. There was no reason why it did not work but now these gifts are in a box unwanted and unloved.
OMG THE GOOGLE GEEKS ARE SCREWING UP THE PAGE FORMATTING FOR THE BLOG AGAIN - SORRY ABOUT THAT
Let's see if the geeks will let me format this picture properly !
NOPE - Google where do you find these GEEKS ! The blog template will not now allow me to justify the text, it has to be centred ! OH WELL !
Let's put all of these items into Santa's sack and orgaise a FREE prize draw for each of the three houses.
You won't find a geek anywhere in our Secret Santa website. What you will find are TYPOS so when you spot one can you tell me and I'll fix it. THANKS.
Rudolph is ready. The plan is to hitch him to the front of my car, decorate it as Santa's Sleigh then secretly deliver the gifts to the houses in Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol.
Santa needs some little helpers to come with him.
Visiting the house will be long days and when we get there we will not be stoppingfor any longer than it needs to hand over the gifts, we do not want to disrupt the work of the houses.
These little helpers, we need three for each trip MUST be dressed appropriately. The plan is to stop on the way for refreshments and for everyone in the motorway servicearea to see us and know what we are doing. TAKING LOVE TO FAMILIES IN RONALD McDONALD HOUSES WHO HAVE A CHILD SICK IN HOSPITAL.
Just to add a bit of fun into the day Santa has said he will buy everyone a meal - wait for it - IN BURGER KING !
I am feeling very pleased with myself, my ego is inflating as I tell myself what a good job I have done writing the website. The carpenter is coming round to our house later to fit bigger doors so I can get my head through.
But no matter how great I THINK the website it, no matter how great I THINK Secret Santa is as an OurRebekah project it will fail if Santa has an emptysack, it will fail if nobody makes the mince pies, it will fail if Santa can not find his little helpers.
PLEASE go to Secret Santa
See if you think I have done a good job or not but more importantly PLEASE put your name down to add a gift, make some mince pies or become a little helper.
Now for THE BOAT THAT ROCKS.
It is no secret that when I find a way to travel through time I will go back to the golden days of pop music and become a DJ on a pirate radio station. Radio One began the demise of the British Pop Music industry.
I wrote about my fantasy in one of my books, a trilogy of time travel. There Radio One is talked about as RADIO MINUS ONE.
So there I was yesterday working on the website and watching The Boat That Rocked. I began by wondering if I could use the DVD within a school community service project I am setting up to introduce members to retro pop.
Ah no ! Naked men, lesbian women, cannabis. NOT really suitable. When I had finishedthe website I started to play the DVD again, not to look at the previously mentioned items but to scribble down a list of all the songs played in the film.
I have promised myself that for my birthday on Friday I am going to buy an old fashioned record player and start a new VINYL collection of my favourite retro pop music.
IT ISN'T VINYL IF IT ISN'T MUSIC
I like all kinds of music. I like opera, I like ballet, I like classical music. I only like those forms of music if they stick to the tradition. When I went to the ballet last week and in the final scene a character took a picture using a smart phone I thought it was utterly ridiculous.
I love retro pop music, music from the late 1950's through to the mid 1980's. That music was always played on vinyl so I want to maintain the tradition and play the music not digitally on my laptop or CD player but the correct and proper way usinga vinyl record player. The way it was played on Radio Rock.
There are some OurRebekah events in the diary which would be better better if they included music. To do this requires a PRS and PPL licence. I have started the process to obtain these. I will be paying for them.
I can hardly take my vinyl record player to an event and spin the discs so I am going to buy a traditional disco twin deck and speakers. The whole thing will not be that expensive.
I can buy this set up for £122 !
Radio Rock you will have nothing on Silly Old Man Disco when it starts to play music at OurRebekah events.
But what 7" vinyl singles should I buy ? There is an absolute abundance of them available on e-bay, available at give away prices.
Surfing YouTube yesterday I thought I would spend £1.99 and get this.
Then in total contrast I plan to get a copy of this.
I have already got a copy of this.
I also have a copy of the single I plan to make OurRebekah's adopted theme song.
And with that I'll end today's blog.