One of the more memorable TV advertising slogans of the last 20 years came from Murphy’s Irish Stout – whose main rival back in the 1990s was the hugely popular, though more bitter-tasting, Guinness brand.
Murphys brewery in Cork had been taken over by the Dutch giant Heineken, whose own lager famously “refreshes the parts that other beers cannot reach”. Heineken commissioned a series of 30 second vignettes set in Irish pubs starring a handsome young actor recovering from a series of humorous misfortunes with a comforting pint.
“Like the Murphys,” he would say, “I’m not bitter.” Take that, Guinness! The ads were launched during Channel Four’s Father Ted Christmas Special in 1996.But just who was this suave, twinkly-eyed star of all three ads, and why haven’t we seen more of him since then? It’s been extraordinarily hard to find out… [More]
Pic taken with Instagram
The small joys of middle aged life: when a Christmas present is exactly what you wanted. In this case new fleece-lined moccasins – warm indoor footwear for these chilly early mornings…
Taken with Instagram
Boxing Day 2011: Child K in her Christmas Pyjamas…
In the Church Of England, Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent.
The term comes from the collect for the day in the Book of Common Prayer of 1549: “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The day is also associated with the preparation of Christmas puddings, since most recipes call for the mixture to stand for several weeks before cooking.
Although Wife and I haven’t given our children any kind of religious upbringing, all four of us retain a family fondness for the rituals of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany as a way to mark the passing of each year.
But maybe it’d be less hypocritical to seek out some Pagan carols to sing while we bring in the greenery on Midwinter’s Day.
A Saturday afternoon before Christmas in the small cathedral city of Chichester on the south coast of England.
No obvious signs of recession on its prosperous looking high street as a lay preacher delivers the Advent message outside a Christian Bookshop in the oldest building in Chichester, dating from around 1050.
That makes the Saxon Church of St Olave some 961 years old – and still in use for its original purpose: not bad going.