Archive for Christmas

Christmas Lunch Report

Posted in Biographical with tags , on December 19, 2017 by telescoper

Well, yesterday’s annual Christmas Lunch for the School of Physics & Astronomy at Cardiff University went very well, with only the one member of staff having to be taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Prior to that we had the traditional meal at Aberdare Hall, following by the traditional pool competition at the Mackintosh Hotel, and the traditional karaoke upstairs in the Flute and Tankard. I got home about 2am, whereupon I remembered that Monday nights are when I have to put the rubbish out.

These occasions are a reminder of the true Christmas message of depravity and excess which, in my opinion, is increasingly lost by the regrettable encroachment of too much crass religion.

After the lunch, our Head of School gave an inspirational speech to the assembled throng in which he summed up our feelings for the festive season by quoting George Bernard Shaw:

Christmas is forced on a reluctant and disgusted nation by the shopkeepers and the press: on its own merits it would wither and shrivel in the fiery breath of universal hatred; and anyone who looked back to it would be turned into a pillar of greasy sausages.

Happy Christmas!

Nadolig Llawen i chi gyd

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 25, 2012 by telescoper

Having spent most of the afternoon setting up a new laptop and  wireless router, and installing various bits of software on the computers here at the old family home, I thought the least I could do is sign in for a moment and wish you all a very Merry Xmas while we prepare for dinner.

If your Christmas Day has been half as good as mine, then mine has been twice as good as yours!

Urgent Announcement from the AGP

Posted in Science Politics with tags , , , on December 1, 2012 by telescoper

As the festive season approaches, the UK government has decided  to make immediate changes to the  procedures to be followed for the allocation and distribution of yuletide gifts. In previous years, such awards have been made  directly by the agency involved, e.g. proposals within the STFC  remit have been directly Sent To Father Christmas, often in hand-written format. However, to cut costs improve the quality of service, it has been decided to extend the operations of the Shared Services Centre to cover such applications, which will henceforth be administered by a Shared Santa Claus (SSC), after being uploaded to the JES system (in Word 95 format only). They will then be sent to relevant experts for peer review, i.e. the Advent Gift Panel (AGP).

In preparing submissions, Applicants should note the following  important revisions to AGP guidelines.

Proposals must include:

  1. The aims and scope of the presents requested and any interrelation between them, where appropriate.
  2. The areas in which the Applicants have a proven track-record in the general area of not being naughty, including (where appropriate) highlights of particularly good behaviour within the last three years.
  3. The support  already provided to the Applicants with particular emphasis on recent investments that are relevant to the gifts requested.
  4. How the Applicants will be advanced as a result of the proposed present.
  5. How the  requested present  fits within the international context, i.e. is it of comparable quality to the best gifts available overseas?
  6. The likely impact of the present (e.g. when thrown around the living room).
  7. How you expect the present to evolve over the next three years, e.g. is it likely to break or need repair?
  8. The level of resources needed to supply the present.
  9. How the gift will contribute to the UK economy over the next thirty years.

The following supplementary rules also apply:

  1. Consumables will be allocated using a formula based on the number of FTE awarded, to include (per FTE): one Bernard Matthews Turkey Twizzler, three sprouts, 2 potatoes (including one roast if the case justifies such extravagance), and one small carrot/parsnip. Gravy is expected to be provided from local resources.
  2. Christmas puddings and/or mince pies are covered by a different  programme (overseen by the Hefty Pudding Committee, HPC)  and will require a separate application; a Cheese Board may also be convened if there is sufficient demand.
  3. Requests for crackers are welcomed, as long as the proposal is not entirely crackers.
  4. Travel expenses will be limited to the cost of one sleigh ride (weather permitting).
  5. Batteries will not be included.
  6. Under no circumstances will funding be allocated for the purchase of paperweights.
  7. Each proposal  must be accompanied by a Knowledge Exchange case, explaining the impact of the proposal outside the STFC remit.
  8. Each proposal must be accompanied by an Outreach case outlining any public activities,  such as carol singing.

The deadline for applications is Friday 14th December 2012. In line with normal shambolically inefficient SSC practice, awards are expected to be made sometime in April (2014).

I hope this clarifies the situation.

Cardiff University Christmas Lunch Special

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 7, 2009 by telescoper

The publication of Cardiff University’s new Alcohol and Drugs Policy recently circulated to staff as reported in last week’s Times Higher will require some changes to be made to forthcoming Christmas parties. In particular, we note that the new policy does not allow staff to

consume alcohol or illegal drugs while at work, except at approved functions where such consumption has been formally authorised by the Head of School / Directorate or nominee

so we regret that alcohol will no longer be served at staff Christmas lunches. However, thanks to special authorisation,  we can announce various enhancements to the menu, which will now be as follows:

Christmas Menu




Foie Grass

Garlic Magic Mushrooms

Quaalude Eggs

Thai Sticks


Main Courses


Coke au Vin

Pot au Foil

A Selection of Joints

(served with Greens, Beans and Herbs)

followed by

Cold Turkey




Hash Brownies

Crystalmeth Pudding




Christmas Crackers (containing real Crack)

Dollies, Jellies, Candy and Ices

(with Munchies to follow)

Party Poppers


I hope the above menu proves satisfactory but if not please send your suggestions for additions through the comments box.

Christmas Closure

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 23, 2008 by telescoper

Dear Readers (and Associate Professors),

I’m shortly going to be climbing aboard the Deadwood Stage (with some other faggots) in order to spend Christmas with my friends in the  North.

That means that I’ll be offline for a few days but as soon as I’ve sobered up I’ll be back with more of the random drivel that this blog is famous for.

In the meantime, I’d just like you wish anyone who reads this a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year or, failing that, a felicitous non-denominational yuletide.

Set ’em up, Joe!