Life at the Lodge: 7) Christmas

The countdown to Christmas was well underway at the Lodge. Presents had been wrapped, guest visits rescheduled, party invitations sent, and the main house was decorated with colourful paper chains and a savannah Christmas tree in the corner.

The elves had done a good job. And that evening we sat together and ate a Christmas meal of curried chicken and rice.

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Life at the Lodge: 6) Summit

The weather is noticeably different here now. It can change in a matter of minutes, with the wind picking up, the sky clouding over suddenly, and the heavens opening in a 10-minute torrential downpour that sends everyone running for cover. The temperature is also a lot cooler, and more than once I have found myself having to sleep under a sheet.

Despite these downpours, the river continues to sink lower and Manny is now advising that we should transfer guests by vehicle rather than by boat. Even that will bring its problems, however. The trails and “roads” are rapidly becoming overgrown by vegetation as the wilderness seeks to reclaim its land.

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Life at the Lodge: 5) Commute

I wasn’t the only guest to have arrived in Georgetown. As well as the December rains, a stroll through the mall, second-hand radio broadcasts, and exaggerated television adverts reminded me that despite the near-constant 30-degree heat, Christmas was imminent.

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A Blueprint For A Merrier Christmas: Gifts That Defy Modern Consumerism

Despite the criticisms, the greed, the gluttony, and the rampant expenditure on unwanted or short-lived items, Christmas in the 21st century can still serve a purpose.

Though there are many aspects of a modern Christmas which are unappealing, and at times even damaging, it does not appear to be going anywhere any time soon, and for that reason, rather than fighting the festive mood, it may be best to embrace and subvert it.

What we now see as Christmas, the stress and struggle of buying presents, the financial hardship that inevitably follows a busy December period, the feasting on food and alcohol, it is not how it always was, and thus is not how it always has to be.

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How The Analysis of Chess Highlights Key Concepts Within Football – Part One

At Christmas I received a wonderful book entitled Football and Chess. It is written by Adam Wells and looks to analyse and compare the two games. It may seem like a bit of a mismatch, but in all honesty Wells couldn’t be more correct in what he says. The book is very well written and each point he makes is explained with examples from real football games, and real chess matches. Within two days I had read the book three times, making notes as I went through. My chess skills, and knowledge, are quite a bit below that of my football skills and knowledge, but I believe that this book has improved my understanding in both of these games. It really is a fascinating book and I encourage anyone interested in either chess or football to pick up a copy.

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