Friday, December 31, 2010


New Year's Eve and prediction is the name of the game!

First, a few predictions picked from writers at the National Review Online, non-astrological of course. I realised, after reading the full list of predictions there from several different writers, that the site is avidly right-wing in orientation. Never mind! The two selections chosen are fairly light, largely non-political, some tongue-in-cheek.

At the end of this post I've added my own 3-card tarot reading for 2011. I shall leave astrological predictions to the many others who are better qualified in that respect.

From John Derbyshire, who is a contributor editor of National Review:

Numerology: People will make a great fuss about 11/11/11.

Vocabulary: The word “austerity” will be heard a lot.

The culture: Obsessive texting on tiny communication gadgets will become so widespread that at some moment in some daylight hour of 2011, nobody in the U.S.A. will be speaking to anyone else.

Foreign affairs: One country will leave the euro, probably Germany.

China will begin visibly to turn the corner from Wirtschaftswunder to 東亞病夫 (Sick Man of Asia) as all the rising graphs start to flatten out. Environmental degradation, class resentments, demographic cratering, corruption, and fiscal reality will gain ground over resource development, embourgeoisement, entrepreneurial energy, Party authority, and grandiose government projects. Just a beginning, nothing very dramatic: a big-city demonstration out of control here, a local food or water crisis there, some high-profile corruption trials, continuing intractable price inflation …

Leadership: Barack Obama will turn 50, the age at which Confucius said he knew the will of Heaven.
From Jonah Goldberg , an editor-at-large of National Review Online.

Guantanamo Bay prison will not be closed.

Fidel Castro will die.

Europe’s financial crisis will get far worse. At least one country will actively try to leave the Euro, causing a major political crisis.

China will experience a major economic correction, causing global concern over Chinese political stability.

A rise in global food prices will create an international crisis.

There will be no major international global-warming agreements.

My predictions for 2012 will have a lot more jokes

my 3-card tarot draw asking "What do I need to know about 2011 with regard to the world at large?"

The 3 cards that emerged after a good shuffle and cut were a little surprising and a little reassuring. No card from the Major Arcana appeared, which is a prediction in itself really. Nothing terribly good - but nothing terribly bad. Nothing world-shattering in 2011.

The 3 cards drawn:
8 of CUPS
6 of CUPS

With 3 cards like these before the reader it's extra important to focus on context and avoid trite keywordy interpretations. Gotta think in terms of the essence at the heart of the cards' meanings and try to place that in context of the question asked.
Also to be borne in mind is that tarot can, occasionally, throw up an answer which relates to a single specific event, rather than one relating to a span of time, adding another layer of fog to clear when trying to untangle the message.

8 of Cups - traditional keywords: abandonment, moving on emotionally, a journey etc.
The suit of Cups represent emotion (as does element of Water in astrology). The 8s in tarot represent movement but also balance. 8 is an even number, the figure 8 is balanced symbol. The 7s which came immediately before represent aspects of imbalance, so the movement to 8 signifies a search for balance. In the world's current situation never has a search for balance been more crucial! Ecologically and politically EVERYTHING is out of balance. So the first card shows that a moving-on away from what is will indeed occur - somehow or other!

Page or Princess of Wands - odd one to interpret in this context. Wands represent the element of Fire, and creativity. Pages/Princesses are the "children" of the Court Cards. They can represent an actual person, male or female, who will become extra significant in some way in the context of the question - or an atmosphere of creativity, a new innocence (as in the innocence of the young). In our present context I'm going for an interpretation of this Page/Princess as a person who will come to the fore during the next 12 months. A person of great enthusiasm and drive but exhibiting a certain naive tactlessness, carelessness but with plenty of charm and charisma. If this is someone we already recognise, I'd go for figures such as Sarah Palin or Julian Assange.....but in the world at large, not just in the USA/European scene. There will be many more possibilities who would fit the bill, known now or unknown. How about the son of North Korea's Kim Jong Il for instance? Hmmmmm!

6 of Cups -traditional keyword for this card is nostalgia. Cups = emotion, again. The 6s are, like the 8s (and 4s) cards of balance. So in the current context 6 Cups must mean that the effort of 8 Cups to move away from trouble/imbalance has been at least partially successful, but has left some feelings of nostalgia and longing for the past (with all its warts and blemishes?)

An alternative interpretation of 6 Cups, when in tandem with the Page/Princess card (both have a "young" feel to them): this might be an indication of someone who is youngish and has been very significant in the past, returning to take an important place at centre stage - in some area or in some nation, but carrying international significance.

The overall "feel" of the 3 cards together is that 2011 will turn out to be quite an emotional 12 months, with a fairly youthful figure coming to the fore, who will later turn out to be of some significance in the world.

When it comes, where you are:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 "Celebs" in the news

We're just now sidling timidly, but with some relief, towards the end of 2010.

Some well-known names spring to mind from each Sun sign, as having "made a mark" on public consciousness this year - for good or ill. I've picked names of "celebrities" with natal Sun in each of the 12 zodiac signs, who've been in the news more than usual at some point during 2010. There are dozens more, and especially more women of course, but these are names that immediately sprang to mind. For the sake of balance I really am sorry so many males sprang first!

ARIES ~ Piers Morgan - is to take over where Larry King left off hosting a nightly TV interview show. Why? I've asked that question myself, more than once. One would think there was nobody in the USA capable of doing this American show - there must be at least 20 possibles who would have jumped at the chance.

TAURUS ~ Didn't notice many Sun Taurus types making a big splash this year. George Clooney and Pierce Brosnan then - I've seen both recently in movies on TV - that's why their names "jumped out". They do seem to have a similar kind of affable easy-going personality - as far as their public persona goes anyway. (Taurus is ruled by Venus - they are both VERY pretty!)

GEMINI ~ (Sir)Paul McCartney was one of 2010's recipients of Kennedy Center Honors, as well as getting himself engaged, again.

CANCER ~ Prince William of the UK ~ got himself engaged to be married.

LEO ~ Patrick Swayze ~ lost his battle with cancer.

VIRGO ~ Charlie Sheen ~ Fell off the wagon.....again (so un-Virgo!)

LIBRA ~ Became ill, now fighting for survival.

SCORPIO ~ Larry King ~ hanging up his suspenders + see under ARIES.

SAGITTARIUS ~ Taylor Swift ~ young country singer who seems to win every award known to man.

CAPRICORN ~ Mel Gibson ~ being Mel Gibson.....again.

AQUARIUS ~ Sarah Palin presenting her TV show "Alaska" and generally poking her nose into right-wing politics at every opportunity (with a view to the 2012 election one wonders?)

Neil Diamond very belatedly inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Yipeee!
Oprah Winfrey in the news too - another Kennedy Center Honoree this year, and leaving her TV show to actually own her own TV network! I've never seen a single show of hers, so can't comment, but she obviously knows how to do stuff, including make money - and, saving grace, give it away sometimes!

PISCES ~ Rupert Murdoch ~ Media mogul, creator of Faux News, still trying to brainwash the world.

PS ~~~ I can't close without this reminder of another well-deserved Kennedy Center Honoree of 2010 - my favourite country star of all time: Merle Haggard.....back, full circle, to the beginning of the zodiac with another Aries Sun. His song If We Make It Through December is very appropriate for our times, although written decades ago:

If we make it through December
Everything's gonna be alright I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shiver when I see falling snow.

If we make it through December
Got plans to be in a warmer town come summer time
Maybe even California
If we make it through December we'll be fine.

Got laid off down at the factory
And their timing's not the greatest in the world
Heaven knows I've been working hard
Wanted Christmas to be right for daddy's girl.

I don't mean to hate December
It's meant to be the happy time of the year
My little girl don't understand
Why daddy can't afford no Christmas here.

If we make it through december
Everything's gonna be all right I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And i shiver when I see the falling snow.

If we make it through December
Got plans to be in a warmer town come summer time
Maybe even California
If we make it through December we'll be fine.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

That titanicky T-squarey thing......

How did that titanicky T-squarey thing work out for y'all in 2010 ? (I borrow questionable style from a fellow Aquarius-Sun with whom I have nothing in common except perhaps the love of a nice jacket). "You betcha!" (Wink).

Checking back on my six or seven archived posts on the topic "2010", easily accessed by anyone curious enough to do so by clicking on "2010" in the Label Cloud in the sidebar to the right(first item), I looked for my overall message with regard to the T-square of the past summer. It seems to have been along the lines of: "Don't panic, there might be some iffy moments but all-in-all this ol' world will keep trundling on much as usual."

As so often in the past any extreme and dire predictions turned out to be over-done. Reality is more subtle, or slower to develop, even though carrying within it the same "flavour" of more extreme predictions. So the message I've started taking away from words of most high-profile astrologers is to dilute 'em by half, or three-quarters - or even more than that at times.

Massive oil leaks from a damaged BP rig in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and other kinds of leaks courtesy of Wikileaks, along with continuing financial crises throughout Europe and the USA were probably the most identifiable correlations with this summer's T-square. Reverberations are on-going.

Certainly 2010 cannot be marked down as "a good year", but neither did it turn out as disastrous as some might have expected. Those who have lost homes and jobs could well argue against that statement though. The titanic T-square did cast a giant shadow over things in general, not least over the reputation of US President Barack Obama, originally thought to be "the best thing for the USA since sliced bread". He isn't, and will not be. He has shown us very clearly whose side he's on - and it ain't the side of the working people and poor of the USA. If the titanic T-square did anything for me - it opened my eyes very wide indeed on that score.

On a more personal level, my husband may have felt fall-out "effects" of the T-square. His personal planets in early Aries and late Pisces were part of the configuration. He underwent minor surgery to have a pacemaker fitted in late summer. All was well, and contuinues to be so. It all came as a big surprise, though; he had had no real symptoms or problems. Uranus formed part of the T-square formation and was close-on husband's natal Sun (Sun=self). Surprise is Uranus' stock-in-trade. Whenever Uranus is around a personal planet - expect the unexpected!

So, what awaits us all in 2011?

Better unwrap the old tarot deck again, ready for Friday.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Astrology & Religion.....headache time!

One of our local newspapers, on Christmas day, carried a major piece in the "Religion" section headed "Pastor: God wrote gospel in the stars". The piece was written by Jacob Russell and contains plentiful quotes from said Pastor -one Ron DuPont.

The article begins:

"For hundreds of years, religious scholars have debated the legitimacy of the Gospel in the Stars -a belief that God used the constellations as a primitive way to tell his redemptive story, prior to the writings of the books of the Bible - but there could be no debate, according to a local pastor who said the Bible supports the theory.......he believes that the purity of the Gospel in the Stars was perverted with Adam's sin and the fall of man.

........The constellations, he said, continue to tell the same story as they did in the beginning of begins with Virgo, or the virgin, which fulfilled the prophecy by bearing Immanuel; and ends with Leo or the lion, symbolizing the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the Messiah's consummated victory over the serpent......If you follow the arrow out of the bow of the Archer (Sagittarius), it goes acrosss the sky, into the heart of the scorpion (Scorpio)"........ He said there is a fine line between astronomy, the scientific study of celestial creations, and astrology, which is using the warped knowledge of the position of those objects for wisdom and guidance to empower themselves. "All scriptures condemn astrology" DuPont said..........."
Condemn astrology? Of course. Anything that threatened to contradict or supersede what they feed to their flock has always to be condemned. They fear losing control - and, of course, income!

A brief Google search throws up conflicting ideas of even the origin of the word zodiac:
The word "Zodiac" comes from the Greek zoad, which means "the way" or "the path." According to many Christian scholars, God depicted his story and his promise of salvation within the stars

The term zodiac derives from Latin zōdiacus, which in its turn comes from the Greek ζῳδιακὸς κύκλος (zōdiakos kuklos), meaning "circle of animals", derived from ζώδιον (zōdion), the diminutive of ζῶον (zōon) "animal". The name is motivated by the fact that half of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are represented as animals (besides two mythological hybrids).

Sigh.....Give someone a diagram of the zodiac and its symbols and they'll find a way to bend it, shape it to fit any number of connotations. In my view astrology's version manages to make a reasonable amount of sense. But even astrological doctrine can, at times, stretch it, try too hard and come up with stuff that isn't really and truly there (my own opinion).

Local people will read that piece in our newspaper, take IT as gospel truth without so much as a critical thought entering their heads - and there lies the shame of it all.

I feel a headache coming on. Note to self: In future avoid reading such articles, or in fact such newspapers, for they are filled with prejudice of every kind, opposing views are never expressed these days, on any topic, for the balanced consideration of readers.

Monday, December 27, 2010

MONDAY MARINADE ~ Paul Liebrandt ~ Correction courtesy of his mother!

One of the pleasures of blogging, for me, is to receive comment on an old post with some updated, or better information than was available to me at the time of writing. This happened a week or so ago when I received a comment on a post about a chef, Paul Liebrandt, about whom I'd posted as part of a brief "Monday Marinade" series.
"His date and time of birth are wrong, he was born at 10.20pm on the 26th August 1976 in Salisbury Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) I know , because I am his mother. Do hope this helps you to do the correct chart for Paul (Liebrandt) Best Wishes Veda (Paul's Mother)."

My original post is copied below, including the wrong natal chart and incorrect astrological notes. This is followed by the correction, with thanks to Mr. Liebrandt's mother. I'm posting both the wrong chart and astro notes for a reason: I had expressed some doubt or puzzlement about the chart in the first place (highlighted in the copy below) - and for this I give myself a wee feather in my astrological cap for having a nagging sense that all was not as it should be.


In choosing my subject for today's blog I hit some serious frustration. I don't want to focus on celebrity chefs, whose numbers seem to grow daily. What's up? Don't chefs enjoy being in a proper kitchen any more? Too hard work ? It is hard work, even today with all the best equipent and technology to hand, it's still hard to run a big kitchen to a high standard. So much easier to stand in front of a TV camera and pontificate, or to curse and swear in a reality TV show as though that were the root of a chef's skill-set.

In the words of a commenter at Huffington Post on an article about one of Gordon Ramsay's recent outbursts:
"At what point in the last 20 years did being a total uncivilized dick become acceptable, even lucrative, behavior? Did it start with Howard Stern? Jerry Springer? We have a whole generation of people that think watching or listening to people be really horrible, nasty and cruel to each other is great entertainment. WTF?"
I'm less than enchanted by the current crop of celeb chefs who appear on TV, write book after book, open cooking schools, give lectures, open strings of restaurants bearing their name but which they never visit to cook in the kitchens. There has to be at least one more chef for me to investigate, one who is actually doing a chef's work, on a daily basis.

My eye fell upon the name Paul Liebrandt. He's still in the kitchens! Bet I can't find his date of birth.

I did, eventually: Born 26 August 1975 in Zimbabwe to British parents. No city specified, so I've used the capital Harare (formerly Salisbury). He was raised in London and trained in some of the finest kitchens in Europe. He moved to New York in 1999, and currently is chef and co-owner of the Corton restaurant in Tribeca, a neighborhood in lower Manhattan.
"The tables are covered with white linen and set with pink roses. The whitewashed walls are bottom-lit, like a giant fresco, and stenciled with butterflies, birds, and sylvan tree branches colored here and there with a solitary gold leaf. There’s a peaceful, palate-cleansing quality to all this icy, Altoid whiteness, and as dinner progresses you get a sense of time suspended, of being pleasantly inoculated from the cares of the outside world.
Peace and light aren’t chef Paul Liebrandt’s usual M.O., of course. The English wunderkind (he’s only 32) has been known to sprinkle eel with crystallized violets and flavor his côte de boeuf with coffee grinds before theatrically finishing it in clouds of burning hay. But on this latest tour through the New York restaurant jungle (this is his fourth in eight years), the perpetually promising chef has found his footing"
What made you decide to become a chef?I don't know. I like cooking. I like the excitement of the kitchen. I like the heat, the violence, the sweat, the punishing hours. It's freedom in the kitchen.
What was it like working for Marco Pierre White?
Hard. But he's a very fair man. If you go in there, and you're young, and you work your bollocks off there's a lot to be learned. If not, you wouldn't last in his kitchen two seconds.

What did you learn from him?
Discipline. How to beat people. You notice the scar above my eye here? Well, there you go. How to take a bunch of young guys like I had here when I started six months ago, who didn't know how to hold a frying pan properly and beat them, literally, beat them into shape within a matter of a couple of months and get three stars from the New York Times. I wouldn't have been able to do it without having the solid training I did."

Sounds as though Gordon Ramsay-type antics are par for the course in chefdom then! I should have realised as much from my own experience of watching more than one chef chase a waiter with a carving knife, when I worked in hotels, long ago.

This chart for Paul Liebrandt will give correct planetary placements in signs,(NOTE IT WAS INCORRECT - see later in this post) apart from degree of the Moon and rising sign. That will suffice for my purpose. He has moved around from Africa to England to France and Europe to the USA, so relocation will have shunted the ascendant and houses more than once.

Natal Sun conjoining Venus - an artistic guy, in Virgo - a discerning and fairly disciplined one to boot. Mercury lies at the other end of Virgo - one of its home signs so is pure and unsullied: he'll be a clear thinker, and expect precision from others.

The 2009 Eat Out Awards describe his food:
"Renegade chef Paul Liebrandt's studied food is as artful on the plate as it is on the palate."
(Phtograph by Melissa Hom)

If I didn't know this is the chart of a chef I'd have guessed at writer and/or illustrator. Moon will be in Aries, somewhere in the second half of the sign. This Aries influence reflects his "get-up-and-go", the energy he has needed to pursue his dream, and with Jupiter, planet of expansion, exaggeration and luck lying also in Aries (possibly close enough to be termed conjunct) his energetic go-getter nature is further underlined.

Saturn, planet of discipline, business and tradition is the sole planet in Cancer and lies sextile (helpful aspect) to Mercury. This hints at a disciplined, organised mind - a definite plus for a chef who wants to "run a tight ship" - as the best of them do. Mars in Gemini is in harmonious trine to Pluto in Libra, and opposite Neptune in Sagittarius - so Mars, the personal energy planet is linked to the two outer planets which represent power and creativity.

Liebrandt has the reputation of being something of a renegade, inventive as well as creative. It's interesting then, that Uranus, the renegade's planet is in harmonious (though out-of-sign) sextile to his Sun/Venus conjunction.

There's nothing to specify food preparation in this, or in fact in any of the chef charts I've looked at. What has to, and does, come through is creativity, discipline, energy, business sense and an artistic nature. These characteristics could be put to work in a number of professions or jobs. It's surprising that there isn't some tiny indicator which points towards catering. This could, of course, come via house position, which remains unknown without a correct time of birth. It could come via ascendant or midheaven. 6th house is the house of service, midheaven the area of career, ascendant the side of character shown to the world at large; any or all of these could underline a leaning towards a career in food, which I continue to think might involve Taurus, and/or Cancer, at 6th house or midheaven or ascendant.


What pleased me a lot was to see Taurus rising in this corrected chart with a reliable time of birth, thanks to the mother of Paul Liebrandt. EarthyTaurus rising (practical, love of the good things in life)is a very good fit for a chef - especially one with Earthy Sun and Moon, as here, and Taurus IS one of the signs I wrote that I'd expect to see in a chart involving food preparation (see above).

Moon was not in Aries after all - but in Virgo, with his natal Sun - Sun is no longer conjunct Venus - but Moon IS - exactly - so the artistic streak remains equally strong, maybe even stronger, along with extra emphasis on the discipline and discernment of Virgo.

Saturn in the corrected chart is in Leo, not Cancer and in trine to creative Neptune instead of Mercury as before. I'd interpret this as Saturn putting a business-like rein on Neptune, harnessing its creativity - putting it on display on the tables of his restaurant.

The "renegade chef" reference comes through loud and clear in the corrected chart - natal Virgo Sun is in exact helpful sextile to Uranus the rebel planet in Scorpio.

Mercury (mental orientation) and Mars (energy and drive) are conjoined in Libra in the corrected chart. Libra, ruled by artistic Venus, is the sign of charm and tact. In a quote above Mr. Liebrandt said he enjoys "the heat, the violence, the punishing hours" involved in being a chef: that's Mars conjunct a very persoanl planet, Mercury. Though no doubt capable of the odd outburst himself, this chef is highly unlikely, courtesy of Libra, to indulge in the same kind of tantrums certain TV chefs display as their signature.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Day After - a few pics (no astro)

25 December was a pretty day here in SW Oklahoma, but very cold with a biting wind. We drove to the Wichita Mountains, and to the top of Mount Scott, about an hour from home. (Left: Casey The Dog - we kept an eye on her just before Christmas while husband's son and family went to ski in Colorado. She tried to make friends with Clarence, my Christmas Crinkle, but he was having none of it.)

First 4 photos from top Mt. Scott, and on the way down - I took them from the car window, too wimpish to get out into the even more biting wind up there. We then drove through the Wildlife Refuge, but buffalo and longhorn cattle were hiding from us this time. We saw not one sign of life there, so repaired to a little lake in the nearby town. Ate our sandwiches with ducks, goose and gulls looking on.

Click on photos to see larger versions.

Two pics of wee Serenity at the family get-together on Christmas Eve follow, the second is from camera of husband's daughter. Serenity is my husband's great-grandaughter, born January 2010.

And Casey - again.

AND an inherited flair for hat-wearing: Great-grandad and Serenity

Friday, December 24, 2010


"I do like Christmas on the whole.... In its clumsy way, it does approach Peace and Goodwill. But it is clumsier every year."
- E.M. Forster

"To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year."
- E.B. White, "The Second Tree from the Corner" (1954)

Since the times when those two talented writers, one from each side of the Atlantic, one Sun Capricorn, the other Sun Cancer expressed similar views, the internet has helped spread even more clumsiness and wrapping, but it has also afforded us more opportunities to say to more people in more places:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

CHARLES DICKENS ~ Socialist? Nobleman? Moody?

An article and string of comments touching on Charles Dickens set me thinking about this famous author the other day. The Spirit of Scrooge by Caroline Hamilton (Article and comments HERE).

One commenter had Dickens down as "a socialist", another as "one of the rich nobility". Both ideas are understandable but in truth way off the mark. Astrodatabank offers an outline biography, highlighting aspects of his personality.

He was certainly not born into a noble family. His father worked in the Navy Pay Office and spent time in debtor's prison. Charles had to do a stint in a shoe-blacking factory at one point in his young life, and found out first-hand what life was like for poor working-class people in 19th century London - and in a newly industrialised England generally. What he experienced and saw must have affected him deeply because reflections of it appear in many of his novels, written decades later.

Dickens became independently wealthy through his writings, and a husband and father of 10 (though 1 child died). He abandoned his wife and family for the company of younger women - so he was not exactly the paragon of socialistic virtue we might like to imagine. Astrodatabank's research led to a picture of him as "a moody man". His moods may have been rooted in an uncertain life as a child, or in an inbuilt weakness of character which led him to abandon his large family and his wife who was also prone to bouts of depression (quite understandable, I'd say, after bearing 10 wee ones!)

Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 at 7:50 PM ("A" rating for birth time at Astrodatabank, so it's reasonably reliable).

His natal Sun in socially-conscious Aquarius lends credence to an underlying concern about the injustices of his time - in spite of his questionable characteristics with regard to wife and family.

Moon in philosophical Sagittarius conjunct creative Neptune is a helpful position for a writer.

Mercury, the writer's planet, is in helpful sextile to Uranus (the rebel) and both planets make quincunx (150*) aspects to Jupiter (publishing) forming a configuration known as a Yod (Finger of Fate). This Yod describes his professional life well - writer with rebellious/socialistic ideas funelling through to millions of readers via (Jupiter) publication, in his lifetime and for long, long after.

If time of birth is near correct, Virgo was rising as Dickens came into the world. Virgo is ruled by Mercury, planet of writing and communication.

Pluto and Venus were both close to the Pisces descendant angle giving them significant strength in his personality, especially with regard to relationships.
Pluto has dark connotations, Venus relates to love and the arts. Perhaps his moodiness stems mainly from Pluto's strong position - or perhaps from the challenging square aspect between Saturn and Mars. These two planets have some negative attributes, and when found in antagonising angle to one another are unlikely to bring forth much comfort and joy.

Speaking of comfort and joy - leading us on to Christmas, Dickens featured the festival in a couple of his best known novels A Christmas Carol and The Pickwick Papers. His Saturn square Mars describes Scrooge from A Christmas Carol quite well, and Mr. Pickwick is, for sure, Jupiter personified (at the apex of that Yod)!

"External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty......
Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it."

- A Christmas Carol.

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!"
- The Pickwick Papers.