Saturday, December 24, 2011

How it all started


  1. I was just listening to a report on BBC Radio 4 about the rising price and scarcity of Frankincense.
    The trees from which the resin is extracted grow mostly in the horn of africa, but are being lost at an alarming rate due to deliberately set fires. Farmers use fire to clear land and spur new growth in greenery that their goats and cattle eat. the trees are just collateral damage. And no new trees are growing, because any small shoots and saplings are eaten by cattle and increasing numbers of goats. Those trees that appear to have survived fires get bark damage, which makes them vulnerable to insect attack. So a trade in Frankincense going back over 4,000 years could come to an end in our lifetimes.

    You might think "Get it now, while you can", and it seems some people are doing just that. A Catholic Superstore in Amarillo, Texas (Yes, I too was amazed and dumbfounded that such a thing might exist!), it seems our good christians are increasingly stealing, rather than buying, frankincense. If you're rushing out to the car, in order to do a little seasonal shoplifting, quit, it's not on open display now, it's under lock and key now.

    Happy Christmas!

  2. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours. Have a lovely time.

  3. @Adullamite - It is. I am. You are.

    @Soubriquet - You were amazed that a Catholic Superstore existed in Amarillo? Me too - mostly Southern Baptists there. There is a man in California (though of Middle-East origin) who is saving Frankincense trees. Preserving the species. Once myrrh into the breech, as it were.

    @A. - And a sincere happy new year to you.

  4. Sincere? Hmm.

    It is unlucky to wish a happy new year before the event, so I'm told.

  5. It's how we do it here. Sometimes we say "and happy new year" in the same breath as merry Christmas. I promise it was sincere. Don't want you to be unlucky for wishing you happy in advance. :) Hope you are doing fine.

  6. Two more minutes and I will legitimately be allowed return the greeting.

  7. There we are!

    A very happy New Year to you, sincerely. :)

    I hope I'm right. These rules never did take account of instant communications between time zones.

  8. Happy New Year. You don't have to wait up until mine. :)


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