Monday, 4 December 2017

Santa Dash

We have had our first little bit of frost and last week* a sparse offering of undersized snowflakes* fluttering down for half an hour. The periods of cold have been an incentive to finish off the garden jobs, replant a few items and clear the mud and leaves from the paths. All that is done now, and when we get much colder weather, ice, frost, snow and biting north wind, I will not be wishing I had done it all earlier. Whatever the weather is doing, it will not officially* be winter until the 21st of December, although I have always felt that winter begins with the onset of wintry weather, and the same with all the seasons. Although the weather may be playing games with us, the same cannot be said of Christmas. During December it finally* gets underway after an uncomfortably long warm-up in October and November, muscling in before its due time.

* Omission phrase "las(t w)eek"

* "snowflakes" Note the FL hooked stroke is always normal left version when initial, i.e. it is not reversed for vowel indication like the FR stroke is. FL is only reversed medially or finally in order to make a good join

* "officially" "finally" Keep the Ish clearly vertical and the N horizontal. It is also helpful to insert the final vowel in these two

Yesterday the Christmas season truly arrived in my area, with the festive and colourful spectacle of the Santa Dash* in one of the parks. This is a fun run event where everyone dresses in Santa suits, which are provided for the registration fee. We went to take pictures and as the start time approached we kept seeing little groups and gaggles of red Santas appearing from different entrances and paths, from between trees and coming round corners. They were all ages and sizes. Before the run started, there was a group photo* opportunity, and then a ten minute warmup session, with popular Christmas songs booming round the park from the powerful sound system.

* "Dash" Ish is written upwards after  D, and downwards after T, in order to provide extra differentiation

* "photo" Insert the last vowel, so it is not misread as "video"

At the blast of the horn all 400 plus Santas made off in a looping circuit of the park and then out onto the High Street, a total of 2 kilometres*, ending up in the square in the main shopping centre. The slight mizzle got heavier but did not become rain. This was not good for the camera, but was certainly ignored by all the Santas whose enthusiasm would not be dampened in the least. At the finish line they were each given a medal for taking part. This was the first time we have had a Santa Dash in this area, and many shoppers stopped at the roadsides to cheer them on. I hope that next year the onlookers will be more numerous, as cheering crowds are a big part of the event, and possibly the wet conditions meant there were fewer shoppers around than usual.

* "kilometres" the L is downward in order to make a more compact outline, similarly "column"

Once home, my thoughts turned to the camera, which I had been constantly wiping, especially just before allowing the lenses to retract. I set up a drying out place to drive out any moisture, using a bean bag* and a hot water bottle as the heat source underneath. I am sure the Santas were doing the same, removing their* wet Santa suits and getting back home to dry off, warm up and view their selfies and photos*, and celebrate their achievement with the first mince pie of the season. (504 words)

* "bean bag" Insert a clearly thick dot for "bean" so it does not look like "bin bag"

* "removing their" Doubling of the Ing stroke for "their"

* "photos" Insert the last vowel, so it is not misread as "videos" My Youtube of the event