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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
24th December 1914
The Christmas Truce
A series of unofficial but widespread ceasefires took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914. In the week leading up to the holiday, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. In areas, men from both sides ventured into no man's land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps, while several meetings ended in carol-singing. Men played games of football with one another, giving one of the most enduring images of the truce. However, the peaceful behaviour was not ubiquitous; fighting continued in some sectors, while in others the sides settled on little more than arrangements to recover bodies.
The following year, a few units arranged ceasefires, but the truces were not nearly as widespread as in 1914; this was, in part, due to strongly worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting fraternisation. Soldiers were no longer amenable to truce by 1916. The war had become increasingly bitter after devastating human losses suffered during the battles of the Somme and Verdun, and the incorporation of poison gas.
The truces were not unique to the Christmas period, and reflected a growing mood of "live and let live", where infantry in close proximity would stop overtly aggressive behaviour, and often engage in small-scale fraternisation, engaging in conversation or bartering for cigarettes. In some sectors, there would be occasional ceasefires to allow soldiers to go between the lines and recover wounded or dead comrades, while in others, there would be a tacit agreement not to shoot while men rested, exercised, or worked in full view of the enemy. The Christmas truces were particularly significant due to the number of men involved and the level of their participation – even in very peaceful sectors, dozens of men openly congregating in daylight was remarkable – and are often seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of human history.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
The Milk Run
Twitter Followers = 2,051 (up 2)
Non-followed eliminated = 0
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 0
Spammers not followed back = 2
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
The Christmas food shop went incredibly smoothly, with, to my surprise, Son joining us on the jaunt with no problems. There were some indulgences but Missus was beside herself with delight. There is now only the standard morning wakeup, catering and laundry to concern myself with.
I am currently at the point in life experiencing what everyone wants to experience - bliss. I can best describe bliss as being identical to the afterglow of an orgasm, but it goes on and on. There is a profound sense of relief, and every cell in your body is being massaged by a subtle but pleasant "hum". Pain, discomfort and restlessness are distinctly noticeable by their complete absence, like when a fan is turned off.
I feel immensely fortunate and grateful to have had this experience - no lottery win could top it. I am devoting all my intention to simply feeling it, allowing it to burn itself deep into my memory. It's quite a passive experience in that to fully feel it you have to submit to it, like consenting to a general anaesthetic - it's the opposite of control - you have to completely let go of everything and just feel it being done to you.
In this life experience, nothing can be kept or perpetuated but long after the experience itself, if you have fully submitted to it, you may retain the memory.
When I was 4 or 5, I was put to sleep for the first time, and for the first time since becoming conscious I experienced pleasure in the absence of pain, fear or distress. Now, finally, five decades later, I've got back there. It's utterly delicious! I will not cling or grasp, I will simply relax, breathe and feel it.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you following your bliss?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Rain all day, heaviest in the morning and breaking up into showers in the afternoon
Rain moves away in the evening, and it will be dry, clear and cold overnight
A strong southwesterly will blow throughout
Max Temp = 9 degC at 7am
Min Temp = 3 degC at midnight
Sunrise at 08:24
Sunset at 15:49
Weathertrack: A strong cold front will cross the country today
Air Pressure: 1002 millibars
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
I'd go jogging if 30 minutes jogging went as quickly as 30 minutes on Tumblr
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
If caught in a tsunami, it is better not to swim, but rather to grab a floating object and allow the current to carry you
9. ZEN WISDOM
Each person possesses a precious inner treasure of infinite worth. To remain unaware of this and stumble about in spiritual poverty is a tragic waste. In contrast, a person fully awakened to the jewel-like dignity of their own life is capable of truly respecting that treasure in others.