Friday, 23 December 2011

Oh dear, reindeer alert

Only two sleeps until Christmas! My big problem might be finding a sock without holes to hang up on the mantelpiece. And yes, I do have a chimney - several  in fact. A universe with many mysteries has room for the minor additional wonders of  a) how the guy in red gets down thin sooty chimneys, b) how he gets into non-chimney dwellings, c) how he gets around several billion places, and d) why the reindeer don't fly away while he's down the chimney.

I can attest that reindeer are real because in 1962 I visited the (then) annual fair or gathering of traditional Sami (Lap) people in Jokkmokk, Lapland. Didn't trade for reindeer, but later - sorry 'bout this - we owned a reindeer skin called Percy for many years and its most memorable characteristic was its hair-shedding nature. It got donated to the props department of the South Australian Film Corporation.

You think THAT'S bad? Reindeer populations were significantly affected by the April 1986 Chernobyl disaster when radioactive fallout, carried to Scandinavia, damaged lichen-growth on rocks which the animals fed on. The lichen not the rocks.

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