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 Post subject: Advent Drabbles 2015 - all drabbles now posted
PostPosted: 29 Nov 2015, 18:37 
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Welcome to the Advent Drabbles thread for 2015 :santa:. A new drabble will appear here every day from December 1st up to and including Christmas Eve - thank you to the volunteers!

If anyone is bitten by festive plot bunnies and would like to add their own drabble on the appropriate day, please feel free to do so - but please post as Round Robin (PM Alison for the password!) rather than as yourself. The chronology will be as follows:

1st Pre school era
2nd Christmas during either Jo of or the missing years between Jo of and Rivals
3rd Christmas immediately following Rivals
4th Christmas immediately following Exploits
5th Christmas immediately following Jo Returns
6th Christmas immediately following New/United or during the missing years
between New/United and Exile
7th Christmas 1938 - during the gap in the middle of Exile
8th Christmas 1939 - immediately following Exile
9th Christmas immediately following Highland Twins
10th Christmas immediately following Mystery
11th Missing years between Rosalie and Three Go
12th Christmas immediately following Three Go
13th Christmas immediately following Peggy
14th Christmas immediately following Shocks/Oberland
15th Christmas immediately following Barbara
16th Christmas immediately following Mary-Lou
17th Christmas immediately following New Mistress
18th Christmas immediately following Richenda
19th Christmas immediately following Ruey
20th Christmas immediately following Feud
21st Christmas immediately following Redheads
22nd Christmas immediately following Challenge
23rd Post school era (fairly soon after)
24th Post-school era (further after)

Must go and help deck the halls of Die Rosen with boughs of holly now, but I'll leave some mince pies, stollen and Yule log for you all.

Yours festively,

Robin

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Last edited by Round Robin on 06 Jan 2016, 12:25, edited 27 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated xth December
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 01:21 
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Quote:
I feel like the treble soloist just before Nine Lessons and Carols at King's, poised to sing the first verse of Once In Royal David's City. It's very exciting to be going first!

1st December 2015 - Pre school era

Things That Go Bang In The Night


:santa: Part 1 of 3 :santa:


Christmas started, quite literally, with a bang.

It was a loud bang that carried on roaring for some little time after the actual bang had stopped, and it was followed by a sort of heaving silence into which tumbled bits of masonry, metal and other assorted dirt and muck. Then there was true silence, until it began to fill with exclamations like, “What in blazes was that?” uttered by assorted sleep-addled voices.

To a man who has spent his last Christmas in a support trench in Flanders, bangs come as less of a surprise than they do to most people, but Lt. Tristan Denny was nonetheless out of his sleeping bag and into his boots before he had properly woken up, and it took him another half-minute of fumbling for matches and lighting the folding lantern that stood beside his bed before he remembered that he was not in Flanders any longer, but in a training camp in England where bangs really shouldn’t be happening, and certainly not in the middle of the night.

“What will the neighbours think?” he said, sleepily, as he shrugged his greatcoat on over his pyjamas (well, he was not dead and probably in no imminent danger, so he saw no reason to be cold as well as awake). He caught up the lantern and, as he ducked out of the hut that was his current home, he glanced at where his watch should have been and cursed to find it wasn’t there.

“It's ten past one,” said a voice from the darkness to his left, and he turned to see his friend, Second Lt. Ernest Farrar, emerge into the pool of light cast by the lantern, a small grin playing on his face. He was also dressed in the official middle-of-the-night uniform of greatcoat over pyjamas, though he had taken the trouble to stop and put his cap on, giving him a comically formal look entirely incongruous with their surroundings.

“Do you know what it was?” asked Denny, resisting the urge to smile and turning instead to look out over the camp for any sign of what had occurred. All along the row of officers’ huts, men were peering out of doorways and calling up and down to each other, but the only thing they all seemed certain of was that something had gone bang in the night, with no consensus as to what it had been.

Farrar shrugged his own ignorance.

“I was hoping you could tell me that,” he said. “After all, you're the one that's been to the Front.”

“That does not make me an expert on things that go bang,” observed Denny, but Farrar simply smiled.

“Should we try to find out, do you think?” he asked, and Denny nodded, but as they were setting off in the direction of the loudest shouting, a runner came down the line of huts. Denny hailed him and the nearest officers clustered round to hear what had occurred.

“It was an explosion,” the runner informed them, helpfully.

“Yes, we had indeed agreed upon that point,” said Denny. “What kind, where, and why?”

“I don’t know what or why, sir,” said the runner, “but it was round the back of the cookhouse. Not too much damage to the building itself, but one of the lorries is now decorating the grocery depot. I’m off to wake the C.O. to see what he wants to do about it.”

“I don’t imagine you’ll need to bother to wake him. He’ll be coming to find you,” called Denny as the runner set off again along the row of huts, then he turned to Farrar. “Well, that's that. Back to bed.”

Farrar hesitated.

“Shouldn't we offer to help?” he asked, but Denny shook his head.

“Not our problem,” he said, “not unless you transferred to the Army Service Corps without my noticing. We’d only be in the way.”

“Oh. Right. If you’re sure…?”

“I’m certain,” Denny said, and smiled at his comrade. “Get back to bed and get some beauty sleep - you need it.”

“All right,” said Farrar. “Oh, and - Denny,” he called, as Denny turned away, and Denny looked back. “Merry Christmas!”

Denny grinned. “So it is,” he said. “A Merry Christmas to you, too. Now - bed!”

He heard Farrar laugh and call out, “Yessir! Good night.” and he turned and went back to his own rest.

:santa: Part 1 of 3 :santa:

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 01:39 
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Thanks Santa!

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 09:04 
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Nice to see Ernest Farrar appearing in a drabble :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 09:34 
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Alison H wrote:
Nice to see Ernest Farrar appearing in a drabble :D .

Yes, an excellent thought. Thank you Santa :D

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 09:44 
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*ahem* thanks very much for the comments, but I'm Robin, not Santa! ;) :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 09:55 
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Oooh what fun!

Are we getting all 3 parts as today goes on, Robin?

Thanks for getting us off to such a great start :D

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 10:06 
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And I'm going out now and won't see the new parts until tomorrow. Darn it. Great start tho', Santa.


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 11:04 
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Ooh, intriguing. Thank you, Robin-Santa!

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 13:59 
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Quote:
You certainly will, abbeybufo. Here is Part 2 now!

1st December 2015 - Pre school era

Things That Go Bang In The Night

:santa: Part 2 of 3 :santa:


Denny did not see Farrar to speak to until after church parade. He found his friend in the tent that served as the Officers’ Mess, smoking a cigarette and looking somewhat mournfully at a Christmas card in his hand.

“What cheer, goodly comrade?” he asked merrily as he sat down beside Farrar. “Come now, why the long face? Do you not realise that we are about to get the first decent meal we'll have had since we got here?”

“Oh, it’s nothing,” said Farrar, folding away his card. “It's only that I miss my wife, that’s all.”

“Oh.” Having no wife nor sweetheart of his own, Denny always found it difficult to know what to say at times like these. “I am sorry. How is she, your good lady?”

“Bearing up,” said Farrar. “I tried to get leave this Christmas, but no luck. I'm stuck here, and she's up in South Shields.”

“South Shields? I thought you lived in Herefordshire?”

“We do, but Olive comes from South Shields, and when we realised she'd be on her own for Christmas, we agreed she might as well go back and spend it with people she knows and loves. She's staying with a friend of hers - an old girlfriend.”

“That will be pleasant for her, I imagine,” said Denny, “not have to spend it by herself.”

Farrar made a visible effort to pull himself together and nodded.

“Elinor - that's the girl my wife's staying with - she’s a good sort, but…oh,” he sighed, “I can't help feeling I ought to be with Olive at Christmas. Who knows, it may be the last we have.”

Denny shivered at the melancholy in the words, but he could say nothing to contradict his friend, for it was perfectly true. Before he had time to think of something heartening to say to cheer Farrar, another friend of theirs, a young lieutenant by the name of Sanders, flopped down onto a seat opposite them, his fair moustache bristling with amusement.

“You'll never guess what caused the explosion last night,” he said.

“This morning, corrected Farrar, pedantically, but Sanders ignored him.

“Go on, try,” he insisted, and Denny sighed.

“Someone dropped a Mills bomb,” he suggested and Sanders scoffed.

“Rubbish! Where's the casualties?” he said. “Your go, Farrar.”

Farrar sighed as well and rolled his eyes.

“Bird tripped some booby trap somewhere?” was his suggestion.

“I told you you'd never guess,” crowed Sanders, and Denny flicked a pellet of paper at him, narrowly missing his eye.

“Just tell us!” he growled, and Sanders grinned and leaned in.

“Custard,” he said triumphantly.

Farrar and Danny exchanged glances.

“Custard?” said Farrar.

“For the Christmas puddings,” said Sanders, with an air of revealing mysteries.

“Ah, that explains everything,” said Denny. “I expect they’re testing it before the next big summer offensive. After all, mustard has been tremendously effective this year - why not custard too?”

“Perhaps it’s a radical new way of developing armaments,” suggested Farrar. “From now on, everything must rhyme. Perhaps they’ll be dropping the custard from the back of a bustard?”

“There’s an idea!” Denny was giggling now. “Oh, I’ve an idea for a slogan. ‘Don’t get flustered - use new Custard!’”

“‘Get the enemy mustered and treat them to Custard!’” Farrar was warming to the game. “‘Feel like a busted flush? Try Bird’s for a custard rush!’”

“Oh, no,” said Denny, grimacing. “No, a ‘custard rush’ sounds like a recipe for dysentery, and just before dinner is not the time to be thinking of dysentery.”

Farrar raised an eyebrow at him. “You do say the nicest things,” he said. “And,” he added with a sigh, “now I’m curious as to the correct time to be thinking of dysentery!”

“Listen!” demanded Sanders, cutting in before Denny could begin to expound on the finer points of trench sanitation. “Stop being silly, you two - I swear I’m telling the truth! There was an extra delivery of custard powder late yesterday, and the cookhouse wallahs had no time, or perhaps simply couldn't be bothered, to sort it out, so they left it in the delivery van. Now, you know how flour can get a bit…jumpy sometimes? When you get it into a cloud, you know, and set a spark to it, and it goes up in a big roll of flame? We tried it at school once - it was rather jolly, actually. Well, it seems that custard can do that too. No-one’s quite sure what sparked it off, but it went from being a big vat of custard powder, to a custard powder cloud, to a custard powder bomb with the power to blow an AEC lorry right across the yard!”

He let them digest this for a moment or two, then grinned, touched his cap in imitation of a salute and moved on to the next table with his story.

Farrar and Denny looked at each other, and simultaneously shook their heads.

“He’s been here too long,” said Denny. “It’s time he went on leave. Custard bombs! Whatever next?”

“The dinner gong, with any luck,” said Farrar, and indeed any reply Denny might have made was interrupted by the announcement that dinner was served, so the two men parted company and went to enjoy the first truly edible meal they’d had since arriving in camp.

:santa: Part 2 of 3 :santa:

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 15:16 
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Thank you Santa. Love the idea of custard bombs.

Obviously, I have no idea of the identify of today's Secret Santa. None at all. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 15:21 
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JB wrote:
Thank you Santa. Love the idea of custard bombs.

Obviously, I have no idea of the identify of today's Secret Santa. None at all. :D


No, my identity is a closely-guarded secret, known only to a favoured few. And I'm not Batman, I'm Robin!

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 15:22 
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I think our Robin-Santa might have watched some QI recently... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 15:27 
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Minim wrote:
I think our Robin-Santa might have watched some QI recently... :D


No…why, were there custard bombs?! I spent ages the other night researching to see if it were a possibility!

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 15:35 
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Heeheehee!

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 15:35 
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Thanks Santa-Robin :D

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 19:08 
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Round Robin wrote:
Minim wrote:
I think our Robin-Santa might have watched some QI recently... :D


No…why, were there custard bombs?! I spent ages the other night researching to see if it were a possibility!


I'm almost certain that they have discussed custard bombs at one time or another... Not sure when though, but QI does get a lot of repeats on a certain channel...

Edit: found clip: here. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 19:18 
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Can't remember the episode, but Stephen Fry asked if anyone could say what the equation he held up represented and someone got it right - it was an explosion in a custard factory.

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 19:22 
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Sellenger wrote:
Can't remember the episode, but Stephen Fry asked if anyone could say what the equation he held up represented and someone got it right - it was an explosion in a custard factory.


That'll be the Banbury explosion - which I did find as proof of exploding custard!

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 1st December (Part 2)
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 19:31 
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This is wonderful, Robin, though I can't work out who your alias is concealing :wink:


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