"our stakeholders are more than pleased to earn lower dividends on their shares in order to encourage competition in our industry. We welcome the privilege of reducing the income on our University routes in order to encourage this innovative and friendly new operator. All students should try the big lemon, it's really juicy!"
Oh yes, nearly forgot. Protesting vehemently about nasty Brighton and Hove, Big Lemon is withdrawing its competitive service 42 via Brighton University to the University of Sussex in January. Read about that decision (here). So not such good news for the Competition Commission.
Warning : this transitory news item may well disappear from the Big Lemon site in due course.
The only authoritative and ancient source for our Christmas story is the Bible and it most definitely does not mention a stable. Nor does it mention a cattle shed! The only connection with animals is that the baby was placed in "swaddling cloths", a sort of Biblical Babygro, and placed in a manger, viz. an animal feeding trough.
And it doesn't say that the manger was at an inn, and there's no record of an inn keeper. Over the years people have embellished the story; artists have painted their own ideas of what it was like and perhaps, no, probably, we have lost sight of the truth by making the whole thing sweet and sugary.
In Judaea, it was normal for a part of a house to be set aside for the owner's animals. This might be one end of a single living, eating and sleeping room, or it might be somewhere separate, a shed, barn, a cave, a lean-to outbuilding; in fact anywhere to keep the owner's wealth (his animals) safe at night. It would have been warmer than sleeping outside. Days were hot, nights were cold! And the animals' bedding would have offered a modicum of comfort.
And it might well have been smelly!
While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to he first son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger for there was no room at the inn.
And that's about it. Impressively unimpressive. A humble birth for a Holy child! God-on-Earth experiencing real humanity! That's what was and is so special.
Next Blog : due Friday December 23rd