Christmas Day 1833 – 2014
“After dining in the Gun-room, the officers & almost every man in the ship went on shore. – The Captain distributed prizes to the best runners, leapers, wrestlers. – These Olympic games were very amusing; it was quite delightful to see with what school-boy eagerness the seamen enjoyed them: old men with long beards & young men without any were playing like so many children. – certainly a much better way of passing Christmas day than the usual one, of every seaman getting as drunk as he possibly can.” Charles Darwin, diary for Christmas Day 1833. HMS Beagle was in Port Desire, Patagonia.
We are going to the beach, then on to Bellingen for lunch with friends, table tennis and boules – no monkey business. Tomorrow, Boxing Day is the regatta on a friend’s lake with racing canoes and a build your own model boat competition. Wyn is making the trophy.
[ Games are, as it were, our entranceway into culture—primordially, as the species Homo ludens; and ontogenetically, in childhood, as emergent persons. Joseph Leo Koerner ]