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Low-cost entertainment options over the holiday

Great entertainer: blues musician Buddy Guy

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Christmas week and end of year is very hectic: finalising work deadlines, organising family, faith, community gatherings while anticipating a few days of leisure at home.

Today’s column features some low-cost or free good music, good reads, good viewing and streaming, and comfort food, some uplifting things to enjoy thanks to the universal access to the global digital world.


Jon Batiste, whose band is Stay Human, is an Academy Award winner, (and recipient numerous other awards and nominations), virtuoso and since 2015 musical director of The Late Show with Steven Colbert.


Stjepan Hauser, the Croatian cellist, famous for staging numerous productions in historically, beautiful World heritage sites, my favouriteMay It Be by Enya for Lord of the Rings, is performed on a castle turret high above the ancient walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Jazz at Lincoln Center. Wynton Marsalis and Jon Baptiste

Chris Botti, https://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisBotti

Rod Stewart – One Night Only! Live at The Royal Albert Hall

Buddy Guy, the legendary blues performer, 85.


His autobiography When I Left Home, costs $2.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Abba – a masterwork revival after 40 years. If you loved them then, you will love them now, more than 45 million viewers agree. Age is merely a number. Talent and commitment endure for ever.

Andrea Bocelli, who can forget his soaring voice and free concert for Covid? See the Music of Silence, the true story of the blind boy, who against all odds, becomes one of the world’s renowned opera singers.

Books, digital and otherwise

The Happiest Man in the World – The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivorby Eddie Jaku. He was a young Jewish boy in Europe during the Second World War, who endured ruthlessness, starvation, unending brutality, extreme winters, witnessed the deaths of thousands including most of his own family in two concentrations camps, and yet survived through sheer grit and the goodness of friends and strangers who had just as much to lose.

In his 98th year, he gave a deeply moving TedXSydney presentation on his blueprint for happiness.

There is Nothing for You Here by Fiona Hill. Those words from her father, an out-of-work coal miner, then janitor, who supported her leaving to succeed. A fascinating autobiography of a young English woman born in the economically devastated coal-mining districts of northern England who through sheer determination, brilliance, luck, help of good influential people and more rose above the non-subtle bias of British class structure to attend St Andrews, then Harvard, major in Russian affairs, and became a US presidential adviser and official at the US National Security Council.

The world met Ms Hill during her testimony at the former White House resident’s first impeachment inquiry.

JoJo Moyes, a popular UK novelist. Her trilogy, Me Before You, After You, Still Me have been translated into 46 languages, hit the number one spot in 12 countries and have sold over 38 million copies worldwide. They’re girlie books, my father would say. Yes, but the author also covers some serious, personal/family relationship issues.

A World Lit Only By Fire – The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance – Portrait of an Age, by William Manchester. Truly the Dark Ages, you may or may not want to read this one – but it is a must – if only to realise just how lucky we are. Plagues and pandemic during those dark times wiped out 50 million people!

Good viewing

ePuzzles: an array of Digital Puzzles and websites to play individually or with a group. You have the option of playing private just with friends, or publicly with anyone.

My Octopus Teacher, an Academy award winning, all-time favourite movie, more relevant now than ever with serious climate change risk on the near horizon. Notice that octopus philosophy and topics cropping up in marketing, et cetera?

For example, Octopuses Keep Surprising Us, https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/octopuses-keep-surprising-us-here-are-eight-examples-how.html

No Time To Die, the last James Bond thriller with Daniel Craig – who is going to miss that?

Country Music, by film-maker Ken Burns – the story of its humble beginnings to the 20th century. With lots of music, performer stories and historical film, this is a fabulous eight-episode documentary for all country music fans.

Seaside Hotel: a great retro story in eight seasons about a summer seaside hotel in Denmark from 1928 through the Nazi occupation. Subtitles are easy – the scenery, the culinary dishes are gorgeously portrayed, so delicious you want to be there – the guests and their interesting personalities and repartee are recurring each season. It sounds very saccharine, but it is not. Try it you’ll like it.

Easy comfort food

16 Cosy Comfort Food Recipes You Can Make With Only 5 Ingredients

The Best Homemade Pizza You Will Ever Eat – more than 29 million views

Merry Christmas Readers, and happy healthy holiday.

Happy, healthy holidays, everyone!

Martha Harris Myron, a Bermudian with US connections, is a qualified international cross-border financial planner, the author of The Bermuda Islander Financial Planning Primers, a Google News Contributor since 2016, international financial consultant to the Olderhood Group Bermuda Ltd., and financial columnist to The Royal Gazette. All proceeds from these articles are donated by The Royal Gazette to the Salvation Army, Bermuda. Contact: martha@pondstraddler.com

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Published December 24, 2021 at 12:12 pm (Updated December 24, 2021 at 12:12 pm)

Low-cost entertainment options over the holiday

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