PHOTO MOMENT: Morning from Mauritius

(c) Mauritianen in Nederland

 “First morning light 🌞

The sun breaks over the horizon on a beach near Le Touessrok Resort on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, in this image released today by Facebook page “Mauritianen in Nederland” (Mauritians in the Netherlands).

Mauritianen in Nederland, Facebook, Facebook Inc.

GIF MOMENT: Christmas 2014 Gifs + HEM Santa wallpaper

With only a week and a half to go until old Saint Nick squeezes down our chimneys with his big bag of goodies, the Half-Eaten Mind once again brings you a special edition wallpaper and a selection of festive animated images to outshine any Christmas tree.

A good time is coming, I wish it were here,
The very best time in the whole of the year;
I’m counting each day on my fingers and thumbs –
the weeks that must pass before Santa Claus comes.

Then when the first snowflakes begin to come down,
And the wind whistles sharp and the branches turn brown,
I’ll not mind the cold, though my fingers it numbs,
For it brings the time nearer when Santa Claus comes.

– Anonymous

While I’ve outgrown the whole Santa Claus thing, having seen my Mum come home too many times with bags of presents from Primark and Argos; and the house where I now live has no fireplace and chimney for Santa to fall through, and brandy and cookies are so extortionate in price I’d be broke before I’d even bought the Christmas cards, the legend of the bearded one in the red cardigan is still a very magical one, especially for the kids.

The HEM wallpaper for Christmas 2014 pays homage to the chubby old dude with the reindeer-driven sleigh and the cheery “ho ho ho“, by showing him at what he does best, squeezing his ample frame down chimney stacks.

HEM Xmas 2014 Wallpaper pizap.com14185053259981

I used a pre-made Christmas wallpaper from the HD Wallpapers site. This cheery and wintry wallpaper with Santa and his cute reindeer buddies was produced by Zanetine Web Design who mainly specialise in website building for commercial clients and are based in Amritsar, in the Punjab state of India. I then worked my Christmassy creative magic by uploading the original to the piZap image production site and added a few snowy effects and a reindeer bringing gifts for boys and girls good as gold. Add to that some blog branding with a Yuletide touch and within half-an-hour I was done and dusted. I’m sure Santa will give me an extra prezzie this Xmas just for this adorable wallpaper. Let me know what you think in the comments!!

You’ll be seeing this wallpaper as the official background of the Half-Eaten Mind up until our New Years‘ special shortly before the end of the Christmas break. It will also take pride of place on the HEM Twitter and Facebook pages too, so however you interact with the Half-Eaten Mind, we’ll be spreading some special Christmas cheer as Santa makes his way doing the same on a far grander scale through the night skies.

From myself at the Half-Eaten Mind, I would like to wish of you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas, full of joy, happiness, excitement….and mince pies!


Now….here come the GIFs.

Taken from various free animated image sites, HEM has brought you a healthy mix of the funny, sparkly and traditional, including many vintage examples from the early days of the popular internet (2000’s onwards). Hope you enjoy them, and of course they are free to borrow for your own use. After all, Christmas is about sharing!!

(c) Giphy


(c) & Travlang Online, Inc.
(c) ThinkNice
(c) via ThinkNice
(c) ThinkNice
(c) ThinkNice
(c) ThinkNice
(c) ThinkNice
“When Santa Claus Comes” – Kidspot
Zanetine home page


“MERRY CHRISTMAS JINGLE BELLS” – Zanetine Web Design, HD Wallpapers (2 December 2013)
“Free Christmas Gifs – Animations – Christmas Clipart” –
“CHRISTMAS Images #1-14 of 68” – & Travlang Online, Inc.
“Animated gifs merry christmas feliz navidad nativity wise men santa christmas tree christmas lights carolers snow” –
“Moving Merry Christmas pictures, X-mas tree and Christmas clip art animated gifs” – Christmas animations at
“Free Christmas Gifs – Animated Christmas Gifs” –
“Cute, Funny Christmas Animated GIF Collection (33 GIFs)” – Cute & Funny Christmas GIFs Collection, ThinkNice/ &



PHOTO MOMENT: Anjali’s Christmas photomontage

Vijay Shah (writer)

Anjali Shah (image artist/contributor)

This Boxing Day Photo Moment special is brought to you in collaboration with my youngest sister Anjali, who has produced this magnificent photo montage of our family Christmas decorations, using photos I took recently for the article PHOTO MOMENT: Mum’s Christmas decorations for 2013. She has also included some of her own photographic viewpoints of my mother’s Christmas wonderland. The decorations at Anjali’s family home are a heady combination of both traditional and cutting-edge modern components from Santas in those familiar red costumes to glowing LED reindeer.

Anjali has produced a number of images using the photo-editing suite piZap as a side hobby, including many works selected and/or commissioned for the Half-Eaten Mind. Many of her current productions are of her favourite wrestlers from the WWE franchise, which enjoys a long history of following in my family, myself included.

(c) A. Shah (with some images courtesy of V. Shah)
(c) A. Shah (with some images courtesy of V. Shah)


WALLPAPER: Christmas 2013

Vijay Shah

To welcome in the Christmas festive season, I have produced the latest in the series of the Half-Eaten Mind’s wallpapers to mark major festivals. This time round we have created a picture uniquely for the blog at Christmas, thanks to my newly-learned skills at graphical design. The new wallpaper draws on a traditional British/US/northern European interpretation of Xmas celebration, with an emphasis on the darling of kids (and some adults) everywhere, Santa Claus, and of course, lots of snowflakes and a really cool Christmas tree. Here in London, the festive season has already kicked off, with co-workers in my office wandering in a daze of mince pies and mulled wine, wearing reindeer antlers, Santa hats and those ghastly Christmas jumpers that your grandma would balk at. There are beautiful and dazzling decorations set up by councils all over the city, and not surprisingly, we just had to get into the spirit.

(c) V. Shah/HalfEatenMind

Created online with photo-editing website piZap, the official Half-Eaten Mind wallpaper/commemorative image for Christmas 2013 was the result of just over an hour’s worth of preparation and editing. I started with one of the festive backgrounds piZap has released especially for the festival of goodwill and peace to all men (and women). They had an incredible choice but I wanted a background that was simple, wintry and suitable, because I did not want it to dominate the other visual elements which were going to be added in afterwards. I chose this blue snowy template, because it suits well how we see Christmas here in Great Britain. Cold, blustery, cloudy, windy and with snowflakes coming so fast at you, you may well wonder if they could slice off the pompom from your Santa hat your girlfriend pleaded with you to wear to her parent’s place.

I then used piZap’s tricky, but very useful, cut-and-paste image tool, to bring in images sourced from the nets via a Creative Commons search, just so I don’t fall foul of any copyright holders. A DMCA notice is never a splendid Xmas prezzie. I found the cool groovy Santa from a website named “hd Wallpapers Arena”, a warehouse of funky festive images that would make excellent greetings cards. I liked that he was traditional in looks and attire, but he had that contemporary ‘thang’ going on. The reindeer have been left in the North Pole tundra, while Santa must have gone down to the West Coast and got his sleigh ‘pimped up’ by X-hibit and his merry men of car tune-ups.  As he jets through the night sky with a haul of presents for all the good boys and girls, Santa has ramped up the cool factor.

Also using the image tool I turned to one of the images I previously featured in an article on my Mum’s Christmas decorations. There was one picture that really caught my attention and that was the white tree my mother had set up in the living room, with all the lights on and the room darkened. The vivid colour scheme of a blue and white tree with a mind-numbing array of baubles, tinsel and lights of all kinds felt perfect. Just like the tree, HEM features a wide variety of stories and features. If we had a proper office, I would have carted off Mum’s tree in a wheelbarrow and stuck it right there in the middle of said office.

Going crazy from tiredness and armed with a paint and erase thingamibob, I soon began mercilessly chopping up yet another picture. The iPhone held by the snowman at the bottom of the picture comes from the DeviantArt site, which specialises in ‘deviant art’ produced by artists in all kinds of media. The image was sawn out of a pixellated wallpaper depicting the older iPhone model, and was created by a DeviantArt wallpaper designer and site member named ‘Martz90’. The wallpaper by this artist can be found in the image credits section below this article and there’s a version for both iPads and desktops. I chose an iPhone, not because I like iPhones. Well I do like them but I am a confident Android fanboy. This type of image was chosen because I wanted to reflect the importance of technology in relation to news, but in a subtle manner. As you may well be aware, news organisations (and small-time news bloggers such as myself) get a lot of input into our reader figures from people using smartphones and the like. This is my way of paying the compliment back.

I also intended to include a stack of newspapers, again on the news theme that makes this blog, but sadly I could not find a decent enough image from the CC search, so I dropped that idea. Tis’ a shame really, but at least the snowman won’t be saddled with a sore back and icicles from carrying a paper round delivery.

The snowman with the fashionable gadget and the open present box were images supplied by the piZap clip art gallery, under the topic ‘Holidays and Festive Occasions’. Of course, finally no HEM wallpaper would be complete without our now-more-official mascot Woodsy the owl, raining down from Santa’s turbo-charged sleigh to bring you hard-hitting news, great features and all manners of festive fun and goodwill.


I will be using this creation as the official wallpaper for both the blog’s background and for our Twitter feed at @halfeatenmind. The image is being hosted from and is visible on the HEM Flickr photostream, which you can find a link to at the header on the top of this page.

It is my sincerest hope that you like this wallpaper and you are more than welcome to comment, criticise or show me your own examples. Many thanks for reading, and the Half-Eaten Mind wishes you all a very Merry Christmas.


piZap LINK
My own photography. You can view the article on Mum’s Christmas decorations at this LINK.
“Santa Sleigh” – hd Wallpapers Arena (26 October 2013) LINK
“Pixalated: iPhone 4 Wallpaper” – Martz90, deviantART LINK
“merry christmas and happy new year 2013 gif” – LINK

PHOTO MOMENT: Mum’s Christmas decorations for 2013

Vijay Shah 

One of the fondest, and most persistent memories I had of growing up was a yearly ritual that my mother would perform towards the last few weeks before Christmas, along with many other British families. That ritual involved running around with a stepladder, clutching fancy objects made of tinsel and LED lights, and then transforming the living room into a kaleidoscope of shimmering metallic colours, flashing bulbs and festive knick-knacks. Cardboard boxes and bits of Sellotape surfaced everywhere, not to mention the occasional broken bauble or chair leg. Loads of rustling and troublesome tinsel that will not stay put on the walls. This is festive home decoration – Mumsy-style!!

This year is no different, and this photo moment is dedicated to my mum’s skillful, playfully over the top, jaw-dropping-ly fantastic Christmas decorations, which can take her several hours to perfect and finish.

Though no-one in our family celebrates Christmas for religious reasons (although we do respect the message behind it), it is customary for families in the United Kingdom to erect a Christmas tree in the living room and festoon it with tinsel, baubles and more wattage than Oxford Street. My mother is very fond of decorating the house for Christmas ever since Day One, and this year she has really made an effort. It is not just the living room that gets the motherly festive touch now. Since my mum and younger siblings moved to a much larger suburban house five years back, she has now has more space to place decorations, and now not a single room in the house escapes my Mum’s festive cheer. In addition to the Christmas tree (we kept the same plastic pine tree for several years), my Mum would also pull out a ladder or chair and hang special decorations made from metallic foil from the ceiling. That is also an important sub-ritual we have enacted for as long as I can remember. I was fascinated by them as a child, and now, more than two decades later, my niece, who is four years old, is just as fascinated. In fact when she saw them, she thought yesterday was the great “Happy Christmas Day” and wanted to “reach up to the sky”. She was mesmerised by the hanging ornaments.

This year, Mum went all-out. Additional kitschy lighted ornaments were placed in windows and in the passageways of the house. The decorating project was a nice effort by Mum. She stayed up until 2.00 in the morning last week on one occasion, doing nothing but hoisting up and sticking down all manners of festive decor to the walls. She had picked up some new additions from eBay and some local stores to add to the ones we box up after every New Year for storage. When I visited her yesterday, I even got stuck in a bit myself, although most of my help extended to lugging a large mattress across one of the bedrooms (don’t ask) so my Mum could get access to the window. My Mum was understandably very proud of her efforts and the hard work she put in to make sure that the displays were perfect and had the right effect of awesomeness. She even badgered me to go around and take pictures of the various decorations, while giving me a back story about some of them, especially how she got hold of them.

I walked around the whole house and even stepped outside in the freezing col minus jacket to take a selection of photos. I was suitably impressed, so much so in fact that today I have decided to upload them to the blog’s newly created Flickr account and then share them with you in today’s Photo Moment. Hopefully these pictures will get you deeper into the holiday season spirit and maybe even give you some decoration ideas of your own if you haven’t yet decked your halls with holly and other such Christmassy things.

Lit-up reindeer grace the front door of my mum’s place. Even the ornaments get their own bespoke ornamentation (c) V. Shah
Festive metallic card banner suspended over the door leading to the living room (c) V. Shah
Wide-angle view of living room decorations. The chains of ‘icicles’ at the top of this photo contain red and blue LEDs that alternate between the two colours. Witness the array of shapes hanging from the ceiling. (c) V. Shah
The Xmas tree. Traditionally we used a green one, but for the last couple of years, the colour scheme has been switched to snowy white. (c)V. Shah
A closer detail of Mum’s trademark ceiling ornaments. A red star jostles for attention with a ‘sea urchin’ and two snowflakes. Old is gold. (c) V. Shah
Model reindeer under the tree. My niece was smitten, but mistook is for one of those ‘My Little Ponies’. She refused to believe me when I told her it was a reindeer from Santa. (c) V. Shah
The Christmas tree. Notice the gold star at the top. We did not steal it from the Kremlin. (c) V. Shah
Brightly-coloured deer and Santa decorations set up in the living room window. (c) V. Shah
“Merry Christmas” light display and a few dangling snowdrops to lend that wintery feel from an upstairs bedroom window. Seen from the driveway. (c) V. Shah
Simple chain of electric blue LEDs above the threshold of the front door. Why do I suddenly feel like singing the “Bad Boy” song? (c) V. Shah
Freshly kidnapped from the National Santas Convention – a trio of ornamental Father Christmases. One appears to have been hired by a call centre. (c) V. Shah
A ghetto Christmas tree – in reality a branch ornament in the dining room which has not escaped the LED frenzy of my Mum. (c) V. Shah
The tree in all its finest glory. I managed to the get the blue lights at the top to snake around the body of the tree to make a good contrast between blue and white – good winter theme. Not bad for someone who is hopeless at interior design. (c) V. Shah
This Santa decided to jack in Rudolph and the sleigh and deliver prezzies with added locomotion. A long-established heirloom with fibre optic lighting that gently changes colour. (c) V. Shah
Miniature Xmas pine trees that look like the main tree’s sapling children. The empty drinks can is not a permanent decoration. (c) V. Shah
The train Santa again with full illumination. Kitschy but a good reminder of snowy Christmas evenings by candlelight. (c) V. Shah
Not quite a decoration but arguably one of the cutest Xmas cards I’ve seen in a while. A reindeer with glittery red nose, robin, and candy cane. (c) V. Shah
We even have a festive doormat. Jolly Santa and Xmas greeting. (c) V. Shah
Handheld fibre-optic tree, as demonstrated by one of my sisters. (c) V .Shah
I moustache you a question. Where did you get this bauble? Movember may be long over, but you can’t argue with a bauble sporting its own glittering lip scarf. (c) V. Shah


Related articles

Half-Eaten Mind on Flickr LINK

PHOTO MOMENT: Vijay’s pick of 2013’s best Diwali GIFs

Vijay Shah

Here is a selection of Diwali GIFs from various websites that I decided to include in this blogpost to get you in the festive mood.

I have especially selected these animated images, or GIFs, for their attractiveness, relevancy or uniqueness. I hope you like them!! 🙂

I have tried to include different styles of design and culture, as Diwali is a festival marked by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, as well as many people outside in other faiths and none. Many of the images shown here are e-cards and ‘scraps’ for social networks like Facebook and Orkut.

A common theme with most of these animated images is lights. Expect lots of fireworks, diyas, candles, sparkles and the like – all highly symbolic of the nature of Diwali as the festival of lights….and of merriment and mirth.

The Half-Eaten Mind would like to wish all of our readers, friends and subscribers a very happy Diwali and New Year.





Related articles

“Animated gifs celebrating Diwali and moving clip art images for Deepavali or Festival of Lights” – LINK
“Animated gifs celebrating Diwali and moving clip art images for Deepavali or Festival of Lights” – (different image) LINK
“Holiday comments :: Happy diwali” – Atchat LINK
“Diwali e-Greetings” – Subhamoy Das, Hinduism LINK
“Diwali e-Greetings” – Subhamoy Das, Hinduism (different image) LINK
“HAPPY DIWALI” – Abhay & Bhupendra, Indian Pharmacist Association (IPA) (25 October 2011) LINK
Concunsmart LINK
“Safer Deepavali (Animated)” – Festival Ecards LINK
“Archive for the ‘Animated Diwali Graphics’ Category” – Orkut Glitters LINK
“Diwali or Dipawali Greetings, Animated Deepavali Flash Cards, Diwali Flash Scraps for orkut, Diwali Glitter Graphics” – Good Light Scraps LINK
“Diwali Scrap – Happy Diwali Orkut Scrap” – B4TEA LINK
“Unique Diwali Scraps, animated Diwali Glitter Graphics and happy deepavali pictures, images with wishes, quotes and sayings” –  – Good Light Scraps LINK


WALLPAPER: Diwali 2013/2070

Vijay Shah (writing/editing/images)

Anjali Shah (images/contribution)

To celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, this coming November, the Half-Eaten Mind is unveiling not one, but two special created images to celebrate the festive season – one produced by me and the other made by my youngest sister Anjali, who very much initiated me into the hallowed ways of online image design. With just over a week left until the big day to go, we spent last night simultaneously working on these commemorative images using our old favourite, piZap. There was plenty of coordination and correspondence via email and Twitter. Because when we celebrate, we celebrate in (graphical) style!!

(c) A. Shah/piZap
(c) A. Shah/piZap

Anji has produced this festive fun montage which I think captures the spirit of one of our greatest festivals perfectly. She has achieved a good balance between Diwali’s spiritual roots and the joy and light that forms part of its related celebrations the world over. On the religious side of things we first have the “Aum” symbol”. Aum is the symbol of Hinduism and identifies our faith in the same way that the cross represents Christianity or the star and moon do it for Islam. It is the first sound that appeared after Lord Brahma created the universe. It is used to begin our prayers in Hinduism, and even western practitioners of yoga and meditation have realised the peaceful transcendence and tranquility that repeated chanting of “Aum” places in their hearts and infuses through their minds. There is also a swastika using a traditional Indian design. Please note that this symbol is not intended to have any overtones of Nazism. In Hindu communities, the swastika is a symbol of prosperity and goodness, and was appropriated by the Nazis who reversed its position and turned it into a symbol of evil.

Also we have a image of Lord Ganesh, also called Ganpati Dada in Gujarat. God in this form blesses the beginnings of all new years and beginnings generally. He is the remover of obstacles and blesses devotees during this joyous occasion.

On the cultural side Anjali has included scenes representing a perfect Diwali celebration. The lamps are an important fixture of events in temples, businesses and homes across the Hindu world. Known as ‘diya’ in Hindi and ‘deevo’ in Gujarati, these often ornate candles have an important religious significance and in fact lend their name to the festival. Diwali, or Deepavali, literally means “festival of lights”.

Anji also has included a delectable selection of sweets (mithai) which are offered to family and guests who come around your home. Interestingly the sweets are arranged in a ‘thali’ (dish or platter) that looks very much like a ‘diya’!! 

This image works so well because firstly it makes me nostalgic for my childhood Diwalis . As I look at this picture I am reminded of the glowing warmth of the many flickering diyas and candles placed around my old family home on a dark cloudy autumn morning. The lights become even more beautiful at night, with fireworks exploding on a thousand bright colours across the night sky. Anjali’s montage is very busy visually/content-wise which reminds me of the frantic hunting for suitable presents and trinkets in the run-up to Diwali and the New Year, as well as the stalls  I used to visit in Upton Park with their “hard-to-choose” displays of greetings cards, diyas, incense sticks, and other Deepavali goodies. 

I am going to be using this image as the official festive wallpaper for both my personal and blog Twitter accounts. I am really proud and grateful towards Anjali for taking the time out to create this image and she cordially wishes all the blog’s readers a Happy Diwali full of peace, prosperity and joy.

(c) V. Shah/piZap et al.
(c) V. Shah/piZap et al.

My image was made with the blog in mind and features a solemnly powerful image of a single lamp set in a rangoli pattern made with coloured powders, which is an activity done by people at their homes especially in India. I used Creative Commons search and found this image on Flickr, a popular photo-sharing site. The original image was created by Abhinaba Basu and was available under a free licence. I then added an image of Lords Ganesh and Lakshmi Devi which I had more-or-less cut and pasted from a online Diwali e-greeting card, of which you can find tonnes online. I added a special background filter to give the image more vibrancy in colour and wrote the text in three different fonts, partly to tie in with the new header image I recently installed on the main body of the blog, and partly to reflect the kindness of the message. Then throw in some pinpricks of light to make things look even more festive. The image did not take that long to make. Indeed I spent more time fine-tuning it than I did actually putting the individual components together. Our mascot Woodsey the Owl also gets a special mention, because no HEM celebration now is complete without our conifer-loving friend. 

My plans for this image is to transform it into the background for the Half-Eaten Mind site during the Diwali season.

I really hope you have enjoyed taking a peek at these images.

Here’s a quick Diwali story which explains how this enchanting festival kicked off…

Once upon a time there was a great warrior, Prince Rama, who had a beautiful wife named Sita.

There was also a terrible demon king, Ravana. He had twenty arms and ten heads, and was feared throughout the land. He wanted to make Sita his wife, and one day he kidnapped her and took her away in his chariot. Clever Sita left a trail of her jewellery for Rama to follow.

Rama followed the trail of glittering jewellery until he met the monkey king, Hanuman, who became his friend and agreed to help find Sita. Messages were sent to all the monkeys in the world, and through them to all the bears, who set out to find Sita.

After a very long search, Hanuman found Sita imprisoned on an island. Rama’s army of monkeys and bears couldn’t reach the island, so they began to build a bridge. Soon all the animals of the world, large and small, came to help. When the bridge was built, they rushed across it and fought a mighty battle.

When Rama killed the evil Ravana with a magic arrow, the whole world rejoiced. Rama and Sita began their long journey back to their land, and everybody lit oil lamps to guide them on their way and welcome them back.

Ever since, people light lamps at Diwali to remember that light triumphs over dark and good triumphs over evil.

(Reproduced courtesy of Activity Village)

The Half Eaten Mind wishes you and yours a truly wonderful and prosperous Diwali, and even if you aren’t celebrating, we wish you a day full of happiness, merriment and good vibes.

……:::—+{{{@HAPPY DIWALI##SHUBH DIWALI – 2013 CE/2070 VS. @}}}+—:::…..



“The Story of Diwali” – Activity Village/Small Publishing LINK
IMAGE CREDITS (Vijay’s image) :
“Diwali 2009” – Abhinaba Basu (abhinaba) at Flickr LINK
“Maa Laxmi On Diwali Greeting Cards” – LINK
piZap LINK
“Picture Comments – Happy Deepavali” – BeN707 Grafix/Benedic Doray/ (30 September 2009) LINK

FATHER’S DAY: The Scribbler ‘Man Chair’

As every man knows, it is a tough and hectic world out there. So after a long day’s work (or an even longer pub crawl), chasing after the kids and keeping on top of a thousand things DIY-related, it is just pure manly heaven to be able to retire to your own little sanctuary. An escape from the trials and travesties of life. A special private zone where you can revel in your masculinity and have some badly-needed bloke time. Want to watch the footie without the wife complaining. Go ahead. Want to finish off that last six-pack of cold lager. Knock yourself out. Need to scratch an itch in an unmentionable place. Who’s stopping you!.

Us guys have had the man-room, the man-lounge and even the ‘man-cave’. Now personalised card company Scribbler have come up with the latest reincarnation of the man-space, just in time for Father’s Day on the 16th June. Introducing the Man Chair

(c) Scribbler Holdings

This Father’s Day, instead of buying your dad that shirt with the shocking pink stripes that he will only wear once under pain of death  and then ‘forget’ at the bottom of his wardrobe….or that cologne with an aroma so powerful it could sedate anyone within a 10-mile radius, why not gift him his own chair complete with male-friendly knick-knacks. A place where he can sit all day, interruption-free, with everything he could ever desire just an arm’s stretch away. Somewhere he can escape from the real world, a homemade slice of paradise, right there in his living room, study or garden shed. He and he alone is allowed to sit in his man chair. It’s his sanctuary; a child-free, woman-free, rule-free zone, complete with everything he could ever need or want.

Here’s a humourous video showing the birth of  the Man Chair (Contains some mild comical sexual references).

Like any great idea (or sportscar), the Man Chair can be as individual as the Man himself. So with Father’s Day just around the corner, Scribbler wants to know what kind of Man Chair you will be gifting Pops. Perhaps you want to throw in a mannequin hand, so Dad can keep the flies off his kebab. Or emergency snack drops by remote-controlled helicopter. Or a sofa with side pockets to stash the TV remote or phone for when the ‘old man’ needs to handle those all-important calls to his rugby mates…or get away from those annoying ad breaks at half-time.

Just send in your ideas for the perfect Man Chair to Scribbler and the funniest – or rudest – ideas will be selected for a special mention on Scribbler’s blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.

You can share your ideas on:

1. The Scribbler Blog (you can leave a comment under the article) :

2. Tweet them using the handle @scribblercards with the hashtag #mydadsmanchair (click on the handle link in this sentence and you can tweet with the hashtag automatically – or visit the Scribbler Twitter account and tweet them from there).

3. Or leave your Man Chair comments on the Scribbler Facebook page at:

Scribbler are also offering a 10% discount on purchases of cards on the site for Father’s Day. Just type in the code “MYDADDY10” and you’re good to go. Daddy will be a very happy man.

Now it’s just a question of squeezing in a widescreen telly in the lounge and filling up the fridge with a few cold ones.

A FRESH YEAR, A FRESH CHANGE: 7 resolutions to a great 2013

By Vijay Shah
As 2012 draws its last breath, people are making plans for what could be a hopefully exciting and wonderful 2013. For many, it will be a chance to learn from the mistakes and missed opportunities of the past twelve months and make a fresh bid in trying new things, making amends and discovering new things. What better time than to take advantage of a perfect moment to pick a new lease on life.
English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards
English: Two New Year’s Resolutions postcards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tomorrow will be the day when nearly everyone you know will be drawing up their New Year’s resolutions list. Whether it is going on a diet, rebuilding a broken relationship or just getting around to repainting the dining room, ladies and gentlemen will be racking their brains to think of objectives and projects to fulfill in this coming year. But let’s face it: how many of us actually keep to our resolutions?. I have seen so many set off on their new year’s journey with gusto, their eyes twinkling at all the great things they hope to achieve. Only two weeks into the new year however, and half of the resolutions have fallen on the wayside, or the list itself ends up forgotten behind the settee. The gym membership never gets booked, Wickes are out of the right shade of magnolia in their paint section and that tempting box of Belgian eclairs is the death knell for your expensive new low-carb diet .
It is not a bad thing to have aims to help you get the best out of a new year, but people have the habit of expecting too much from themselves and come up with resolutions they have no hope of keeping. In any case you need to have the right frame of mind and determination, motivation etc. to keep that procrastination at arm’s length just so you can start tackling your resolutions one-by-one.
I have stumbled across seven easy footsteps you can make to help you attain a more positive mindset. That way you can not only tackle your 20-strong list of things/bosses not to antagonise at work, but hopefully these tips will help you clear any hurdles and demolish any obstacles that should present themselves in your path.
Do not forget, most people cannot predict the future and you have to be prepared for the highs and lows of everyday life, once the champagne at the party wears off…..
To make 2013 your year, keep it simple:

1) Count your blessings first
2) Whatever you did last year, Do it better
3) Go step by step, One day at a time.

4) Create/make your own opportunities.
5) Believe in your abilities at all times,
6) Quitting is not an option. Keep Going.
7) Finish what you started.

Happy New Year!
Many thanks to Rahul Dwivedi for originally posting this comment.
new year mice
new year mice (Photo credit: Natasha Fadeeva)
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ANNOUNCEMENT: Wallpaper – HalfEatenMind rings in the New Year 2013

By Vijay Shah

Here at the Half-Eaten Mind, I hope you have all had a smashing Christmas, enjoyed the Queen’s speech and that hour-long episode of EastEnders where Derek Branning dies from a heart attack (not presumably from eating too much Paxo turkey stuffing). It is a great occasion to spend with family and friends, as I did yesterday. I spent Christmas Day at my sister’s in-laws’ bungalow near Seven Kings enjoying a meal of fresh turkey and chicken with a generous helping of gravy, vegetables and even baked beans. That certainly was a new take on the traditional Xmas roast!. The living room had by then already turned into a festive pop-up social club, with games of cards, checkers and dominos bringing in punters young and old from all over the house, crowding the living room as the children ran around with buggies pretending they were shoppers running frantically from one Boxing Day sale to another.

And speaking of games, how is this for entertainment? – a five or so hour-long family game of Monopoly in the kitchen. I went to jail THREE times, accidentally paid rent with the money of the player to my left and had to negotiate my playing piece – a dog  – past another improvised piece which was just a broken piece of resin which looked like a gherkin!.

The Monopoly Game 2
The Monopoly Game 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But now Christmas 2012 has moved on by into the annuals of recent history. Some will be packing their trees and decorations away, if only to make room for all the presents that Santa has dumped at the bottom of their trees. Everyone will be gearing up for the New Year less than a week away, especially prepping for the legion of swanky parties, soirees and get-togethers that mark every changeover of calendar.

As part of our continuing theme of wallpapers for special occasions, I have opted for a simple, but nevertheless pleasantly pictorial representation of New Year cheer for 2013. The wallpaper is based on an image from the picture website Wonder Scraps which offers downloadable scraps, wallpapers, graphics and greetings for the social network Orkut. Invented by and named after a Turkish website engineer employed by Google, Orkut is incredibly popular in India and Brazil, but is largely unknown here in the United Kingdom. The website, which runs using software supplied by the same blogging platform the Half-Eaten Mind uses, is not however affiliated in any actual way with Orkut. They have a nice selection of images for many festivals and is primarily aimed at Indian usersYou can find animated and static images for the Tamil New Year, Bengali New Year, Baisakhi and Ganesh Chaturthi, among others. Also there is a decent catalogue of transferrable pictures for use on more personal occasions (birthdays, weddings, leaving ceremonies etc).


I chose this image as it is simple yet still has all the sparkly stuff that I subconsciously gravitate towards whenever I am traipsing through the internet for a hot new pic to beautify my blog. It looks inviting to welcome in potential readers/viewers and could remind them possibly of either seeing their festive decorations through a glass of cherryade (or Vimto or Ribena or red wine!) or the reflections of  lights on a Xmas bauble. The graphics look fun and modern, perfect in that we are embracing a new year with new resolutions and changes. And did I mention, it sparkles!!

Here is a commentary on the year 2013 from Wikipedia, as well as 2013 in other calendar systems across the world. Meanwhile, the Half-Eaten Mind wishes you and yours a very Happy New Year!!!

2013 (MMXIII) will be a common year starting on a Tuesday in the Gregorian calendar. It will be the 2013th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations; the 13th year of the 3rd millennium and the 21st century; and the 4th of the 2010s decade. It will also be the first year to be denoted by four different digits in 26 years (since 1987).

2013 in other Calendars:

  • Armenian: 1462 or ԹՎ ՌՆԿԲ
  • Assyrian: 6763
  • Baha’i: 169–170
  • Bengali: 1420
  • Berber (North African): 2963
  • British regnal year: 61 Eliz. 2 – 62 Eliz. 2
  • Buddhist: 2557
  • Burmese (Bama or Myanmari): 1375
  • Byzantine: 7521–7522
  • Chinese: 壬辰年十一月二十日 (4649/4709-11-20)— to —癸巳年十一月廿九日 (4650/4710-11-29)
  • Coptic (Egyptian Christian): 1729–1730
  • Ethiopian: 2005–2006
  • Gregorian: 2013 or MMXIII
  • Hebrew (Jewish): 5773–5774
  • Hejira (Islamic): 1434–1435
  • Iranian: 1391–1392
  • Japanese regnal year: Heisei 25 (平成25年)
  • Juche (North Korean): 102
  • Kaliyug (Kali Yuga – Hindu): 5114–5115
  • Korean traditional: 4346
  • Saka (Shaka Samvat – Hindu): 1935–1936
  • Thai: 2556
  • Vikram Samvat (Hindu): 2069–2070

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“2013” – Wikipedia LINK


“Animated Happy New Year 2013” – Wonder Scraps LINK