Monday, 5 January 2015

Chaos Theory Explained

According to Chaos Theory the butterfly effect is an assumption that if a butterfly somewhere far away flutters its wings then the air turbulence it creates, no matter how small, will move a little more air, and that little air will in turn move more air, and more and more that eventually, several weeks later, a hurricane will develop somewhere else far away.

Can you imagine that? A flap of a butterfly’s wings creates a hurricane weeks later?
 
Actually, I have seen Chaos Theory happen in reality as I’ll explain right now.

This happened several years ago in Scotland on a New Year’s Eve. I had been invited by a friend to his large house to celebrate Hogmanay with his family and friends. There we were, about fifty people or so, all gathered in his back garden waiting for the midnight hour to start our outdoor celebrations.

Most of the guests were in traditional costumes and I, to oblige and be polite, agreed to wear a kilt provided me by my host.

It's really a little strange wearing a kilt. I often wondered how it feels like wearing a skirt or dress; never having done so myself. Women can wear such clothes so elegantly - but men?

As I'd never worn a kilt either I'll admit I felt a little ill at ease with this swinging piece of cloth around me and "open-air" underneath. It was somewhat cold that New Year's eve in Scotland and also a bit draughty and chilly in Southern regions if you know what I mean.


As I was the guest of honour, or so my host had said, I was aked to stand high on a make-shift stage and at the appropriate hour of midnight to give the countdown so that the celebrations might begin.

The guests were in an area in front of the stage chatting politely to each other, and I was on the makeshift rostrum next to the band consisting of about a dozen pipers and drummers all in costume ready to greet the Noo Year! I was so self conscious and worried that a sudden gust of wind might blow the kilt embarrassingly up.

Suddenly, a lone moth, or similar such like insect, flew up my kilt. The darkness beneath me must have confused the poor insect which fluttered aimlessly tickling all it could. Immediately, and as a reflex action to what lay beneath, I started hopping from foot to foot as the confused moth tried in vain to find its way round in total kilt-induced obscurity.

The band leader thought I was doing a modern hitherto unknown highland jig and, thinking this was my signal, he got the band of bagpipes and drums to start playing.

At this point, someone else lit the bonfire in the garden which immediately rose to ten feet flames lighting the whole place.

This prompted another person to start the fireworks display which lit the sky in numerous colors and resounding bangs all over the neighborhood.

The guests cheered and applauded my dance and then all held hands and started singing Auld Lang Syne at the top of their voices around the fire.

All this commotion brought out my friends' neighbours from next door into their back garden. There were about twenty of them; family and guests.

“What are you playing at Henderson?” shouted MacTavish the neighbour. “It isn’t midnight yet. We’re at least seven minutes away man …”

“Of course we’re not!” my friend Henderson shouted back, “our guest of honor gave the signal; so we must be right on time. Your clocks must be slow!”

“And it's typical of ye to ruin Hogmanae pal. For a start ye’ve no reason for ye and y'er guests to dress up in our national costume and have bagpipes and drums playin' … ye’re not even Scottish! None of ye!” retorted MacTavish getting a little angry.

“Of course I am Scottish," Henderson shouted back as the music stopped, "my great great grand mother from Sidney was originally from Dundee, I’ll have you know!”

"I bet she was exported or deported to Australia for reasons best known to herself. Ye’re no more a Scot than a kangaroo is. Ye’re even having a barbecue on Hogmanay… now you can’t get more Australian than that. A barbecue on New Year’s Eve!” MacTavish came back with obvious laughter from his guests on his side of the garden fence who cheered with delight.

“I’m Scottish enough to give you a Glasgow kiss old man …” shouted Henderson approaching the dividing wall between the two gardens.

“Leave ma husband alone” interrupted Mrs MacTavish, moving forward to defend her husband, “och aye ... ye’re Australian all right; and like all Australians you want to celebrate the New Year before every one else.”

At this, for some unknown reason, perhaps to engender some international peace and harmony, the band-leader decided to get the pipers and drummers to play Waltzing Matilda and all of Henderson’s guests started dancing round the bonfire and singing the Australian National Anthem.

“There ye have it …Waltzing Matilda …” shouted MacTavish drowned by his two Scottish terriers barking at Henderson’s shepherd dog, “ye’re Australians … the lot of you!”

“And you’ve made us miss the New Year countdown …” added Mrs MacTavish, “it’s ten minutes past midnight at least; and we haven’t done first-footing.”

At this point, whilst Henderson's guests were still singing Waltzing Matilda, his neighbours from the other side of his house came out into their own back garden accompanied by their friends.

Believe it or not, they were Greeks.

“Happy New Year to you all,” shouted Stavros obviously the worst for wear with drink, “does anyone want a cup of Ouzo?”

Some of Henderson’s guests stopped dancing and went towards Stavros.

“We also have stuffed vine leaves plenty … and youvarlakia with avgolemono and baklava too. Plenty … plenty! Is very good." continued Stavros as his wife Marika brought out a large dish laden with food.

Moments later, two police cars arrived, no doubt called by some other neighbours, and four policemen entered Henderson’s back garden.

“We’ve had reports of a disturbance” said one of the cops.

“Of course it’s a disturbance … it’s the New Year. What do you expect? Get a drink down your neck officer,” replied Henderson offering the police sergeant a bottle of whisky.

“I think you should keep the noise down, Sir!” said the policeman turning down the drink.

“Sarge … you can’t get them to celebrate quietly. Not tonight surely?” asked the second officer. "Is it OK if I have a drink with them?"

“Take a baklava with you also!” shouted Stavros from his side of the fence as the police left, “or a Greek kalamata olive. It is the best!”

The shouting, singing and music continued through the night as the MacTavish’s and the Stavros’s joined the Henderson’s in their back garden and celebrated the New Year international style with Greek food and haggis and black buns.

I never got to find out where that moth ended! Must have flown away by a sudden gust of Southerly wind.

10 comments:

  1. OH VICTOR~~~ I posted a picture on my Facebook page a friend in Australia sent me as they saw the New Year in---over 12 hours before we did the same. As for the kilt---I had a post in the summer of '13 about a man in a kilt---It takes a MANLY-MAN to wear those skirts!

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    Replies
    1. Yes Lulu, it may take a Manly-Man to wear a kilt. But all it takes is a moth to make him scream like a girl.

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. Chaos isn't a theory when you live in a home with a Labrador Retriever puppy and a five year old little boy. It's crazy over here. ;)

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    Replies
    1. I can well imagine, Manny.

      God bless you and yours.

      Delete
  3. Dear Victor,

    I just found your blog and am thanking The Lord for doing so.

    You have brought a smile to this new bloggers day.

    Happy New Years to you!

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sue,

      It's so nice to see you visiting here. Thank you. We look forwards to your many returns.

      Glad I made you smile, Sue. Plenty more smiles if you click the tab at the top entitled "Giggles and Fun".

      Best wishes for the New Year. God bless.

      Delete
  4. I think you've given me a greater appreciation for the challenges my male Scottish ancestors faced :)
    Blessings,
    Aimee

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    Replies
    1. Oh it's a challenge allright, Aimee. Try catching haggis on those steep hills whilst wearing a kilt. They run everywhere, they do.

      God bless

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  5. Oh funny, Victor! Yep, those southerly winds sure can be brutal! Poor moth - bet he never knew what hit him. If he survived it that is.

    Something funny: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=631427926978883&set=vb.159050394216641&type=3&theater
    Check out the driver around the 43 second mark! Cracked me up. Plus I know you like music ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the video link Mary. It's hilarious.

      I hope you and yours are keeping well. It's great to see you visiting again, thank you.

      God bless you always.

      Delete

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