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The Naughty Elf

Some-how, I have been given the role of ‘the Naughty Elf’, which means that I was the one locked up in the back of the truck that pulls Santa’s Sleigh around the village.  (Although saying that, last night’s freezing temperatures made me quite glad I was the one stuck in there!)

IMG_20171208_201351Essentially, my job during the Santa Run as ‘the Naughty Elf’, is to control the music and microphone levels through the powered amplifier in the back of the truck with me. Different Christmas music tracks need different volume adjustments, but also controlling Santa’s microphone is another job - I’m sure he waits until I’m least expecting a ‘Ho! Ho! HO!’ blast from him, and he catches me off-guard and the levels go through the roof!

For years, and irrespective of where I’ve lived at the time, I’ve seen various Santa Sleighs taken around to see the boys and girls, and hadn’t given it too much of a thought about how it all works.  But since joining the Doddington Village Sports and Carnival committee a couple of years ago, I now get to see just how much effort goes into each ‘project’ that we do, and I’m still blown away by it all.

Last year, we introduced the Santa Tracker, meaning that you lucky people, the public, can see where we are throughout each evening. 

Each Elf on the carnival committee has their own (what I call) ‘super-powers’, meaning that what ever it is that we all do in our day-jobs, it contributes massively to the group; obviously everyone’s job is different, and therefore their ‘Carnival Super Powers’ are different, and in varying demand throughout the year, depending upon what we’re doing.  My particular super power, is in ‘IT geekery’, I’m a computer-bod by day and therefore setting up a Santa Tracker was relatively easy to do, whereas building a sleigh, for instance,… not so simples!

Anyway, this year, we decided it might be fun to hook-up a web-cam to the back of the truck, pointing over Santa’s Sleigh, so that anyone that couldn’t see Santa that evening might be able to enjoy it. At home. In the warm. When it’s cold outside, like it’s supposed to be this evening. Again.  (The live Santa videos are available either on our website or on our Facebook Page).

So, to explain the photo above, inside the back of ‘Lottie’ the Land Rover, there’s a couple of laptops working away, along with various tablets and mobile phones doing other jobs too, like music playlists, or getting our GPS location and updating the SANT-NAV tracker onto the Carnival website, and lots of other geeky things. And there’s also boxes of walkie-talkie radios (kindly supplied by ACE Communications – thanks guys!!), as we need to make sure that we all know what’s happening at all times, as the Elves driving the truck can’t always see and hear each other whilst reversing around corners.  Obviously, we need power for pretty much everything in the truck and on the sleigh, so there are power invertors and cables there, too. There’s a lot going on inside the back of the truck, that the other Elves have sorted out way before I got to sit in there.  The idea is that it’s all abstracted away from everyone, but people do ask and wonder, so I thought it might be of interest for you to get a little insight into the workings of Lottie’s ‘Naughty Elf’.


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