Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Merry Christmas, everybody!  

I hope you're all having a lovely day, wherever you are and whatever you're doing.  Thank you so much to everyone who reads my posts and who has followed my blog over the last few months, I've had great fun doing it!

I hope Santa was good to you all, and enjoy the festivities!


(Christmas platypus drawn by my good and extremely talented friend Marianne, you can find her blog here!)

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas Past:

Last weekend I went round to help my parents and sister put up the Christmas tree at home, and I had a rummage for some classic Christmas photos to share with you all.  Instagram filters have got nothing on these babies.

Look how jolly this Christmas tree is!  I miss having a real tree, I'm definitely planning on getting one next year.  This is what Christmas morning always looks like in our house after Santa has visited.

And let's take a moment to marvel at how far artificial Christmas trees have come since the early '90s.  That's me on the right, by the way.  I found several photos of us with our faces painted, and I was always a tiger.  Rawr.

I wish it would snow like this again, even just for Christmas Day!  The chauffeur service was pretty good, too.

Here I am dressed as the 'Arch Angel Girl's Brigade' (Angel Gabriel) for a Sunday School nativity play.  Yes, the Angel Gabriel is traditionally a man, and no he isn't often pictured  wearing a hand me down flower girl dress and tinsel, but I was a really good reader for my age, okay?

We're leaping backwards and forwards in time a bit here, but I wanted to save my favourite for last.  What I would give for hair like this now!  As you can see, the dark circles under my eyes have always been there - playing was much more fun than sleeping.  I might be an 'adult' now, but I always feel about this age on the inside on Christmas morning!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Music Like A Vitamin review:

Back in October, I went to a gig at the HMV Picturehouse (put on by The Fruit Tree Foundation) called Music Like A Vitamin, and got to write a guest blog about the event.  I had a lot of fun playing journalist, and saw some amazing music, including a set by one of my favourite musicians, Withered Hand.  After a little bit of a wait, my review is finally up!  You can read it here, if you're curious, and I'm going to post a couple of photos below that I took on the night.

Sparrow and the Workshop
Jill O'Sullivan and Rod Jones
The Birthday Suit
Withered Hand
Dan Willson and Marie Collins
It was such a lovely night, organised to promote such a great cause.  I hope you all find time to have a read of my review (and the review written by the other guest blogger there that night, Tom Wheeler), and maybe I'll see you some of you at Music Like A Vitamin next year!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Useless Christmas themed oversharing:

Remember MySpace surveys?  (Remember MySpace...?)  Below is something that the cool kids are now calling a 'tag', but it's essentially just a good old Christmas themed MySpace survey.  If you're a blogger, you should do this post too and link me to it in the comments!  I TAG you to do it, see how hip I am?  If you aren't a blogger, you could post your answers in the comments.  Or post your answers on your MySpace...

1. What is your favourite Christmas movie?
It's A Wonderful Life, because I have fond memories of watching it with my family when I was little, and you can't beat a good bit of Jimmy Stewart.  Hot dog!

2. Are you on Santa's Naughty or Nice list?
Does he have a sarcastic list?  I'm probably on that, somewhere in between naughty and nice.

3. Show us an embarrassing Christmas card photo!
I don't have any Christmas card photos, but here's an old photo of me, my cousin and my sister in a traditional Christmassy dogpile for your enjoyment:

4. Have you ever had a white Christmas?
It snows quite often in Scotland during the winter, but two years ago, there was an insane amount of snow all over the UK at Christmas time.  It was a nightmare for everybody, but I love the snow (and they closed uni for a few days) so I had a great time!

5. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
At home (the house I grew up in), and sometimes at my Auntie and Uncle's house.

6. What is your favourite Christmas song?
I CAN'T CHOOSE JUST ONE, but almost anything from the Phil Spector Christmas Album is likely to go down well with me.

7. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
Once, I received a Christmas Eve present.  ONCE.  Turns out French Santa is more fun than Scottish Santa.

8. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Dasher and Dancer and Chancer and Romancer, etc.

9. Which holiday tradition are you most looking forward to this year?
Eating dinner with my parents and my sister on Christmas Eve.  We have the same dish every year (and have done for as long as I can remember!).

10. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
I love real trees, but the tree we have here in the flat and my parents' Christmas tree at home are both fake.  We used to get real ones when I was little, but they started to give my Dad really bad allergic reactions!

11. Hands down, what's your favourite Christmas food?
Having very recently eaten a delicious Fake Christmas dinner, I can confirm that I love everything about Christmas dinner (even the brussel sprouts).

12. Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?
Honestly, I like both.  Who doesn't enjoy getting a gift?  But you can't beat the feeling of seeing someone open a present that they love, especially when it's you who chose it for them.

13. What would be your dream place to visit at Christmas time?
It might sound cheesy, but I love being at home at Christmas and I wouldn't want to wake up anywhere else on Christmas morning (especially now that my parents have started letting us put the heating on).  I wouldn't mind being allowed to stay in my pyjamas/onesie all day, though.  Now that would be living the dream.

14. Does your family have a special holiday recipe you like to help make?
It's hard to help with the cooking in my house because my Mum is both an excellent, extremely organised and experienced cook, and a total control freak when it comes to cooking.  I like to contribute by eating things that I'm not meant to eat with my fingers and then running away giggling when I get caught.

15. Are you a pro present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?
I'm okay at wrapping presents.  My Dad is a pro present wrapper, taking it to a terrifying, get-the-ruler-out-and-don't-waste-any-paper level.  Compared to him, I am nothing.

16. What is your most memorable Christmas moment?
There are too many.  I could embarrass so many family members with this answer, but they would probably just embarrass me right back.  The Christmas where I didn't receive the talking Babe the Sheep Pig that I desperately wanted springs to mind, but I've already guilt tripped my parents a lot for that one, considering I was eight years old and I got a CD player instead.  Yup, gratitude.

17. What made you realise the truth about Santa?
Well, I re-watched Miracle on 34th Street the other night, and they made a pretty good pro-Santa argument, so I think I've decided to believe in him again.  (Actually, my nine year old sister told me he wasn't real when I was five...)

18. Are you anybody's Secret Santa this year?
I have been a Secret Santa for THREE different people this year!  I hope they like their gifts!

19. Do you still get excited on Christmas Eve?
YES.  Christmas Eve is one of the most exciting days of the year!  I'd say it's better than Christmas, just because of all of the anticipation.

20. Do you make New Year's Resolutions?  Do you stick to them?
Yes, I pretty much make the same ones every year.  And, no, I don't stick to them.  If I did, I'd just have to think of more resolutions to make, and that would be very time consuming.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Instagram #5:

1. Cancer charity humour...  2. More snaps with the Coca-Cola Christmas truck  3. Waiting to see the Frightened Rabbit Highlands tour film, Here, with an enormous ticket

4. So much glittery mess whilst making these baubles  5. A crazy, stormy and filter-less morning sky at the bus stop    6. An Australian furry friend on my computer at work

7. My favourite confusing Poundland find to date  8. A delicious sushi lunch  9. My feet at an awesome secret Withered Hand house gig

10. Withered Hand playing aforementioned awesome secret house gig  11. Somebody in John Lewis wasn't feeling Christmassy...  12. Supercube (IKEA style) involved a lot of shouting

13. Ruaridh post-Fake Christmas dinner  14. More wine at Fake Christmas...  15. Instagram takeover

16. Who are these people?  17. The best moment to pause Jingle All The Way ever  18. Oh Christmas tree, you so pretty

19. No filter on this morning sky either!

What've you guys been up to lately?

Friday, 7 December 2012

Personalised Christmas baubles:

Remember this Christmas decoration from my Fake Christmas post?  I made a personalised bauble for each of my guests, and it was much easier than I thought it would be!  Making them is just common sense really, but in case any of you are inspired by this idea, here's how I did it:

Step 1: Buy some Christmas baubles (I got 12 for £1, which meant I had room for mistakes) or use old decorations you have already.  As long as they have a smooth surface, you should be fine!  Use liquid glue to draw or write whichever shape or name you like on the bauble.  (If you make a mistake, quickly wipe the wet glue off with kitchen towel and start again.)

Step 2: Completely cover the wet glue in loose glitter.  I used two colours of glitter on the majority of my baubles to make them a little more interesting.  WARNING - there will be glitter EVERYWHERE.  FOREVER.

Step 3: Lay those beauties out to dry for as long as is humanly possible.  I left mine for a couple of days (and then hoovered up glitter constantly for a couple more days...).

Step 4: Once your glue is completely dry, clean the excess glitter off the baubles with a Q-tip and try not to inhale too much of it in the process.  Then just lay your hands on some narrow ribbon (I got a roll from John Lewis) and string them up, ready to go on a tree!

Have any of you crafty types made your own decorations this year?  I'd love to see them, as this is about as crafty as I ever get!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Fake Christmas 2012:

Fake Christmas was a success!  Here are some photos of my set up before everything got a bit drunken and messy...

The dinner table (meant for four people, set for seven) in the harsh light of day, complete with tacky Poundland plastic tablecloth and tacky (but amazing) Santa centrepiece.

And here's the table with some people around it!  See that gap with no leg room and a plate at it?  Yeah, that was my seat...

Will this microwave be all right in the Christmas tree?

As predicted, I managed to get away with doing basically no cooking or food prep whatsoever, but I did help with the food shopping (of which there was much!).

Craig's kitchen kingdom in panorama, because there was simply too much food...

(Here's how he coped.)

Before I forget, here's the nearest I got to a close up of my cheesy Christmas jumper.  It's a Weasley Christmas jumper, okay?  And if you don't get the reference, then that's your own fault.

And here's this year's Christmas card.

Are you throwing (or attending) a Fake Christmas celebration this year?  My friend Ruaridh is going to three, and that's not including real Christmas dinner!  I hope you're all enjoying the start of the festive season as much as I am!  No doubt I'll be all Christmassed out by the time it gets to the 25th.