12 December 2018

13th December 2018

Christmas food shopping is almost all done chez Creen, though the M&S Sparks offers keep tempting us back for more. A trend this year seems to be "crazy flavours". You can get sprout-flavoured crisps, tea and even chocolate. The most hardened Brussel-hater is not going to be swayed by those.

Why not try Christmas Tree flavoured crisps?

And for those who have more American-themed tastebuds...

Mmm, Mac and Cheese!

12th December 2018

What are your best Christmas traditions?

As regular readers will know, one of ours is the Christmas Radio Times:

  • check you have the right ITV region
  • remove the Radio Times Holidays section from the middle
  • set to with the marker pens
  • highlight stuff in the radio section that you will NEVER listen to

Another is making sure the following films are on TV over Christmas

  • Die Hard (of course)
  • A Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Scrooged
  • Clueless (not seasonal but then again it's always sunny in California)
  • any Hallmark Christmas movie about snowglobes or a character called Holly

And of course, getting up the most garish decorations in the street.

This year we have an eye-piercing blue neon wreath and window lights. But even that doesn't compare with the Loop Road extravaganza. Only snapped last night, here it is!

11 December 2018

11th December 2018

Christmas jumpers have a new name ... and they're not just jumpers anymore.
Americans now call the over-the-top seasonal designs "ugly jumpers" and they're now available as...





10 December 2018

10th December 2018

There's been some really great TV this year, especially Autumn drama, with Bodyguard, The Informer, and The Little Drummer Girl. We're always pleased to see fan art, and Jo (twitter.com/mitsyarty) has produced her interpretation of Florence Pugh, Michael Shannon, and Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd.

And for a different style, the romance between Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson in "Luther" has inspired many artists. We're looking forward to the new 4-part series over Christmas and New Year.

9 December 2018

9th December 2018

Do you remember when you first joined social media? Maybe it was the dear departed Friends Reunited, and you spent ages messaging people you hadn't seen since you were 16. Or perhaps Facebook swept you up and now you have 400 friends and can't keep track of all your notifications.

For Adam, it was joining Twitter in 2009, because some friends from the Jon Ronson forum had recommended it. And 9 years later, those friends as far away as Cardiff, Edinburgh and County Down are now people we have met in real life.

Here are three of their Christmas photos.

Kelliepie's new Christmas brooch:

Maxnugget's hand-made front door wreath:

Mistertumnus's funny tree decoration:

Here's to more than another 9 years of friendship!

8 December 2018

8th December 2018

Time for the first part of our Christmas competition! Sarah's idea, each Saturday we post a photo of us from one of our holidays this year and you have to guess the city. We'll give you a clue! On the final Saturday you email your 3 answers and you could win an exclusive souvenir from one of our top destinations. Ready?

Here's Sarah in traditional "eyes closed" pose sending postcards back to our nephew Finlay and goddaughter Beatrice. This city has 3 Debenhams, but it's not in the UK. Out favourite museum is the Postal Museum, and our favourite bakery is Zorbas. It is surrounded by a city wall built in 1567. Though still divided politically, people can now pass freely between the northern and southern parts.

Got that? Save your answer for next Saturday! Here are some more photos...

7 December 2018

7th December 2018

As usual on the Advent Calendar, if it's Friday then it's time to crank your office PC up to full volume, play the clip, and get everyone dancing. Bring a bit of Christmas cheer - only 12 working days to go!

Here's a 12" stomper, it's the extended mix of Breakout by 80s jazzsters Swing Out Sister:

6 December 2018

6th December 2018

We love travelling and as a result we love other countries' National Days. Canada of course has Canada Day (or in fact a whole weekend!) and Canadian Thanksgiving, as well as a national day that has different names in every province (confusing).
But today we celebrate Finnish Independence Day. It's now 101 years since the plucky Finns withdrew from Russian rule in 1917.

As usual, Sarah and I attended the Finnish Christmas Fair in London last month, though sadly got there too late to see the Moomin. We still spent FAR too much money on Fazer chocolates and Fazer jellies and Fazer ... well, you get the idea!

5 December 2018

4th December 2018

We bring you all the best present ideas, so if you're stuck on what to get someone you really like, why not try this?

Yes, the hands-free "Talking Glove". It's got Bluetooth built in so you don't need your phone.

But can you spot ONE TINY FLAW in its name??? No prizes for this one!

5th December 2018

If you are looking for a nice Christmas card activity, you could look at this great article by Oxford's Vicky Neale (who also features in a new video of a 1st Year lecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP7Ujbyu-NE )

How To Make Mathematical Christmas Cards

Bonus beats!

Here's a list of Maths Advent Calendars, thanks to all of you for putting them together:

3 December 2018

3rd December 2018

We're now officially in the season of Advent.
Joke for any Anglicans out there: how can you tell? Because we don't sing the Gloria!
But you can also tell because we have started to light our Advent Ring.
Invented in the 1970s by John Noakes, this tradition has now become mainstream.

In the absence of a Blue Peter Annual this year (for shame, in its 60th Anniversary year) you really should buy "Here's One I Made Earlier", a collection of classic Blue Peter crafts.

At Ottershaw Church, we had our first Advent candle lit, and also made Christingles out of oranges.

Bonus Church Advent Calendar: St Mary of Bethany, Woking has a new reflection every day (that I am reliably informed was inspired by this very Advent Calendar!)

2 December 2018

2nd December 2018

There's been lots of division in the country lately. Differing opinions on a key issue has pitted father against son, aunty against niece, and friend against friend. The critical questions has been, of course, "Can Doctor Who be a woman?"

We were glad to see that both sides are being catered for by our local Calendar Club stall in Woking:

Bingo! Braces-wearing innovative Jodie on the right, ancient white men on the left.

The calendar we were confused by, however, was this one:

Yes, the "Retro" calendar. While we can understand the bakelite and Hillman Imp, wouldn't it have been more appropriate to have the dates from a year other than 2019? They could easily have gone for, say, 1963 and it still been correct. Plus it would have been the year Doctor Who started!


Bonus Beats! Visit https://intheloopknitting.com/doctor-who-knitting-patterns/ for all your Doctor Who knitting pattern needs. Including this Dalek Baby Romper. Snug!