9 December 2021

9th December 2021

More tree decorations today, because quite frankly these ones are stupendous and cool and every tree needs at least one of them.

And because Stevie Nicks is the QUEEN and who would have thought of making a bauble of Stevie Nicks, well House of Hackney have (https://www.houseofhackney.com/uk/) and they do great decorations, homeware and COATS so check them out.


8 December 2021

8th December 2021

We suppose Covid might put paid to this for a few years yet (or maybe no one ever liked the tradition) but we always have a sprig of mistletoe over the front door as an excuse to pounce on unsuspecting guests.

But not everyone likes having oily leaves and white berries all over their hall floor, so there are some lovely design alternatives you can enjoy, even the whole year round!

This year we went for Jellicat and their Amusables range, here are their jolly mistletoe berries. Look at their lovely corduroy boots!

If you want something a little more sophisticated, we can recommend Arket, a fashion and homewares store from the H&M stable, appearing on more high streets. This is their decoration, made from silvered steel. Make sure you don't bang your head on it!

And for the ultimate in luxury, where would you go other than Fortnum & Mason? This London Piccadilly store might be famous for its hampers and cream teas, but also has a gold mistletoe ornament, for only £8

Do YOU have a favourite decoration, or ornament collection? Let us know in the comments!

6 December 2021

7th December 2021

 One of favourite stores is Flying Tiger Copenhagen, which whe actually did first see in Copenhagen, like a treasurehouse of cheap Danish stuff. The it opened in the UK in Basingstoke, which still wasn't quite enough of a reason to go there. Now they are EVERYWHERE! and they still have fun Danish stuff, like this notebook with the phonetic NATO alphabet on - but being Scandinavian, it has extra words for the extra letters!

AEGIR is the god of the Sea in Norse mythology

ODIS is a town in South Jutland, west of Copenhagen

and ASE is both a female and male first name (and it's also Agneta Fältskog's first name, even though she is from Sweden)

6th December 2021

 Sorry it's only taken 6 days to get behind with this calendar, we'll try and keep it up to date from now on...

There's a trend this year for terrible Christmas-themed food. Already Terry's have teamed up with Heinz to make Chocolate Orange flavoured mayonnaise. 

For every tasty Greggs' Festive Slice or delicious Pret Christmas Dinner Sandwich, you have to put up with a monstrosity like this from Itsu:

5th December 2021

You can tell that Christmas is getting close because the special double issue of the Radio Times has been published! Sarah's already gone through it with a Sharpie!

Some advent calendar readers will be old enough to remember when you had to buy TWO TV guides if you wanted all the channels. We never got the TV Times, mainly because like the best families, you weren't really meant to watch ITV. Who needed Magpie when you had Blue Peter? And Tiswas was just silly.

There's a great website with Radio Times covers of the past (going back to 1969). https://ukchristmastv.weebly.com/christmas-radio-times-covers-from-1969.html

Here's an EXCLUSIVE chart showing what was on the covers for the last 30 years:

So Santa definitely wins!

Finally here's a lovely one, from way back in 1930, designed by Claughton Pellew!

4 December 2021

4th December 2021

Today Sarah is off to the local panto (oh no she isn't! etc)

Snow White & The Seven Dwarves has pulled in the big names of Gok Wan (as "The Man In The Mirror"), Harriet Thorpe "of Brittas Empire fame", top sports impressionist Aaron James, and in the title role, Rebekah Lowings, who trained at Guildford's School of Acting so she's a "local" girl" which is nice.

Aaron seems to have had a bit of work done, and grown a little beard to look more like Paddy McGuinness. If you've forgotten what Harriet looked like at the height of her 90s fame (on the left, pictured with Julia St John):

Of course, the most important people aren't featured - the little people playing the dwarves. The last time Woking had Snow White as its panto in 2016, Warwick Davis played Prof (because of course the traditional names are all Disney copyright). It'll be interesting to see what this year's dwarves are called.

And five years earlier, there was an entire Channel 4 reality show about the actors, looking at how little people find acting life, and following them through panto season and beyond: https://www.channel4.com/press/news/seven-dwarves

3 December 2021

3rd December 2021

 Three pictures for you today, you are being spoilt. Hope they cheer you up ready for the weekend!

A 1980 East German advent calendar, designed by Thomas Schallnau, depicting Santa arriving by helicopter on the roof of a block of flats.

What does Santa use to drain his sprouts? An Advent COLANDER! Ho ho ho!

And finally, a little bit of politics from Mr Michael Spicer:

1 December 2021

2nd December 2021

Our neighbours have started to put their Christmas lights on, but it's all a bit low-key at the minute. In Zurich, Switzerland, however there are no holds barred. The switching on of what they like to call “Lucy” heralds the start of the Advent season. People gather to see the 23,000 light crystals shine out for the first time, spread over a distance of 1km.

These lights on Lowenplatz are made from recycled bottles:

Fortunately our Advent Calendars arrived in the post yesterday, so we can share with you the amazing goodness and value of Chocolates Direct, the one-stop supplier for all your chocolate needs (https://www.chocolatesdirect.co.uk/)

For Sarah, Jelly Belly, and for Adam, Niederegger marzipan from Lübeck, Germany

30 November 2021

1st December 2021

Welcome one and all to the Advent Calendar of Novelty Nonsense and Whimsical Fun. Your hosts are Sarah and Adam and we've been doing this for nearly 2 decades, using early internet tools such as Pagespinner and Fetch, right through to Blogger.

Let's start with an AMAZING Christmas anagram:

It's from the greatest crossword setter ever, The Guardian's Araucaria:

"While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground" = "O hark! The herald angels sing the boy’s descent which lifted up the world"

And here's a great picture to get us started for 2021. We hope your Advent Calendar is as good as this!

Advent Calendar 2021

24 December 2020

23rd December 2020

Last year Alton's Christmas decorations divided the town. Marmite the Marmot (you love him or hate him) bought second-hand for £4000 was big news in the town.

This year the council doubled down and bought Meribel. So now there are two giant marmots in Alton!

And here's a Christmas CHOON to brighten up your Wednesday:

24th December 2020

Happy Christmas! We made it, with a few delays along the way (sorry)
We hope you have a wonderful time, whatever tier you are in and whoever you manage to see (or successfully avoid)
Our photo of the year isn't a Christmassy one. Instead it's from when we managed one trip to the North East and saw Adam's Dad, and also Guy & Evgenia before they moved back to Cyprus. So here we are in a pub in Tynemouth, socially distancing.