20 December 2022
When our friend Heidi was tiny (we're talking 20 years ago) she had a toy vacuum cleaner that I was jealous of, because it was a Dyson and back then I couldn't afford a Dyson. It had little coloured balls that went round in the cyclone to represent the dust and dirt.
There's even one in the V&A collection of toys!
Well nowadays Caslon, who specialise in reproductions of household items, have got an incredible range, some of which I'd never have dreamt of.
18 December 2022
I was forbidden from buying it, until Sarah could collect one from our local newsagents, The Bon Bon of Woking. Mr & Mrs Bon had been saving it ready to hand over with the Saturday Guardian.
1. remove inserts
2. remove the wrap-around front cover
3. grab a Sharpie...
The Saturday shop also revealed a super little tree decoration from Sainsburys, only £2. It's a coffee cup with a heart on the top and an actual cardboard sleeve!
So because I seem to always be buying coffees for the amazing Music department (especially on Carol Service rehearsal day) I made a little drinks carrier out of card to present their presents!
Also in Sainsburys:
and I do NOT recommend this cheese, especially the cranberry and pepper
biggest Christmas cash-in ever
The Winter Solstice in 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 21:47 today. This is when the tilt of the Earth's axis away from the sun is at its maximum.. The Arctic has 24 hours of darkness, the Antarctic has 24 hours of daylight (poor penguins trying to sleep) and the Tropic of Capricorn is at the exact angle (23°27′) below the Equator so the noon rays are directly overhead (it's summer there, of course).
To celebrate the Solstice, my father the Esteemed Ken Creen, has come up with a Solstice Belles quiz. There are some picture clues and some word clues, but like all his quizzes, the answers all begin with the same letters.
You can download the quiz here. There are no prizes other than knowing you are as clever as my dad.
15 December 2022
M.R.James has been a mainstay of the BBC's A Ghost Story For Christmas series, running from the 1970s in black and white (Michael Hordern climbing over groynes) to the recent adaptations by Mark Gatiss. I prefer the classics, but I've always got time for an M.R.James adaptation.
So instead here are three trees from around Europe. First up is a 20-metre spruce pine donated to the City of Brussels by its owners in Raeren, in the province of Liège, decorated with 600 champagne-coloured baubles and 2 km of LED light garlands.
And finally our new favourite tree, at Waterloo - it's covered in GIANT HARIBO. Sorry there are none to eat.
14 December 2022
13 December 2022
As well as this year being the 30th anniversary of the release of The Muppet Christmas Carol (now on Disney+, with an EXTRA SONG!) it's also 38 years since the televisual marvel that is The Box Of Delights. Shown over consecutive weeks leading up to Christmas Eve, it's stayed in the hearts of everyone who saw it. There's amazing child actors, appearances by the great Robert Stephens and Patricia Quinn, a police inspector with a recipe for posset, and cutting-edge (for 1984) visual effects. The theme tune is The First Nowell from Victor Hely-Hutchinson’s Carol Symphony, and the whole thing was directed by Rennie Rye.
There's a new Guardian article from the director and child star about how it was made, and it's available on DVD from BBC Films.