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.



22 December 2020

21st December 2020

Who knew that Enid Blyton actually invented Rap?
In 1925?!
Here is her intro poem to the adventures of Binkle and Flip, the Two Bad Bunnies:


It almost fits the theme tune to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air!

Blyton wrote this in the first months of her marriage, and she and her husband called each other Bun and Little Bun. This is the cover of the first edition:



20th December 2020

One of the favourite things we collected this year was photos of things that look like insults without actually being insulting. Enjoy!












 

22nd December 2020

 This is one for the nerds, I'm afraid. If you don't understand it, don't worry, it's a joke about programming with relational databases. And Santa.



19 December 2020

18th December 2020

 If you had a go at my father's Quiz on December 10th (link) I know you'll be desperate for the answers:

1. CARD,                                                  16. PARTY,

2. GIFT,                                                    17.TINSEL,

3. CHEER,                                                18. WINDOW,

4. TURKEY,                                              19. LIGHTS,

5. PRESENT,                                            20. CRACKERS,

6. LIST,                                                     21. BOX,

7. ISLAND,                                                22. JUMPER.

8. DECORATIONS,                                   23. CAKE,

9. SPIRIT,                                                 24. HOLIDAY,

10.EVE,                                                    25. CRIB,

11.WRAP,                                                26. STORY,

12.TREE,                                                 27. PUDDING,

13.DAY (Lewis),                                       28. CAROL,

14.WEEK (Weak),                                   29. SEASON,

15.STAMPS,                                           30. HAMPER.

Today's picture is David Hasselhoff dressed as Scrooge. This is genuinely from Christmas 2019.



"Hasselhoff, who shot to fame through his performances in Baywatch and Knight Rider, will play the iconic miser in the play, which will also feature a hologram of Pauline Quirke as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Quirke will be projected onto a giant 20m by 5m screen.

As well as Quirke, there will be a real horse-drawn carriage, pulled by an "intelligent" 16-hand white Arab stallion horse, as well as a flying four poster bed, a ghost train and over 70 performers from The Pauline Quirke Academy.

The tour opens in Cardiff on 6 December before visiting the Birmingham Resorts World Arena and Nottingham Motorpoint Arena. At every performance there will be a £3,000 cash prize giveaway to one audience member."

How did we miss this?!


19th December 2020

Friend of the calendar, ace Ronsonite, and amazing author Shirley McMillan (Amazon link, other more moral booksellers are available) has sent this Christmas crib scene. It's like a sort of "Guess Who" of modern culture/naive folk art. Can you identify who they are, and who they are representing? Thanks, Shirley!



17 December 2020

17th December 2020

For all you altos out there ... one of the best bits of Christmas, indeed for anyone who has ever had to not sing the tune ...


16 December 2020

16th December 2020

Here's a blast from the past. Ceefax was like the Twitter of its day, with some useful news, distracting jokes, and quality memes (remember Bam Boozle?). Extra exciting was the way the numbers would circle round but sometimes, just sometimes, it would skip onto a hidden page! Have a very Teletext Christmas!

 


15 December 2020

15th December 2020

It's the season of Carol Services, with Woking last Sunday and Ottershaw next. Our school Carol Service is being broadcast on Youtube, and on Christmas Eve, Adam will go into church for the first time since March to play the organ.

Getting used to online services took a while, and someone wrote new words to the hymn "All Creatures Of Our God And King" about how it all felt:



14 December 2020

14th December 2020

 Proving once and for all that Die Hard is a Christmas film


Remember you can make a great John McClane Christmas tree ornament with a small amount of Bacofoil


And this is a poll I did on Twitter. I still think I was right, but now there are 5 films it feels a little out of date.



13 December 2020

13th December 2020

 What happens if you do a search for "Santa Hat" and accidentally spell it wrong?

THIS!


Try again!


Well, this is no surprise. Imagine you try to dress up your moggy as Santa.



12th December 2020

 We're already half way through and haven't mentioned Muppet Christmas Carol yet!

This weekend is an ideal time to watch it, especially if you have the VHS, DVD or a subscription to Disney+. Otherwise you might have to go to a live screening at the BFI. Sorry.

To cheer you up, here is the blooper reel presented by Gonzo and Rizzo The Rat:


11 December 2020

11th December 2020

17 years we have been at our place in Old Woking, and 17 times we have received a card for the previous owners. Despite us forwarding it on, they keep on coming, year after year.

So either the "Stapes"

a) don't want to tell them their new (2004!) address

b) don't know the person's address and so can't tell them

c) are wilfully disorganised

d) are tormenting us until someone dies or we move away

So Happy Christmas to all the "Stapes" and their mysterious correspondent!


10 December 2020

10th December 2020

 Thanks to Adam's Dad, who has sent one of his "legendary" quizzes. Every answer is a word that can follow "Christmas ..." but be warned, some are harder than others!

 1. Jack of Clubs. (4)

 2. Talent. (4)

 3. Applaud. (5)

 4. Eastern Country. (6)

 5. Here and Now. (7)

 6. Lean. (4)

 7. Rhode or Rhodes. (6)

 8. Medals. (11)

 9. Ghost. (6)

10. Early Part of Evening. (3)

11. Shawl or Sandwich. (4)

12. Ash. (4)

13. Daniel’s Middle Name. (3)

14. Period Sounds Puny. (4)

15. Impressions. (6)

16. Political Organisation. (5)

17. Silent Anagram. (6)

18. Space in Schedule. (6)

19. Offal. (6)

20. Crispy Biscuits. (7)

21. Spar. (3)

22. Kangaroo. (6)

23. Solidify. (4)

24. Madonna Song. (7)

25. Cheat, Copy or Prompt. (4)

26. Narrative. (5)

27. Club for Fertile Females. (7)

28. Cate Blanchett Film. (5)

29. Spring. (6)

30. Impede. (6)



9 December 2020

9th December 2020

 If you're looking for something Christmassy to watch tonight, try "Christmas In New York: Inside The Plaza" on Channel 4, a documentary about New York's Plaza Hotel, which has the most seasonal decorations ever.

Sarah is a big fan because she watched the Hallmark movie "Christmas At The Plaza" a couple of weeks ago, where Keira Knightley lookalike (and Agents of SHIELD star) Elizabeth Henstridge had to solve the mystery of the missing Plaza Hotel tree-topper while simultaneously finding love.

We are already hooked on Channel 5's Christmas Movies (and the Sony Christmas Channel). Do you have a favourite you could recommend?




8 December 2020

8th December 2020

Every year we post some of our favourite cracker jokes, and this year they have a topical theme. These were selected by TV channel Gold and a panel of comedians as the best/worst gags they could find.

You can print them out if you are making your own crackers, and download the template if you want to make your own.





7 December 2020

7th December 2020

This weekend even more people have been showing off their Christmas trees and decorations! We're not quite there yet, but a new set of minimalist nativity scenes caught our eye.



Our favourite one is by Chris Gardiner, and he's even done a blog post showing how you can make your own with materials from Hobbycraft. It looks like a solar system that has been repurposed!


https://www.curbly.com/14540-how-to-make-a-diy-modern-and-minimalist-nativity-set



5 December 2020

6th December 2020

 Now this is more like it!



5th December 2020

Now that London is in Tier 2 and we can do a bit of shopping, we're also off to pick up our Nordic Christmas order from the Finnish Church in Rotherhithe. Sadly there won't be a market as well, but we enjoyed some online Finnish carols earlier in the week. 

And here's our favourite photo of Sarah meeting a Moomin!



4 December 2020

4th December 2020

This one is for Adam's brother Guy (middle child) and sister Gail (youngest). Yes, of course he's the eldest. Can't you tell?!



2 December 2020

3rd December 2020

In 2020 we said goodbye to a much-loved institution, which we and many of our friends had visited, especially back in the 1990s, as Tegel Airport in Berlin was replaced by the new Berlin Brandenburg airport. Based entirely around hexagons, it was mathematically exciting as well as a gateway to a great country. 

Here are some photos of our visits:








2nd December 2020

We hope you've opened the first window on your own Advent Calendar, and maybe even the second! This year Sarah has a Thorntons calendar, and Adam has a Reese's Peanut Butter Pieces one, which of course is healthy and provides one of his 5-a-day.

Every year we look out for the Lego and Playmobil calendars, as they are always a fun way to build up a scene (not always festive). But on the playmobil.co.uk website, Adam got a bit distracted by some of the other toys on offer.

The amazing "Teenie mit Longboard"

The confusing "Tramp and Prussian Soldier"

The classic fairytale of the Goose Maiden

And a contentious culture wars version of a "Traditional Family"


But of course, best of all, is the Nativity. Happy Wednesday!