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Showing posts from December, 2021

23rd December 2021

snowman ornament: a story in six photos you can make one too! just get some buttons and thread

24th December 2021

Happy Christmas everyone! Our family Christmas card this year is all about the hexagons Adam was so pleased to be able to do his Year 5 Hexagon masterclass to children in London in November, after 2 years of cancellations Here's a hexagon puzzle for you all: Can you put the numbers 1 to 19 in the coloured hexagons so every row and diagonal adds up to 38? Hint: 5 goes in the centre! From Adam & Sarah:

22nd December 2021

Only 2 shopping days to Christmas, so if you are short of ideas, here are Sarah and Adam's top tips for last minute gifts: Circus tent toy teaset, H&M Home, with charity donation to Save The Children Scented jigsaws, The Works Flatpack moose, IKEA Sushi Jenga, Tiger Spectacular bins, Asda (thanks to Dave for this one)

21st December 2021

The season of Advent is nearly over, which means 2 things: shop sales are starting, and Christmas treats in fast food outlets are ending. We are very pleased this year we hit the big 5, the Pentavirate of Festive Treats, as listed below: 1. McDonalds Festive Pie: mincemeat AND custard? Ronald is spoiling us. 2. Costa Black Forest Hot Chocolate: the ultimate Christmas drink, no other can compare 3. Pret Christmas Sandwich: like a roast dinner in a wrap, AND you're giving to charity 4. Greggs Festive Bake (also available in vegan flavour): a bit of a mush but it's Christmassy 5. Krispy Kreme Kristmas Donuts: just look at the jolly snowman, get to Tesco's now Of course the true Pentavirate is a secret organisation, as revealed by Mike Myers in "So I Married An Axe Murderer":

20th December 2021

It was very sad when Debenhams closed earlier in the year, and everyone lost their jobs, Sarah included. It also prompted a strange outpouring on social media of people's reminiscenses, not just of shopping at Debenhams, but dreaming about Debenhams, especially during lockdown. These are all genuine. == Tamsin S. If the haunted 1980s spin dryer hadn't been my mum's, and the basement where I rescued Joe Biden from drowning hadn't been at Debenhams in Guildford, I'd swear I was assigned last night's dreams by mistake. Surely they were intended for someone rather more interesting? Bluebirds Past Had a dream last night I was in a massive shopping mall in America and I went into a Debenhams and Craig Bellamy was in the there waiting for the lifts. We both had City shirts on, he shouted "Bluebirds" at me and we stopped for a chat. Can confirm he was very pleasant. Adam Rainbow I had a dream I was an Uber Eats driver but it changed from food to any type of g

19th December 2021

Here's a special message from a special friend of the Advent Calendar: And when better than the Sunday before Christmas to slap your copy of "The Muppet Christmas Carol" in the DVD player and sing along to "Here Comes Mr Humbug". Enjoy!

18th December 2021

We can't have our usual party but we are trying to see friends safely before Christmas if possible. So thanks to our friends Megan and Mark who have been entertaining us today. They have possibly the ultimate remote control holder on their sofa ever! It also holds cups, glasses, specs cases etc, and it's made of a lovely soft crushed velvet material while still being really sturdy. Some people use theirs to serve afternoon tea on their sofa: Megan and Mark haven't gone for the pink heart-shaped one. Instead, to match their sofa, they have a brown rectangular one. The velvet can be wiped to make patterns. Here is Megan's:

17th December 2021

Competition time! Earlier in the year we can across these celebrity portraits. All you have to do is tell us who you think they are. They range from easy to very hard. Tweet, text, DM or email your answers! We'll reveal who won on 24th December! English (but a fan of Welsh rugby) English Welsh Scottish English

16th December 2021

The end of term, so got a bit delayed again! We haven't had any nativity sets this year, so here are some top ideas for a crib: The classic Playmobil 123 Probably a bit impractical this one, for any length of time The perennial Henry family I can't look at a silhouette of a crib scene now without seeing dinosaurs  

15th December 2021

It's finally here! The school Carol Service is tonight, which means a whole day of runthroughs with the amazing 5 choirs, orchestra, sinfonia, jazz band and soloists. Such a great day. I can't post our rehearsal, but here are 2 of the pieces we are doing. "Christmas Lullaby" by the Senior Girls Choir ["We didn't do it because it was too hard" - Guy Creen] and the grand finale of massed choirs and orchestra, "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" arranged by Mark Hayes

14th December 2021

The UK has once again gon Scandi-mad, with loads of articles about how to have a hygge  Christmas. One tradition we love is the feast of Lucia ( last featured in 2017 ) with candles and processions and Italian songs. Our friends at LondonSwedes had organised several Lucia services/concerts across the UK and all of them were sold out. This is from the London one: As you can see they have got the whole candle-headdress-fire-risk thing going on. Here's a hamster dressed up for Lucia: And finally here's friend of the Advent Calendar, Sweden's Princess Estelle and her brother Prince Oscar, with their official Christmas photo, alongside a similar photo of her mother and uncle, released yesterday on Lucia:

13th December 2021

Every year on the Advent Calendar we are delighted to present guest posts from our friends, and making a regular appearance is Louise from St Fagan's: "Here are two wreaths for your advent calendar. They were made by my sister Kate, and we foraged for most of the greenery in Williamson’s Park, Lancaster."

12th December 2021

Thanks to Adam's Dad for his suggestion of covering the Christmas Trees that have been in the news this year. In London yesterday Sarah posed with the derided Norwegian gift in Trafalgar Square.  It is a bit lopsided and bare but it's the thought that counts. It's very good of the Norwegians to keep thanking us for looking after King Haakon VII in the Second World War. In contrast and to cheer you up, here's Sarah looking happier in 2019 (weren't we all) with the tree that year:

11th December 2021

 Only 2 shopping Saturdays until Christmas! We are off to London today, and it has been so good to get out of Woking and see the sights. We're back in the National Gallery today as well, which has an exhibition of Dürer and his travels. Adam has loved the National ever since the Sainsbury Wing opened with the Renaissance paintings, also winding Prince Charles up with its architecture. But his favourite room is the Octagon, with paintings by Claude and the Turner Bequest. It was used in the Second World War for lunchtime concerts, famously attended by the Queen Mother, with piano playing by Dame Myra Hess, who is commemorated on a plaque.

10th December 2021

One of the most exciting things to happen this year was Sarah getting a new job at the department store Fenwick, only a month after Debenhams folded. It was all down to an enormous amount of effort she put into job-hunting and demonstarting her skills. Adam was impressed because Fenwick is one of the stores of his childhood, taking pride of place on Newcastle's Northumberland Street, with its famous Christmas windows. It first opened in 1882, and soon had a fleet of delivery vans that would drive around Newcastle delivering everything from food to furniture. Still going strong with 9 stores nationally, it still has vans and Christmas windows!   This year's Christmas windows are a collaboration with the new Shaun the Sheep film which is being shown on BBC One on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There's also a van driving round with Shaun in it to bring good cheer to the Angel of the North!

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 ( ) and they do great decorations, homeware and COATS so check them out. Plus GRACE JONES.

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 ha

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: