Christmas almanac: 2013

Art Deco Christmas print - detail from a 1939 Dow Chemicals magazine ad

The first rule in buying Christmas presents is to select something shiny. If the chosen object is of leather, the leather must look as if it has been well greased; if of silver, it must gleam with the light that never was on sea or land. This is because the wariest person will often mistake shininess for expensiveness.

PG Wodehouse (who else?)

So, here we are at Christmas once again. After one of the best years of my life (if not the best year of my life) I’ve not done a splendid job of picking up blogging, but I like a Christmas roundup so here it is. Hopefully there should be plenty to keep you entertained in the quiet bits that don’t involve eating and drinking over the next few days.

1. I posted this link to a stream of the audiobook of PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves and the Yuletide Spirit last year, but it’s a Christmas tradition for me to listen to it and, frankly, I won’t rest until the world is listening to Jeeves & Wooster audiobooks to send them off to sleep every night.

2. The Bee’s Knees is a cocktail that came to fame in the Prohibition era – allegedly to make bathtub gin taste better. Whether your gin is made at home or is just cheap stuff that comes from a shop, it’s a tasty-sounding way of making it more delicious.

2 shots of gin
3 spoonfuls of runny honey
1 shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 shot of freshly squeezed orange juice

Stir the honey together with gin until the honey dissolves. Add the lemon and orange juice, shake together with ice and strain into a chilled glass. I mean, if you’re doing at home you could probably skip the shaking and just serve over ice – I’m sure it would be delicious all the same.

3. My BFF Harriet had her first book published this year and I am embarrassingly proud. If you want a Christmas-themed novel (with rude bits), you can and should download it here!

4. I finally watched In Bed With Chris Needham on my first day off this Christmas. I don’t really want to tell you any more about it other than that it’s joining Anvil in my favourite documentaries of all time list. After watching it, read this amazing catch-up interview with Chris.

5. This is One Direction’s Best Song Ever, as performed by dogs.

6. I made another Christmas playlist, because I figured that you can never have enough.

7. Crisis at Christmas do an incredible job in their centres and they have a slight work angle for me because loads of brilliant, wonderful, dedicated hairdressers give up their time to take care of the guests at Crisis centres. My industry is occasionally a source of humour for people, I know, but the physical and emotional benefits that an hour or two of TLC can give to those who are often on their own are fairly brilliant. For that reason, Crisis is my charity for the festive season and you can donate to them here. (You can also watch a video of what goes on at the centres here!)

8. The Spicy Bird tacos in the Wahaca cookbook are completely brilliant and, handily for everyone, also work darned well with turkey. I have been promised that Andy’s mum will make these with leftovers and, if that doesn’t happen, I might cry. The recipe is here.

9. If you haven’t seen it yet, Ja’Mie: Private School Girl is all online. Summer Heights High under a microscope. A microscope crafted of lols.

10. This whole website.

[Top pic: Vintage ads]


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