Thursday, 18 December 2014

12 Lists of Christmas: Three of My Favourite Christmas Songs

For me, a big part of getting into the Christmas spirit is listening to Christmassy music. Some of the videos might be a bit random but I struggled to find a simple way to embed just the audio in the post. My html skillz are clearly not what they could be.

Step Into Christmas - Elton John

I absolutely, unashamedly, love this song. I cannot sit still when I hear it. Video bonus: check out Elton's suit and massive tinted glasses. 

Come and Join the Celebration

The video above is a rock version (just found it on my youtube search- I am far too excited right now).

It wouldn't be Christmas without a carol, and this is my favourite (well, it's kind of a carol). This reminds me of school Christmas carol concerts, both the ones I went to as a child and the ones that I go to at work. Lots of warm fuzzy-ness. Here's the 'original'.

Swiss Colony Beef Log - Eric Cartman

I'm pretty sure that, with the exception of me and my brother, no-one has heard of this song. Probably because it was the b-side of the Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo single. I can't really explain my irrational love for this song, but it always makes me extremely happy, and once again, I have to dance to the end part. So much so that my brother and I made up a dance to it. YUP. Actually, it wasn't dissimilar to this.

What have we learned here? I love any song that makes me dance, and I was an incredibly cool 12 year old.

BRB, I'm off to listen to my Christmas playlist.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

12 Lists of Christmas: The Bad Bits

I am probably one of the world's biggest Christmas fans, but even I am willing to admit that it's not all rainbows and butterflies (or, um, crackers and cake). So here's the not so great bits:

Financial pressure. This post on A Thrifty Mrs, about a couple who broke up because of the financial strain of Christmas, is so sad (and, I reckon, probably not that unusual). Luckily for me, my family and friends aren't the type to pile on the pressure with extravagant gifts, and it really saddens me that Christmas puts so many people under stress because of money. I know it's cheesy, but Christmas really should be all about the people you spend it with, not the money you spend on them.

Sparkly dresses. 'Tis the season of glittery, sequinned party dresses. I just don't understand why people feel the need to spend money on a dress that will probably only get worn twice. That said, I'm definitely no fashion blogger, so maybe I just don't get it!

Over-eating. I am one of life's eaters, and Christmas is a baaaaaaad time for this. To an extent it's fine, and probably one of my favourite aspects of the festive season. However, one year I did actually end up being physically sick because I'd eaten so much, so I do actually need to learn to reign it in a bit! [Just re-read that, realised it makes me sound a bit nuts. Probably fair.]

That's probably it. To be fair, I think I did quite well to think of three; I am a pretty die hard Christmas fan.

Monday, 15 December 2014

12 Lists of Christmas: 5 Terrible Christmas Jokes

I absolutely love a terrible, terrible joke. Even if you don't, humour me please, it's (nearly) Christmas.

Who's Santa's favourite singer?
Elf-is Presley!

What happened to the man who stole an advent calendar?
He got 25 days.

What does Santa get when he gets stuck in a chimney?

Who says 'oh, oh, oh' at Christmas?
Santa walking backwards!

How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizza?
Deep pan, crisp and even.

Heh. Please, please comment with some more festive funnies. I can't get enough of them.

Friday, 12 December 2014

The only blogging advice you'll ever need [400th post].

There seem to be hundreds to 'how to blog' blog posts about at the moment, but I'm afraid to say that no-one knows as little (sorry, as much) about blogging as I do. 

Anyway, here's my hard-earned piece of blogging wisdom:

Set up a blog.
Post some stuff. Whatever stuff you want, it's your blog.
You are now a blogger.

Screw the rest of it.

P.S. 400 posts?! Liz: Proudly filling the internet up with shit since 2009.

P.P.S. I seem to have totally messed up the scheduling of this post. Says it all!

400? I'm coming over.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Penguin's #seasonsreadings Challenge [one]

Penguin are running a seasonal Book-a-Day challenge, so I thought I'd join in, given that I love both Christmas and reading. It's actually an Instagram thing (@penguinukbooks) but I'm going to do it on here so that I can explain my choices, rather than just posting the pictures. The idea of the challenge is that you're given a prompt for each day of December (up until the 25th) and asked to think of a book that corresponds to each one. I found some of the prompts a bit repetitive, so I'm going to chose my favourites... you're not the boss of me, Penguin! 

Here's the first installment:

Iconic first line: 'Marley was dead, to begin with.' I'm not sure if this is actually the best first line of a book that I've ever read, but it was one that popped into my head, and I think it's a good 'un. It's instantly engaging, and it shows that a well-placed comma can indeed be a beautiful thing. Also, it's festive... winning.

Last read: The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared. This had been on my 'to read' list for a while (it's a long list) and it didn't disappoint. Jonasson intermingles the story of Allan Karlsson's (somewhat eventful) life with the story of what happens on his 100th birthday. It's funny, surreal, and un-put-down-able. I recommend it.

On my Christmas list: Seeing as I've asked for tattoo money for Christmas, I had to refer to my Kindle wish list instead. Lots of people have recommended The Secret History to me over the years, so it'll soon be time to heed their advice and actually read it.

Quintessentially British: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. Adrian's self-deprecation, neurosis and moaning strike me as somehow being quintessentially, realistically British. It's also quintessentially 80s, but that's beside the point; Townsend's descriptions of teenage angst are universal, so it doesn't really matter what decade it's set in. This book is guaranteed to make me laugh hysterically every time; my copy is falling to pieces because I've read it so many times. If you haven't read this already, you need to. Just writing this is making me want to go and re-read it now...

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

An insight into my 9 year old brain.

Once a year I get to make my favourite list (yes, I have a favourite list). This is the list of the Christmas presents I'm giving; clearly I am an incredibly kind and generous person (ahem). I am fanatical about adhering to tradition, especially at Christmas time, so I always write the list in the same red notebook. 

Look! It's so neat!
(It's an old one, real life chums!)

The best thing about this notebook is that I've had it for (gulp) about 20 years now, so it contains some stuff that I wrote when I was 9... This stuff is brilliant, it's basically a direct insight into my psychological make up. I present to you my 9 year old brain...

A request for a Ryan Giggs poster. You will notice that this is, in fact, a rough copy. Yes, I wrote rough copies in my own free time. Just in case I got graded? Probably.

A letter to my cousin (another rough copy). This is a nice indication of my sporting prowess. In the letter, I tell my cousin that I will be competing in the 'area sports day'; an event where kids from all the local primary schools met to compete and show off their sporting skills. Unfortunately, 'I am in the welly boot race'. Says it all. 

I love this. I think this must be from when I was about 10, and had just started reading The Babysitters' Club books. It's my attempt at fan fiction. To be fair, it's not really any worse than the actual BSC books. I can't think of an adjective. Let's just say that anyone who's read this recently has creased up with laughter. I had written myself out a timetable. Not for homework or anything, just because I wanted to. It features items such as 'Kripton [sic] Factor', 'brush teeth' and 'watch Sooty while having tea'. Incredible. Is it a coincidence that I now work with children with autism? I think must make me very empathetic towards them, or something!

Wow. I was one neurotic, obsessively organised, affirmation-needing child; essentially I was a (very) young Mark Corrigan. My overall conclusion? I was brilliant then, and I'm brilliant now. Hey, at least I've stayed true to myself!