Have you been on Instagram at all recently?
I accidentally click on the app on my phone then remembered just in time I was avoiding the digital version of a pesty tick also known as checking Instagram every dull moment during the course of my attempted tech-free holiday (writing The Signorina excluded of course. Ahem.)
The question is, what did we do before instant access to pouty, picture-perfect, beanie-clad, eye-lash wafting gorgeous humans bouncing out of our screen in all their filtered glory? Or indeed, bikini-clad lovelies posing against trees when all you wanted was a couple of yoga tips? Or of course the ever – present ‘avocados and nuts is all I’m having’ pics.
Where are the ‘slumped against the Christmas tree after too many [insert fave Christmas nibble here]’ pictures?
Or, indeed, the ‘bundled up in granny’s one hundred year old jumpers because I left my fluffy H&M one on the side of a gate when I was chasing sheep?’
Or… ‘Me with thirteen mince pies in my mouth and still smiling’?
OR…I could go on.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the ‘be the best eva yet that you can be eva’ mantra and delicious, eager healthy plates of colourful food is going to be all I’m about come January.
But for now, a little more of the cheeky, “you wouldn’t catch me doing this if it wasn’t Christmas/New Year” stuff, please.
In the mean time, a piccy of tangerines and their pals parsnips and sprouts (don’t see many sprouts on the web do you?) as I like the colours.
Just climbed a frosty mountain? Braved the weather in wellies and a hat damp from the Christmas Day walk yesterday in an effort to feel hungry again? Perching by the fire with a frozen nose?
Nutella hot chocolate is the thing to make yourself/loved ones this Christmas, (if you haven’t already dissolved into a champagne & brandy soaked sugar cube yet that is.)
It is sweet, indulgent and cosy – so that is 3 hearty yes’s from us.
You literally just need milk, a big dollop of Nutella (per person) and something hot in which to bubble it all up together.
What are you still doing sitting there?
Billed as the “ultimate romantic comedy”, Love Actually is one of the films we watch intentionally or unintentionally with popcorn/mulled wine/hot chocolate around Christmas. At the very least it will be on in the background once this festive season, I bet my baubles.
Ponderings/reasons we love it…
- We’ve all experienced that opening airport moment where the feeling of joy/sadness/belonging soars above and beyond most normal moment
- Prompts you to wonder, a) what is Martine McCutcheon up to now?
- b) how the little lovesick boy got so tall and how he ended up on Game of Thrones?
- A moping Liam Neeson in cosy, long, sleeve GAP tops
- Why does Darcy get cheated on by a fluey, half-naked wife-vixen?
- Where do Emma Thompson & Liam Neeson find those beautiful, homely, food and flower-filled London homes?
- Colin Firth makes running away from reality/your problems to a foreign country OK
- When Colin Firth is in France and the lady who welcomes him says:
“She cannot speak French, just like you” – Erasmus Flashback
- Haven’t we all accidentally done the awkward double-palm, grin wave that Hugh Grant bestows upon inconvenient colleague crush Martine in an effort to flirt?
- When Liam Neeson casually meets Claudia Schiffer in the school corridor after the Nativity play – make mental note to be yummy mummy
9 ways to show your fellow commuters & colleagues you are ready for Christmas
1) Sellotape tinsel to your face for instant Christmas effect
2) Have a wear of a Rudolf Christmas onesie, perhaps in between meetings at work, to make other colleagues smile and know you are the most ready for Christmas
3) Sew a traditional Christmas chipolata down your face so that people will think you are the most Christmas when they are having a look at your face
4) When someone next to you on the tube is reading or listening to music, remove headphones/take book and sing instead to fellow commuter who is ready to enjoy your Christmas carolling
5) Manoeuvre via elvin twirls as you make your way from the bus to the tube station/office instead of dull walking
6) Perhaps there is a delay and you are surrounded by fed up commuters who look a) angry b) tired c) grumpy d) anxious. What better way to lift their spirits and remind them of Christmas than scattering fake snow on the bus/tube floor, where bits may even settle on said commuters hair or, even better, eyelashes causing Christmas cheer
7) Wear a plastic red nose and (cover the elastic band with your hair) to show you are the most Christmas
8) Produce hand-painted crackers to fellow commuters for them to take to work and know Christmas is coming
9) Put flour in your hair and a red Christmas hat on your chin so that from upside down people will think you are Father Christmas
How have you been the most Christmas?
Here are some pictures from the Vogue Night Out I attended recently.
Serene ballet dancers performed sequences in gleaming shop windows; a glamorous string quartet embellished with handsome waiters clutching trays of fluorescent Aperol Spritz, beckoning you in.
Bursts of white flowers placed as gorgeous centrepieces, like elegant frothy explosions in the middle of the floor, cherry-flavoured vodka poured silkily into pristine cocktail glasses…
As you may have heard, I’m back from Italy but have not completely banished all things Italian from my life. Living with an Italian, I wanted to voice a few things that make me chuckle, that would just not happen if that person wasn’t from outta town.
1) He/she will make you do a double take when they ask:
and lean in curiously to listen when you explain it’s one of the below:
a) toast and butter
b) poached egg
c) eating a mince pie
2) When he/she informs you that said poached egg in Italian is translated as
‘egg in a white shirt’
3) Making a cup of tea means for most of us, well, making a cup of tea. But for some people it means popping a tea bag into a pan of tepid water and just waiting what happens.
4) You will learn you can never eat enough Nutella. On, everything that will allow a knife near it.
5) You will learn delightful and moreover, useful new words in Italian, such as:
6) London is and will forever be a foreign land, which means that most visits near Camden result in picking up either
a) a laminated picture of a red bus
b) a laminated picture of a red telephone box
c) a laminated picture of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road, you know the one
7) Fish fingers from Iceland are a special treat
8) Having to explain what the word ‘treat’ means
9) Prefers to watch football with a bucket of popcorn rather than a beer
10) Instant coffee is unheard of, the most unheard of, and is cast away from the kitchen faster than you can say when is your Dolmio day?
If you haven’t already devoured them…
I love the weight of a new book in my hand and the scent of fresh pages. I love the airy stillness of a bookshop, and the shiny new covers of bestsellers or old classics on tables near the front door. People are respectful in bookshops, delicate as they take the book from the shelf and place it away. People don’t bombard you like in every other shop in the world…
‘Hiya what can I get you everything alright let me know if you need anything,’
then a moment later:
‘Hiya what can I get you everything alright let me know if you need anything,’
(Ok I know they have to.)
But we are losing this culture, and according to statistics only a measley third of all consumers buy their books in bookshops, the rest online. Bookshops are being disastrously plucked from the high street, and I think it is quite sad, for I know the next time I go back to my local town up North my childhood bookshop may be replaced with a grotesque, gleaming pile of dirty hair-bobbles, socks and polyryrinethyroestrine lounge trousers, (aka, Primark.)
So here’s to a cosy Christmas with some recommendations:
1) The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
International bestselling romantic comedy, it is warm-hearted where the protagonist encourages us to see the funny side of our own often incomprehensible behaviour.
2) Stoner by John Edward Williams
This vintage classic has been dubbed as ‘the greatest American novel you’ve never heard of.’ Stoner has been described as ‘anti-Gatsby.’ Its prose is austere, the book perfectly constructed and is essentially a mesmerising account of one man’s failure. It is dusty with sadness but will weigh on your mind long after you’ve finished it.
3) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This is a fabulous tome, vividly weaved together and at times unbearably moving. The intricate details picked up by the narrator will resonate within the reader, the protagonist wandering into your mind and tugging at your soul.
4) Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann
Ok, a little more of a summer than winter read but all the more reason! Dripping with a Great Gatsby-esque glamour, there is murder, sex and mystery in 1950’s New England. Magnetically delivered through the eyes of five characters.
5) Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood
The tempestuous genius that is Ernest Hemingway had four wives. This novel portrays their lives, enticing, mysterious and often heart-wrenching. We are drawn behind the curtain of his lives and the absurdity of the fact that Ernest could not help proposing to his mistresses.