Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category


When I first saw this card I thought the kid had her/his hand stuck up a sheep’s backside. I’m not usually crude but that is what it looked like to me. I guess it’s just some sort of weird ‘muff’ the child’s carrying but the absence of clothing makes me think they had some pretty odd ideas on what might be amusingly appealing in the past. Maybe they were just more innocent then, back there in vintage land.

The reason I’m wishing you all a somewhat premature VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS is that I’m sick of all the moaners and spoilsports going on about how Christmas has lost it’s meaning and how it is over-commercialized. Some people just want to take the fun out of everything and won’t be happy until they’ve squeezed every last bit of happiness out of living. They think they’re telling us something we don’t already know and that once we’re enlightened we’ll be just as disapproving and miserable as them.

Well not us, buddy boy — we know that you are a long time dead and we’re going to party like there’s no tomorrow. A bit of a good time over Christmas — and Hogmanay —  then we’ll get back to saving the planet and worrying about the recession/depression, wars, famine, national disasters, man’s inhumanity to man…  And on and on.  This is why we need Christmas or something like it — it allows us to put everything else to one side for about a week and lets us concentrate on celebrating or just zoning out for a while.  

Peace and love, man. You know you need it.

Read Full Post »


I seriously thought of cancelling Christmas this year. The sudden death of someone I’ve been with for my entire adult life has left me feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck and I can hardly bear to think of my first Christmas without him. I don’t think the reality has kicked in yet and I’m half-thinking there has been some sort of mistake and that I’ll wake-up from a very bad dream.

 I had a discussion with my family about how we would get through the upcoming time of *festive cheer* (ha!) and we played about with various options —  ignoring the whole thing was first on our list — then we thought about an ‘alternative’ Christmas: a takeaway (curry?) instead of our usual ‘the-full-works’ dinner; possibly cutting out most of the exchanges of gifts and opting for a Surprise Santa type of affair; not decorating the house — ditch the whole notion of a tree…

But then we worked out that this just would not be right — he had an almost childlike love of Christmas and always went over the top at this time of year and good taste be damned. The tree was always a big deal (way too big — did you ever see National Lampoons Christmas Vacation?) and he — the person who hardly saw the inside of a kitchen for most of the year — went full-out on the preparations for the monumental Christmas dinner.

So, I’ve decided to just go for it this year — go the whole hog and embrace the magic. I’ve never been so aware of how fleeting life is and how we must celebrate every living moment. Anyway, that’s the plan.

Read Full Post »

Sad about Fopp

I was in Fopp in Edinburgh today, buying some *books and it wasn’t until I left the shop that I remembered they’re supposed to be going out of business. A two minute search on **Google brought forth the information that HMV bought-up six of the Fopp stores (including the Edinburgh one, obviously) but that the stores would still be trading under the Fopp name. As far as I know the rest of the stores are – or are about be be — no more. Seemingly the take-over of their rival Music Zone was a major factor in Fopp’s demise.

I liked Fopp — the story of how it was started by one man selling CD’s from a market stall in Glasgow (I don’t know if that’s true); the fact that they didn’t go in for all the 99p baloney and also that you could walk in with a tenner and have a good chance of walking out with some decent music and a DVD.

broons.jpgoor-wullie.jpg And Christmas won’t be quite the same for me anymore — Fopp was always good for some desperate last-minute presents. I’ve bought at least three copies of On the Road there and Metamorphosis was  a recent last-second grab. I’d buy semi-obscure French films and chick-flicks for females and martial arts movies for men — and as many B-movie Sci-Fi’s as I could get for what was left in my purse. It was a tradition — just like going to R.S. McColl’s (the only time I go into that place — 60p for a cream egg bar?) on Chrismas Eve — in a frantic search for The Broons and Oor Wullie annuals (we’ve never had a Christmas without the Broons, although I could function without Wullie).

It’s the Fopp staff I really feel for — I know they’ll find other jobs — but it’s the time between jobs that’s the killer. Bloody Christmas coming-up too — having to find a job in the run-up to the HOHOHO season is a big pain if you’ve got a landlord breathing down your neck.

  *One of the books I bought was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — it’s one of those books you think you must have read in childhood but possibly haven’t. I think I bought it for the illustrations.

** What the hell is Google playing at with the SERPs recently — they’re all over the place.  I don’t really care how many people visit this blog but the online store is a different matter.


I know I’m supposed to be doing Jewellery Week just now but I forgot because I’m too busy having a breakdown while I attempt to complete my self-assessment tax forms. I never thought I’d ever say this — but I’m going to get an accountant to do them next year.

Read Full Post »