Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas Hypocrite

No sooner had the last firework been set off and while the bonfires were still smouldering, the glossy Christmas tv ads hit our screens.  Indecently early in my opinion.  In fact, I fast-forward through the whole lot of them on principle.  And as for the fuss made over John Lewis each year - well!  They get more annoying each year.*

So why is it far too early for tv ads but just right for the Christmas sandwich?  

Because the Pret a Manger Christmas Lunch sarnie is the best ever, that's why!

This article in the Independent made laugh and I'm glad I'm not alone!  A couple of weeks ago I saw a large display of Christmas sammies in M&S.  Great, I thought, the Pret one will be out too.  So I went straight out of the M&S food hall and into a branch of Pret.  (I told you I liked them!)  No (Christmas) joy there though so I ended up getting the M&S version.  V disappointing, soggy even! Luckily Pret joined in a couple of days later and I have been taking full advantage ever since.

Merry Christmas! 

* IMHO the only JL ad worth watching is Always A Woman from 2010.  It had me in tears at the opening bar every time I saw it, including just now when I was looking for it online!  Can't beat a bit of Billy Joel, that's for sure.

So, what do you think of the Xmas sandwiches on offer and is The Stranger by Billy Joel one of the best albums of all time?!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Signs of Old Age

It's official.  I am finally turning into my father.  My dad took me to see the first Star Wars film when it came out in 1977.  I was riveted.  Dad?  Fast asleep.  I was incredulous.  How on earth could he sleep through such an exciting, noisy film?!

Well now I know because in the past month it has happened to me not once but twice!

Pre-baby, I used to go to the cinema after work and at the weekend, seeing everything that took my fancy.  Then once my daughter was born, I made an effort - I even had membership to the Curzon - but the visits soon dwindled.

I realised the other day that I had been to the cinema twice in nearly a year and that was to see Frozen - twice!  (which I thoroughly enjoyed, especially the outdoor sing-along one, but that's not the point!)

I chose Gone Girl as my first step back into the world of cinema.  Thank goodness I'd read the book as I wouldn't have known what was happening when I finally awoke.  Mr Turner was my second and I was floundering rather once I'd had my nap.

I blame the comfy seats, the glass of wine, the overly-hot auditorium - and perhaps my genes?! I'd like to see The Imitation Game but I hardly dare!  I think my best chance of watching the whole thing will be to go to a matinee.

Just call me Gran (or John!).

Monday, 17 November 2014

I positively pounced on this one when I saw it on the 'New Titles' shelf at the library.  A new Ann Cleeves!  What a day!

You know what it's like when you find an author you like, drink up all their back catalogue and are then left gasping for their next offering.  Can't they write any quicker!!!

Thin Air is the latest  in the Jimmy Perez saga, set in the Shetlands.  I confess I much prefer the Vera Stanhope stories.  Both series of books have tv adaptations and for me  ITV's Vera, played by Brenda Blethyn, is far superior.  What I see on screen tallys more with the written word.  Oddly, I haven't managed to sit through a single episode of the BBC's take on the Shetland stories.  Douglas Henshall looks absolutely nothing like the description of Jimmy Perez in the text.  Where are the Spanish good looks?!  

Shetland is so far removed from my own interpretation of the text that I shall stick to the written word.  I just wish there were more of them!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Poppies at the Tower

Despite all the pleas from the Tower of London officials for visitors to stay away, I took my little girl to see the field of poppies during the school holidays.  We arrived at about 9.30am on Saturday morning and it was, as predicted, already heaving.

The noise was mainly from staff controlling the crowds with megaphones and from the traffic.  The visitors were pretty quiet as they took in the huge beauty of the ceramics and also the huge pain and loss they represent.  

Rather than shuffling along with the crowd, we found the best spot to view was from Tower Bridge.

I am so glad to have seen the memorial and yes, as many people as possible should see it too but I really hope the Tower does not change its plan to start dismantling on the 12th.

Ending on the 11th day of the 11th month, Armistice Day, is just perfect and adds to the poignancy and that feeling of how ludicrous it was that killing the enemy was allowed on the morning of the 11th - but not after lunch.

The horror of war. Lest we forget.

Saturday, 1 November 2014



Almost four years on from my last post, I have decided to spark up Many A Mickle once again!  A lot has happened in the time that has passed but also a lot is very much the same I suspect.  

One thing that has changed in this household is the acknowledgement of Halloween.  It didn't figure much in my childhood but, if the shelves in the shops are to be believed, it is now very much a date in our diaries.  My now seven year old certainly knows about it!  

I do remember hollowing out a swede as a jack-o-lantern in my youth.  Now that took some doing!  Not like these overblown, monster pumpkins that sit in crates in the supermarket doorways.  So easy-peasy to scoop out and carve.  A swede however took real dedication to complete! 

My effort was a shameless copy of this one but my daughter's witch on a broomstick was all her own work (but I did the cutting).  I was really impressed! She certainly didn't get her artistic side from me, that's for sure.