12 Lists of Christmas: 4 Epic Christmas Films


Everyone loves a Christmas film, right? Well, no, but I do. So much so, that I can't narrow my choice down to just one. The festive season is an emotional roller coaster (kind of) so you've got to have a film for every mood. With that in mind, here's my personal favourites:

Best heart-warming Christmas singalong: The Muppets' Christmas Carol. This has already been on this year, to accompany the first of my present wrapping sessions. I love how they work a lot of the actual lines from the book into the dialogue, and I find it genuinely funny. It's not really the best performance of Michael Caine's career, but nothing's perfect. 

Most meaningful (for me) Christmas film: The Snowman. When I think of The Snowman, I immediately picture myself lying on fluffy rug in my grandparents' house in front of the fire, with a plate of turkey rolls and coleslaw, settling down to watch The Snowman on Christmas Day afternoon. I love the dancing scene, especially the snowman in the kilt... I don't know why. Must ask my therapist what she thinks (joking, that would be a waste of precious NHS resources).

The best worst Christmas film: Jingle All The Way. I love a terrible Arnie film (one day I'll wax lyrical on here about Hercules in New York) and this definitely fits the bill. That's all there is to say really; if you can appreciate it in a 'so bad it's good' kind of way, then it's an easy bit of festive comic relief.

My actual most favourite Christmas film ever: Santa Claus The Movie. I can't remember exactly when it started, but I've watched this film every Christmas Eve since I was a kid. Dudley Moore plays a blinder as an elf who leaves the North Pole after a disagreement with Santa, but my favourite part of the film is John Lithgow's performance as the evil CEO of a toy company. His enraged, 'For Frrrrreeeeeeeee?!' alone would probably be enough to put the film on this list. Admittedly, his (brilliant) performance in season four of Dexter has made me a little terrified of him, but that kind of adds to the effect.

Actually, has John Lithgow ever played the good guy? Genuine question, my film knowledge is terrible.

12 Lists of Christmas: 6 Pre-Christmas Things I'm Looking Forward To


It's back! The lists are back!

Christmas + lists = Liz's personal idea of heaven. That says an awful lot about me, and none of it's good... I know it's still November, but I love Christmas and I really need to try and stay positive at the moment. I figured a list of festive stuff might do the trick. For me, a lot of the joy of Christmas is in the build-up, so here's the stuff I'm looking forward to doing before the day* itself:

Wrapping presents in front of Christmas films.

Seeing London's Christmas lights.

Feeding the Christmas cake with brandy every couple of weeks. The cake is already paralytic.

Singing carols. I sing beautifully. Well, not exactly beautifully, but I'm very enthusiastic.

Baking (and eating) lots of Christmas-themed goodies.

Getting my Spotify Christmas playlist on. Loudly. Dancing to it. Badly. 


Right, now I just need to get sane enough to do all that. Wish me luck!

*By 'the day' I mean any one of the three Christmas Days that I will be having this year.

Giving up on goal setting.

This is a bit of a lengthy, personal post so bear with me.

As much as I try not to be, I am one of life's planners. I also get anxious about not having achieved enough.

Following your dreams and aiming for the moon is great, but it's stressing me out. Let me share a couple of things with you:

Firstly, I am writing this from my bed because anxiety means I am struggling to get out of it. One of the things that triggered this latest crisis is that in September I started a part-time masters. It turned out to be a 20 hours a week commitment (I also work 4 days a week). I thought this would be different to things I've tried to take on in the past, but it wasn't. It was too much. The thing that I had been planning on doing for two years hasn't worked out, and I don't have much left to aim for, career-wise. This is not quite as dismal as it  may seem; I am incredibly privileged because I do an interesting, important, joy-making, rewarding, life-affirming job. I'm just totally confused about what the long term plan might be.

Secondly, I'm going to tell you about my Mum. Specifically, about what my Mum would do if she won the lottery. She would buy a pet sheep and a hot tub. That's it. Those are her ambitions. My Mum is one of the most deeply contented people I know (unless of course it's all an act and she's about to run off with a 23 year old Greek bloke or something). Now, I am not my Mum; I am more ambitious, more curious about the world, and adopting her whole life wouldn't make me entirely happy. However, I would love to be as content as she is. She is happy, and she's is happy because she is truly appreciative of what she already has in her life.

So.

I need to stop. Consolidate. Allow myself to relax and breathe and be amazing at what I'm already amazing at. I'm not going to chase anything new. My life is full of more than enough people, interests and challenges to keep me busy.

Resisting the urge to set goals and make plans is going to be flipping hard for me, but it needs to be done. I know that it's going to be good for me; I can feel the relief flooding through me just thinking about it.

P.S. I get the irony of planning not to plan. Good job I appreciate a nice bit of irony, really.

You're creating all the bubbles in life.

Stuff I love: cream teas, gigs, books, BUBBLES. 



Giant bubbles in Barcelona


Man, I really do love bubbles. They just photograph so nicely, and everyone always looks happy. Why wouldn't they be, they've got bubbles?!



Bubbles at Beth's Hen Do




Wedding bubbles!



Vern does not appear to share my love of bubbles. In fact, he looks quite concerned about the whole situation.


The only problem with bubbles is that, inevitably, they have to pop sometime (HOW PROFOUND!) Here's a couple of videos of them popping in style:



It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (cake)!


How is it already time for my annual Christmas cake post?!

I've posted the full 'instructions' (and I use that term pretty loosely) here.


Obligatory cake sniffing and apron-selfie pics.


You'll be pleased to hear (read?) that I didn't forget the most important ingredient:


(My family thought that it was absolutely brilliant that I subjected them to Christmas songs in mid-October).

I'm pretty excited for the icing stage. I was really pleased with last year's effort, but I'm keen to try something new once again. I'm keeping an eye out on Pinterest for ideas...
First however, it's time to get feeding the cake with brandy. Once a fortnight for two months = drunk cake. Mmmmmm, drunk cake....

3 TV programmes that you just know are going to be awful.

Small Animal Hospital. I hate musicals and am indifferent to small animals, so the idea of John Barrowman telling me about injured furry things (heh) does not appeal. These sort of programmes have also now been ruined forever by creepy memories of Rolf Harris from his Animal Hospital days.

Life Is Toff. It's a bad sign when you have to Goggle a programme to find out if it's 'fact' or fiction. Cue endless, pointless and ill-informed social media debates about reverse snobbery.

The Nation's Favourite Queen Song. It'll be Bohemian Rhapsody. Next!

Unfortunately I have not made up any of these programmes. I could do much, much better (probably).



Good Stuff #9

Stuff wots been making me happy:



#hamtrim



Pete did the big shop.



The product of half an hour's leaflet tearing.



Pretty (cup-strewn) carpet at Troxy, after The Horrors.



Sidmouth sea.

Eat Me #2


Pete's birthday cake. Very proud of this one! 



Birthday blueberry pancakes.



Cream tea at The Creamery, Minehead



Carvery at Ceder Tree Farm, Cardiff



Muesli at Barker Tea House, Cardiff 



Best. Brunch. Ever.
Makes me want to go back to Helsinki NOW.



Smoothie and iced coffee goodness at Giraffe.

My new aim in life...

...is to own one of these:


Or maybe one of these:


Or even one of these (it spins):


I think it was very selfish of Pete to insist that we buy a sofa instead.