Friday, 18 November 2011

Christmas List

Christmas has officially begun.

Yesterday I went in to a pub and bought a guilt-drink: a take-out Coke
purely because I had used their facilities. Spending a penny cost one
pound fifty.

When leaving the Worst Toilet in England (not Britain; Edinburgh's
Worst Toilet in Scotland retains its British title for another year),
Noddy Holder was screaming 'It's Christmas'. Ergo cogito sum:
Christmas has officially begun.

This also signals the beginning of the Annual Fear. Within days I
anticipate receiving an email with a Word attachment entitled 'Jimmy's
Present List' which will detail all that Jimmy has imagined he or she
could possibly hope to receive, wrapped with varying degrees of skill,
on Christmas morning.

There will be several emails received from all family members. All of
them will have spent a great deal of time and care working out exactly
what they want. Some will be incredibly subtle in their specificity.
For example, three years ago, one item on a list was 'a trip to see
Carmina Burana being performed on stage.' So far so good. It was
followed by 'it is being performed at the O2 Arena on the 18th of
January next year. Seats in the front of blocks 109 or 110 will be
perfect.' There is a hell of a lot of thought and research gone into
that single Christmas List entry; one of many.

Come Christmas morning, the said recipient superbly feigned surprise
at receiving tickets to see Carmina Burana, row B, block 110, O2
Arena, Jan 18th 2009.

Not being adept at these Christmas Lists, I simply asked for my
presents to be given to charity. They weren't. I received a table

Now there's nothing wrong with a table Jenga though it made me resolve
to actually ask for something I might want the following year.
Naturally I forgot over the course of the next 11 months and received
other items which were kind, yet perhaps not everything I could have

Same last year. My Dad gave me a pot of Swarfega but that's a
different story as, unknowingly copying Joey and Chandler off Friends,
he finds it amusing to buy Christmas presents in Halfords.

So this year I am going to prepare. Holder's given me the Nod, so it's
time to Prepare My List.

Now, it is very rare that I actually want anything. I don't really buy
much of anything. At all. I am not materialistic and rarely feel the
need to buy anything for me. Every now and then I buy some music but I
don't really listen to much. I don't have an iPod and while I do have
three albums - yes, three! - loaded on my phone, it is rare that I
actually listen to one of them.

Last year I got tickets to a gig. That was unexpected and very
welcome. And the gig was excellent.
For my birthday, I was presented with a voucher for a night out at the
comedy. Though still unused, I know I will like that.

So that's two items for this year's List.

I've seen an advert for Peter Kay's new DVD. I think I'd like that but
would I find it funny? My student days are long gone so maybe I've
moved on and he hasn't?

Danny Baker had Steve Coogan on his radio show last weekend to discuss
his new biography: I Partridge. I never really got the whole Alan
Partridge thing so would usually dismiss the idea but Danny was so
gushing about the book that it made me think I should give it a try.

1. Tickets to a gig
2. Tickets to comedy
3 (possibly) Peter Kay's DVD
4 (possibly) I Partridge

This is where I need your help. I need your suggestions so please
comment with your ideas. If you don't, it'll be another table Jenga.
Do you want to have that on your conscience?


  1. Are they good? I've seen enough people commuting with them but I think I prefer an actual book.
    Books are one thing I do actually spend money on. I'm a bit worried about the recent report that said people are getting more low brow in their reading habits on eReaders as other people cannot see what they're reading. Seeing as my vast library is based largely on two-for-one offers, I don't think my brows are particulary high to start with. Any lower and I won't be able to see.
    I'll put the Kindle down as a possible for now but suspect it will end up gathering dust on the shelf next to my 128MB MP3 reader, digital camera, digital photo frame and set of dusters.


Come on, spit it out. You're not normally this quiet so let's hear your thoughts.