The Canterville Ghost has always been one of my favourite stories from when I was younger, along with the play The Rivals which I studied when doing my A Level In English Literature. Both have stayed firm favourites as I have grown older. So I was really curious to see this adaptation at the Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge. This was my first time visiting this particular theatre and I was impressed with the actual working theatre space inside. The Unicorn is the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences and has an extremely wide programme for children up to 18 yrs old.
So for anyone who isn’t familiar with the Oscar Wilde piece,The Canterville Ghost is a story about an American family who move to a castle that is haunted by the ghost of a deceased ancestor. Sir Simon Canterville, killed his wife and was then starved to death by her brothers. What makes it different from other ghost stories, is the fact that it’s funny rather than scary and the characters are not frightened by the ghost at all.
Although the story itself is set in a time gone by era, the humour in this adaptation is most certainly modern. It’s directed towards the younger audience of today (and us that are young at heart) and definitely captures their interest right from the start.
As I sit here writing this I am still feeling the affects of drinking way too many cocktails at a Christmas party last night, and I am watching White Christmas for the very first time!
It’s the ultimate Christmas cliche isn’t it? Christmas parties, festive hangovers and idyllic lazy afternoons watching Christmas films and feeling like its just ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. However, what you don’t see is the inevitable Christmas overwhelm that I have now come to expect every year. My husband loves Christmas and says it’s his favourite time (and day) of the year………………..well I mean you would wouldn’t you if you if it literally landed on your lap with virtually no effort whatsoever! That’s how it is most years, I sort ALL the presents (even for all his side of the family), I sort everything we get for our boys, I organise all of the food and treats………Oh and then I obviously cook dinner most years ( although thankfully I am not this year as we are at the in laws on the day). That generally leads to an annual Christmas meltdown for me at some point, normally fairly close to the big day, when I realise I haven’t got everything I need, haven’t wrapped anything and realise I haven’t got something we need for the actual dinner. Anyway you get the general picture.
Yet on good ‘ol social media everyone is literally Christmassing the shit out of life, putting their decs up as early as possible, having all their pressies wrapped by December 1st and their food order slot booked, and so can sit smugly back and take time for themselves to get their Christmas nails done, order their party dresses enjoy the wonderful festive season in all it’s glory.
I’ve specifically done this list of what to buy older teenage boys for Christmas because I have 2 boys myself. Therefore, I only have real experience of buying for them.
Anything I have suggested here I have bought my teens through the years or I know of friends who have bought their boys similar. Secondly, none of it has been sent to me to be promoted, so any companies I mention here I have actually used or bought from them over the last 9 or10 years.
I also think that teen boys are much harder to buy for than girls. Probably because I don’t have girls myself. I imagine with clothes, perfumes and makeup and jewellery most things can be covered for girls. Certainly a designer item could certainly be covered as a main Christmas present. I fully appreciate I could totally be wrong about this too. But I have only experience in buying for boys in this house and so I think that is where my expertise lies.
I was invited recently to the Smiggle in Bluewater to open the next window on their Christmas advent calendar and see what treat could be waiting for me.
Anyone that has been to a Smiggle store will know it’s an explosion of colour and a total must for all stationary lovers. The store there is not huge but is very well stocked with both lots on the shelves and underneath the display tables. So I cannot see you having any trouble getting a particular item you may be after.
At the moment they have lots of their fabulous Christmas Advent Stockings, that retail at £28. That may sound a little extravagant but is in line with Lego or even Yankee candle (if you buy yourself one).
However, the goodies that are in the advent would cost around £40 if they were bought individually. So a bargain when you consider that and also a great alternative to just more chocolate.
This week I had the chance to go and review the Festive Afternoon Tea ahead of it’s launch at the Marriott Hotel in Bexleyheath, it will be available from Wednesday 23rd November and will cost £23.50 per person.
We were treated to a little festive starter of a cup of gorgeous mulled wine and a mini mince pie ( my first this season for both) and instantly I was feeling festive regardless of the fact it is only mid November. I will say though this is not mentioned on the menu card and makes me think this was for my benefit rather than what is included, but it was delicious non the less…………
When the food arrived we were advised that there was a recommended order to eat both the sandwiches and the cakes! Being good law abiding citizens my friend and I followed the rules and to be fair with regard to the fillings of the sandwiches the order really worked. They were nice thought about flavours with assorted breads and they seemed to work well together as a whole. The festive theme worked here with the inclusion of cranberry bread, turkey, brie and a delicious spiced apple chutney to name a few ( and no not all in the same sandwich!!).
The scones were wrapped in a napkin to keep some heat in and were as expected beautifully fresh and crumbly. The cream and strawberry compote were presented in gorgeous little individual jars which gave a uniqueness to the presentation itself.
The festive season is always a very exciting one and many people look forward to being able to spend quality time with friends and family over this period. This is a time of year when we tend to go out more than usual with everything from office parties through to family meals out, nights out with friends, and other festive activities to enjoy.
This is also a time of year when we often tend to have guests over far more than usual, whether it is for a fabulous and fun-filled Christmas dinner or simply tor a few drinks and to exchange gifts and cards. With this in mind, it is important to ensure that you are fully prepared by getting your home ready for the Christmas period and for entertaining your guests.
This year I vowed I would be super organised and to be honest I have been ‘more’ organised but still find myself sitting now a week away from the big day with a huge ‘to do’ list and the panic is starting to set in.
I know this year a lot of people seemed to be putting their Christmas trees and decorations up towards the end of November and although it was nice to see the pictures I am a true December girl and mine always go up in the first weekend or week in December. However, I did start present buying mid November in an attempt to get ahead.
At the end of November I was lucky enough to attend the Ideal Home Show at Christmas which was a first for me. My friend and I had a fab time, bought lots of Chrismassy bits and pieces and had our first mulled wine of the season. It really did get me into the Christmas spirit and gave me lots of ideas for pressies along the way. The place was beautifully decorated and we had groups of carol singers and performers helping with the Christmas spirit.
This I am very excited about and thankfully only have a week to wait. This years Ideal Home Show at Christmas will be taking place at Olympia London for the first time ever. The UK’s biggest Christmas exhibition will be open from the 25th – 29th of November to provide everything you could possibly need in the run up to the festive season, from over 600 exhibitors showcasing top Christmas shopping inspiration, a plethora of celebrity appearances and a Christmas bandstand hosting live entertainment……………c’mon you Christmas lovers what more could you need?
As my boys are now 17 and 15 years old this is something I am starting to miss. We used to do quite a lot on the run up to the festive season and even made lots of sweet treat pressies like the hot chocolate cones, decorated biscuits and cakes. Once they hit mid teens the enthusiasm for crafting waned and it is definitely something that I miss these days ( I expect I have to wait until I become a granny- although I am in no rush for that just yet!). My 15 year old however, will still decorate his own bedroom and will happily make Christmas paper chains if he is in the right mood……..and he won’t thank me for telling you that! I always think doing Christmas crafts starts all the build up and excitement, any time from Oct/ Nov all parents are already talking ‘Father Christmas’ to the kids and the crafts become an extension of that, I still have their school home made decorations too.
Take a look below for some fabulous and EASY craft ideas to get you started:
I took a break, not a pre planned determined break but an impromptu, had no time or inclination to write sort of break all over the festive holidays. I was about on Twitter and Instagram and very occasionally on Facebook, but my little spot on the world wide web I completely stayed away from.
There was just so much going on to be honest and I applaud all of you who managed to cope with and enjoy the festivities and find the time to show your blog’s a little love! Anyway I did keep up with all your goings on via the other more instant platforms and loved seeing how you all enjoy the festive season with all your own little traditions and quirks.