Archive for November 2011
My last blog post caused a bit of a stir on Twitter, and prompted a lot of debate on what NOT to get the lady in your life for Christmas. Surprisingly a lot of them came up with the same answers. The good news lads and lasses is that they don’t want anything too expensive. But, apparently we do need to spend a lot more time and thought into what we buy.
So the list as follows includes:
Cheap Gold Jewellery
Although the gypsy girl look may be the thing this season, this does not extend to looking like you take the money on the dodgem cars. Gaudy, gold plated chunky jewellery is just an absolute no-no.
Any Practical Electrical Appliance
This includes vacuum cleaners, kettles, steamers, trouser presses, microwaves and so on. A gift is supposed to be a gift. A token of love and affection, not a reminder that your trousers need ironing. It is something you should want, and not really something you exactly need.
Or at least things we think are sexy. This includes cheap, tacky underwear, sex toys, or other silly ‘erotic’ gifts. The underwear thing seems to be the biggest bugbear. I suppose it is better, then to get them a La Senza gift voucher and let them get on with it themselves.
Now this one is wide open. It depends on how long you have been together I suppose and the gifts we buy are a measure of how much we listen to our better half. Thoughtless gifts don’t have to be cheap, they can be expensive as hell, but even the things we want them to like just don’t tick the right boxes some days. So the trick is this: Pay attention to them, if in doubt, ask them what they want. Good presents are rarely a surprise.
Well we are barely a month away from Christmas, the time when we traditionally buy gifts for our loved ones and they return the favour. But it is also a time when we show how little we really know each other and what we want.
So, after a lot of research on Twitter, this is the short list of the things men don’t want for Christmas.
Jack Daniels Merchandise
We like Jack Daniels. A lot, don’t get me wrong. But we don’t need the wallet, the coasters, the key ring, the mousemat, the playing cards or the poster. We just want a proper 70cl bottle of the good stuff and a glass. To get through the week we are going to need it.
We love a good Chilli con carne or a curry. But we don’t need chilli oil (we still have a bottle from last year), chilli plants, chilli chocolate, chilli sodding roulette games, or chilli beer. Please, for heaven’s sake, just give us the beer. It goes down well with the Jack Daniels.
Ice Road Truckers/Top Gear DVD
Just because we watch it on TV during the day doesn’t really mean we like it, it just means there is nothing else on. Channel Dave devotes hours to perhaps one or two episodes of Top Gear that it seemingly shows on loop. But do we want a DVD about a bloke driving a truck in the snow? Nay, lass.
I know it is a tradition, but it is a crap one. We have a draw full of gaudy knitwear stretching back to the eighties that even Oxfam wouldn’t accept. Please, no more.
We are now deep into the season that hates our face more than any other. Cold wind chafes and chaps our visage like never before. In the dark, early mornings, shaving suddenly feels like the krypton factor.
So it is sometimes good to get back to basics with these things. Fortunately our friends at Bluebeard’s Revenge have just the thing we need.
The short film was produced by Adelia TV, and stars Andy Dunn, a real bloke’s bloke and an expert barber, among his other jobs.
So check it out and keep an eye on the upcoming offers from Bluebeard’s Revenge range of gifts for Christmas.
Being the well traveled sort that I am it takes a lot to impress me these days. When I heard that Birmingham was having a Christmas Market I was frankly expecting a dozen stalls manned by the Fair Trade set and a few bored students. How wrong I was!
Now in it’s tenth year the Birmingham Christmas Market has grown to encompass a mile of pavement and incorporates crafted goods, gifts, a small funfair, and some of the most amazing food and drink this side of the Siegfried line.
It stretches from New Street shopping precinct up to the city square, and then through on to Broad street. To see the place you cannot help but suddenly feel very giddy and christmassy. It just oozes a certain charm, in contrast to the desperation of the “110% off, buy buy buy!” from the department stores around it.
The sounds, lights and above all, the smells, take you right back to childhood and much, much happier times. For a few hours, please soak up the atmosphere and forget the recession.
Among the hand crafted gifts you will find Christmas baubles and decorations, toys for the children, ornaments and arts.
For me, the real reason to go is for the food, which is a post in itself. The German’s specialize in street food, that can be eaten on the move. Subsequently there are Frankfurters and Hamburgers galore in stall after stall. Believe me, their burgers are a far cry from the ones you see in McDonalds. Their confectionery is a wonder of colour and taste. Not only that, they have huge Steins of wheat beer, warm cider and mulled wine.
Being central to Birmingham, it has excellent car parking, but it will cost you a fair price. Avoid the Pallisades, aim a little further out and park up near the market where it is cheaper.
Please take extra care of your belongings, and be very aware of pickpockets in such a tightly packed area. The city centre is well stocked with cash-points. I did not note any first aid point in the area, but there may be one. As far as toilets go, you may have to make use of the nearest pub/coffee shop/department store.