Yay! it wasn’t the end of the world this week at all (did we honestly think it was going to happen) so welcome to the last blog post before Christmas. I hope you all have made progress with your festive preparations. To my surprise for the first time in a number of years I have everything organised and wrapped. I know saying this I have probably jinxed it but so far its a fairly stress free affair. Anyway here is what has been going on in my life this week.As I have already mentioned I have been getting things ready for Christmas. I finished work on Monday as I still had some holiday to use which is probably the reason why I am much more organised than normal. I went up to Newcastle to finish off my Christmas shopping. I was expecting it to be manic and stressful but in fact it was OK and I got to see Fenwicks’ window which always helps to put me in to the Christmas mood. For some reason at this time of year I don’t get stressed shopping. The rest of the year I am easily annoyed and moan about other shoppers. Yet at this time of year I am fine with queues and not finding what I want. Why? Well simply I have worked in retail at Christmas and therefore understand the horror of shoppers at Christmas time. I have seen adults have full on shouting matches with shop workers, getting annoyed and leaving all the food they have just spent an hour or so picking off the shelves but can’t wait for another 5-10 minutes at the till. Yet the shop worker just smiles and gets on and does what they can to make sure we all have a good Christmas while having to listen to ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ on a constant loop. They are like Santa’s elves in fact some have to even dress as elves or in the case of the guy I saw today a Christmas tree. I’m speaking from experience no amount of money can compensate for that embarrassment and certainly not minimum wage. Also shop workers also have to plan for Christmas too and usually aren’t allowed holidays at this time of year so they limited time to do it and are just as stressed as most customers. So if you still have things to buy on Christmas Eve that’s fine but do be nice to those who serve you. I always say after I have been served “have a good Christmas”. I know when I worked a supermarket over Christmas I appreciated it when someone said that.

As well as shopping and wrapping presents I have even found some time to do some baking. I did my usual cupcakes and then this I thought I would try something more festive so morning I made some Christmas Pudding Muffins. 418110_10100387686091373_2005606426_n

I am really getting into baking and I am looking forward to trying new recipes in the New Year. I’m hoping I get some baking related gifts at Christmas. I suppose it depends if I have been naughty or nice. I will let you know the verdict next week.

I haven’t only been doing Christmas stuff this week. I have also been to the cinema this week to see ‘The Hobbit: an unexpected journey’. Now I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy so I should love this film or this three film epic but so far I’m not blown away. It was good but it’s not just the Hobbit it is the Hobbit with other Tolkien works thrown in. This works in the film but I am one of those that goes ‘that’s not in the film’ when I watch a film that is meant to be based on a book and then has scenes added for the sake of it (I still have nightmare over the recent Narnia films). I’m also not sure about Martin Freeman as Bilbo. He is a good actor but I don’t think he works in a big blockbuster film. In fact most of the cast are better known in the UK because of TV rather than film and this adds to the feeling its been done to a lesser standard than the Lord of the Rings and may account for why certain characters are brought into the story that are not there in the book as such as Saruman, Galadriel and Frodo at the beginning. There are some great performances though from Andy Serkis as Gollum and I have to admit I was drawn to Aidan Turner  who is even sexy as a dwarf (am I the only one who thinks this?). I will of course watch all three films but do feel it could have been done in 2 films rather than three.

Well that’s it for this week. I hope you all have a great Christmas and that Santa is good to you. I’ll be back next week with my usual blog plus it will be time for ‘My Year In Lists’ blog post as well. So until then.

Merry Christmas!!!

Top Programme of the Week – Strictly Come Dancing

Top Song of the Week – John Williams – Carol of the Bells

Book I Am Currently Reading – A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens