Hi everyone and welcome to my last blog post before Christmas. I can’t believe the year is nearly over and I want to say thank you for taking the time in reading this blog over the year. This week the number of views of my blog passed last years final total making this year my most popular year yet. That’s great and I really appreciate it. I hope all your preparations are going well and that you are ready for the big day. Anyway here is what I have been up to this week and what’s been on my mind.

In last weeks blog post I mentioned it was Secret Santa at work on Monday and I talked about my anxiety that I may get a calendar due to a bad experience I had when I was at university. So on Monday morning we all gathered around to receive our Secret Santa presents. When mine was pulled out it was obvious from the size and shape that it was a calendar or a vinyl but odds were a calendar. Now I was nervous to what type of calendar it was. Had my Secret Santa gone for a non controversial one in a work environment or had they decided to risk it. After recent talk at work and on my blog there was a possibility someone may have got a Ben Cohen or Tom Daley calendar for me. I sat down and opened the paper slightly and realised it was a Dr Who calendar. Phew was my reaction but then part of me was a little disappointed but  to with how I reacted to the possibility of it being something else. I do like the calendar and it will be used but I was upset with myself at how relieved I was it wasn’t a Tom Daley or Ben Cohen calendar. The people I work with know I’m gay, I’m happy to talk to colleagues about my sexuality if they ask, so there is not a problem. It is not as if I had to put it up at work so for the future I need to relax and not worry what it is. A colleague said to me they thought when it was pulled out that it might have been a Tom Daley calendar and they weren’t sure how I would have reacted. If someone had got a Tom Daley or Ben Cohen calendar then it would have said more about how open I was than others in the workplace. Being the only gay guy in the office carries a responsibility as I suppose I am a role model And therefore I shouldn’t have this worry. So next year I need to relax more and not worry what I get and if it is related to my sexuality then that’s a good thing. So yeah I don’t have a Tom Daley or Ben Cohen calendar but I do have a great Dr Who calendar so thank you to my Secret Santa it is a great present and sorry if I looked apprehensive when opening it.

Probably like many of you I have been getting things delivered recently ready for Christmas. One thing that has struck me is that delivery companies tell you the name of your delivery driver. A colleague I work with was talking to me about it as they have had emails and texts saying they could track their delivery driver and gives their name. This week I had something delivered and I was told the time it was to be delivered and that Geoff would be delivering it. I was out at work but I got a message saying Geoff had delivered my parcel. I wish I had been in and congratulated him. In my head it was some epic quest that he had set out on from the darkest depths of Billingham (that’s where the delivery depot was) battling dragons and saving damsels in distress and all the time carrying my parcel to my door. Of course this wasn’t the reality and he might not even be called Geoff but I think it is a nice touch and I hope delivery companies carry on with this service.

The item brave Geoff was delivering was an iPad for me. For a while now I have been thinking about getting an iPad . My plan was I would get an iPad and then my parents could have my laptop as they need a newer one than the ancient laptop they have. I do realise that I still need access to a laptop as I can’t update my iPod from my iPad for some bizarre reason. I would have thought Apple would have done something about this by now but no. My parents are still going to get my laptop but I can use it to update my iPod when I need to. It doesn’t sound totally ideal but I do like the iPad. I never thought I would be saying that. I am still trying to get used to it so any tips or advice from other iPad users would be welcome.

I had a nice short week at work as I was only in on Monday as I had some holiday to use up. So I am off work until 2nd January which is a nice long break. Now for those reading this calling me a lucky so and so then you will probably be pleased to hear that although I am off on holiday I started with a horrible cold on Tuesday and have spent the week surrounded by tissues and sniffling all week. If you ever doubted karma then this is proof it exists. I hope it has fully gone by Christmas and more importantly I don’t pass it on to my family. I have already had to miss a night out and catch up with friends because of it I don’t want to have a totally wiped out Christmas. I hope you are feeling ok and are all well for the festivities as we’ll.

Before my cold got really bad I did manage to go to the cinema to see ‘Frozen’. Now I wasn’t too bothered about seeing this from seeing the trailer but I had heard really good things even from people who don’t normally like animation so I thought I would give it a try. It started off really good and was strong as a musical in the first half. The second half of the film was weaker it seemed as if they had a good idea at the start but didn’t quite know how to tie the story up and without spoiling it they changed a characters personality very suddenly to fit the story and for me it didn’t sit right. It did have echoes of ‘Wicked’ and this feeling was helped by Idina Menzel voicing one of the characters. This was a positive for the film alongside the beautiful animation and the camp snowman who dreams of summer. There was no real need for the character except for humour and he did deliver my favourite line of the film “some people are worth melting for” (I am so going to use that line. What too cheesy oh we’ll never mind). I also liked how Disney are using more red haired characters as there were a few in this and of course they had red hair in ‘Brave’. Like all Disney films there’s a social message and that was about loving people who are different and also no matter how many doors are closed on you there is still a chance for you to live your life. It was worth a watch but not a patch on Tangled so I would give it 3.5/5.

I have finally finished my Christmas shopping and I am step closer to being ready for Christmas. Having worked in retail in the past I know how horrible it is for shop assistants at this time of year. They become the focus of everyone’s stress and people do take it on them. As a shop assistant I have been shouted at because there were no turkeys of a certain size, for Christmas music being played in store, and seen other shop assistants been sworn at, spat at, and even hit with walking sticks. All for doing their job at either on or just above minimum wage. Shop assistants have families and lives too and are just as stressed at Christmas time but they have to do and they are working which in turn helps everyone else have a good Christmas. So be nice to that shop assistant that serves you this Christmas. I always wish them a Happy Christmas and they seem to appreciate that. I know I did and still do at work. Oh a little tip for the Supermarket if you think there are fresh deliveries on Christmas Eve then I am afraid you are wrong. Most food including fresh stuff is delivered on the 23rd. Very little if anything is delivered on Christmas Eve. So happy shopping.

Finally I will give my verdict on the Strictly Come Dancing Final. I was rooting for Susanna and Kevin. They may have not been the strongest on technique but they had genuine chemistry and they loved dancing together. Before the show started I wasn’t a fan of Susanna on BBC Breakfast and still miss Sian. However she has won me over with her personality on Strictly. Yes at times she is a bit Anthea Turner but I like that and I was pleased they made it to the final. Abbie was a strong dancer so it is a fair result but I didn’t warm to her as a person. So well done Abbie but for me the winner and couple I enjoyed watching was Susanna and Kevin.

Well that is it for this week. I hope you all have a great Christmas and that Santa is good to you all.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!

Top Programme of the Week – Strictly Come Dancing

Top Song of the Week – Idina Menzel – Let It Go

Book I Am Currently Reading – Maurice by E M Forster