Monthly Archives: December 2014

Advent Day 20: Let the Holidays begin…..


I cannot begin to explain just how pleased teachers are at the end of each term. I take a HUGE amount of flack from non-teacher friends (and family – DAD!), who tell me how lucky we are to have great holidays, only working from 9.00am until 3.30pm blah blah bloody blah…. Well I could write an entire post on how this just isn’t the case. Instead, I am going to focus entirely on the fact that I now have 2 whole weeks (in fact 16 days) of down time with my family and I am going to use them to great effect! That’s starts with planning what TV we are going to watch. Christmas is just about the only time when watching ‘Herbie Rides Again’ at 9.30 in the morning over a bowl of Cornflakes (other cereals are available) is totally right! Continue reading

Advent Day 18: The Office Christmas bash

A slightly shorter post tonight as I am off out with colleagues from work for a meal and few drinks before we break for Christmas. While we get together once a week on a professional level, we rarely spend time together as a group socially – mostly down to where we live and being busy with family when away from work. I trust this will be a civilised gathering – we’re going to local village pub, with a resident dog and roaring fire! No opportunity to disgrace ourselves, or our colleagues. No office letch, looking a for a chance to take advantage. No senior managers to witness one too many Jager Bombs!!

So for a little giggle, take a look at the link below for ‘dos’ and more importanly ‘don’ts’ when it comes to conducting oneself at the office Christmas party!

I may have a couple of white wine spritzers… a girl needs a little sparkle on a rare night out! And if you’re getting ready for your own office party, heed the advice! Be good and enjoy!

MJ xx

Advent: Day 17 – Look who’s back!


Wow… having started to get into the Christmas spirit and thoroughly enjoying the research for the Advent blog posts, I have spent the last week in a thick fog of what can only be described as miserableness! What started out as an end of term sore throat (note to self: shout less!) quickly turned into a stinky head cold and chest infection. Having taken a few days off the day job, I have continued to struggle with walking, talking and breathing all at once! Yesterday one of my lovely students exclaimed ‘Blimey, you still look like s**t, you ought to go home!’ True as he might have been, I know he was angling for a few hours off class! Tough luck… the martyr struggles on! Continue reading

Advent Day 8: Christmas tunes – is it too early yet?

One of my biggest moans in the extended lead up to Christmas is the fact that every shop you walk into from mid-November onwards seems to have Slade, Wham! or Wizzard blaring out at full tilt and what were once great indicators of the excitement of the Christmas season have become torturous symbols of a mass marketing campaign. The children laugh at me, as I play dodge the festive tune on the radio in the car. But this week I have gradually let the tunes creep in. Continue reading

Advent Days 6 & 7: Double dose of nostalgia!

Evening all… hoping you all had a wonderful weekend? It’s been busy here, as we start to plan for the end of the year. Saturday involved Child No1’s school Christmas fayre, finishing the decoration for Child No2’s bedroom (painting walls, bed assembly, wardrobe assembly, door hanging etc..) and all of this whilst fighting off that awful end of term lurgy that seems to blight those in education at this time of year. Still – shake it off now and I can go on my hols clean as a whistle over the break!!

So to make up for no post yesterday, I thought I would leave you a few links to some great advertising campaigns – now so synonymous with Christmas. Having said in a previous post I find the early marketing of the festive season distasteful, these never fail to get me in the festive mood!

Sit back and enjoy!

MJ xx – You just know the holiday is almost here! – This is my favourite! – These annual ad campaigns set the scene for an amazing Christmas, when I was a kid! – This just tops the lot…. amazing, poignant, inspired

Advent Day 5: Surviving the excesses of the season


Christmas drnks


So the Christmas Party season is upon us! I was out last night at a (civilised) farewell meal for a colleague. It was lovely to catch up with some old friends, as well as meet new people. In an organisation as big as ours the faces change and people are often just a voice on a phone, or a name on an email. Anyway, lovely evening, nice food, country pub, roaring fire (much needed, because you have to go outside to get to the ladies room!) – I drove! Conversations led us t discussing nights out and for some colleagues this weekend represents the start of a busy few weeks… while some won’t actually make it to their own beds for the next 3 nights, I know that my next night out isn’t until 20th December. Sad? Definitely not…. I can’t ‘do’ the drinking ‘thing’ anymore. I would say I’m beginning to sound like my mum, but she could drink me under the table….!! To be fair, it’s not the drink… I love a good night out and I do love a few glasses of something cold and fizzy (NOT diet Coke!) – the trouble is I can’t bear the morning after feeling. I’ve never coped well with nausea and the idea of being so hung-over it knocks out a whole day is wasted time and frankly not possible when you have children…. That said, it doesn’t stop me from having a few drinks and I have been know to exceed my limit a little, on occasion! So it got me thinking about how best we might deal with that morning after problem, or how we might best prepare for it and hopefully minimise it’s impact.

Check out this lovely lady at

This is a great blog jam-packed full of ideas for living a better, healthier, happier life! She’s a great gal who definitely practices what she preaches! She has posted a great piece on how to cure a hangover, as well as other posts relating to surviving the festive season! Why reinvent the wheel – take at look….!

And remember – if you have a marathon few nights ahead – pace yourself!!

MJ xx  purple_pink_christmas

Advent Day 4: Yum yum….

A quick post tonight because I’m out (yes… on a school night), saying farewell to a lovely colleague. I was thinking about recipes for easy bakes when we head off on our big Christmas adventure… came across this recipe from the baking God himself Mr Paul Hollywood:

A little something to try this weekend…. I’ll let you know how it goes!

MJ xx

Advent Day 3: Tipple fit for a King

Right… the nights are really chilling off now and those long lazy summer evenings of BBQs and jugs of Pimms seem a lifetime ago. I came to realise a while back that there was a direct relationship between my lack of interest in Christmas and my increasing dislike of the dark nights. I long sooo much for Dec 21st, when psychologically I start to feel better because the evenings will once again start to draw out!

Then last December we took my mum away for the weekend to Dorset – a place we love so much in the summer, but spend no time at all in the winter. We found ourselves at a great Christmas Fair at the Tank Museum in Bovington. How cool that there were trading stalls set among the tanks and military vehicles (if you like that kind of thing, I guess!). One of the stalls was selling this amazing beverage: The King’s Ginger.


OMG of the highest order…………… This stuff is amazing. To me this will forever be a Christmas drink. There’s something about the warming hit at the back of the throat, the citrus fragrance and the tingle on the lips.

It came with a little card suggesting different ways of consuming – like with Champagne for ‘The Ginger Royale’, or with equal measure of single malt whisky for ‘The Rusty Tack’. The lady selling also suggesting adding a measure to lemon sponge mix, to add a ‘zing’ to your average afternoon tea!!

If you can find it in your local Off Licence, I cannot recommend this enough. Go on… give it a go… hic!

MJ xx




Advent Day 2: Christmas shopping ideas


Bath Christmas Market

Something for the shopper amongst you… now that the horrors of Black Friday are well and truly behind us, we can start to think again about sensible shopping for the festive season. Our nearest large retail centres are in Bristol, Swindon and Bath. All of them serve a purpose, with either large out of town shopping malls, discount retail outlets or cultural city centre shopping. In more recent years the Christmas Market in Bath has drawn larger and larger crowds and is now one of the most popular events on the Christmas season calendar in the South West. It got me thinking about whether there are similar events elsewhere in the country – so I have added a link below which you might find helpful – but hurry – many of these events will be over by the middle of the month!

Note: You may want to check your spending limit BEFORE you head off!!

MJ xx

Embracing the festivities: Advent Day 1


OK… so it’s December 1st and I have decided to TRY and get into the Christmas spirit. Easier said than done when there are still 3 weeks left at work and my ‘to do’ list is growing bigger by the day! But I thought I would try to bring a little festive cheer into all our lives and each day and I am going to link you to something cool, interesting or just fun, relating to the festive season! I find Christmas an odd time of year, I love the build up with the children – I LOVE the day itself and we have many, many happy memories of Christmas’s past spent in all sorts of great places with friends and family. But I have grown to be resentful of the forced marketing which seems to start as soon as the schools return in September and Christmas tunes are banned until well into December! So I do have moments when I feel a bit ‘bah-humbug’ about the whole thing! Still, last night we met with good friends, as we started the planning for our big Christmas adventure to North Wales (subtitled: In Search of Snow!) and I am feeling a little more cheery about the forthcoming holiday season! Continue reading