Cranberry Cake and Christmas Trees

Around about mid-October (not coincidentally: around the time I last updated the blog), we upped stakes and moved to lovely East Lothian. The move has been…an adventure, to put it euphemistically, but we’re now settled in enough for me to get really excited for the holidays. I love Christmastime. Especially over here, because Britain gets really into Christmas. Our town had a whole big ‘Christmas … Continue reading Cranberry Cake and Christmas Trees

The Craziest Christmas Nonsense at Lakeland

Christmas! A time of goodwill, gift-giving, copious buying, and baking. I especially love that last bit, and I’ve been known to wander through Lakeland (as close to Williams Sonoma as I’ve found over here), admiring cake pans and trying very hard to talk myself out of more foolish purchases. But every now and then, Lakeland offers up something so utterly stupid, even I can’t help but laugh and mock them. And because it’s Christmastime, they’ve got LOADS of bizarre things on offer. Behold: the craziest Christmas nonsense at Lakeland. Let’s have a look and a laugh, shall we?

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Downton Abbey: And They All Lived Happily Ever After

EMBARGOED_UNTIL_05_DECEMBER_DOWNTON_36Previously on Downton Abbey: Edith got engaged for about ten minutes before Mary completely ruined it out of spite, prompting a couple of characters to finally call Mary out for being a hateful, miserable bitch. She responded to that not by actually doing anything nice for the sister she’s abused for their entire lives, but by getting married herself to Henry Talbot. And apparently we’re all supposed to be fine with that. Cora’s now in charge of the hospital board, which doesn’t make Violet all that happy, and Lord Merton’s daughter-in-law, Amelia, is trying to unload Merton on Isobel. Isobel’s not playing that game, however, and tells Amelia the request to rekindle this relationship has to come from Larry the Jerk, which isn’t happening anytime soon. Belowstairs, Carson’s a jerk and a half, Thomas is on the hunt for a new job, Anna’s pregnant, Patmore might be having a flirtation with Farmer Mason, Molesley got a teaching gig, and Andy the footman has hopes of becoming a farmer someday.

This is it, folks, our last outing with the Crawley family! Will you miss them? I…don’t really feel like I will, which is a shame, because this show started off fairly strongly, but you never know, give me a week and I might be sobbing into my pillow or something.

It’s summertime, and the family’s out walking the grounds and playing with the kids. Edith plans to put Marigold into a school in London so she can, you know, actually get an education befitting a young lady living in the 20thcentury. Edith, it seems, hopes to move to London and set up residence there during term time so she can be near her child and also actually run the magazine she owns. Robert worries about her being all alone down there, but Edith, a little shortly, says she’s a spinster, and spinsters are supposed to live alone. I thought spinsters were supposed to go in sisterly sets. Or pairs, at lest.

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Call the Midwife: I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Call-The-Midwife-2_3535054bPreviously on Call the Midwife: Trixie and Tom got engaged and then broke up, which seems to have prompted her to become an alcoholic. Fred remarried, to Mrs Gee, the owner of the local haberdashery shop, and Patsy’s girlfriend suffered a traumatic brain injury and tragically forgot who Patsy even was.

JVO reminds us that Christmas is the celebration of a birth, so that makes Christmas specials especially fitting for this show.

Tom is conducting a mass baptism for the local newborns while at Nonnatus Sister MJ is making the Christmas pudding. Must be Stir-Up Sunday. They get a call for a woman who’s expecting twins and Trixie and Cynthia head out to attend to her.

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Call the Midwife: Love is All Around Us

p02f1tcqPreviously on Call the Midwife: Patsy joined the team, (former sister) Bernadette and Doc Turner adopted a baby girl, and Jenny decided to leave midwifery and Poplar behind.

It’s our first episode in a post-Jenny world and we start off with…Jenny? Yes, we’ve still got the JVO, which seems increasingly odd, since now she’s commenting on situations and events she wasn’t even privy to. We begin in 2005 with older Jenny (we get to see her at last!) decorating for Christmas and worrying about a missing ornament. Her house is something of a photographic shrine to her days in Poplar—aside from one or two pictures of, presumably, grandkids, every framed photo is one of her as a midwife, her with the other midwives, or the nuns, which kind of makes it seem like she never made any friends at her later jobs. Kinda sad, that.

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Downton Abbey: Grouse and Goodbyes

Downton-Abbey-Christmas-specialPreviously on Downton Abbey: Rose married a Jew, which gave her mother ample opportunity to be absolutely repulsive; Violet tracked down the wife of a former lover/flirtation (we’re not quite sure how far this thing went); Daisy started getting into some book learnin’; Tom convinced himself to move to ‘Besten’; Edith adopted her own daughter; Mary found herself suitorless; and Anna was ridiculously arrested for murder.

Ahh, Isis may be gone, but her bum lives on in the credits.

Mary goes to the prison to visit Anna, wearing a rather spiffing coat, if I may say so.

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Crafty Christmas: Wee Stocking Garland

The thing with being a knitter is, eventually, you’ll find yourself with all these little bits of yarn that aren’t enough for a full-scale project. So, you have to find itty bitty projects for them instead. The charm of the itty bitties is that they’re just so darn cute you want to keep making them, and they come together so fast (I was able to … Continue reading Crafty Christmas: Wee Stocking Garland

Stir-Up Sunday

Happy Stir-Up Sunday! It’s time to officially kick off the holiday season–starting with dessert. Those Christmas puddings need time to mature and develop their flavours (some people actually make them more than a year in advance), so pull out those pudding basins and steamers and let’s get to work! Christmas pudding has its origins in the medieval period and is also traditionally known as plum … Continue reading Stir-Up Sunday