Macs on tour: a weekend adventure.

I’m back! Did you miss me?

I’m writing this sitting in Gatwick with a double gin. It’s doing marvellous things.

gin

The past weekend has been spent in England with my sister. While talking to her work colleagues she accidentally made me sound like my granny’s Labrador, who frequently ambles off into the woods and gets lost. One of her colleagues even offered to come and pick me up from the town centre and take me to the office in case I struggled.

Really, it only took four people in three countries and two continents to help me find the train I needed to be on. I don’t see why everyone is so concerned. And in my defence, Reading station is horribly lacking in information.

rain

Anyway, once I’d FINALLY managed to navigate the travel infrastructure of Berkshire and meet Megan, here’s some fun stuff we did:

  • Played with Alexa the Amazon Echo. After a couple of beers I realised that Alexa would play songs on request, which is frankly delightful. Unfortunately every single song we asked for was also playing on Andrew’s phone…in South Korea. At 7am. We only found out when he asked us to stop playing dinner jazz. Thank you Andrew for not playing something horrifying into my ears at 5am in retort.
  • We went to Camden Market and I was allowed to be smug since I managed to navigate back to the awesome burger place I went to last time from memory. Honest Burger, everyone. They do gluten free AND cute cocktails in tiny cups.
  • Drank warm spiced cider. Because it’s warm, it’s spiced and it’s cider.

me and megan

  • Went on a great beret hunt.
  • Sat in Zizzi between two kiddie birthday parties and had two other random children chasing each other round our table. Didn’t harpy scream at any of them.
  • Carried out some wedding planning. By that I mean we watched a lot Say Yes to the Dress and bought two magazines in M&S to read while we went to the pub.

wedding planning

On top of all this, I managed to tick off something I called out in my 2018 Challenges blog. Flew from Gatwick to Edinburgh on my own for the first time ever, which was stressful due to a) my tendency to panic and b) the fact that I really don’t like flying. It went more smoothly than I thought it would. I didn’t get lost, didn’t get swabbed, scanned, flagged or felt up at security (as I frequently do) had enough time for a gin before the flight. Even when we hit a tiny bit of turbulence just before we landed I managed to refrain from having a nervous breakdown in the arms of the poor lassie next to me.

Thanks Mini Mac – see ya real soon!

see ya real soon

Have a Hallmark Jolly Christmas

Disappointed that Christmas is over? Here’s a fun way to prolong the festive spirit: curating next year’s movie schedule. Forget Elf and Jingle All The Way: tacky made for TV movies are where the real magic is. Sometimes.

I’ve spent a lot of time with my Granny over the past few weeks and we’ve watched a veritable plethora of films of varying quality. For your viewing entertainment next year – or this year, if you can’t bear to give up the festive spirit yet – here is a rundown of some of the most memorable that graced the TV this year.

A Christmas Reunion

Premise: New York hotshot comes back to small town in the wake of her aunt’s death, only to find that the other benefactor of her aunt’s bakery is her ex-boyfriend. They decide to run the bakery and the traditional holiday baking competition for one more Christmas.

This is a good place to start. As soft as marshmallow fluff and so happy you’ll be able to feel the enamel corroding off your teeth.

Verdict: That’s all I can find to say about it, which is a decent signal of how inoffensive it is. Would watch agan.

Chasing Christmas

Premise: miserable old arsehole has banned Christmas because his wife cheated on him one year. A Christmas Carol retelling with a twist. The twist is that Christmas Past gives up and goes on a bender.

Most of the movies I watched I enjoyed on at least some superficial level. This one was trash, but not good trash, like the trash you find in the reduced section in Tesco at 10:30pm.

The main character is obnoxious beyond words. The Ghost of Christmas Present is so stereotypically dim you’ll want to strangle her. There’s a romantic subplot that will make you throw up in your mouth, and it’s all so bad you’re constantly wishing for the sweet release of death.

The real MVP is Miserable Old Arsehole’s teenage daughter, who can’t hide her dislike of him. You and me both, hen.

Verdict: Avoid. Do literally anything else instead.

My Christmas Dream

Premise: Department store manager is in charge of legendary annual Christmas display, with a high- profile job in Paris at stake. This is very stressful for her, given that she apparently has no imagination. Her heart is warmed by a little boy, who turns out to be the son of a painter she fired the day before. Of course he is.

How do you make a Christmas movie more heartwarming? Add a precocious, blue eyed blonde haired six year old boy, who absolutely steals the show amongst the generic offering of Christmas Romcom Characters.

It also boasts the most celebrity appearance of any of the films I saw, with Danica McKellar playing the store manager.

Verdict: Cute. Most likely to make you cry if you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine.

On The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Premise: journalist starts sending anonymous secret santa presents to the radio DJ she fancied at uni when she finds out he hates Christmas now.

In the pantheon of shit Christmas movies I saw this year, this was the pinnacle. I loved it. It had characters I genuinely enjoyed – yes, even the crabbit grinchy one – and it’s the only one where I’ve actively shipped the main characters. Very good.

Verdict: would watch again. In fact, will be looking through the Channel 5 TV guide to see when it’s on again next year.

A Christmas Prince

Premise: Journalist accidentally ends up posing as governess for (presumably) European royal family. There’s an attractive, reluctant prince.

The most livetweeted Christmas movie of the year, courtesy of Netflix. Imagine being stuck in a fur-lined cuddle between The Princess Diaries, The Sound of Music and any rom com. That’s The Christmas Prince. It’s tacky. It’s awful. I couldn’t turn it off. It’s become an internet sensation, the most unmissable Christmas film of the year.

Although I must know the answer to one of life’s biggest questions: why is it, according to the accents, that every made up European principality is located somewhere in Berkshire?

Verdict: 10/10 would get drunk and make fun of with friends every year.

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Please let me know if I’ve missed any howlers from my list. I’m on the lookout for additions to next year’s list…

And it’s still not too late to watch A Christmas Prince. I’m just saying.