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Presents

Time to mull over the presents, then.

Gave:

Dad - three CDs of Radio 4 comedy (Hancock's Half-Hour, Just a Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue).

Mum - a pair of Victorian-looking shoes which she wanted to go with her long skirts.

Charlotte - a collection of Marilyn Monroe DVDs and a diary.

All seemed to go down well, and everyone also got a candle in honour of the Saturnalia. The stockings, too, were a definite hit, although I can't be bothered to list every single item we put in them here. It was all very equitable, though, with lots of careful counting being done to ensure each person had the same number of items.

Received:

Tokens - £10 each for Marks & Spencers and Waterstone's, from uncles and aunts. I'm sure both will come in handy.

Chocolate - three white chocolate mice and a large box of Roses. This is an advantageous side-effect of not having a stocking this year (well, advantageous when seen from certain perspectives, anyway). Normally, I end up laden with ludicrous quantities of sweets and chocolate, and, worse, feel obliged to eat as much of it as possible before I have to lug it all back to Oxford on the train. This year, restraint is a viable option, but I still have enough chocolate not to feel hard-done-by.

Books - Following Hadrian by Elizabeth Speller. This is a sort of travel biography, with fictionalised sections (the memoirs of a member of Hadrian's court) interspersed with more conventional treatment, which takes Hadrian's peregrinations around the empire as a framework for an exploration of both him and the Roman world in his time. Looks quite engaging from a quick flick through it. Also, The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. This looks ace: a telling of the story of Penelope and Odysseus from the perspective of my name-sake, also interspersed with its own choruses. I look forward to reading it.

DVDs - the complete I, Claudius, courtesy of La Sorella. Bonus! 'Nuff said. :)

Music - a CD entitled Les Contre-Ténors, in which Andreas Scholl, Dominique Visse and Pascal Bertin play at being Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo. It is sheer silliness, full of songs such as 'O Sole Mio', 'My Way' and 'Maria' from West Side Story, and complete with sleeve-notes written by a certain 'Isidorio Walls-Cornetto'. Also, my very own vocal score of Vivaldi's Gloria, and a double CD including that and various other works by Vivaldi. This is because I shall be attempting to sing both this and Fauré's Requiem at a 'turn-up-and-sing' day in Birmingham in February, which should be enjoyable (if slightly challenging!). The Vivaldi CD looks promising generally, replete as it is with lovely performers such as James Bowman and Emma Kirkby, and indeed the choir of my very own alma mater, Christ Church.

Other - Guinea Pigs 2006 calendar, including such highlights as A Guinea Pig playing with someone's shoe!, A Guinea Pig resting its paws on a computer keyboard! and the ever-popular classic, A Guinea Pig eating some carrots!. This will go up in my office at work, to replace the 2005 edition. Also, a necklace with lots of shiny black beady bits. This, in fact, came out of a cracker, but a Very Special Cracker. Mum had found some which you could put your own gifts into, and then close up yourself, so she had done one for each member of the family (and Charlotte did one for her). Definitely much better than silly little games which don't really work, and go straight in the bin after the meal.

All in all, a very fine collection, then, and I can definitively count myself well out of the whopping 45.2% of my Christmas poll respondents who confessed to getting a present they really didn't want.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sammee42
Dec. 26th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC)
Where do you get the guinea pig calendar?! I'm obsessed with guinea pigs!!
strange_complex
Dec. 26th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
My Mum buys them from Borders, but I just looked on the back of mine, and there's also a web address for the publishers: http://www.browntrout.com/index.asp

Looks like you could order one from pretty well anywhere in the world there.

I must say the guinea pig one is extremely cute, for all that I am poking fun at it above.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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