The 12 days of Christmas 12: Can of worms

By the time I reach the end of my Christmas cartooning marathon, Christmas itself usually seems quite a long time ago. And this year, what with starting a new life in the big smoke and a certain amount of internet-based drama, the novelty has worn off earlier than usual; I’ve begun to regret making such an extensive promise, although I’m pleased I’ve managed to fulfil it.

I have a feeling I might do my Christmas series differently next year. I’d like to spread my cartoons more evenly throughout the months, and doing 12 in a fortnight eats up an awful lot of time. I’ll have a think about how to cut the format down or space it out – if you have any thoughts about what you’d like to see (and aren’t an enraged Archers fans) then give me a shout.

On the subject of things that get out of hand, I thought it would be fitting to make the last cartoon of this festive season a tribute to the internet. Hopefully it speaks for itself…

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The 12 days of Christmas 11: Dangerous habits

Here’s the post you should have had yesterday, when I started my new job. In preparation for such an important Proper-Grownup milestone, I felt the need to spruce up the smart end of my wardrobe a bit, and so (as I mentioned on Day 5) I went clothes shopping, an activity I rarely enjoy.

The only thing I actually enjoy shopping for is coats – to a dangerous extent. I love coats. I could spend thousands of pounds on coats in mere hours if I had the money. It’s perhaps no coincidence that the coat section of my wardrobe is the only one to be amply stocked, and so I’ve had to confine myself to a look-but-don’t-buy strategy.


The 12 Days of Christmas 10: The Archers (yet again)

Well, it’s been a strange and eventful day. I generally avoid doing reviews on this blog because I’ve always been irrationally afraid that the person whose art I’m insulting will read what I have to say. It’s never been a big worry, because my online profile is pretty low, but now it’s happened.

I woke up this morning to find that my post about The Archers from the very first 12 days of Christmas had been shared on social media by the official Archers page. I now find myself in the confusing position of being both slightly star-struck to be tweeted by Lynda Snell, and horrified that I know who Lynda Snell is. And apparently I’ve displeased the fandom.

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The 12 days of Christmas 9: A lovely walk

I’ll keep this short, because I’ve just moved to London, and I’m rather busy what with starting a new job tomorrow and everything. The aforementioned job is also my excuse if the next three posts fail to materialise on time…

We decided to go for a lovely family walk in a lovely forest on the first lovely bright shiny new day of 2017. Sadly, 2017 had other ideas, and decided to make its first day a dull rainy miserable one. Being us, we went for a walk anyway; the below picture should give you an idea of how much the ‘fresh air’ helped me to appreciate our comparatively cosy house.

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The 12 days of Christmas 8: Fireworks

2016 is dead, long live 2017! We’re currently graced by the spontaneous presence of my aunt, uncle and cousin, who’ve popped over from Amsterdam to live the high life in rainy Herefordshire. As part of our rowdy New Year’s celebrations yesterday (read: quiet celebrations conducted at 11pm), my uncle produced some fireworks.

There are certain situations in which you don’t want to hear the phrase “Who needs instructions?”, and a home-grown firework display is one of them. I’m still recovering from the terror excitement of the evening, but despite some flagrant breaches of common-sense health and safety protocol, nobody suffered any permanent damage. To be honest, I think we got off lightly…

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The 12 days of Christmas 7: Return of the Festive Spirits

I know it’s customary to get roaring drunk on New Year’s Eve and spend the first of January as an abject puddle of misery, but this year I’ve shaken things up by having my hangover early. Today has been a day of pain and remorse, and I can assure you that tonight I will not be drinking anything containing even a smidgeon of ethanol.

The reason for yesterday’s overindulgence is that it was my final pub shift and, as Dad put it, I became “the victim of much generosity”. Last time I left the Royal Arms for a full-time job, I wrote a post about how much I love working there, and that still applies; it’s been great going back. However, the aftermath of my sendoff was such that I’ll be glad to avoid drinking establishments for a while. There’s nothing like lying awake at 4am with a pounding headache to remind you why you don’t normally do shots…


The 12 days of Christmas 6: We whisk you a Mary Christmas

Before you get all uppity about the appalling puns in the title, bear in mind that I’m ill, so you have to be nice – and anyway, bad puns are the very essence of Bakeoff, which is the theme of today’s post. I’ve already aired my thoughts on the loss of Bakeoff from the BBC so I won’t bore you with another rant, but it was a slightly odd experience watching the Christmas episodes. For one thing, there just isn’t the same tension when it’s not a full series; the stakes are lower, and it’s less exciting as a result.

What’s more, based on the suspiciously abundant foliage glimpsed through the tent windows, I’m pretty sure the “Christmas” episode was filmed in July, making the festivities seem a bit forced. This begs the question of whether the Bakeoff stars knew at the time of filming that terrible, terrible changes were afoot… If anyone has the answer to this, I’m genuinely interested to find out whether they were faking their festive cheer, or whether they already knew that the beating heart of the show was about to be ripped out and stamped upon. I’m not bitter, really.

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