On my radar this week:
I had a very disappointing trip yesterday to the newly opened health food/organic shop up the road. This has been touted as some kind of Whole Foods-esque paradise, and I went in hope of freshly mutilated kale, green juice, chia pudding and whatever else the fuck the ill-fed children of hipster health foods are eating these days, but er, nope, it looks like Alligator Whole Food Co-Op in York circa 1982, complete with staff who might indeed have worked in Alligator in 1982. I walked round twice in growing disappointment then bought this and I must say, it is very tasty and really salty, in a good way. I thought it might turn me into one of those "one square of top quality dark chocolate" women, has it fuck, I have a square of this THEN one of my dwindling reserve of mocha KitKats.
I had a highly regrettable wander through the Amazon advent calendar section yesterday (even though OH HAI DID I NOT TELL YOU we are actually going to Thailand on the 18th December for 2 weeks, my delayed 40th birthday present, holy shit, terror and delight in equal measure, more about this doubtless anon.).
I love advent so much. Despite having not a religious bone in my body, advent hymns (Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending, Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel, On Jordan's Banks The Baptist's Cry) do something astonishing to me and the whole spirit of advent - the real spirit, awe, anticipation, wonder - fills me with shivering delight and painful nostalgia, bringing back the ghosts of advents past: choir practices, hymns with Mr Hastie, end of term excitement, the freezing Wadham chapel, mist and frost and mystery. Sadly, advent 2015 style is a whole unseemly international buffet of wrongness and these advent calendars typify that. O tempora, o mores.
I am pretty sure we have already been over my extremely presbyterian taste in Advent Calendars several times, I mean, I bore on about it enough. Basically, apart from our home crafted matchbox calendar of incompetence, usually stuffed by the boys with plastic spiders and Nurofen, only paper is acceptable, ideally paper featuring small, boring devotional scenes or a robin at a pinch. Do not tempt me with your £200 beauty calendars, gin calendars, Chupa Chups calendars etc etc etc, not today, Satan (I swither between Ian Paisley and Bianca del Rio from S6 of RuPaul's Drag Race when I say this).
1. Dog advent calendars
Your dog is not awaiting the birth of our Saviour in awe and wonder and devotion. Your dog could not care less. He is waiting to lick his balls, oh hang on, he isn't even waiting for that.
2. Erotic advent calendars
"24 tasty bums, boobs and willies!"
OUR LORD DID NOT GIVE HIS ONLY SON SO THAT YOU COULD PLUCK A PENIS SHAPED CHOCOLATE OUT OF THAT MAN'S ARMPIT. OR OUT OF HIS CROTCH FOR THAT MATTER. This is definitely a sign of the imminent apocalypse. Dr Paisley would have had something to say about this.
3. Personalised Gail from Corrie advent calendar
"Do you know someone who would really love to date Helen Worth?"
A: No, or if I do, they are keeping it quiet.
I don't feel personally affronted by this, just deeply puzzled. Who is this for? Who? "THE STEPS TO A GLITTERING COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS NEVER BEEN MORE SIMPLE..." reads the text beneath this, in overwrought and grammatically puzzling capital letters.
A surprising number of the remaining offerings featured German football teams, several different ones, who knew that German football advent chocolate was a thing, eh.
As for me, I am hesitating between Altarpieces:
(This would really get the kids' hearts racing in the morning. "Look! A detail from the Wilton Diptych, mummy!")
This one screams P.A.R.T.Y
I considered and rejected this pleasant RSPB one, because chocolate, but perhaps some of you godless sybarites might like it:
It hasn't been the same since the SPCK bookshop stopped doing the ones that only had bible verses in.
I am reading Julian Barnes' book of art essays, Keeping An Eye Open and oh my god, they are so wonderful. The first one on Géricault's Raft of the Medusa had me actually breathless, it is SO GOOD. *pretentious interlude ends*
I am going to stop here because I have nothing else to say, which seems like a good enough reason.
65% faintly martyred by Wednesday
20% cracked lips
15% concerned that wine 3 days in a row is a bad precedent, but disinclined to do anything about it.