Friday, December 28, 2007

Unwrapped

Lego AT-AT and Emma WatsonThe bin men have literally just hauled off the six huge bag loads of rubbish produced by myself and my family this Christmas. As their filthy dustcart revved off into the distance I felt a pang or two of regret... regret that Christmas is over again for another year and regret at having produced so much waste. The amount of extraneous packaging was frightening, most of it from the kid's toys - huge folded up and moulded pieces of industrial sized cardboard which defied any attempt to flatpack them into as small a shape as possible for easy disposal.

I also have to say that, despite my initial smugness at avoiding the High Street crowds this year by shopping entirely on-line, the negative of this has been loads and loads of extra cardboard packaging, polystyrene and padding hanging about the house which has only added to our Christmas carbon footprint.

Put it this way: I nearly entitled this post "Return Of The Sasquatch".

Refuse gripes aside I must admit Christmas was highly enjoyable - it being Tom's first only added to the specialness of it all. Not that Tom was particularly impressed - or even interested - in any of the presents we'd bought for him, preferring instead the occasional bottle of milk...

However, for the rest of us, there were some cool presents flying around this year that put smiles on all our faces. Among the pile of goodies I lavished on Karen was the Bladerunner 5 disc boxed set, a copy of Newman & Baddiel's History Today, an ocean of DVDS and books and some richly gorgeous jewellery. Ben had a Transformer voice mask (oh how we regret buying that...), a Lego remote control car and his own MP3 player.

Myself? I found myself presented with an ION USB turntable so that I can transfer my immense vinyl record collection to MP3 format, a Lego AT-AT Walker (Star Wars fans will understand the coolness of this) that actually walks (!) and some fab DVDS - Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix, Rome Season 2 and 300 to name but a few. In fact coupled with the stash of DVDs I bought Karen we've now got so many movies to watch we could actually cancel our subscription to cable TV and still have stuff to watch right up to mid April.

Hmm. You know, that's not a bad idea... especially given how dire Christmas telly was this year. Doctor Who was a major disappointment. So much so I can't motivate myself to even write about it. Ballet Shoes was enjoyable and nice to see Emma Watson on TV spreading her acting wings. And Extras last night was very enjoyable. I actually found myself getting quite teary eyed towards the end. I guess I've still got too much Christmas sentimentality flowing around my blood stream.

Talking of which... I got some whisky for Christmas too and it's now baying for my company. Cheers one and all!

21 comments:

Daisy said...

i was able to limit some of the trash this year...however my son is 23 and needed more gift cards for food, gas, and cell phone minutes...of course there was boxers and socks for both hubby and son...actually both said they thought i would forget and both needed them...odd the things people look forward to...but when you need em you need em...have a good new year!

The Hitch said...

Steve
You are such an anorak! Dr who ,star trek (+:
All my music is stolen via lime wire, eff you steve jobs heheheheh

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I quite enjoyed Ballet Shoes, watched it mainly because my wife loves the book and remembers the 1975 TV version the Beeb did. Anyway I was quite surprised with it, and always good to see Emilia Fox in something.
Loved Extras too, a very nice ending to the show. But Doctor Who was pants !!!

Steve said...

Hi Daisy - wishing you and yours a very good New Year too!

Hitch, I'm an anorak and proud of it though I must point out that I am not a Trekkie! (My wife is!)

Andrew, I have to agree: Emilia Fox was looking very good indeed. Extras was superb. We taped it so we could watch it again - just as good. I loved the row with Gordon Ramsay - he looked like he could barely keep his face straight.

Annie said...

Hi Steve, it sounds as though you had a FABULOUS Christmas!
I must be from a different planet from you and Andrew 'cos I really enjoyed Dr. Who and as for Extras, I fell asleep half way through - I must have watched the wrong half!

TimeWarden said...

Glad you had an enjoyable Christmas, Steve.

I'm surprised you didn't watch "The Old Curiosity Shop", which was on at the same time as "Ballet Shoes", being a Josie Lawrence fan! Given the time, I would like to have seen both, also being a fan of Emilia Fox, but in the end plumped for the Dickens!!

Steve said...

Hi Annie, it was indeed a fabulous Christmas! As for the TV - well, I think it's good that we all have different tastes and requirements! Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

Hi TimeWarden, to be honest, despite having the bumper edition of the Radio Times well in advance I've barely flicked through it to see what was on and had no idea that The Old Curiosity Shop was even on... let alone that the wondrous Josie Lawrence was even in it. Mind you, it would have created a conflict anyway - our TV aerial has broken so unfortunately we are unable to watch one channel while recording another so we would have had to have made a choice between Ballet Shoes and Dickens anyway... and as Karen had cooked a fabulous meal I could hardly have denied her Ballet Shoes! Hopefully it will be repeated sometime soon. Was it any good?

The Hitch said...

I must point out that I am not a Trekkie! (My wife is!)

*Hangs head in shame*

Yes the original is one of my all time favourites.
Lt. Uhuru provided a lonely teenage Hitch with with a lot of "thoughts"

Steve said...

Indeed, she was very... ah... "thought provoking". I was more of a Space 1999 fan but having discussed my TV fads at length with my wife (bless her) we've come to the conclusion that our tastes have been shaped by the fact her mother was a BBC devotee whilst my parents were staunch ITV viewers. Hence I rarely saw Star Trek or Doctor Who as a kid.

per.pri said...

I am sooooo jealous of the walking (gawp!) AT-AT...soooo cool!!!

OMG how sad do I sound?! lol! You'd never guess I am in fact a 20-year-old (20-year-young!) female...not a 14-year-old pimply spectacled lad. Ah well, as ever I shall go against the norm and disband stereotypes! HAHA!

Totally agree - Doctor Who was a waste of time. Abysmal.

Sounds like your xmas was fab! I bet Tom loved it really...he's just acting cool and laid back...;)

Steve said...

Hi Per.pri... I'm not a pimply 14 year old lad either (I am in fact an occasionally pimply 38 year old man)! But as said above: I am perfectly happy to be an anorak or a nerd... in fact nerdism is pretty cool these days (so feel free to jump on board)!

Tom is very laid back and cool... and as a consequence is waited on hand and foot. Canny little swine! ;-)

TimeWarden said...

Yes, "The Old Curiosity Shop" was good, very heart-wrenching at the end with the death of Little Nell as her Grandfather, Derek Jacobi, realises the error of his gambling-addicted ways, all too late. Not as radical an interpretation as the recent "Oliver Twist" though!

Good to see you're a "Space: 1999" fan, Steve. I love the original run of episodes but the second seems like a completely different series, a bit like "Doctor Who" in that respect!

Sky Clearbrook said...

I hope you're enjoying the wonder that is the Ion USB Turntable!

What vinyl have you transferred so far?

Steve said...

Hi TimeWarden, if I'd realized that Derek Jacobi was also in the production I would have made much more effort to watch it - a class actor of the highest calibre!

Mr Clearbrook, I must hang my head in shame and laziness and admit that due to post Christmas lethargy I haven't as yet made use of the Ion wonder... however, I think I'm going to pore through/over my old singles and 12 inch singles and transfer stuff that isn't as yet available on CD from my favoured artists...

-eve- said...

Ooo... I want to watch Ballet Shoes! Didn't know there was a movie! And Emma Watson is pretty... :-)

Steve said...

Hi Eve, it's certainly worth catching if you get an opportunity to see it... a really nice family oriented story and, yes, Emma Watson is very pretty!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

You can offset all your packaging against all the packaging I didn't produce Steve, bar a few choccie & luxury food wrappings that is. I don't really do Christmas - just enjoy the break from work to find myself again! Hope you kept the receipt for the transformer mask. Do kids really need so much? I'm sure I had only a fraction of what they have nowadays, but that was not what made Christmas unhappy - more the cold house and lack of luxury food!

Steve said...

I know I certainly had less when I was a kid but what I did get were presents that I really wanted... helped a little by the fact there was less choice and less blanket advertizing. We did cut down slightly on the kids this year - our budget simply doesn't leave so much room for extravagance these days - but I don't think Ben particularly noticed. Well chosen gifts are always a bigger hit than volume.

Glad to hear you enjoyed Christmas and immersed yourself in chocolate and luxury food, Laura... sounds quite decadent in its own way!

Old Cheeser said...

Glad you had lots of fun. I contemplated getting one of those turntables myself, but got rid of me vinyl recently so not much point...

And I am totally with you on DW. My own scathing review will shortly be published...

Steve said...

And I'm very much looking forward to it OC!

I must admit I've occasionally contemplated getting rid of my hefty vinyl collection... but I'm too sentimental. Plus there are more than a few mint gems in there... most of the Kate Bush 7 inches for one thing!

Old Cheeser said...

Actually having said I chucked out all my records, I have a feeling I kept all my Kate Bush 72 inches too! Worth preserving on vinyl eh.