Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Five fantastic detective duos

What's better than a good detective? Two good detectives!  I love a good mystery story at this time of year, when it's too wet for spending much time outside. Here are five of my favourite prying pairs: three super-stylish mixed doubles from days of yore, and two pairs of irresistible old codgers who were written about this century, but loaded with last-century appeal.

Sunday, 20 December 2015


 I am an admitted clothes hoarder. For the past couple of winters I've been resigned to the fact that the cranberry-coloured lambswool cardigan that I bought just before going to university has been wearing out at the cuffs. It wasn't an especially expensive cardigan, coming from Littlewoods (even the cheap end of the high street sold knitwear in natural fibres back in the early 1990s), but it's lasted 23 years so far. I've stitched up the loose edge of the cuffs in past autumns, but they are fraying rather more now. If it were more fitted, I'd shorten the sleeves for a 1940s look, but that struck me as a bad idea with this boxier shape. So the poor old cardigan was put on the pile for rag recycling.

Go go gadget hoarding instinct!

I couldn't send the cardigan away. 'Look at me,' it seemed to be calling, 'I've kept you warm all these winters and so much of me is good! Surely you can salvage me...'

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Nothing to see here, move along

Mulled wine at my desk. Oh yes!
I'm sorry, I'm being very boring at the moment. I'd like to share lots of gorgeous vintage goings-on with you, but I've been up to my ears in work as we have a short deadline in December, plus people like to finish early if they can. Wearing clean clothes and not eating too much junk food counts as an achievement with me this week. To be fair to work, we did have a Christmas party at the Roman Baths early in December, and a free lunch of turkey ciabattas and mulled wine this week (we were asked to make donations to Bath Food Bank), and we got given goodie bags including a bottle of Prosecco, so a few late nights is hardly turning me into a hard-done-by modern Bob Cratchit.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Oh kit-mas tree

Every year we buy new decorations for the tree, but fewer old favourites are coming out this year. Why? I wonder...

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Christmas 2015 telly and radio highlights

Watching the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings films is a Christmas tradition chez Robot, as is watching Muppets Christmas Carol (the complete version, with Belle's song 'The Love Has Gone', but I've probably ranted about that before so shall spare you a repeat). Anyway, here's my brief roundup of what looks interesting over Christmas. I've left off showings of classic films as there are so many.

Back in Time for Christmas
Back in Time for Christmas (BBC 2, 14 and 15 December, 9pm)
I loved Back in Time for Dinner when it was on (writeups here and here) so as you can imagine, I'm jolly excited about this. I'm not sure how much traditional British Christmas food has changed over the years, but the team behind the show rely on the menus real people recorded for each decade, so this should show us what changes have come about – perhaps different ways of doing turkey, or more bought ready-made items, or different chocolates over the years. And, more importantly still, will Rochelle have mastered the use of the tin opener? The first show covers the 1940s-1960s, and the second the 1970s-90s.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

A happy Herb Alpert Christmas to you! Plus bonus Elvis

Actually, it's a happy Herb Alpert Christmas to Mr Robot and myself, as he mentioned Tijuana Brass Christmas tunes the other day (probably in the pub) and I immediately thought DO WANT. Because nothing says 'Christmas' like Herb Alpert's not-actually-Mexican midcentury style, inorite?

Friday, 4 December 2015

Crime at Christmas

Ho ho ho! Don't let your relatives drive you to murder this holiday season; read this instead.