Friday Five Favourite: Christmas Adverts 2018

30 11 2018

It’s back! Advent starts tomorrow and I think all the major companies have released their Christmas adverts now, so here are my top five for this year! (Next week I’ll share five that didn’t quite make the list…)

Sainsburys (mostly for Plug Boy!)


Waitrose (it was a tough call between the below and this one)

Aldi (Other entries this year here, here and here!)


Friday five favourite: things I learnt from climbing Snowdon

1 06 2018

Last weekend I climbed Snowdon with some friends. I found it very difficult, and we definitely have lessons learnt from it – thought I’d share some in case anyone else is considering doing it. (For reference, we took the Llanberis Path up and down, it’s a 9 mile round trip, we took 3.5 hours going up and about 2 hours going down).

  1. It’s not all as steep as the first bit.
  2. At the very beginning, before you reach the sign for the start of the track, there’s a fairly sharp incline on a tarmac track for about 800m. At the end of this section I had a bit of a meltdown, I was completely out of breath and was so worried that the whole climb was going to be that steep, and I seriously considered going to find a cafe to sit in so that I didn’t hold the rest of the group up. The important thing to know is that it’s not all that steep. Yes there are steep sections, but it’s not all like that, there are many sections that are gentle verging on flat, which are very pleasant indeed. It’s going to be ok!

  3. Have easy things to eat.
  4. When your heart is racing and you’re panting, eating isn’t the most appealing thing for us all. I had cereal bars but until the way down when I was breathing more regularly I really didn’t fancy them. My friend bought me some lucozade energy tablets at the halfway house on the way up because I could just suck on them while I walked to keep my energy up.

  5. Go with people who have shorter legs than you.
  6. According to Wikipedia the average height for a UK woman is 5’3.5″, and I’m 5’4″, so I like to claim I’m tall, but in reality I’m aware I have fairly little legs, and the people I was walking with were all a fair bit taller than me. This meant that their natural pace was faster than mine, and I found it hard to keep up this meant I got tired quicker, and when they were catching their breath waiting for me to catch up, I wasn’t getting that rest time. In the end one of the girls went on ahead, which at least meant I wasn’t feeling bad about holding her up, but it was definitely a struggle being that bit smaller.

  7. Cut your toenails.
  8. Not one I’d ever have thought of. On the way down you naturally curl your toes a bit for grip, and a lot of weight and pressure goes onto them. This means that if your toenails are even slightly long, (and mine weren’t particularly long at all!) you’re going to feel it. Fortunately, on the way down breathing and heart rate were no longer a problem, so I was able to take the pain in my toes, but it was irritating, and as soon as we got back to the B&B I trimmed the nails and the pain stopped immediately!

  9. It’s a mental challenge as much as a physical one.
  10. I spent the majority of the climb telling myself I couldn’t do it, and near the end I just kept wondering how much farther there was to go because I didn’t think I had the strength to go on (that was meltdown number 2!). The people I climbed with were much more optimistic, they just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the views, and they coped much better. It was a proper internal struggle to keep going at times, proper mind over matter stuff.

An awful photo, but here we are at the top – couldn’t see the thing as we were in the middle of a cloud!

Friday Five Favourite: Christmas Adverts that didn’t quite make the top 5 – 2017

8 12 2017

After last week’s winners, here are those which didn’t quite make the cut

6: Debenhams
A cute, modern day twist on Cinderella, just slightly too much social media for my taste

7: Sky Cinema

I liked the concept, but felt it could have been executed better

9: Tesco

10: Argos

Friday Five Favourite: Christmas Adverts 2017

1 12 2017

It was a tough one this year, my shortlist was about 10, and I’m still not sure I’ve got it right – I don’t know if I should penalise some for being nothing to do with the actual company they’re advertising, or what about companies I’ve never heard of – but after much deliberation, here are the worthy winners! (Results from previous years can be found here)

1: McDonalds
I absolutely loved this, though my colleague and I debated the ending as he wasn’t so impressed. We agreed that maybe the Dad should have taken the cheeseburger for himself if Father Christmas only eats mince pies….

2: Aldi
A great sequel to last year’s entry

3: Barbour
Literally no idea who this company are, but if they’re doing a sequel to The Snowman then that’s easy points right there!

4: Marks & Spencer
Feels like more of an advert for Paddington than M&S, but that doesn’t stop it being lovely.

5: John Lewis
The product placement is obvious, but such a sweet story!

Friday five favourite: Eurovision 2017

19 05 2017

I had SUCH a good time on Saturday. Takeaway, Eurovision and a spreadsheet! Acts were scored on Song, Voice, Choreography, Costume, Set and Novelty Value – some of those categories were weighted higher than others. This is sort-of my top 5. Mathematically Greece should be in it, but I just didn’t love it like I loved these five… Clearly more work needs to be done on my scoring algorithm for next year.






For some reason I scored Greece higher than Croatia and Sweden, but it really wasn’t a favourite of mine, so it doesn’t make the top 5 – sorry Greece!
Austria and Italy tied with Sweden, but I just found Sweden far more entertaining!

I have to mention Azerbaijan. It was creepy and horrible, but the insanity meant it did very well in novelty value. Definitely worth a watch….

Tuesday Three Favourite: Christmas Adverts 2016 that missed the boat

28 03 2017

Woops so I just found this in my saved drafts where I was clearly trying to get it up to five and then forgot about it. So rather than wait ’til next Christmas, thought I’d just bung this up now – sorry! For alliterations sake, it’s Tuesday!

Friday Five Favourite – Christmas Adverts 2016

25 11 2016

So here we are, the top five! Last week I gave you those that didn’t quite make it, and now, in a slightly rough and very changeable order, here are my five favourite Christmas adverts this year!

1: Aldi

2: Whiskas Temptations

3: Waitrose

4: John Lewis

Of course this comes with some excellent spoofs, one based on vermin, the other on the presidential election.

5: Lidl

[Not quite] Friday Five Favourite: Christmas Adverts 2016

25 11 2016

The competition for best Christmas advert is so strong this year that I’m having to do a runners up list! I’ll save my top five for next week, but here, in no particular order, are those that didn’t quite make it!

Marks and Spencer


TK Maxx



Friday five favourite: Pixar shorts

26 08 2016

One of the joys of going to see a Pixar film at the cinema, is that you get to watch a short first, and generally you forget until you’re on the way and you think, oo, I wonder what it’ll be this time! You have a vague idea of the film you’re going to see, but this is a totally unknown treat to warm you up.

Over the years there have been some classics, but I do have favourites. I found some of them on youtube, for others I’ve just had to put the trailer, but you can find them on the Pixar Short DVDs they sell, or I think on the DVDs of the films they were in cinema with. (A full list of Pixar shorts and their relative feature length films can be found here)

I went to see Finding Dory last week, and really enjoyed that short, though it’s not listed below because in a way it feels too soon to decide if it’s a classic!

Anyway, enjoy.

Lava (before Inside Out)

Day & Night (before Toy Story 3)

The Blue Umbrella(before Monsters University)

For the Birds (before Monsters Inc)

Luxo Jr (before Toy Story 2 (but made in 1986))

Friday Five Favourite: England Football songs

17 06 2016

This was most of my soundtrack yesterday both before and after the match at work! I say ‘England’ because I’d’ve loved to have included The Southampton Boys by The Red & White Machines, but this is more international tournament themed 🙂

(and yes, I do mean the ’98 version!)