Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas Guest Blogger: Mark @ So It Goes

Welcome to a little thing I’m trying this December. I’ve never had a Guest Blogger before, so decided it might be novel this December to invite a few friends and visitors to my blog to share some of their favourite things about Christmas.

First up is Mark who blogs over at So It Goes where he shares film and book reviews, all sorts of photos (from those that make you think on his Silent Sunday and Wordless Wednesdays through to pictures that demonstrate his appreciation of the female form) to his personal thoughts and political views. So It Goes (formerly known as Random Ramblings) is one of those blogs that has something for everyone.

I put nine questions to Mark on the subject of Christmas and these are his responses:

1. Let’s start at the beginning. What’s your earliest memory of Christmas?

At my age now, this is a really tough question!

Um....I remember having a huge GI Joe or Action Man base that could fold up into a kind of tank which my dad spent an age arranging for me to play with one Christmas morning, when I must have been 8 or 9. I also vaguely remember - and this will make me sound like a deeply ungrateful and precocious little git - feeling a bit bewildered a few Christmases before that when my parents bought me a ZX Spectrum because before then, Christmas meant lots of little presents and I couldn't understand how I had just one big prezzie and a couple of others that year. I always remember saying thank you for what I got though!

2. Do you or your family have any special Christmas traditions? Are there any that you’d like to start in the future?

Not especially. I guess the usual, late night shopping in the run up etc. There's some things which are viewed as traditional that to be honest we don't do, like buying each other cards. I never saw the point of that as we would be with one another on the day itself. Christmas is actually a much smaller gathering for us as a family these days what with some sad losses over the years and some squabbles and disagreements, so a lot of what could be viewed as traditions have gone or been pared down. That said its a much cosier and more sedate affair than it has probably ever been.

3. When do the decorations go up in your house? When do you take them down?

Decorations are usually up when December reaches double figures, ie somewhere around the 10th. As a child they would always get taken down on twelfth night but in recent years they've come down as early as New Year's Day.

4. You’re sitting down to Christmas dinner, what’s on your plate?

Turkey, roast spuds, mash, carrots and turnips, stuffing, gravy and pigs in blankets

5. How about some favourites? What’s your all-time favourite Christmas song?

Ooh so many! I love music so naturally I love Xmas songs too. My favourite as a kid was Wizzard's I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. because my dad would always say its the kind of thing I'd wish for too! I really love Fairytale of New York,  and have soft spots for Ring Out Solstice Bells, I Believe In Father Christmas...ach too many to mention! I'm a huge fan of Kate Rusby too and try and catch her annual Christmas tour if I can. Her versions of trad folk songs and hymns for Christmas are just heavenly!

[Click: I’ve got Kate Rusby’s Christmas album and I have to agree with you there, Mark.]

6. It’s not Christmas until you’ve watched which film?

I don't think I really have one to be honest...mad I know considering how much of a film buff I am. My sister cannot do Xmas without watching White Christmas, which was a family tradition thanks to our late grandfather who adored Bing Crosby. Personally I always liked Holiday Inn because that had Bing AND Fred Astaire. One film I have been returning to each Christmas in recent years though is Bill Forsyth's quirky Scottish tale Comfort and Joy. But yeah, when you get the Radio Times and pore over it only to find the likes of The Great Escape, The Sound Of Music, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and a couple of Bonds and a Dickens adaptation or two NOT appearing that year you do feel like it isn't Xmas! Not saying I'd watch them necessarily, but its nice to know they're there. That said, I do enjoy watching something by Dickens at Christmas.

7. Do you have a favourite book to read at Christmastime?

No. I read a lot anyway and that doesn't really drop off over Christmas, but I can't say there's a book I return to for the festive period.

8. You can spend this Christmas anywhere, anytime, with any person. Describe it.

Ooh can it be a snowbound  log cabin with plenty of warming booze (Winter Pimms anyone?) and Gemma Arterton dressed up as a sexy elf please? ;)

9. Dear Santa, this Christmas I would like…

See Question 8!

[Click: Sorry Mark, this was the closest to an elf outfit I could find...]

Thanks for stopping by, Mark! Don’t forget to go pay him a visit at So It Goes if you’ve enjoyed this post.

Next week we’ve got Melissa from My Creatively Random Life popping over to talk about her Christmas favourites and traditions.


  1. 'pictures that demonstrate his appreciation of the female form'

    What a charmingly euphemistic way to describe my lechery! haha ;)

    Ooh Gemma piccie is very nice, thank you!

    Thanks Click, because this is is a lovely idea and I can't wait to read everyone's. And yes, Kate Rusby at Xmas is just the best. Sadly she's not coming this way on tour this winter but I'll certainly be watching her Xmas DVD and listening to the album. Oh and for anyone interested the film Comfort and Joy that I refer to is on BBC2 this Friday night/the wee small hours of Sat morning.

    Merry Xmas!

    1. Hehe, I'm glad you appreciated that. I was trying to think of the best way to phrase 'posts lots of photos of women's bottoms' hehe.

      And you're welcome, I was just thrilled that people agreed to join in. It's been fun having people by to visit so I think I might look to do it again in the future. I'll have to look out for Kate Rusby's DVD, that would be lovely to watch in the run up to Christmas. :-)

    2. It might be cheap on amazon etc but she tends to do some good deals on her site

  2. What a great idea for guest posts. I think a lot of people have started decorating for Christmas already but I'm waiting just a little longer. My daughter put her decorations up before Thanksgiving.

    1. Glad that you've enjoyed the post. I've got more coming each Monday in the month (and a bonus one on the 18th).

      Our decorations went up on Monday but I know there are some houses around the island that have had them up since nearly the beginning of November.


Let me know what you think. :-)