Monday, 23 December 2013

Sunday... oh, wait, no, it's Monday... Summary

In a slight change to the belatedly published programme, I have decided to recount my week using the medium of interpretive dance as channelled through this awesome squirrel:

No? Nope, that's not going to work.

This week, then, I have been mostly...

Designing Wrapping Paper

{via webstagram}
which, while being quirky and individual, was time-consuming and ergo not sufficient for the ensuing task of:

Wrapping Christmas Presents

{Disclaimer: I do not own, nor have I bought for anyone, a cat. I just found this gif amusing.}

Singing in our Nine Lessons and Carols Service

Our Nine Lessons and Carols Service takes place on the last Sunday before Christmas, and is an atmospheric candlelit service of carols and read lessons telling the Christmas story. I'm in the robed choir, and between the congregational carols and readings we sing selected anthems. This year's selection:

Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light | Bach {unaccompanied}
Adam Lay Y Bounden | Setchell {unaccompanied}
A Tender Shoot | Bartholomew/Goldschmidt
On Christmas Night All Christians Sing | Ledger arrangement
In Dulci Jubilo | Archer arrangement
Christmas Lullaby | John Rutter
The Coventry Carol | Shaw arrangement {unaccompanied}
On this Day Earth shall Ring | Hylton C Stewart arrangement

It all went well, I thought, with the exception of the final piece, above, which we hadn't rehearsed in weeks... Anyway.

Almost-full playlist {albeit not sung by my choir!} here on Spotify:

Celebrating Christmas with Kith and Kin (and Kolleagues)

As a little treat to celebrate Friday being many of our last day in the office, my team and our friends in Sales threw a cheeky little champagne brunch complete with smoked salmon, blinis (not Bellinis), crackers, mini cheesecakes... and Prosecco + OJ Bucks Fizz. 'Twas a veritable feast. Hic.

{this is a visual representation, not the real meal...}

We then proceeded to the most local pub (which smelled ever so slightly like sulphur until the reasonably cheap wine numbed our nasal passages) for an afternoon of libation and revelry.

And Christmas jumpers.

Monitoring my Zzzzs... | with Sleepbot

A couple of weeks ago I spied a blog link by Joanna Goddard of A CUP OF JO on a sleep-monitoring app she's been looking to try (Sleep Cycle) -- this app isn't available yet for Android devices but I was fascinated by the mechanics so I downloaded a free, decent equivalent: Sleepbot.

How it works: Sleepbot records and monitors your movement and sound patterns when you place your phone beside you in bed. (Admittedly this is a questionable practice if you suspect that mobile phones do untold damage to our brains while in close proximity...) It wakes you up at your designated time if you need to wake with an alarm (so, very much like an alarm clock then!!), and records your hours of actual sleep and tallies this up to your required hours and tells you your nightly sleep debt.

{screengrab from online Sleepbot account}

I sleep alone (well, if you don't count the lavender-scented Bagpuss heat pillow as company...) but always wondered if a) I snored b) I sleeptalked and c) I really thrashed around in my sleep as much as my twisted duvet of a morning would indicate. Sleepbot will tell you this.

{via Google Play}

This is probably of no interest to anyone but me but the app revealed that, incidentally, a) no, b) not usually* and c) not especially.

I say not usually... one recording last week featured a whispered voice at about 4am that only sounds a little bit like mine... Spooky.

Rewatching | Pitch Perfect

Not a Christmas film by any stretch (unless you, like me, are able to draw parallels with the choir politics around this time o' year...). I love Rebel Wilson in this. (And in Bridesmaids.)

Mermaid dancing, that's a thing. Yep.

Other gems found on the internet (not always by me -- workmates Evie and Nick are also solid contributors!):

The Santa brand book -- keeping Christmas on-brand

10 common Christmas card dilemmas

What does the X in Xmas symbolise?

Bilbo Baggins is a girl -- redefining gender in popular literature

Rediscovered this great article in my Evernote archives -- Why YA isn't taken seriously

10 bizarre items found in cool offices (a slide and a plastic llama would definitely make me more productive)

Michael Morpurgo to be Booktrust President -- yay!

I think this has been kicking around on the internet for a while but still: Dad illustrates the bizarre things he says to his children

That's all for now -- so it just remains for me to wish you a very QUIRKY CHRISTMAS, reader(s)!


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