It's A Dad's Lot


So, today I have one boy serving in the Army, one boy who has decided to go on a pre Christmas trip travelling around the Ukraine of all places and a daughter who, for unknown reasons best known to herself, has decided to go to a football match of all things.

Who should I worry about most?

I have in the meantime, in a sole effort, successfully erected the Christmas tree this afternoon...... not that anyone is here to share the moment this year.... perhaps next weekend!



She's a chesty wee thing and she can certainly sing.

I ticked the ‘I’ve been to a pop concert,’ box a few years ago when I sat on the grass at Wisley with a chum, (front row), and a bottle of Tattinger to jolly things along, while we bathed in the sunshine and smiles that Katherine Jenkins brings to tired old bodies. In fact, I liked it so much I went back the next year to see her at Hampton Court. She can certainly throw out a tune or two. So, I’m pleased to see that she has been named the number one classical music artist of the last 25 years by Classic FM, (can you believe it’s 25 years since Classic FM was launched?). I think I had something to do with that… the two certainties of a Crumble Christmas are that every year I will receive socks and a Katherine Jenkins CD. I now have a few. 

Christmas; I'm Here To Help!


Christmas is apparently hurtling toward us and once more we must brace ourselves and draw upon our deepest reserves of tolerance and good humour to navigate our way through the festive battlefield. Whatever you do, don't panic. I'm here to help and as an experienced operator I'm happy to share my native guile and cunning thus ensuring that we all survive December intact financially, morally and spiritually. Let's start with luxury gifts.

funny that..... he doesn't have ink on his hands....

funny that..... he doesn't have ink on his hands....

Obviously, the post Brexit decline in Sterling has provided the luxury goods industry with a reasonable excuse to raise prices. Unfortunately, some have raised them by unreasonable levels. Not withstanding that many will still throw themselves into the jaws of penury by shopping in Bond Street and good luck to them. Some of you might be considering buying a nice fountain pen for a loved one, friend or significant other. Here's a tip, unless you are into finger painting, avoid Mont Blanc. I have a Mont Blanc fountain pen. A very nice Mont Blanc fountain pen in fact. Unfortunately, it has a rudimentary design flaw. Every time I use it I get ink on my hands which is bloody irritating. So I don't use it. Instead, I bought a £15 Lamy fountain pen which is immaculate. I liked it so much I bought another two so I've always got one to hand. The Mont Blanc is x40 the cost of the Lamy. I'll leave you to ponder.

I though, have ink on my hands.

I though, have ink on my hands.

My experience of so called precision engineering out of Switzerland hasn't been a roaring success. My shiny IWC chronograph, (you know the ones, supposed to make you look like you jump into a fast jet cockpit in your spare time as a test pilot for Red Bull), stopped working after two years. At the cost of a small mortgage I shipped it back for repair and in the time it takes to pay off a small mortgage it eventually found it's way back to me.  Then the second-hand fell off. I put it in a drawer where it has spent the last ten years and it can stay there for another ten. 

All is not lost for the Swiss though. Here's a little widget which is well engineered, indispensable to any household and won't break the bank. She'll love you if you buy her one of these,  some Rubis splinter tweezers with an 8x magnifying glass, (Make-up artist Bobbi Brown described them as the Ferrari of tweezers and they're great for modelling and small appliance repairs). Perhaps I should use them to attempt a home repair on the watch. How difficult can it be?

Schmaltz Season

It's Christmas and of course, it's the season for sugary, schmaltzy stories, clips and pictures and why not? Goodness knows we have to contend with enough of the other stuff during the rest of the year. No one does cheesy schmaltz better than the Americans and with the odd exception, its to there we look for this big hit in one fix of Christmas Clips from Crumble, starting with the incredible one above in which country singer Martina MacBride goes back in time to sing with Elvis. So, grab a tissue or two, sit back and enjoy.

When faced with a tough decision, will these kids pick a Christmas gift for themselves or give it up for a gift for their family?,

Sometimes the best gifts are not received, but given!

Signing Santa

A 5-year-old became an Internet sensation overnight for doing what she says is "easy for her." Claire Koch used sign language during her Christmas pageant to share what she was singing with her deaf parents.

Members of SAE, a fraternity at UCLA, are helping to make the hospital stay for a 12-year-old girl battling cancer a little brighter. 

Helping hand

A STAR 102.5 Christmas Wish for David Schmitz and family from the late Brenda Schmitz. 

Crisis Over Downton Christmas Special

Which one is Carson?

(Correct answer will be picked at random out of a hat and the unlucky winner will be tied to a chair and made to watch the Downton Abbey Christmas Special twice)

Mrs Flashbang issued an ultimatum last night over dinner. Adopting teenagespeak she said, rather sternly, “I’m just putting it out there, but whatever happens on Christmas Day, I’m watching Downton Abbey at 9 o’clock.” Silence followed until the youngest boy bravely went on the offensive with, “So, that means we won’t be having our annual family Monopoly argument then?”

Bloody Downton Abbey; I can’t stand it. It’s a pernicious attack on normal family life and I can see the boys and I will be forced to adapt our normal Christmas routine and retreat to the nether regions of the house to build, assemble and repair something that was unwrapped earlier in the day. With this in mind I may well have to do a quick reappraisal of the Christmas gift list and augment it with something suitable. Incidentally, anyone else noticed that the daft butler Carson bears more than a striking resemblance to Parker in Thunderbirds? The only difference is Parker was more realistic.