Day 359: The Nike For Christmas

(Once more, it’s a pun that works better if you say Nike the American way – Nikey)

December 25 main

Listening to the endless carols on TV last night it suddenly occurred to me how “Ding Dong Merrily On High” sounds less like something celebrating “the birth of our Lord” and more like the lyrics to some ’60s psychedelic pop song. I bet various members  of the Rolling Stones were extremely ding dong merrily on high on various Christmases over their careers.

Anyway, Christmas morning and no presents open yet, part from the ones above which I was given special dispensation of so I could do Sole of Sci-Fi. Present opening today is scheduled for post lunch, which is some form of mental torture frowned upon by the European Court Of Human Rights, surely?

Staying off the internet tonight, so that I don’t have to read the comments after my Doctor Who review. I loved it, and was very generous with the star rating, so I’m bound to be called all sorts of names when everyone else hates it. But I’m sticking to my guns; tonight is the third time I will have seen it and I’m looking forward to finally watching in HD with as much anticipation as a Christmas Special I haven’t seen at all. Especially the dance routine.

But I liked “Love And Monsters” so what do I know?

Dalek Christmas Card

Happy Christmas for tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,455 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

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Day 358: Vans Labyrinth

Christmas Eve… and a not very Christmassy tree…

Heart of Summer

Christmas Eve, and I was expecting to give you a placeholder pics like one below, but then the Vans Labyrinth gag wormed its way into my brain. I couldn’t resist.

December 24 plainOnly a week left of the challenge to go after today. I’m looking forward to having two hours of my day back again. And I still haven’t decided how to celebrate the last day. Well, how to celebrate online, anyway. I’ve got a good idea how I’ll be celebrating in real life.

And SFX has managed to sneak in one extra piece of freelance work for me between Christmas and New Year too. I’ll have to make sure that’s finished before celebrating.

Happy Christmas for tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,455 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

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Day 357: Bounty Hunters

Whoops! I should really look where I’m stepping… 

December 23 main

Brief blog today as I’m travelling back to the parents’ imminently. With many bags.* On the train. This’ll be fun. Some comfy camo Cons for the journey.

(* They’re not just full of presents, but trainers as well… See what I have to sacrifice for this challenge!)

bag of trainers

 

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,455 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

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Day 356: Snow Shoes

Ice ice baby…

December 22 main

 

Wow, great day for new donations! The actual sponsor site is still lagging behind by £30 because I still haven’t added the £30 I collected in cash the other night, but for some reason my own sponsorship page won’t let me donate! In any case, look how near the total is to one and a half grand now. You look make me proud!

Today’s trainers are a pair of Adidas Revenergy, which at any other time of the year would probably have inspired a “Revenge Of The Sith” photo and headline, but with Christmas so near, the colourway just made me think of ice and snow. They’re on loan from Simon Withers and he hasn’t even worn them yet! They’re also the smallest size nines I’ve ever worn…

Went to bed in a sulk last night because Mark won The Apprentice. Oh goody, just what the world needs – another self-appointed SEO guru. I think next year I may well try to put my idea for an “Ignore Page One Day” campaign into action (as long as Apple don’t mind it being shortened to IPOD – I’ll make sure there’s o lower case “I”).

Here’s a prediction: in a year’s time, if do a Google search on “Improve my SEO”, I bet Climb Online ain’t on the first page. Or the second.

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,455 (new donations from Rhian Drinkwater, Sam Blanchard, Tara Hobson and Jonathan Applet – thank you so much and merry Christmas)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

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Day 355: Busy Sunday

Basically, today is a placeholder…

December 21 main

 

Right, today’s effort was a quick “go out in the garden and grab what you can” effort, for two reasons. First, I am very, very busy today. I have four reviews to write (Doctor Who Christmas special, Dominion season one plus this week’s UK episodes of The Flash and SHIELD) plus a sci-fi quiz for the SFX website. Admitted I did think of making life easier on myself by writing “crap” 250 times for Dominion, but I’m (slightly) more professional than that. I can’t write them tomorrow was I have a day of Christmas activities planned for tomorrow – not buying presents, but preparing some special as a kind of present for various people – and I’m going back to the parents the day after that.

Plus, I’ve been putting tons of effort into the blog over the past couple of weeks, and I think I’ve maxed out on donations. I hope not, but I’m not getting much response now (notably nothing from those thousands of Who fans who’ve visited the site over the past few days, the tight gits) so there’s not much reason to put much effort in. After 355 days of breaking my back ever day to fit this in I think I can write off the rest of the year as fulfilment of the promise. Staggering across the line, as it were.

But if you want to donate, please don’t let me stop you!

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,390 (I haven’t put it on the sponsorship page yet, but was given £30 in cash last night from various people in the pub)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

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Day 354: Nike Air Maximilians

Okay, they’re not Air Maxes but let’s go with the flow…

Ready to launch!

So last night was another meeting of the writers’ group I belong to. The theme of the short stories we had to submit was “Christmas ghost stories”. I did one about a guy haunted by Slade’s “Merry Christmas Everbody”. You will know true horror!

Flushed with success after how well my last effort went down, I once again knocked out the story in a couple of hours yesterday afternoon. This time, though, my short story was the worst on offer, and that despite the fact that one of the others was only half written. I was genuinely in awe of the writing my group mates had produced. There was some simply glowing prose going on.

Oh the other hand, my story did feature the gag: “…so loud it became a WMD – weapon of musical destruction.”

Griffin keep out signThe pub also has the worst “Keep Out” sign I’ve even seen. It was almost guaranteed not to keep me out. Who wouldn’t want to open this door?

None of which has anything to do with today’s image, and that because it’s just an image and headline I’ve wanted to use for ages, and now seems as good a time as any.

I know it’s not a good time of year to nag, but you’re running out of time to sponsor me!

See you tomorrow!

Donate buttonUsual Begging Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,390 (I haven’t put it on the sponsorship page yet, but was given £30 in cash last night from various people in the pub)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

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Day 353: All You Need Is Love And Monsters

Beatles Vans and Christmas Doctor Who titbits…

December 19 main

Admittedly today’s Beatles Vans really should have been accompanied by Thunderbird 4 photo (a yellow submarine), but I’ve already done that (here). Plus I received an unexpected email from BBC publicity yesterday saying that spoiler-free online previews of the Doctor Who special were fine to post from today.

Well, I’m hardly going to pass up on that opportunity, especially as it’s likely to get the charity challenge a few extra hits, and, hey, you never know, maybe a bit more sponsorship. So if you are a Doctor Who fan lured here by some link somewhere, I’ve reposted my “Top Doctor Who Posts Of The Year” infographic at the bottom of this page to give you an idea what I’ve been doing all year, so please consider bunging a fiver towards Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Before getting on with my Who Christmas thoughts, here’s a closer look at the Beatles Vans, on loan from Will Guyatt and really rather fab. Geddit? Fab?

December 19 close-up beatles vans

Also fab is Doctor Who “Last Christmas”. Regular readers of this blog will know how much I loathe reviewing episodes form the BBC preview site because of the low quality, but honestly, after 10 minutes of “Last Christmas” some kind of festive magic occurred. The pixellated pictures seemed to fade and I truly felt like I was watching on Christmas night. For me, it was the perfect blueprint for a Doctor Who Christmas special – very, very Christmassy but a great classic Doctor Who story to boot.

And – crucially – it has real heart. I’ve always been impressed by Steven Moffat’s plotting, ideas and dialogue, but thought that Russell T Davies had the edge when it came to emotional scenes. But not here. There are scenes that are packed with emotion, without spilling over into gloopy sentimentality. The relationship between the Doctor and Clara is especially sweet with a wonderful pay-off.

7507074-low_res-I’d go as far to sat it’s my Capaldi Doctor Who story yet, and possibly my favourite Christmas special. It’s both gloriously silly and incredibly creepy; at times I was thinking, “This is going out at 6.15pm???” Father Christmas is Father Christmas through and through, and Nick Frost gets some great lines. Whether he’s real or not…? Well, that’s all part of the fun.

Here are a few non-spoilery teasers in good old SFX-style:

• There’s the return of an old favourite from previous Christmas specials, and it’s more prominent than ever

• There’s an absolutely glorious song and dance routine (I’m not joking, but neither does that quite mean what you might think it means)

• At least two plot elements scream: “This is not the last you’ll be seeing of this…”

• Nathan McMullen from Misfits makes a brilliant elf but Dan Starkey’s teeth are off-putting because you keep thinking, “Don’t they belong to Strax?”

• If you’re thinking something reminds you of something then somebody in the episode does to, though the Doctor doesn’t because he’s never heard of it and think it’s racist

• There’s a shot of The Tower Of Westminster (aka, Big Ben to non-pedants) that’s the stuff of Christmas legend

• It’s very, very twisty turny…

• It features a particular thing regularly used in film and TV (a production thing, not a script thing) that usually prompts critics to write, “God the [redacted] was awful!” But not here. It’s very good indeed

• The Doctor calls somebody unexpected sexy

• And if you haven’t heard already, the title of the next episode is revealed

These things are all relative. I loved it; some heartless Scrooges will not doubt hate it. I can only say that personally I was totally won over by it; it hit all the right notes for me, and I cannot wait to see it in high definition on Christmas Day (when, maybe, the thing that I thought looked really good may not look quite as good… but hopefully not).

DOCTOR WHO 2014 B

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,360

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

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