Just in case some of my readers have had their head in a bucket for the last month (and if you read this blog regularly you’re highly likely to be the sort of person that does that), I’ll quickly explain that Twanta was a sort of Secret Santa thingy arranged over Twitter. All @captain_doodle’s idea. Accepting gifts from strangers, just like your Mum told you not to. And many thanks to him for collecting the photos for me, since I was away at the time.
One of the unexpected, and wonderful things about Twanta was the way it brought lots of you together in a sort of virtual party. Lots of new friends were made, I’m sure over the course of the month. Sadly, at the time of writing, a few people had yet to receive their gift (or at least hadn’t posted a pic), mostly delayed by Snowmageddon. These unfortunates were @hunyock, @kimnmilward and @heidivodka. Feel their pain. OK, here we go, in (sort of) alphabetical order. Just about everybody wants to know their benefactor, so I gave up the idea of clickable links, and will simply reveal all the fun as I type.
THIS has to have pride of place, from @jaxbourne. A mighty piece of work, featuring her Twanta gift from @mayanorange
First out of the normal blocks is @ajonesie, who received, not as you might initially think a rather strange bra, but a set of tartan floating candles. One would presume, given that they are tartan and flamey, that the sender is a Scottish arsonist. Step forward and take a bow, @lettyp1. No chance of a shot of you enjoying these in the bath, then?
Over on the right there are pics of the lovely Welsh love spoon & Welsh slate coaster that @alliterative received from his “twanta”. They are gorgeous. You probably think the sender was Welsh, and you’d be right, for twas no other than @cymraescoch. Erm… exactly what do you DO with a Welsh love spoon? Sounds kinky.
Now whenever @alliterative pops up, the delectable @avensarah can’t be far behind – ah, here she comes now. On the left I couldn’t resist showing Mark with his Welsh goodies (and Tintin jumper), and on the right our very own @avensarah, eagerly clutching a gift she described as “a lovely luxury”. Tis a box of Green & Black chocs which Aven wasted no time digging into and declaring “delicious”. Nice choice, @davidtims!
Here’s a bit of a WTF gift, received by @andromedababe – tis an “ally against Psychorobin and a perpetual snowman”. The gift caused much laughter, and Melanie says “Thank you secret twanta!”. This was the second pressie sent out by Mel’s benefactor, since the first arrived broken, so BIG thanks should go to the admirable @ameadey, for twas she.
@aniakovas had to wait a wee while, but when it arrived the wait was worth it I imagine. I wonder how many drinks were prompted by the new ability to produce Space Invader ice “cubes”? I also wonder if there’s some sort of drinking game that could be invented using these? Sorry. My mind, eh? @xkylet was the fun-minded twanta here.
Science Putty?! Wow! Apparently this stuff, which @ariadnes_web was lucky enough to be sent, “has an incredible range of properties; bounces, stretches and moulds; melts and forms a pool; and changes colour with the warmth of your hands”. Melts and forms a pool, eh? I’ve known a few women like that ha ha. Wonder what colour it goes, and whether it changes colour in other warm places apart from your hands? Good choice, @hollylightly.
“Thank you very much” says @babymakingfiles, “something for me AND for the baby!” Which are you going to nick, eh? OK, I can just about make out that there’s an elephant on the right, but what the heck’s that creature on the left? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Some sort of weird-ass dog? Oh, wait a minute! Do you think it’s meant to be a reindeer? It probably is, isn’t it? If it is, it’s a reindeer in dire need of a big wee, given the way it’s holding its knees together. Emma, you should direct your thanks across the ocean to @ajonesie for sending you the nice non-specific creature.
@captain_doodle raises his cone-shaped head to peep “Here’s my ace pressie. Spot on!”, and furthermore goes on to show us the delights to be found inside the couldn’t-be-more-appropriate-tome. I imagine he then toddled off to the toybox to get out his crayons. This was the perfect gift for our good Captain, sent by a non-Twitter participant in New Zealand, my good friend and belly-dancer Ann. She said “Oooh, I must share. As I said, the exchange rate made me dead lucky on that day. Twantamaster, that sounds so rude, twantamaster. You know, I don’t say twanta like santa, I say twanta like t-want-a. So wrong. I’m just surprised more didn’t join, such a cool idea, exciting. The only thing that buggered me us is the customs sticker, I had to put a price and ‘book’. Pffft. The red tapers certainly try to kill the joy don’t they?” She’s a good talker too.
“I’d like to know who bought me this gorgeous Santa decoration” pleads @crofty, “I love it. Here it is on centre stage on our tree – my twanta must have spied on us for it to be so perfect!”. So @crofty’s got a stalker, eh? Probably watches you as you go about your daily ablutions. Goes through your bins after midnight looking for clues about your particular bents. And who is this Peeping Tom? To look at her, you’d think butter wouldn’t melt, but @rosamundi certainly stalked @Crofty with skilland determination and, it has to be said, huge success.
Weird Christmas sock alert! Weightlifty in theme, they were apparently “apt on so many levels, my twanta is one sharp cookie” according to the recipient, one @davidtims. Of course, if there really were sharp cookies, they’d be wildly dangerous and intensely scary. Just like the sender of these socky goodies, come to think of it, one Mister @jamerz3294 from Michigan, who lives right next to a mahoosive lake #randomirrelevantfacts
Who likes Toy Story? We all do of course, which is why we’re all as jealous as frak of @doodledawne, who received this lovely mouse mat – which has since been stolen by her daughter. Clever @mrpeterwood was the man who chose this particularly pleasing gift. Not quite sure why it’s shaped like a slice of bread at the top – perhaps it can be toasted in order to… oh, I dunno. I have no idea where I’m going with this one. And, *end para*
Given that bees are disappearing at a frightening rate, @ericafairs must have been overjoyed to receive her very own to build. In fact, she was even inspired to go “Bzzz bzzz. Bring out the Blue Peter fingers. Thank you!”. Presumably adding stickyback plastic to the contents of the box, one assumes that by now she has built her bee, got fed up of it collecting dust, and chucked it out. Shame, as I’d have liked to have seen the finished item, given that it was I, Monsieur Wombat, who sent it to her.
More craft in store for our next recipient, whose Twanta obviously did some research back into @Fbishwife’s timeline. Balloon animals? Yes please! I do hope you’re able to make a balloon wombat. And is that also some elegant soap I see perching merrily atop the box? Niiiice. “Thank you v much twanta”says Kelly, “Junior is gonna love me making these”. An excellent choice of gift by @little_mavis.
Over on the right is a video of @fraggle_red23’s gift of “Hydrophobic Sand” in action. You’ll have to lie on your left side to see it properly, but it’s well worth the effort to see the weird stuff. And because she’s a very lucky lady she got two gifts, the second this gorgeous hand knitted tiny stocking on your left. From Canada, too, courtesy of the generous @avensarah.
The mighty @Gib46 loudly proclaims “My twanta pressie is magic dudes!” before eating a big nane and flinging some poo. Here, his gift is modelled by his able assistants, who sadly are not named, so I will call them Talulah Swatheblade and Jeff. Jeff looks a little cold, don’t you think? This fiery demon of a skateboard was thought appropriate for simian use by @talojo.
“Lovely glass wine glass charms and bottle stoppers” says @greythorne, which sounds like one of those “Calls of Old London Town”. You know the sort of thing – *adopts Dick van Dyke ‘gorblimeyrubberduck’ voice* – “Squeeze Me Lovely Juicy Oranges, Penny a Poke!”, “Fresh Cat Meat, Piping Hot!”, ““Lovely Glass Wine Glass Charms and Bottle Stoppers!”. Hullo there, young street urchin! What day is this?… oh sorry… ahem… back on planet earth, the blogger Wombat comes to his senses and explains that these were sent by @hunyock.
This is a bit creepy, actually – it appears to be a snowman that grows… well, I don’t know what the hell it is that it’s growing. I suppose it might be – snow? Some sort of alien, Quatermass snow? Anyway, @hollylightly seems delighted by her gift – “My lurvly twanta present – Stage 1, and Stage 3 of my Twanta snowman. He’s looking snowy!” The strange person responsible for Lumpy Len is the brilliant @fraggle_red23.
Lucky boy @inhumanbeing received four pressies – a cat charity shopping trolley ‘coin’ cum keyring (“Superb! No more hunting for pound coins at Morrisons”), some Jellie Bellies (Sweeties! “Nomnomnomnom”), a Santa key (I have NO idea what that is, but Bob said “No more burnt bottoms for Santa as he tries to climb into my stove”), and the item I have pictured on the left, where Harvey cat is busy getting intimate with his new Cat Toy Turkey. Just about to rip the living giblets out of it, by the look of things. Harvey should thank @starlitwolf for the lovely gift.
This is pretty cool – @ironthighs received not only an excellent handbag torch, for those awkward “dark handbag” emergencies, but also a friendly letter from her benefactor. Click on the photo to see the large version if you’re the sort of perv who gets off on reading other people’s private correspondence. That’s what I did. Oh, it’s from @crofty, by the way.
More Quatermass stuff! @JohnRands_TMTL tells us that he was sent Silicone Putty, which apparently is “awesome- its malleability is inversely proportional to force applied”. Sounds just like me after a couple of single-malts. It was that @matt_cochr what sent it, guv.
Here’s that lovely @julietims, showing her “superb twanta gift in action”. I don’t know about you, but I can’t decide whether the gift was the booze, the rather cute little bottle-jacket, the dinky plates, or the shiny shiny glasses. Ah, wait a minute – the table. What a superb Twanta gift – a table! And if they followed the guidelines, a table for less than a fiver! Mind you, the postage must have been huge, cos I don’t think a table would fit through that little slot, would it? This amazing bargain was spotted by @macjude.
Who remembers Crystal Tipps and Alistair? Certainly @LettyP1 does, and she is delighted to say that her present “couldn’t have been more perfect”. Hurray! That Crystal Tipps looks a bit of a goer. It says this “Together they hatch spectacular peacocks, throw custard pies at one another, poke each other with extended tickling sticks and float high in the sky in giant bubbles.” at Toonhound. Great choice, @toffeegirluk.
“Here’s my lil monkey cable tidy from my very kind twanta, as modelled by idiot boy cat” says @lilianlouvaine, helpfully captioning her own photograph. The cute gift was provided by thoughtful old @gib46. My, what a lovely looking pussy!
Hey look, it’s another pussy! Bit scarier this one, all green-stripey. The bird is very pretty, n’est-ce pas? @MacJude says “My wonderful twanta gifts – very touched – Thank you”. See? Always said she was touched. @ariadnes_web obviously knew that too.
I’m not sure simian paws find delicate adjustment easy. Witness the display on your right. There’s @MannyMunkeh – we’ll let him explain the apparent chaos. “Check it out dudes, I got a bit tangled in the lights but it’s meant to say Happy Christmas”. Yeees… possibly the only one who knows what it’s meant to be is the sender, @babymakingfiles.
OK, this one on the left is both disturbing and fascinating. It was sent to @matt_cochr who, after (I’m sure) a moment of WTF?, discovered that his twanta gift was “shower gel cunningly disguised as blood. It smells very nice though, thank you Twanta”. Wonder what it does smell like? What a shame that we can’t add a scratch ’n’ sniff capability to web-pages. Porn sites would be …. no Wombat, don’t go there. @tonihill79 was the imaginative gift-giver here.
Here’s @mrchambers , a cheerful chappie indeed after receiving – monkeys! “Turn your humble key into a monkey!! Genius!” he gushes, before (probably) going on to name them all things like Manny, Monty, or Tracey. The blue one looks like a Piers to me. After all that, you’ll not be the slightest bit surprised to be told that the sender was @mannymunkeh. Dudes.
“Thank you so much to the person who sent me this” says @mrpeterwood, clutching his Wallace and Grommitt DVD gratefully. Cracking Twanta, Grommitt! I assume, given the five pound limit, that @aniakovas did not send the television as well, unless it’s actually a facsimile made from washing-up liquid bottles and stickyback plastic.
Over on the right, you may have to look a little more closely (click for a bigger version) to see that this twanta also has a monkey theme. What was it about monkeys this Christmas? “To arms, my Monkey Brethren!” declaims @rosamundi’s new fridge magnet, also depicting a simian who has learned to use a crossbow. I also wonder whether @alliterative (for it was he) also sent the shopping list. WTF’s “dishwasher salt”?
NEXT! Awww, tis a teeny weeny sexy shoe, or “my beautiful gift” according to @sarahpez. Whomsoever this slipper fits, shall be the tiniest queen ever. What’s the coin thing, I’m wondering? Perhaps Sarah can tell us or, if it was included in the gift, the sender @andromedababe will be kind enough to provide enlightenment.
Before I looked closely at @starlitwolf’s gift (on the right) I thought she’d been sent a pair of handcuffs (go on, squint a bit – you’ll see). Extremely disappointed to discover they were spectacles, then delighted again to see who was modelling them. “My Ultra Fabulous Highly Fashionable twanta gift! ROTFL! Loved them!” is M’s opinion of her present, which was sent by @ericafairs.
I’ll let @talojo comment on her gift (left) – “Here’s me reading my twanta – an original (& v amusing) Minnesotan poem about Kris-Moose – it’s svell!” I’ll bet it’s fun to read aloud, as the sender is great at such readings – yes, ladies and gentlemen, @butmadnnw sent this.
@ToffeegirlUK whispers, in her sultry voice, “Thank you so much for my lovely, creative Twanta gift! That’s my favourite pic too!”. Probably she didn’t use her sultry voice, actually. Probably that’s just my pervy subconscious inventing stuff again. Nice present, @jaxbourne…. erm… what is it?
Look, it’s that object of every red-blooded male’s fantasies, @Tonihill79. What are you clutching there, Toni? “My Twanta present, thankyou very much to whoever sent it!!!!” she replies. I can’t quite see what it is, so I’m going to the bigger pic – I suggest you do that too. Oh, it’s a cute little hot water bottle! It’s lovely! Nice send, @sarahpez.
If there’s one among you that doesn’t go “Awwww!” at this photograph, then you have no soul. It’s @widget53’s Em modelling the beautiful scarf she received from her twanta. “We both love it” she says, and it is very lovely. Hand-knitted, too, courtesy of the nimble-fingered @julietims.
My very gorgeous friend in New Zealand, Ann, was chuffed to little mint balls with her twanta gift – postcards by Tom Gauld; very English. She says “here is a pic of me in my ‘Nerds need love too’ top with my FAVE postcard. They were a set of 12 by Tom Gauld. I love them to bits. They thrill me something chronic. I am going to frame some, probably those three, maybe four in one of those quad frames. I am thoroughly impressed that my TWANTA (still sounds rude to me) worked out that I am 100%, unashamedly Nerd. Nerd and Proud”. Feel proud, @greythorne.
“I proper adore my #twanta gift” @ameadey tells us. “This person must have been reading my tweets! Penfold & Lego? Perfect” Indeed, Audrey, that person stalking you was @fbishwife, bless her little cotton socks.
On your right, Mister @jamerz3294 – “What a great gift! Sage advise for all Rudy nosed blokes?” says he. But then he’s a mad American. The perfect gift for him from @lilianlouvaine – a book of quotations.
Our good friend @butmadnnw says, in response to her gift “Thank you, twanta. I’m choosing to believe this came from a Tower raven. Who has ink?”. The Tower raven in this instance was @johnrands_tmtl.
Ok, last couple now – first @little_mavis’s, on the left there. “Thank-you #Twanta – Brilliant! This will keep me busy for ages”. Actually, I’ve read it all and it’s thrilling! So many empowered girls – phwoar! Ideal choice, @ironthighs – thank you so much.
OH DOUBLE FRAK! Also nearly missed my lovely @cymraescoch, who says “I’m cold with ‘stomach’ pain. The perfect answer? Why it’s my #twanta present 😀 diolch yn fawr / thank you x” There’s her gift on the right, sent to her by @widget53.
OH TRIPLE FRAK! We started with @mayanorange, and here’s her gift on the left. “Light up the sky like a flame… Why is that song stuck in my head?” she says. How would I know? I never watched Fame every week and certainly never sang along all the time. Lovely gift from @mrchambers.
Phew. Now for some ALKYHOL! In addition, @lookatmeimmaryb has no camera, but wants to pass on her thanks to @doodledawne.