Category Archives: Christmas

SundayPix Special–#SUNDAYPIXtwanta

Twanta ClausIt’s CHRISTMAS! Well, nearly. All of this year’s Twantadors have proved worthy and sent a gift across the miles, often to a complete stranger. As I write this there are just nine presents still in transit, although a few of those might already be safely at their destination, yet unreported. After such a bumhole of a year, this has done my ancient paper-dry heart a world of good. Thank you, you lovely sods.

On Christmas Day (yes it’s on Sunday!) we’ll have a special edition of SundayPix. Post a photograph of your pressie on Twitter using the hashtag #SUNDAYPIXtwanta, and I’ll tell you who sent it. If you don’t want your identity revealed to your Twantee, let me know and you can remain forever a Secret Twanta.

@lgh95's Alfie taking a very strong liking to her presentYou can check the hashtag throughout the day to join in with the seventh year of Twanta’s special blend of comfort and joy. There’ll also be a Pinterest board building up throughout the day, and probably a Twitter Moment if I can work out what the hell that is.

Happy Christmas, everyone x

#TWANTA2016 twantadors

HHsqVVW1For those who like to disguise their Twantee stalking by following more than one new twantador, or even those who like to make new friends, here’s a list of this year’s participants.

 

@_inno @_polyhymnia @alexbrightsmith @alliterative @ananizapta @anise44 @auldyth @avensarah @AzzaThePirate @bieredeluxe @bilbobaggins2k @bywordandstitch @captain_doodle @cara_erin @carly_whyborn @cdlcreative @chrisridd @confusedlinnet @cumbrianblondie @davidtims @dawbes @dawn1968 @dbrereton @dutch_bitch @ericafairs @evermoreanon @fannyingabout @fisher1946 @fizzandnonsense @gemmajoobjoob @gingerfig @ginlington @gordon_t_miller @greythorne @hols1983 @iainlj @Im_Gggrr @jaxbourne @JustSJP @katobell @kimnmilward @kirstyhalton @kizletwiggle @kjcollard @kykaree @landladycheryl @leontia2001 @lgh95 @louisehector @LucieMR @magentakoru @mallrat_uk @marmotbiscuits @mavisdee @monbling @mrsashboroscat @mrssimontemplar @MsSJH @NicolaCubes @nikkisinclair64 @ninjaworrier @nyncompoop @phantom_blonde @poorlittlenell @pricklyemu @rachamuffin @sarahtregear @sarahv1982 @secretstef @squeakysays @starlitwolf @stickymitts @sumarumi @Sundayhandbag @superkrispydj @taffy3rock @tajasel @tauntongardener @teddy_red @theeastanglian @tjathurman @waysidehealer @woodpeckergreen @xx_ItsOnlyMe_xx

JINGLY BALLS! #Twanta2016 is go.

Doodle and Wombat enjoy last year's Twanta Fancy Dress PartyJingly balls, jingly balls, jingly up your way. It’s time for #TWANTA2016 to shove another tree up another fairy’s frock and display his shiny balls for the seventh time. For the uninitiated, it was all @captain_doodle’s idea. There he is on the right, the sexpot. Those taking part in Twanta send a cheap but fun gift to someone that I nominate, possibly a complete stranger, and in return they receive a similar pressie from someone else. TWitter secret sANTA, see? As usual I’ll link you to the blog post from @davidtims from a few years ago which beautifully sums up the spirit of Twanta.

FOR NOW, JUST TELL ME IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART so that I can add you to the Master Wallchart here at Twanta Towers. I’ll give people a few weeks to join, and you’ll receive the name of your Twantee shortly after that, deffo before the end of October. Those of you who are old hands will know all this already, but for the sake of completeness here’s a reminder of how the whole thing works.

One of a previous year's impressive gifts.Star You must have specifically asked me, and I must have confirmed that you’re taking part before you can join in. I reserve the right to reject anyone that I suspect of being dodgy. This is an attempt to avoid the slight wobble that happened several years back for two of our lovely twantadors (see below for a glossary of terms).

Star Make sure you follow @twanta2016 on Twitter. He (it’s me really, but don’t tell the little tweeters. Let’s not spoil the magic, eh?) will follow you back. DM your address to him so that he can pass it on to your own Secret Twanta. I do remember some of your addresses from last year, but once #Twanta2016 is over I will always delete the addresses of those who ask. If the Twitter Unfollow Bug has caused @twanta2016 to unfollow you, let me know so that I can correct that.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Tell me if there are any mortal enemies that you don’t want to be paired with. We don’t want to be responsible for any “INCIDENTS”. You can also make special requests (e.g. if you’re allergic to chocolate, or perhaps you don’t want to post anything to a different country). We are a benign Santa, and will accept all reasonable requests.

Star Very occasionally things go awry, and when that happens Twanta Fairies step in to send a gift at short notice. Please also let us know if you would be happy to be a volunteer Fairy, should any be required (though that’s not very likely).

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Once @twanta2016 has everyone’s address, he’ll DM you to let you know for whom you are buying a gift (grammar), together with their address. You might want to spend a little while researching their timeline to find out a little bit about them. Yes, that’s a bit stalkery, but you’ll be able to make your gift a bit more personalised that way.

Star Buy a pressie for your twantee (as the recipients have somehow come to be known) and send it to them. Mark the envelope #TWANTA so they know what it is. Let @twanta2016 know that you’ve posted it (so I can keep track in case anything goes missing). It’s entirely up to you whether to remain anonymous or to expose yourself *snigger*.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Do NOT buy hugely expensive pressies (unless you’re buying for me, obv). Small, fun and imaginative is the rule of thumb, but don’t send an actual thumb. That would be hideous. I recommend spending no more than a tenner, though that of course is up to you. The photographs accompanying this post are of some previous gifts, should you need inspiration.

Star When you receive your #TWANTA pressie, again let @twanta2016 know. Challenge yourself to wait until Christmas Eve or Day to open the thing. Harness your willpower, grasshopper.

Star When your willpower fails, take a photo of your gift ready to post on Christmas Day when there will be a special SundayPix theme so that we can all follow the fun. Post the pic on Christmas Day including the hashtag #TWANTA2016 so that we can all follow the fun, and collect the pics on a special Pinterest board.

Have fun, and if it all goes tits up, remember that it was originally all the idea of that @captain_doodle, and castigate him mercilessly, not me oh no leave me alone.

Twantionary

Having trouble separating your twanta from your twantee? Completed your trifecta yet? Got no bloody idea what I’m talking about? Then this section will save you from social embarrassment akin to leaving the Ladies with your skirt tucked into the back of your knickers.

TWANTA – this word has two meanings. Firstly it is the all-encompassing name for the whole cosy event itself, although usually with the relevant year attached to its tail. Secondly, the Twanta is the person sending a gift. It is the Twanta’s own choice whether or not to remain secret.

TWANTEE – the person receiving said gift, with a smile and a song.

TWANTADOR – general term for anyone taking part.

TRIFECTA – the magic three milestones achieved by a Twantador who has (1) sent a gift, (2) learned that it has arrived, and (3) received their own.

TWUMBUG – a dirty rapscallion who fails to send a gift as promised.

FAIRY – a good-hearted TWANTADOR who volunteers to step in and provide a gift at short notice for anyone who falls victim to a TWUMBUG.

TWANTAVERSE – every bloody thing to do with Twanta. Constantly expanding.

EPISTLETOE – a hand-written letter included with the gift to add a virtual Christmas kiss and a personal touch. Not to be confused with Camel Toe, which is something entirely different.

#WOMBATSDOAMERICA 2015 Day 27

Blogging our recent US trip day by day, a month after the event.

6th December – Snow by the Missouri

Missouri snowI awoke to the news that The Shakers had won away at Rochdale in the FA Cup. It was therefore with a light heart that I climbed aboard Barry’s grasshopper* together with a huge dog (Ranger) and a tiny one (Cha Cha) for a ride along the Missouri shore. Snow still covered the river margin, sparkling in the sun, criss-crossed by the tracks of deer and wild turkey.

SunsetLater we visited Al’s Oasis again for a little shopping and more photography of ‘unusual’ American products, followed by a drive up the ridge to the west of the river for a sweeping overlook of the Missouri where it bends at Bad Hand Creek, and a magnificent sunset.

House decorated for ChristmasAs the sky darkened we made a little tour of Oacoma and Chamberlain to look at bright Christmas lights and displays. Imbued by the Christmas spirit we spent much of the evening drinking beer and binge-watching Naked and Afraid.

*totally not a euphemism. The Grasshopper is an off-road vehicle thingy. There’s a photo in this post from last year’s American adventure.

THERE ARE MORE PHOTOS OF DAY 27 HERE

Jingly balls! Time for Twanta2015

Doodle and Wombat enjoy last year's Twanta Fancy Dress PartyJingly balls, jingly balls, jingly all the way. It’s time for #TWANTA2015 to shove a tree up a fairy’s frock and display his shiny balls for the sixth time. For the uninitiated, it was all @captain_doodle’s idea. Those taking part in Twanta send a cheap but fun gift to someone that I nominate, possibly a complete stranger, and in return they receive a similar pressie from someone else. TWitter secret sANTA, see? As usual I’ll link you to the blog post from @davidtims from a few years ago which beautifully sums up the spirit of Twanta.

FOR NOW, TELL ME IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART so that I can add you to the Master Wallchart here at Twanta Central. I’ll give people a couple of weeks to join. You’ll receive the name of your Twantee shortly after that. While I’m in the States over November the redoubtable @captain_doodle will ensure the smooth running of the whole operation.

Those of you who are old hands will know all this already, but for the sake of completeness here’s a reminder of how the whole thing works.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star You must have specifically asked me, and I must have confirmed that you’re taking part before you can join in. I reserve the right to reject anyone that I suspect of being dodgy. This is an attempt to avoid the slight wobble that happened several years back for two of our lovely twantadors (see below for a glossary of terms).

Star Make sure you follow @twanta2015. He (it’s me really, but don’t tell the little tweeters. Let’s not spoil the magic, eh?) will follow you back. DM your address to him so that he can pass it on to your own Secret Twanta. We do remember some of your addresses from last year, but did delete all the addresses of those who asked. If the Twitter Unfollow Bug has caused @twanta2015 to unfollow you, let us know so that we can correct that.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Tell us if there are any mortal enemies that you don’t want to be paired with. We don’t want to be responsible for any “INCIDENTS”. You can also let us know any special requests (e.g. if you’re allergic to chocolate, or perhaps you don’t want to post anything to a different country). We are a benign Santa, and will accept all reasonable requests.

Star Very occasionally things go awry, and when that happens Twanta Fairies step in to send a gift at short notice. Please also let us know if you would be happy to be a volunteer Fairy, should any be required (though that’s not very likely).

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Once @twanta2015 has everyone’s address, he’ll DM you to let you know for whom you are buying a gift (grammar), together with their address. You might want to spend a little while researching their timeline to find out a little bit about them. Yes, that’s a bit stalkery, but you’ll be able to make your gift a bit more personalised that way.

Star Buy a pressie for your twantee (as the recipients have somehow come to be known) and send it to them. Mark the envelope #TWANTA so they know what it is. Let @twanta2015 know that you’ve posted it (so we can keep track in case anything goes missing). It’s entirely up to you whether to remain anonymous or to expose yourself.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Do NOT buy hugely expensive pressies (unless you’re buying for me, obv). Small, fun and imaginative is the rule of thumb, but don’t send an actual thumb. That would be hideous. I recommend spending no more than a tenner, though that of course is up to you. The photographs accompanying this post are of some previous gifts, should you need inspiration.

Star When you receive your #TWANTA pressie, again let @twanta2015 know. Challenge yourself to wait until Christmas Eve or Day to open the thing. Harness your willpower, grasshopper.

Star When your willpower fails, take a photo of your gift ready to post on Christmas Day or Boxing Day (that’s the day after, US peeps). Include the hashtag #TWANTA2015 so that we can collect all the pics posted and put them on a special Pinterest board.

Have fun, and if it all goes tits up, remember that it was originally all the idea of that @captain_doodle, and castigate him mercilessly, not me oh no leave me alone.

 
An epistletoeTwantionary

Having trouble separating your twanta from your twantee? Completed your trifecta yet? Got no bloody idea what I’m talking about? Then this section will save you from social embarrassment akin to leaving the Ladies with your skirt tucked into the back of your knickers.

Gift with a bow TWANTA – this word has two meanings. Firstly it is the all-encompassing name for the whole cosy event itself, although usually with the relevant year attached to its tail. Secondly, the Twanta is the person sending a gift. It is the Twanta’s own choice whether or not to remain secret.

Gift with a bow TWANTEE – the person receiving said gift, with a smile and a song.

Gift with a bow TWANTADOR – general term for anyone taking part.

Gift with a bow TRIFECTA – the magic three milestones achieved by a Twantador who has (1) sent a gift, (2) learned that it has arrived, and (3) received their own.

Gift with a bow TWUMBUG – a dirty rapscallion who fails to send a gift as promised.

Gift with a bow FAIRY – a good-hearted TWANTADOR who volunteers to step in and provide a gift at short notice for anyone who falls victim to a TWUMBUG.

Gift with a bow TWANTAVERSE – every bloody thing to do with Twanta. Constantly expanding.

Gift with a bow EPISTLETOE – a hand-written letter included with the gift to add a virtual Christmas kiss and a personal touch. Not to be confused with Camel Toe, which is something entirely different.

Christmas avis

A short collection of some of my favourite Christmas avatars from my Twitter followers. Hover over each pic to see who it is – they’re all fascinating, so give them a follow. This isn’t exhaustive, and I’ll add to it if I spot any more that speak to me.

@1GoldilocksZone@_inno@andyparmo@captain_doodle@cheshirewombat@dancludlow@dutch_bitch@hugeshark@KJCollard@LippyDeville@TC_Cornesto@Willynofriends@WitchOfScience

@little_mavis

#NuddyChristmas on Christmas Eve?

28QrapNQ_400x400Look at that innocent face (and rather fine baubly earring). Innocent-looking indeed, and yet the gobsmackingly beautiful @Gaiamojo has urged me to have #NuddyChristmas again this year after we indulged in a hugely giggly risqué Twitter thread a week or two back. Also involved, I hope, will be @chrispinto and @jo_parry_tweets

…and you, if you feel brave and full of fun. On Christmas Eve (after nine, so as not to frighten the kiddies, you are invited to join us in posting a picture of yourself naked but for something Christmassy in a strategic spot. Use the hashtag #NuddyChristmas so that people can see and comment and chat and giggle and join in.

Remember – Christmas Eve, after 9pm.

dscf1040And the ground rules remain the same – no porn (though eroticism is fine), and no posting photos of someone else without permission. Remember, there should be something Christmassy in your pic (booze will do!). Other than that, use your imagination and your wit to amuse those assembled when you post your pic on Twitter using the #NuddyChristmas hashtag. If you need ideas, check out the previous #NuddyChristmas.

FREE Wombat’s Christmas Baubles

Wombat's Christmas Baubles coverI’ve got a present for you – FREE for Kindle (for five days at least), four brief Christmassy stories from a dark, scary corner of my mind.

It was almost called Wombat’s Christmas Balls, but in the end I decided on the less icky option of Wombat’s Christmas Baubles – grab them now. Did I say it was FREE?

#Twanta14 Twantadors

nicolax-twantabiscuit-excellentHo de ho, campers. It’s getting near time I started assigning Twantees to people. If you’re in the list below and haven’t already, please DM your address to @twanta2014 (or tell him if it’s the same as last year, if you prefer).

It’d also be a fine opportunity to inform us of any special requirements you might have, such as:

  • Folk to avoid
  • Countries you’d rather post to
  • Whether you have allergies

If you want to take part but aren’t on the list below, there’s still time. If you have no idea what #TWANTA is, this post will spurt all the knowledge you need into your head.

Twantadors confirmed for #TWANTA14

@2you2me2you @alexbrightsmith @alliterative @ananizapta
@AvenSarah @azzathepirate @basdriver @bexagin
@bilbobaggins2k @ByWordAndStich @captain_doodle @Cara_Erin
@cobain_10 @davidtims @doodledawne @doodledawne’s Em
@dbrereton @dutch_bitch @ellieexhibition @ericafairs
@FannyIngAbout @fisher1946 @gingerfig @greythorne
@Grumpy_Mel @Hols1983 @Hugeshark @IainLJ
@jamerz3294 @jayalay @JudgeTread @julieanon
@kirstyhalton @KJCollard @landladycheryl @lardychap
@LEJamez @lilianlouvaine @LizzyWelshCake @LouiseHector
@LucieMR @luggermatt @monbling @MrPeterWood
@MrsActive @MrsAshborosCat @NicolaCubes @nyncompoop
@och23 @Owlbird @pariahsickkid @phantom_blonde
@poorlittlenell @pricklyemu @rachaelkanute @Rachamuffin
@sarahhanner @SarahTregear @SarahV1982 @secretstef
@spiffykates @starlitwolf @sundayhandbag @superblouse
@teddy_red @TheFlossieTP @theweeyin15 @Tsaksonakis
@underbundle @waysidehealer @wombat37 @xx_ItsOnlyMe_xx
       

#TWANTA14 – and so it begins…

twantaJingly balls, jingly balls, jingly all the way. It’s time for #TWANTA14 to shove a tree up a fairy’s frock and display his shiny balls for the fifth time. For the uninitiated, it was all @captain_doodle’s idea. Those taking part in #TWANTA send a cheap but fun gift to someone that I nominate, possibly a complete stranger, and they receive a similar pressie from someone else. TWitter secret sANTA, see? As usual I’ll link you to the blog post from @davidtims five years ago which sums up the feeling of Twanta.

FOR NOW, JUST TELL ME IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART. You can also make any special requests, such as the avoidance of individuals who might be mortal enemies, or perhaps you do not want to send anything abroad. I am a benign Santa, and will accept all reasonable requests. Here’s a reminder of how it all works.

Star You must have specifically asked me, and I must have confirmed that you’re taking part before you can join in. I reserve the right to reject anyone that I suspect of being dodgy. This is an attempt to avoid the slight wobble that happened a couple of years ago for two of our lovely twantadors. See below for a glossary of terms.

alliterative-heres-a-close-up_thumbStar Make sure you follow @twanta2014. He (it’s me really, but don’t tell the little tweeters. Let’s not spoil the magic, eh?) will follow you back. DM your address to him so that he can pass it on to your own Secret Twanta. I do remember some of your addresses from last year, but obviously I deleted all the addresses of those who asked me so to do. If the Twitter Unfollow Bug has caused @twanta2014 to unfollow you, let me know so that I can correct that.

Star Tell me if there’s anyone taking part that you don’t want to be paired with. I don’t want to be responsible for any “INCIDENTS”.

Star Once I have everyone’s address, I’ll DM you to let you know for whom you are buying a gift (grammar), together with their address. You might want to spend a little while researching their timeline to find out a little bit about them. Yes, that’s a bit stalkery, but you’ll be able to make your gift a bit more personalised that way.

b_wildered-brian-look-at-my-brilliant-_twanta2013-gift-yo-thank-you-x_thumb1Star Buy a pressie for your twantee (as the recipients have somehow come to be known) and send it to them. Mark the envelope #TWANTA so they know what it is. Let @twanta2014 know that you’ve posted it (so I can keep track in case anything goes missing). It’s entirely up to you whether to remain anonymous or to expose yourself.

Star Do NOT buy hugely expensive pressies (unless you’re buying for me, obv). Small, fun and imaginative is the rule of thumb, but don’t send an actual thumb. That would be hideous. I recommend spending no more than a tenner, though that of course is up to you. The photographs accompanying this post are of some previous gifts, should you need inspiration.

Star When you receive your #TWANTA pressie, again let @twanta2014 know. Challenge yourself to wait until Christmas Eve or Day to open the thing. Harness your willpower, grasshopper.

waywardlouStar When your willpower fails, take a photo of your gift ready to post on Christmas Day or Boxing Day (that’s the day after, US peeps). Include the hashtag #TWANTA14 so that I can collect all pics posted. I will (eventually) post a glorious blog celebrating how wonderful you lot are, and revealing (unless you tell me otherwise) who sent you your gift.

If it all goes tits up, remember that it was originally all the idea of that @captain_doodle, and castigate him mercilessly.

luggermatt-thanks-very-much-indeed-to-_twanta2013-i-shall-enjoy-making-it_thumbTwantionary

Having trouble separating your twanta from your twantee? Completed your trifecta yet? Got no bloody idea what I’m talking about? Then this section will save you from social embarrassment akin to leaving the Ladies with your skirt tucked into the back of your knickers.

Gift with a bow TWANTA – this word has two meanings. Firstly it is the all-encompassing name for the whole cosy event itself, although usually with the relevant year attached to its tail. Secondly, the Twanta is the person sending a gift. It is the Twanta’s own choice whether or not to remain secret.

Gift with a bow TWANTEE – the person receiving said gift, with a smile and a song.

Gift with a bow TWANTADOR – general term for anyone taking part. chickenprincess-look-at-my-present-its-best_thumb1

Gift with a bow TRIFECTA – the magic three milestones achieved by a Twantador who has (1) sent a gift, (2) learned that it has arrived, and (3) received their own.

Gift with a bow TWUMBUG – a dirty rapscallion who fails to send a gift as promised (see last year).

Gift with a bow TWATMONGER – see TWUMBUG.

bieredeluxe-captain-america-meets-batman-thanks-to-my-_twanta2013-present-_thumb1Gift with a bow FAIRY – a good-hearted TWANTADOR who volunteers to step in and provide a gift at short notice for anyone who falls victim to a TWUMBUG.

Gift with a bow TWANTAVERSE – every bloody thing to do with Twanta. Constantly expanding.

Gift with a bow EPISTLETOE – a hand-written letter included with the gift (see above) to add a virtual Christmas kiss and a personal touch. Not to be confused with Camel Toe, which is something entirely different.

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