Saturday, 21 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

We're really looking forward to Christmas and hope you are too! We asked some of our friends and colleagues at Creative Content for their favourite things about Christmas....

Chris Nickson, writer (Broken Token; Solid Air; Emerald City): “As my son lives 5,500 miles away - in Seattle - the best part of Christmas is talking to him on Face Time. Of course, he's already opened his presents well before the day...”

Maureen Carter, writer (Bev Morriss series): “Does finding Johnny Depp in my Christmas stocking every year count? (Okay, it's always a calendar, but calendars are useful and . . . cute.). Seriously, there's not much I don't like about Christmas, but long fabulous meals round a table filled with loved ones, followed by riotous word games and much laughter probably takes the biscuit - or the mince pie!”

Daniel Raven-Clift, designer: "Wrapping presents. I’ve always been a bit artsy-fartsy (according to my mother) and I like making presents look nice. I’m big on ribbons, bows, tissue paper, tiny boxes and sweet little bags and tags. And not to big myself up too much, but they are actually show-stopping. Or head-turning at least. Give me a yard of raffia and three sheets of crepe and I’ll make your eyeballs pop out."

Al Muirden, sound editor: “I like the Christmas spirit - generally, people seem to become much more friendly and helpful in the lead-up to and during Christmas - I like that, it's what Christmas should be about, not the commercial spendfest that it's become...”

Paul Kent, director and writer (The Lowdown: the EU – Should We Stay or Should We go; Voltaire; Montaigne): "Christmas Day lunchtime round the pub with friends, then staggering home and trying to remember how to cook; and reading books that are the literary equivalent of a warm bath - like Pickwick Papers or the poetry of George Herbert." 

Hilda Lolly, writer (Gracious Lies): "My teasel and pinecone centrepiece. I made it when I was a girl and I’ve trotted it out every Christmas since. No, it’s not the prettiest thing in the world – some would say it’s a monstrosity – but I love it. This year I’ve treated myself to a brand new cinnamon scented candle and I’m looking forward to inserting it on Christmas Eve. Gently, of course - it’s practically an antique and I’m hoping to get a few more years out of it yet!"

Ali Muirden, publisher and audio producer: “I like the lead up the week before best. Putting up the decs and tree, making lists of last minute things to do, then on Xmas Eve we always have my best friend and her family round for supper. Then on Xmas morning waking up to see if 'he's been'! Then on Boxing Day a nice walk in the fresh air with my family to walk it all off!”  

Lorelei King, actress and writer: “Midnight Mass – Latin, preferably sung by the choir of St Etheldreda’s church in Holborn. Magical and meaningful.”

Hilda Lolly's festive short story, "66 Steps to Mother" is available free for Christmas. #YuleLoveLolly

Card designed by Daniel Raven-Clift

Friday, 6 December 2013

My 5 Favourite Things - actress and writer Lorelei King

1. True crime programs on YouTube.
As a child I loved nothing better than a scary book or movie. I suppose this is the grown-up version of that – without the comfort of saying, ‘don’t worry – it’s just pretend’.

2. Bare Minerals makeup
I was introduced to this pure-mineral makeup several years ago and have never looked back. Love the fact that it has no preservatives – and I’ve never had so many compliments on my skin. I’m wearing it ‘til they put me in the ground from whence these minerals came!

3. Palestrina
One of the happiest moments of my life was hearing the Kyrie from his Papae Marcelli sung at our wedding. Do yourself a favour and download some of this 16th century Italian composer’s music right now. Sublime.

4. Ancient Greek
What could be more thrilling than reading Plato’s ‘Symposium’ in the original Greek? I love everything about classical Greek – the alphabet, the grammar... The first time I read and understood an inscription scratched into an ancient clay pot in the British Museum, I cried. It felt like someone from the past speaking to me.

5. Twitter
Quite simply the best social media platform there is, Twitter is more than self-promotion and cat pictures. All life is there! Entertainment, friendship, real connection. And let’s face it. Reality TV just wouldn’t be the same without sharing it with your tweeps.

True crime photo courtesy of gfairchild.

Friday, 8 November 2013

My 5 Favourite Things - sound editor Al Muirden

Drums and music…

I’ve been a drummer for many years now and I love it just as much now as ever, but drums are just one element in being musically creative, so you need to be involved in projects with other great players to release the instruments full potential - I have been, (and continue to be) very lucky in that respect. In the wider world of music and my favourite listening, I have four bands that give me everything I need: Rush, Dream Theater, Transatlantic and my newest discovery, the brilliant UK band Also Eden - if I could only listen to these four bands and no-one else, then I’d be musically content!

Trucks and trucking…

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved trucks - in fact, I love trucks, tractors and pretty much anything with wheels or tracks! I would hate not to be able to recognise the various manufacturers, hauliers etc when on the roads. When I asked my wife what she saw in trucks when she was driving (secretly hoping she’d be enthused) she said “I see a big box and it’s in my way…” Typical! Remember though that pretty much everything that we buy, will have spent part of it’s life on/in a truck, so they’re pretty crucial!

Health and wealth…

One of my favourite mottos is that you can have all the nice drums, bikes, cars, houses etc which are provided by wealth and making your way in life (and again, I‘ve been very fortunate), but they all count for nothing if you don’t have good health… I’m a terrible patient so I bless each day that I continue in good health and it is something to never take for granted…

Cycles and cycling…

I love being out on my bikes - country roads or canal towpaths are my absolute favourites and for me cyclingis as much about the freedom and health benefits as being able to stop and take in what’s going on around you whenever and wherever you like - just awesome! 

Friends and family…

I’m the first to admit that being an only child has made me feel very comfortable in my own company and I‘m very much at ease when I‘m on my own, but, just as with health and wealth, life could be pretty baron without great friends and family, so I appreciate all of my friends and family for being there when I need them and (just as importantly), me being there for them…