It is the last weekend before Christmas and having despatched most of my presents to their respective other sides of the world several weeks ago, all that remains is for me to do a few last minute things at home before the big day on Friday.
What it also means is that I’ve been at home all weekend and after immersing myself in the glitz and glamour of Strictly Come Dancing’s [very grand] Final and the last two episodes of the awesome Netflix series Bloodline last night, Sunday on the box is set to deliver a few more of my favourite things.
As I’ve been tap-tap-tapping away, Mr Wonka has led his five golden ticket winners and their ‘plus-ones’ along the red carpet and into the most fabulous factory in literary history. Gene Wilder is the quintessential Willy Wonka for me, combining playful joie de vivre with an other-worldliness that the later movie just did not capture. I’ve already welled up at Mrs Bucket’s “Cheer Up Charlie”, “Pure Imagination” is one of all-time musical favourites and I can feel a bit of “Oompa Loompa-ing” coming on in the not too distant future. Very little beats a bit of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
And then later on tonight, free-to-air channel ITV is running a live TV adaption of The Sound of Music from the soundstages at London’s Three Mills Studio. There are some well-known faces (to me anyway) in the cast from some of my favourite TV shows – Kara Tointon and Katherine Kelly from Mr Selfridge, Julien Ovenden from Downton Abbey, Alexander Armstrong from Pointless and Mel Giedroyc from The Great British Bake Off to name a few – so it promises to be a splendid night on the comfy couch at Gidday HQ.
The week that stretches in front of me holds just three days in the office before a welcome two week break.
I’m not heading Down Under this year but will instead spend a few days with my very good friends and their family in South East London. There’ll be plenty of good food and wine and a bit of spirited board game-ing on the big day plus the promise of A Muppet Christmas Carol – an annual tradition on Christmas Eve afternoon for them – to get us all into a festive mood.
(My version of this is the 2004 musical version of A Christmas Carol starring Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge and Geraldine Chaplin as the ghost of Christmas yet to be – it’s tearfully, wonderfully fabulous.)
And then it will be on with the rest of my London staycation. I’ve got a couple of theatre forays planned as well as some potential gallery and museum excursions in my sights. Then there’s shopping, reading and catching up on a few things to ready myself for next year. Perhaps there’ll even be time for a pyjama day or two.
In any case, with just five sleeps to go until Santa sleighs his merry way across the world, I’m all set for a huge helping of festive nostalgia.
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it.