Welcome back, ladies and Gs, to akirathedon.com! As you may have gleaned, we had over half a million visits on Christmas Day, mere hours after we'd moved to a new server, when the data hadn't even finished transferring. I was a long way away from any computers at the time, which is why it took so long to fix.
But it is fixed now. The whole site, all 5 and a half years of it, is safe and well in its new time zone, ready for a brand new decade.
The above is my doodle sheet from Christmas Day. It was a fine day, spent with my Nan in Beaumaris, North Wales. We had hot drinks with whiskey, an ancient tradition passed down via her father, talked of the old times, and opened presents. I got some pyjama bottoms from my girl and some Superman underpants from my girl's sister. My Nan got one of those newfangled SAD lamps, that emit a bright white near-daylight, as opposed to the traditional indoor-yellow. Living in the future! I got her a new hot water bottle, and a furry pouch to put it in.
I was there for five days, the vast majority of which was spent gassing. I learned all about Featherstone and Cannock in the land before time, and Nan learned a little about London and Woodstock in the mid-naughties. "I heard what you did though," she said at one point. "You shouldn't have said those things you said about those Americans. It's not your president. Sometimes you have to say things you don't believe. If it's for your job."
Nan had two small glasses of Baileys and two lager shandys over the 5 days, and I drank two small bottles of Jack Daniels and a litre of Coca Cola. Nan doesn't keep ice in the freezer box, so I'd go out back and get me some snow every time I wanted to fix a new drink. I cleaned the bathroom, swept the yard, kept away from the Quality Street Tin ("get away from that! I'll have none left! You'll ruin your dinner!" etc) and made her lots of hot water bottles and of cups of tea. "Don't you go putting the water bottle water in the kettle," she warned, "you'll poison me!"
I had been doing that back home, I realised with dismay. What a fool! Other wisdoms gleaned included the one about poking holes in conkers and leaving them in corners to ward away spiders. "Of course it works!" barked Nan, "I get mine every year from under a big tree in Bangor where the men drink. They always ask, 'why'd you want to play conkers for? ' I don't want to play conkers I want to get rid of spiders!"
We did watch a lot of soap operas - quite the experience for me, not having watched any since an Eastenders omnibus many moons ago, wherein Kat Slater was going to war with her uncle for raping her, and pudding-faced Janine was pushing pie-faced Barry off of a cliff. Fast forward a decade, and another Slater character was the focus of the traditional Christmas Day high-drama, something to do having her baby taken off her for murdering someone's dad who raped her and nicking pudding-faced Janine's boyfriend, who pudding-faced Janine had tried to murder the other week
I once saw the lady who plays pudding-faced Janine dancing atop a podium in some foul, overpriced dive in Mayfair, surrounded by a baying throng of eligible bachelors waving money clips and gawping up the little rubber flannel she was using for a skirt, but that's another story.
Coronation Street, whilst being the only one of these shows with any warmth and humour in it, was similarly awash with baby stealing murdering harpies, and I don't think I've ever watched Emmerdale, but that was a menagerie of baby snatching and wife stealing pervos in flatcaps with neither the balls out evil craziness of Eastenders or the arse-out warm-hearted craziness of Coronation Street, so I'm not really sure what it's for. All I know is that TV does a whole lot of Murder Murder Kill Kill! Buy A Sofa! Sofa So Good! Mmm, Tits And Sofa! Murder Murder Kill Kill! Sofa! Terrible Tragedy! Murder! Sofa!
I was also introduced to Deal Or No Deal too, a mad word in which Noel Edmonds dresses as an Elf and makes a load of mental people stay in his house for a week over Christmas opening boxes while he prances around gleefully having conversations with his imaginary friend, "the banker". He is evidently some kind of genius as over 2 million people tune in every day to watch a game show in which very little happens other than boxes get opened and Noel Edmonds sneaks crafty looks down girls tops. And talks to his imaginary friend, "the banker".
But, most of all, we gassed. From when we woke, around nine, until midnight, when we went to our beds to not sleep (I'd play Angry Birds and Nan would do Crosswords). Thank you for your film suggestions, but we didn't actually watch a single movie in the end. We talked. Stories that could fill 40-odd comic books, and may well do just that. We talked over The Railway Children, A Miracle On 34th Street, The Mummy, innumerable Poiros... in fact, the only movie we attempted to watch in full was Slumdog Millionaire, which we managed to pay semi-silent attention to for 47% of its duration. Nan refused to watch the penultimate 30 minutes, however, as she doesn't like unhappy endings, and the title of the film wasn't insurance enough for her. I wondered how she deals with all those tragic soaps, but then realised that they never end...
Christmas ended though. I returned home on the evening of December 28th to a dead website, murdered by over half a million views on Christmas day, and spent the next few days fixing that, over-eating Quality Street (two cans equals emergency trip to the supermarket for a bottle of Gaviscon), and hanging out with my girl. WHAT A GREAT TIME I HAD! Now, all of a slinky sudden, it's a brand new year, and I have a load of music to catch up on and a box of T-shirts bigger than Danny deVito to pack up and send out to their new owners.
Yes, that's right, they came. My new supplier RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER did a bang up job as well.
HO HO HO! GOD BLESS US, EVERY ONE!