The Obligatory New Year’s Eve Review Of The Year That Was

James Proclaims (6)

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Last year I wrote a review of 2015 on the 31st December so it seems only fitting that I review 2016 today.

Except that I’d rather not.

It seems to be universally accepted that 2016 was a bit of a rubbish year all around.

Not for everyone obviously – some people might well be thinking that 2016 was quite good.

If you’re British and you hate immigrants then you might be feeling like 2016 was a pretty good year, what with Brexit and all that. Obviously 2017 is going to be a bummer for you when you realise that Brexit isn’t going to deliver on any of the things you thought you were voting for. Then again it might take until 2019 or even 2020 for you to work that out.

But thanks to Brexit, us Brits can pretty much write off 2017 before it even begins. Continue reading The Obligatory New Year’s Eve Review Of The Year That Was

My 2016 Blog Report

James Proclaims (4)

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This time last year I got my first ever annual blog report from WordPress. I didn’t ask for it but they sent it anyway. And actually it was pretty cool. It didn’t tell me anything earth shattering that I didn’t already know. I was eight months into my blogging journey at that point and I was pretty obsessed with my blog’s stats. Nonetheless it was nice having it all on one report – and because other bloggers were posting links to their blog reports I could compare my blog stats with others and laugh sneeringly or bow my head in shame depending on how they matched up to mine.

It was like being back in school.

Except not at all like that really. Continue reading My 2016 Blog Report

Going Cold Turkey On The Cold Turkey

James Proclaims (4)

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The trouble with ‘Twixmas’, the period between Christmas and New Year, is it’s pretty hard to judge exactly how to play things ‘health wise’.

In many households there are still quite a lot of leftovers that ‘need’ to be eaten.

Cold turkey would be a case in point. Turkey sandwiches for days after Christmas is a tradition that I’ve always enjoyed.

Although it is a ‘Twixmas’ pleasure that I’ve actually given up in the name of love. Mrs Proclaims is a pescatarian (which is someone who doesn’t eat meat but does eat fish). So (even though I don’t really get it – why has a turkey got more right to live than a tuna?) I’ve also kind of become a pescatarian of sorts. I still eat meat on occasion but when I’m cooking for both of us I tend to cook vegetarian food or fish. I like fish so it’s really no hardship. For Christmas dinner I cooked a side of salmon rather than a turkey. A whole turkey for just for me seemed excessive and a properly cooked side of salmon is quite the festive treat. It was still too much for two people so there are still lots of leftovers – it’s just that I find myself eating a lot of cold salmon rather than cold turkey. Continue reading Going Cold Turkey On The Cold Turkey

‘Re-toxing’ on Boxing Day

James Proclaims (4)

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As I acknowledged in last year’s Boxing Day post, the day after Christmas has nothing to do with pugilism.

Nonetheless, this morning I woke up feeling like I’d done twelve rounds with Mike Tyson in his prime.

Obviously I hadn’t done twelve rounds with Mike Tyson in his prime.

For that to have happened either I or ‘young Mike Tyson’ would’ve had to have had access to a time machine and either I travelled to then or he to now and then we’d have had to have had a boxing match, in which I would’ve needed to last longer than many a top professional boxer of that era ever managed.

There are so many reasons that that couldn’t have happened. Indeed, if I’m brutally honest, I did not wake up feeling like I’d done twelve rounds with Mike Tyson in his prime and the fact that I woke up at all is proof enough of that.

No, the allusion to Mike Tyson was a metaphor and a dated one at that. Mostly because I wanted to crowbar something about boxing into this post and, even though he hasn’t really been a top level boxer for a very long time, it’s pretty hard to think of a ‘household’ name from the current era that’s as evocative as Mike Tyson.

It matters not. Continue reading ‘Re-toxing’ on Boxing Day

The Second Annual Christmas Message from James Proclaims

James Proclaims (4)

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As Noddy Holder off of Slade shouts whenever anyone cares to listen:

IT’S CHRISTMAS!

Noddy likes Christmas and if I’d written and performed one of the most successful Christmas songs of all time I’d like Christmas too.

In point of fact I have not written and performed one of the most successful Christmas songs of all time and I don’t expect I ever will. I’m going to have to find another way to ensure the festive season brings with it a massive annual royalty cheque.

But I still like Christmas and today is Christmas.

Well as I’m writing this it’s Christmas Eve. Like last year’s Christmas message, I’m writing it in advance so as to allow more time for the excessive consumption of unhealthy food on the big day and like last year I’ve schedule this post to go ‘live’ at the same time the Queen makes her annual speech to the nation.

Last year Her Madge didn’t seem too perturbed by the fact I was going head-to-head with her, but then, like me, she ‘pre-recorded’ her message in advance. I have not seen or spoken to our Head of State in person since last Christmas (or indeed ever) so I’ve no idea if she’s upset by my efforts to usurp her annual message but I can only imagine that she’s seething with rage. Continue reading The Second Annual Christmas Message from James Proclaims

James Reviews the 2016 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar

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I’m not sure if I’m going to make the review of my chocolate advent calendar an annual event. However, I did do it last Christmas Eve and I seem to be doing it again this year so there’s every chance it’ll happen again next year.

There has been a development on the chocolate advent calendar front – after many years (some might argue too many years) of indulging me, my mother has passed on the baton to my darling wife. Mrs Proclaims has stepped up to the plate however and did not disappoint.

Once again I got Marks and Spencer Advent calendar which means that once again the chocolate is of a decent quality. To be honest that’s generally enough to keep me happy, but Mrs Proclaims knows my love of Star Wars (and indeed novelty Star Wars chocolate products in particular) so to follow up last year’s Darth-Vader-themed calendar, this year I got a BB8 calendar.

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Admittedly BB8 is not a character that instantly transports me back to my youth because there was no BB8 in the original trilogy. BB8 is from last year’s ‘The Force Awakens’ but I pretty much loved everything about that film, so it’s more than ok by me. Continue reading James Reviews the 2016 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar

The Super Duper Looper – It’s the Only Way!

James Proclaims (4)

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And so this is Christmas – almost.

Around this time every year I try and cram watching as many Christmas films as I can before the ‘big day’.

I enjoy a good festive flick but it’s a weird little idiosyncrasy of mine that I refuse to watch Christmas films after the 25th December. Even though I’m off work until early January and there’s a whole week of ‘not doing much’ between Christmas and New Year (that some people refer to as Twixmas) which would be perfect for sitting around and watching Christmas-themed films, I find that if I haven’t watched a Christmas film by Christmas Eve, I’m probably not going to watch it until next December.

But from mid-December up until Christmas Eve, I do like to watch as many as I can. There are, of course, too many cherished festive films for me to watch all of them every year, but equally there are some that, if I don’t get to watch them, then, while it might be an exaggeration to say Christmas would be ruined, I would certainly feel more than a little put out.

And the thing is, they aren’t necessarily the best of the genre. Indeed, although some are indeed fine examples of exactly what makes a great Christmas film, others make the list because of a mawkish nostalgia – I watch them because I’ve always watched them but these days I’m no longer certain that I actually like them all that much.

Still I watch them nonetheless. Continue reading The Super Duper Looper – It’s the Only Way!