The Third Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Preamble

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As today is the last day of November, I’m quietly confident in predicting that tomorrow will be the first day of December. Obviously that presumption relies on the fact that the Gregorian Calendar is still in common usage. I haven’t checked, but I think I’m probably on safe ground.

The first day of December is, of course, the first day of Advent. Which means that those of us who have chocolate Advent Calendars can enjoy our first taste of Advent Calendar Chocolate. Which is sometimes of dubious quality but none the less exciting for that.

These days the notion of the Advent Calendar has been appropriated in a number of ways and many a blogger has utilised the concept to produce Christmas-themed content for their little corner of the internet.

And this is certainly a band-wagon that I have leapt aboard for the past two years, with the The James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films. Which, as it ‘says on the tin’ is a daily dose of a description of a movie that has some, often quite tenuous, link to the season.

The 2019 edition begins tomorrow, but below is a reminder of the 48 films that have previously contributed to this annual waste of time and effort:

2017

Door 1 – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Door 2 – Iron Man 3
Door 3 – Lethal Weapon
Door 4 – Reindeer Games
Door 5 – Ghostbusters 2
Door 6 – Batman Returns
Door 7 – LA Confidential
Door 8 – The Long Kiss Goodnight
Door 9 – The Last Boy Scout
Door 10 – The Ice Harvest
Door 11 – The Nice Guys
Door 12 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Door 13 – Gremlins
Door 14 – The Bourne Identity
Door 15 – In Bruges
Door 16 – Trading Places
Door 17 – Eyes Wide Shut
Door 18 – Prometheus
Door 19 – Rocky IV
Door 20 – First Blood
Door 21 – Enemy of the State
Door 22 – 12 Monkeys
Door 23 – Brazil
Door 24 – Die Hard

2018

Door 1 – Submarine
Door 2 – Catch Me If You Can
Door 3 – The Life Of Brian
Door 4 – King Kong
Door 5 – When Harry Met Sally
Door 6 – Hook
Door 7 – Go
Door 8 – Behind Enemy Lines
Door 9 – The Ref
Door 10 – Jaws The Revenge
Door 11 – Jurassic World
Door 12 – The Hateful Eight
Door 13 – Red
Door 14 – The French Connection
Door 15 – The Lion In Winter
Door 16 – Stalag 17
Door 17 – The Royal Tenenbaums
Door 18 – Last Action Hero
Door 19 – Eastern Promises
Door 20 – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Door 21 – The Apartment
Door 22 – Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
Door 23 – Ronin
Door 24 – Die Hard 2

But enough of past glories – ‘The Third Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films’ begins in earnest tomorrow. Who knows what surprises await behind each metaphorical door?

Well, obviously a bad film review awaits behind each door.

And unlike previous years, none of those films will be an instalment of the Die Hard franchise.

And they might not all be very related to Christmas.

But they will all be a little bit Christmas(ish).

T’isn’t The Season… But T’will Be Soon

James Proclaims (4)

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And so here we are, a month from Christmas and soon the traditions of the season will be upon us. Although, as is the case most years, I’ve been honouring one custom since around mid-October. Which is the eating of mince pies. I love a good mince pie, but in all honesty, there is far too much in the way of other festive fare available when we get to Christmas proper. So, I like to get my mince pie consumption started as early as possible.

In a similar bookend, I probably won’t eat much Christmas cake until January, but will then try and eke it out for as long as possible.

As I write this, my almost-16-month-old daughter is tearing around the room wreaking havoc wherever she goes. She’s quite the force majeure. For this reason, I’m not sure there’ll be a Christmas tree in the Proclaims household this year. At least I’m not sure there’ll be a Christmas tree for long…

I have already bought most of the Christmas presents I’m going to buy. I’m not an especially organised person in most respects, but present buying is generally something that I’m pretty good at. Either that or I have an exceptionally polite family when it comes to gift-receiving. But as some of them aren’t too bothered about letting me know my shortcomings in other respects, I’m going to say I’m good at buying presents.

Obviously with it now being ‘Black Friday Week’ I may have jumped the gun, having purchased all my gifts prior to this most traditional and heart-warming of wallet-friendly weeks. I believe that Black Friday proper is yet to come, although apparently some retailers, having just too many deals for one Friday, also incorporated last Friday. As I say, I won’t be joining in the fun, but I will, of course, sit down to enjoy the traditional Black Friday meal when the day does come around. The traditional meal being my own soul.

Anyway, the shopping is mostly done, which is good because December already looks set to be a fairly taxing month.

There is of course the forthcoming general election. Although that probably won’t take up too much time. I will vote, but at this point I’m voting for the least-worst candidate and really, whoever wins, it’s hard to be too optimistic. I’m not even sure who the least-worst option is. I think I know who the worst is though. And sadly, I think that is probably who will win.

December also brings its fair share of family commitments. In and of itself this is not really problematic. I’m not a fan of gatherings in general, but it would seem churlish to apply that sentiment to the people I’m related to, and to be fair they’re a decent bunch. But they all live approximately two hours from me and a two-hour drive is rarely fun. It’s worse still with a lively toddler in tow. She’s only mastered a few words, so we’re not in the territory of the “are we there yet?” chant, that I recall torturing my parents with on oh-so-many a car journey. But she has her ways of making an already challenging experience even more horrendous. Changing her nappy at the services on the M25 is an experience from last December that I’m in no hurry to repeat.

Not that she needs a long car journey to elevate my stress levels. Even as I was writing that last paragraph, she marched up to my pc and attempted to switch it off. I would have lost of all of this delightful prose in one act of infant insurrection were it not for my surprisingly considerate computer checking that I wanted to pursue the unfathomable undertaking of shutting down without saving my work before it carried out my daughter’s directions.

December is always a busy time in work. I’m not really sure why, but there always seem to be deadlines that need to be hit prior to the festive break. I’m not likely to hit any of those deadlines without ‘upping my game’. I’m never keen on upping my game. I prefer to operate a level of ‘doing just enough to get away with it’, but occasionally it pays to demonstrate that I am capable of more. For the sake of my own ego if nothing else.

In the unlikely event that my boss is reading this, I would point out that everything I write on this blog should be taken with a pinch of salt and clearly that last paragraph was written in jest.

In the more likely event that my boss is not reading this, then I can confirm I am a workshy waste of space.

One event in December that I’m really looking forward to is, of course the release of the new Star Wars film. Even if it’s ultimately quite disappointing I will still watch it multiple times. It can’t be worse than The Phantom Menace and I’ve seen that loads of times.

Speaking of films, all going well, December should also bring my, now traditional, blog offering, of The James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films. I’ve already sat through quite a few movies with a vaguely tenuous link to Christmas so, if I can muster up enough time to actually write about them then activity on this blog is likely to go from ‘very little in recent times’ to ‘quite a lot actually’.

But it’ll all be badly written reviews of essentially non-Christmas films that might have a bit of an obscure link to Christmas.

As opposed to badly written posts about nothing much at all.

Once the advent calendar has run it’s course, I am also hoping to write my, even more traditional, Christmas Day message.

And I expect I’ll follow that with my equally traditional Boxing Day post, in which I’ll produce some sort of weak play on words referencing the sport of boxing.

So, if you’re a fan of this blog then there really is a lot to look forward to.

But if you are genuinely a fan of this blog, you may need some kind of help.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

James Proclaims (4)

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It is the 18th November, which quite possibly means that Christmas is nearly upon us. It also means that I haven’t troubled the blogosphere for a good four months. At least I imagine it’s been a good four months if you really don’t like my writing. But then I would hypothesise that you wouldn’t be reading this. And you wouldn’t have noticed my lack of blogging in the last four months. So, whether the last four months were good or not would have had absolutely nothing to do with my latest hiatus from this blog. On the other hand if you do like my cyber compositions then you might have been a little miffed that I haven’t produced anything for a while. Indeed 2019 has been rather sparse in terms of content for this plugged-in periodical.

I should probably begin this post with an ablogogy.

Ablogogy is a term I’ve just coined. It can be defined as follows:

ablogogy

[ uh-blog-uh-jee ]

noun, plural a·blog·o·gies.

An insincere written or spoken expression of one’s regret, remorse, or sorrow for having failed to write anything on one’s blog for a considerable period of time. Ablogogies are issued in the vain hope that anyone gives a crap, but with the knowledge that, in fact, no-one has either noticed or particularly cared that one hasn’t written an anodyne post about cabbages for a while.

 

Now that we’ve got that over with, I can perhaps try and write something of substance.

Although that would be quite a departure from my usual utterings, and I haven’t changed that much in the last few months.

As it is currently November, I’m suffering with my annual state of Novemberitis. Which is absolutely a real condition and not something I’ve just made up.

Many people choose to survive November by writing novels, others grow moustaches in an apparent attempt to raise awareness of something. I have considered, but ultimately abandoned, both of these ideas in the past. Occasionally I try to overcome the melancholies of November by producing more content for this blog, but aside from five posts in January, one in April and two in July I have written nothing in 2019, so producing any content this November would be an upturn in fortunes.

Although if this is the best I can do, then perhaps my extended absence was no great loss.

I expect much has changed in the world since my last attempt to kick-start this increasingly dormant blog into existence.

Although Brexit appears to still be a thing.

And there’s another election on the horizon and they’re always fun.

My own existence has largely been dominated by my increasingly mobile and intrepid daughter.

I am very much enjoying being a father but I’m also tired all of the time. Even as I write this my beloved offspring is tearing around the room, occasionally popping over to my workspace (which takes up a corner in what is apparently now her room, although it was very much my office until she arrived on the scene. I suppose it was always theoretically an office/guestroom but given that Mrs Proclaims and I have always discouraged guests it was pretty much my space. Now it’s very much hers and I am permitted the use of a corner on the basis that there is nowhere else in our tiny abode for my computer to live) to tamper with my keyboard and insert random symbols into my prose. I imagine I will have deleted her efforts by the time I publish this, but I suppose she makes a convenient scapegoat for any typos that may appear.

Anyway, I return to the blogosphere this day in order to proclaim my intention to return to blogging more frequently from now on.

But I’ve made such promises before and utterly failed to live up to them.

And really, whether I blog or not is of no great consequence.

So, this entire post is completely pointless.

Which, in fairness, is pretty much in line with everything else I’ve ever written.