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Be of good cheer, it's Christmas!

Be of good cheer, it's Christmas!

I’m writing this at the beginning of November whilst sat on my balcony in the Canaries: I have no idea what the USA is going to vote for in a few days time but by the time you read this it’ll all be over thankfully. I just hope they don't shoot themselves in the foot like we did recently! Anyway, I’m on holiday so I'm not going to talk about computers at all this time, I’ll just ramble on about a few things that have caught my eye recently and what is hot this Christmas.

Anything retro it seems; vinyl is back, and a good thing too mostly. I do love the hiss & crackle because that was how it was recorded, and that was how it sounded when you first heard it. Of course I’ve got most things digitally on my media player but sometimes I like to remember how it was. However I can't buy my current wife a turntable for Christmas because it's got a plug on it … I’ll have to move on.

Talking of wine, I note that you can now get an app for your phone that allows you to book tours and tastings at loads of French wineries (ruedesvignerons.com): Now that's more like it! We could take a selfie whilst we’re there, or is that just so yesterday. I saw somebody on the beach yesterday with a selfie-stick and thought, “last year, mate!”.

Dining out somewhere special is always popular and I spotted Heston Blumenthal is doing his annual ski-and-dine experience again (momentumski.com/gourmet-ski), It looks fantastic but there aren't any prices on the website so I guess if you need to ask, you sadly can't afford it. I’ll put it on my list for another year. I don’t know about you, but travelling to foreign climes always embarrasses me when I can’t speak the lingo. I'm alright with French but the best I can manage in Spanish is, “another bottle of rosé, por favor”. After Chinese, Spanish is the next most used language in the world so lessons for two could be on the list.

Whilst flying here I did question why “speedy boarding” still exists, as all seats are now pre-allocated. We sat quietly and watched the special queue board first, then watched whilst the rest jumped up and jostled for position in a mile long queue. We joined in once it reached the door, got on the same plane and went to the same destination. I ask again why does “speedy boarding” still exist?

OK, enough of Mr. Grumpy! I’ll keep the tales of woe and destruction for January. All that remains is for me to thank you all for reading my waffle all year long, to hope hat you've all had a good 2016, to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy & prosperous 2017.

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Added: 16th December 2016

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