A Wonderful Christmas Present

This is quite unprecedented. Three posts in one day! Anyway, I found this story under my bed that I wrote when I was in Year 5 (I think), so I would have been about 9 or 10. I have left the grammar, spelling and everything else in tact.

Stuarts Stores
Got Everything you need
Come to our Grand
Tuesday 30th November

This was the sign put up by Mr. Stuart on 28th November.
“Dad what are you doing?” asked a girl called Jane
“I’m putting up this sign for Tuesday. It’s the grand opening for the shop,” Mr Stuart replied.
“Oh is everything half price on Tuesday.”
“Yes. Where is your brother?” he asked
“He is upstairs in his bedroom sorting out bit’s and pieces.”
“And your sister?” asked Dad.
Their upstairs in their bedrooms too,” answered Jane.
“Do you want me to some posters up around town?
I can,” asked Jane.
“O.K. You might meet some people.”
Jane, Simone, Peter and Victoria were brother and sisters and had just moved to Southminster with their mum and dad. Jane was worried that she wouldn’t meet anyone and make friends.
The flat above the store had five bedrooms, a front room and the kitchen.
Jane was just walking down to put a sign on a lampost when a girl on rollerskates come from nowhere nearly knocking her over.
“OOP’S sorry about that. I’ve only just got them,” said the girl. “Hey you’re new around here aren’t you?”
“Yeah I’m Jane. Who are you?”
“I’m Nicole. My parents run the fish and chip shop. I’ve got two brothers and a sister. Their names are Nick, Callum and Julie. What about you?”
“I’m Jane, my parents have just moved into the flat above the old Smiths shop. I have one brother and two sisters. The names are Simone, Victoria and Peter,” answered Jane.
“Oh so we’ve got a lot in common then haven’t we?”
“Yes I suppose we have,” said Jane “Oh well I’d better get these up.”
“O.K. When are you going to school.
“On December the sixth.”
“O.K. See you then.”
Jane went on her way thinking about things. Would she like a new teacher? What with mum pregnant it was going to be hard.
When she got to the shop she went to Dad and told him she had done the job. She went upstairs and got out all her money. She had £50.00. That was enough to buy Christmas presents.
She wrote out a list:
Mum Perfume £5.00
Dad Music £5.00
Simone Make-up £5.00
Peter football £2.00
Victoria Toiletries set £4.00
Gran picture for wall £8.00
Grandpa book £4.00
Baby (if here) rattle £1.00

It would only cost £34.00
That left her £6.50.
On Wednesday she had to wake up early. She was allowed to only stock the shelves.
Simone was 15 so she could properly. Peter was only 10 so he went out to find a friend. Victoria and I were both 12.
“Dad, on Saturday, can I go to Chelmsford and get some shopping?” asked Jane.
“Yeah I’ll drive you there but I’ll have to come back because I have to do some work,” replied Dad.
“O.K.” she said.
She went to her bedroom and got out her money. She put it away again. She knew what Peter was like, A little pest!
Jane went downstairs and started to tidy the shelves.
On Saturday Jane went to Chelmsford. She got everything she needed except Peters football and Dad’s cassete. She was going to get him some classical music Old fuddy duddy!
Peters present was easy. She could go to paper chain for a football.
Jane got home at 6:00pm. She’d had a burger with dad so she didn’t need anything to eat. Jane went straight upstairs and put her presents under her bed. She took out her 3 magazines and took the posters out. Most off them were Take That. She put them up. Then at 11:00pm she got into bed.
In the morning Jane wrapped up all the presents. She would go to Paper Chain after school tomorrow.
She liked Nicole but prefered her friend in Suffolk. Caroline was so nice. If Jane was in trouble Caroline was there. She missed her so much. She hoped she would find someone just like Caroline. Oh Oh. Simone had interupted her thoughts and Jane was just wrapping up her present.
“Er…. Hi… Simone … er.. what do you want?” Jane stuttered.
“Well thats a nice thing to say too your sister. Goodbye to you too,” she said.
“That was a close shave,” she said to herself.
She went down cos Dad was calling.
Jane ran down the stairs. At the bottom she saw her cousins Vicky and Myles. “Hi!” she screamed. They hadn’t been able to to the wedding for they’d been in America.
“Hello,” said Myles. “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” Jane answered. “And you?”
“We’re fine,” answered Vicky.
Her name had been Taylor but when she got married it changed to Judd.
“This is a brilliant day,” she said. “Thanks for coming.
“That’s O.K.” Vicky said. “We’d better get going. We’ve got a train to catch.”
“See ya!”
Jane went inside.
In a couple of weeks it was a week til Christmas and everything was going well. The Stuarts had lots of orders for turkeys, potatoes and Christmas puddings. The Christmas tree was up in the living room and the shop.
Profits were rolling in.
Everything was perfect. Mum had to rest cos she was pregnant and Simone had to take over her shifts in the shop.
She was moaning because she wanted a C.D player. She didn’t have any C.D’s though. But there we go. Aren’t all teenage sisters all the same.
We were getting money for what we were doing but Dad wasn’t exactly rich so we didn’t get a lot.
Jane was hoping for tickets to go and see Take That in concert, but they don’t come easy, do they? She went down to stack the shelves. Victoria was already there.
Jane was thinking for Christmas she wouldn’t mind a video recorder for her room.
First though she wanted it decorated. It was brilliant she didn’t have to share. She could choose her own wallpaper.
It was Christmas Eve and everyone was looking forward to tomorrow. It was going to be fun.
The shop was closed that day.
The whole family was going to a pantomime in Chelmsford Civic Theatre.
Timmy Mallet was in it.
It was going to be fun.
When they got home, Mum went to get some drinks. By the way it was about 11:00pm. Mum put the drinks on a tray.
She came in and then suddenly she dropped them as she came in the door.
“What’s the matter Mum?” Jane asked.
“It’s the baby! I think its coming!”
“Right, Simone. Look after the children,” said Dad. “I’ll take Mum to hospital.”
“O.K.” said Simone.
Jane was about to argue and say she was not a child, but thought better of it. It’s best not to argue like this, you always lose anyway.
Dad rushed Mum to hospital. Just as he turned his back Simone was on the phone to all her friends.
“Simone, Dad won’t like it,” they were saying.
“I’m in charge and turned her back on them.
Suddenly she put it down.
“Oh no! What if dad has been trying to phone us.”
The phone rang and Simone picked it up.
“Hello. Oh hi dad. Listen I’m sorry.
I know you’ve been trying to get throught and I’ve been on the phone to nearly the whole class. Sorry!”
“What are you talking about, bird brain! I’ve not been trying to phone you. But thanks for telling me you’d been on the phone! Listen Mum hasn’t had the baby yet, but she’s O.K. We got here at about 12:00pm. Oh by the way happy Christmas.”
“Oh yeah,” said Simone. “Too you to.”
“Oh well,” she said putting the reciever down.
“Happy Christmas.”
Suddenly Peter said
“Hey! If its Christmas Day cant we open our presents?”
“No,” said Simone, “We’d better wait for Mum and Dad. Or at least Dad.
The phone rang again. It was Dad.
“Hi,” he said. “It’s me, Dad. Mum had twins! Isn’t it great!”
“Yeah,” Simone said.
It was 2 boys. Christopher and Callum.
They were two wonderful Christmas presents.

I distinctly remember writing this story. I can’t remember what the brief was – probably something based around Christmas, and then we were given free rein. I particularly remember stealing the scene in which the pregnant mum drops a tray of drinks from Eastenders – it was Cindy that did it as far as I can remember. Highlights from the story include:

– The fact that somehow £50 minus £34 equals £6.50.
– My repeated use of the name Callum – I obviously liked it at the time.
– The flat above the shop has five bedrooms, which allows ‘Jane’ to have her own bedroom. The flat must have been like the TARDIS inside. Also, what about a nursery for the new babies?
– The new babies had to be twins, just as Jane and Victoria seem to be. I was obviously obsessed with the idea of having a twin at that point.
– Vicky and Myles, the cousins, are very thinly veiled versions of Vicky Taylor and Myles Judd. I didn’t even change the names slightly. I was clearly trying my best to matchmake here.
– “Aren’t all teenage sisters the same” – I don’t know where this came from, as Kim would have been my teenage sister at the time, and she was not a pain about presents, nor did she use the phone to call most of the class. I had obviously been reading too much Mandy & Judy.

All in all, whilst not the most imaginative story ever, I think it’s a good effort! The spelling, grammar and punctuation isn’t half bad either, though it took quite an effort to actually type things incorrectly and leave out punctuation marks!

28 things…

This post is a little different. For a start, it comes hot on the heels of a previous post (even though that was just a quote), and also it doesn’t have a title like usual. I came across a blog that inspired me to make a list of things I want to do. I decided to respectfully imitate (OK, copy) this lovely idea and try and think of 28 things to do before I turn 28. I have 221 days to go, so I figure I can get a lot done in that time. So here goes:

1. Learn to knit
2. Go to Yorkshire
3. Write a short story
4. Make a dress from scratch
5. Learn to speak a foreign language
6. Go to a football match
7. Re-read every Jane Austen novel
8. Make a whole roast dinner by myself
9. Read all 100 books on the BBC Big Read list
10. Learn every single world capital
11. Say yes to everything for a day (not brave enough to do a whole week!)
12. Go to another film premiere
13. Visit my old school for a tour
14. Write a letter to my 40-year-old-self
15. Play rounders
16. Make and wear a custom t-shirt
17. Try at least 75% of the foods on the BBC list of 50 things to eat before you die
18. See the Crown Jewels
19. Learn to play chess
20. Watch every film on the AFI 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list
21. Pull a pint
22. Write a poem
23. Have a guitar lesson
24. Roll down a hill
25. Go line dancing
26. Watch a sunrise
27. Meet a member of royalty
28. Go to Brighton

I think that most of them are do-able, and if I don’t manage them, I shall just have to recycle them into next year’s list, as this will become a regular thing. I shall need help, so anyone that is willing, please let me know!


Oscar is a figure in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. He is the warrior son of Oison and the fairy woman Niamh, who also bore his sister, Plor na mBan. (Wikipedia)

So the clever among you will know that the reason I called this post Oscar is that it was, in fact, the Oscars this past weekend, and being the film lover and overall geek that I am, I get quite excited about it. Alas, I wasn’t able to watch it, because the only channel that shows it here in the UK is one of the movie channels, and we don’t subscribe to it. So I followed it online for a while but got sleepy, and couldn’t stay awake. I predicted 16 out of 22 winners; although to be fair the big six were easy to predict – it would have been a big shock if anyone else had won them.


Sandra Bullock is my current number one girl crush (something I seem to be sharing with a lot of other people at the moment – I feel like she is very much a girl’s girl!), so I am mighty glad she got the Best Actress award. I saw The Blind Side on Sunday morning, and whilst I have not seen any of the other actresses in their respective films, I very much enjoyed Sandra’s performance. Definitely one of the best of her career. On the subject of the Academy Awards, this is a very interesting article about the statistics of a Oscar winner. It is no great shock to learn that younger women are more likely to win the Oscar than older women, whilst for men, the older they get the more likely they become, at least based on history. We all know that women are seen as more valuable commodities in Hollywood the younger they are, and pretty much Meryl Streep is the only woman over fifty who is given the chance to carry a film these days! I posted on Twitter that I couldn’t believe it has taken the Academy 82 years (a number that I query, because whilst the latest ceremony was called the 82nd Academy Awards, the first ceremony was in 1929. So surely we are at 81?) to award a woman with the Best Director award. I got a reply from someone saying “They should make better films then.” I am not really taking issue with the fact that Academy has failed to recognise female directors, because that person may be right, maybe the fact is that until Kathrn Bigelow made The Hurt Locker, no film directed by a woman was good enough to win the Oscar. What I think is sad is that women are underrepresented in the film business as a whole. There is absolutely nothing to say that men should be better at making films, so why are there so few female directors? Another BBC article looks into it. It’s interesting, and I wish that I had found out about the Birds Eye View Film Festival a week ago, instead of two days before it is due to end! I am really seriously considering doing some sort of postgraduate study in Women’s or Gender Studies, so this sort of thing is currently catching my eye. I am also trying to possibly get a job in the field for a few years while I save up for my Masters, so this sort of thing would be ideal.

I realised that I had not updated this blog properly for ages, and I had lots of things that I wanted to write about, but as this has now become a post about films, I think I will continue on a theme and save the rest of my bits for next time (next time will not be 6 weeks away this time!). I found this funny link, the “Hot Chick, who cares if she can act” column made me laugh! I also liked reading this article about The Runaways, a film about Joan Jett starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. I am not Kristen Stewart’s biggest fan, which bothers me slightly because it seems so fashionable to not be her biggest fan, and I don’t want it to seem like I am just influenced by everyone around me. I love the Twilight books, not such a huge fan of the films, but enjoy watching them. I am not in love with her portrayal of Bella, but it’s fine. It’s her all round attitude that bothers me. She chose to star in a huge film, and then seems to complain and sulk about the fact that everyone wants a piece of her. While I by no means agree with the paparazzi in any form, I do have to ask what she thought was going to happen when she signed on to play Bella. Twilight was already huge before the films were created, so she must have had an idea.

Anyway, back to The Runaways, there is no UK release date for it yet. Which probably means that it won’t come out here – it premiered at the Sundance festival, so that’s no great surprise. But I will try and see it somehow, because it looks good.

Larry Crowne also looks like it could be good – Tom Hanks is probably one of the most watchable actors ever, and I enjoyed his directorial debut, That Thing You Do. Also, he and Julia Roberts were in Charlie Wilson’s War together, and I very much enjoyed that. Obviously, there is another Tom Hanks film coming in the summer that I am very excited for…. “Somebody’s poisoned the waterhole!”

Toy Story 3

IMDB does have a date for this one – 23rd July. Very, very excited.

With that I shall end. The word count for this post is currently sitting at 957 words. That’s almost half an essay.


“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

~ Mozart ~

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