Christmas is fast approaching I hope things aren’t to frantic for you all, and your finding plenty of time to read. I must admit I struggle this time of year, trying to fit everything in I don’t get the time to read as much as I would like too. Anyway I have another Orenda post to share with you all, and this one’s from David F. Ross, I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I did.
What is your favourite Christmas memory?
I’m not the greatest Christmas aficionado, it must be said.
“It’s the middle of the afternoon and the curtains are closed. Like a state of mourning is being observed. It’s raining heavily. The village roads are deserted. Everyone is probably indoors complaining about The Queen interrupting their day but watching her do it regardless. The loud, aggression of EastEnders being replicated in homes where too much alcohol’s been taken too early; too much borrowed money has evaporated on disappointing food and disregarded presents. I have no sympathy for those in such situations. I haven’t had a Christmas present since I was fifteen. It matters little to me. It’s a false conceit. I’ve always disliked Christmas. People trying too hard to conceal the people they really are, and invariably failing.”
This is an extract from my new book. I’m not as miserable as the passage might make me seem but I do think there is a social and financial pressure on lots of struggling parents at this time of year and I have a few vivid memories of the strain that causes.
Funnier times include the year my dad had gotten hold of a duck from someone at his work. He carried it home on the train. It wouldn’t fit in the oven. I remember him trying – and failing – to cut the head off it using a pair of scissors.
When my own kids were younger, I cut white footprints out of paper and placed them from the front door along the hall to where we’d stacked their presents. Kids are so gullible around the festive season.
Where will you be spending Christmas?
I’ll be spending Christmas at home in Kilmarnock. I’m the type of person who prefers it to be a day – actually a consecutive run of days – where I don’t have to leave the house. One of the benefits of getting older is that our family comes to ours and while that requires a level of domestic co-ordination that usually falls heavily on the shoulders of Elaine, my wife, I regularly remind her that it’s a price worth paying.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
Not really. Other than trying to kick all the ‘hanger-on’ relatives out by 8pm so that I can slob about the house in whatever leisure wear someone has given me as a present. I start looking at my watch regularly about 7.30pm … turning the heating off an hour earlier … hurrying folks along with their drinks … turning off ‘Strictly’ and putting on LPs by The Fall or The Birthday Party … etc etc.
That combination usually does the trick.
What was your best ever Christmas present?
Two things jump out from my childhood. The first one was Raving Bonkers, a boxing game that I thought was brilliant. I still do. I wish I had kept it.
The other was the Subbuteo stand and floodlights. I already had an impressive collection of accessories from the dugouts and touchline fencing but the much-envied stadium, complete with politely seated supporters and the battery-operated lights were brilliant. It was only one stand and the empty seats outnumbered the static punters by around 20 to1, but at the time it felt like the Nou Camp.
Nowadays, I often get given tickets to see people like Paul Weller or Elvis Costello or Burt Bacharach in concert. These are great presents, don’t get me wrong, but we’re all at an age where a doubt lingers that we’ll all still be alive by the time the gig comes around.
What was your worst ever Christmas present?
There aren’t too many that jump out to be honest. I suspect people close to me generally know me well. I did get a CD once – Coldplay, if memory serves – which I took back.
“Anything wrong with it?” asked the young assistant. “Yeah. It’s fucking rubbish!”
Favourite Christmas tipple?
I don’t really differentiate between Christmas and other times of the year, so always a decent Malbec and/or Jack Daniels and Coke.
When I was about ten, I found a bottle of Advocaat in my granda’s back cupboard. I was mesmerised by its colour. And I loved the taste. A bit too much, I think. Nipping upstairs regularly to neck this thick bright yellow nectar. If I hadn’t got caught – and walloped for it – life could’ve turned out very differently.
What are you hoping for this Christmas?
Beyond a relative-free post-8pm evening … that Brexit falls flat on it’s arse; that it finally dawns on the celebrity campmates that if they just kill Ant & Dec at the beginning, and eat them, they won’t have to do any of those ridiculous trials … and that Bob Dylan plays ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ properly when we go and see him play the Beacon Theatre in New York in December.
Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?
May the road rise up to meet you all in 2020.
Happy Christmas (War is Over)
Love and Peace. David X
About David F. Ross
David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His debut novel The Last Days of Disco was shortlisted for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and received exceptional critical acclaim, as did the other two books in the Disco Days Trilogy: The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas and The Man Who Loved Islands. David lives in Ayrshire.
Books by Orenda Books
My thanks to David F. Ross for writing this post, and taking part in this feature.
The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.
To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄