Fiction: 'Jingle Hells' by Archie Black
Everywhere Else (& Further Shop Shop Shopping)

Friday Five: Five Things You Should Do This Weekend...

Cheesesouffle_5237_16x9...instead of getting ready for the holidays.

1. Watch a box-set of something

I propose that you make it something outside your comfort zone, and would like to suggest the brilliant Friday Night Lights, which is about high school football in west Texas. I know! That's totally not your thing, is it? Except that it totally is. The show is well written, well acted, sensitive, heartbreaking, and features a lot of really, really good-looking actors. There's very little football and what football is present is usually completely heartwarming. Or, at least, heart-string tugging. DO IT. DO IT FOR ME.

2. Cook

I don't mean 'make a practice turkey.' (Though now that I think about it, cooking an entire practice turkey and then spending the weekend eating it could be loads of fun. Bonus turkey!) Branch out! Try something new! I suggest experimenting with the no-less-heartbreaking-experience-for-being-a-cliche of making your own souffle... only to see it fall. Seriously, you will be so gutted. And then you'll eat it anyway, because fallen souffle still tastes like souffle. Try making a cheese souffle. Recipe here.  I would really like a nice cheese souffle right about now. I have never typed the word 'souffle' so often.

1682998513. Take a walk

I think I recommend walking, like, all the time now. Mostly because I don't do it enough myself. Folks, it's gorgeous outside these days. And people are having fires, so the air smells lovely, and everything is clean and crisp and... well, if you're in London or, my mom reports, California, everything is kind of wet right now. Maybe don't take a walk exactly this second, but go out during a lull. Bring your camera! Enjoy Stormzilla. Document the experience.

4. Play cards

Invite someone over - or find a nice quiet pub - and break out a fresh deck of cards. Here are the rules to ginrummy, and four-handed euchre. All three are great fun and can be played with two, three or four people. (Here's two-handed and three-handed euchre, also known as bid-euchre.) Ligretto is also awesome, and of course Cards Against Humanity is a sure-fire winner. When playing euchre, however, REMEMBER TO SAVE STRAIGHT SUIT. You'll make my mom very happy. And you'll make yourself happy by using the phrase 'straight suit' like a pro.

5. Reread The Hobbit, aloud

The film is only going to disappoint you. (At right: Thorin Oakenshield in happier times. Never forget.) (JARED CHECK OUT THAT PINEAPPLE.) (Not a euphemism.) (Probably should be.)

BONUS 6. Make up extravagant lies about the Victorians.

This is our favourite way to pass an afternoon. I'm not kidding.