Tag Archives: holidays

Let’s ‘Ave a Proper Brew!

My favourite tea..."Let's Have a Proper Brew!"

Yorkshire Tea – my favourite to make the perfect cuppa’



For the past few weeks I’ve been back in England. And despite the cold and wintery weather I have been enjoying a few home favorites.

Through all the glorious pints of Guinness, Fish and Chips and much missed chocolate bars I’ve been re-acquainting myself with, I wonder how I managed to live here all those years without putting on 20 pounds a week! Although there’s nothing like not knowing when you’re going to get to eat a particular food again to make you go a bit crazy – I think it might be time to get back on the juice diet when I return to Nashville!

It’s usually at this point in my trip that I’m considering buying extra suitcases to fill with tins of Heinz Baked Beans, tubs of Birds Custard powder and boxes of Yorkshire Tea, but I have so far managed to resist.

Here are some pictures from my travels which remind me of some of the reasons I love coming home…

There's nothing like traditional fish n' chips!

There’s nothing like traditional fish ‘n’ chips!

The slightly odd combination of tea and giant strawberry meringue!

The slightly odd combination of tea and giant strawberry meringue!

 

Giant meringue

It tasted good though…!


It's surprising the things you miss from home! Some of my favorite flavours of crisps

It’s surprising the things you miss from home! Some of my favorite flavours of crisps

Bacon

You can’t go wrong with a bacon sandwich, covered in Heinz Ketchup!

No birthday party is complete without...Jelly and icecream!

No birthday party is complete without…Jelly and icecream!

If you were living in another country, what would be the one food you’d miss the most??


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Callaghan’s 12 Days (Videos) of Christmas!

Not long to go before the holidays. I hope everyone’s looking forward to some rest and relaxation!

As a thank you for all the support people have given me and my music over the year, I’m giving the best present I can think of – more music!

I’m doing my very own “12 Videos of Christmas”, starting today,  live from my living room!

The first video is my favourite Christmas hymn, “O Holy Night”. I’ve been performing it as the encore in a couple of recent shows and people have been asking for it – so here it is!

Tomorrow’s video will be one of my new songs.

You can watch the video now on my Facebook Page  where I’ll be posting more in the days ahead.

All these videos, and more are also on my youtube channel.

Hope you and your families all have wonderful holidays!

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Top Ten Christmas Gift Ideas For The Person Who Has Everything…Including More Money Than Sense!

It’s that time of year again.

When the colorful lights decorate homes and city streets, store fronts are invitingly decked out with festive cheer, the cold nights draw in tempting you to indulge in some guilt free consumption of comfort food and warming alcohol, and for some reason, it’s the time of year when people start buying the craziest of things.

People who may have been, for the previous 11 months, totally normal now make it their mission to find and purchase items for friends, family members and co-workers, spending their hard earned dollars or pounds on useless and unwanted gifts that will be relocated to a basement, utility room or dusty drawer come December 26th.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a scrooge. In fact, I am one of the biggest suckers out there for anything that seems vaguely Christmassy – my tree goes up in November! But what happened to “it’s the thought that counts”? It seems that nowadays the stores bombard us with so many items and pressure to buy that any gift is better than no gift at all, despite the fact that we probably all reached the point of not really needing anything a long time ago.

I was reminded of this fact when the Christmas Catalogues started pouring into my mail box. I started flicking through some of them and was absolutely amazed – and pretty entertained – by some of the gift ideas on offer. Here are a few of my favourites. And remember, someone somewhere was paid to go to work, sit at their desk, and invent these products in the hope of getting them under your tree this Christmas…

 

1. Snowball/ Snow Block Maker Set

Snowball maker

For only $14.95 you can take the fun completely out of snowball fights with this useful gadget.

No more frozen hands preparing your icy weapons, this handy kit also shaves valuable hours off constructing the snow blocks for your Christmas ice house. I’m currently splitting my time between Nashville and Atlanta so this would be really good for all those snowy days!

 

2. Cell Phone Sanitizer

Cell phone sanitizer

Christmas is a time for catching up with family, friends and loved ones.

Don’t let it also be a time for catching germs.

This battery-powered sanitizer is a carefree way of erasing the memory of the unimaginably unsanitary places your cell phone and bluetooth devices have been in the last 11 months.

3. Her Majesty’s Umbrella

Her Majesty's Umbrella

Want to give a gift of royal quality?

Look no further than this genuine HRH Queen Elizabeth-approved plastic umbrella.

Featuring “easy opening and closing, and black regal trim”, this gift will bring a touch of class to your festivities this year.

It’s not quite as good as Mary Poppins’ umbrella which allows you to fly, but those are out of stock!

(Please note: regal looking senior citizen not included)

 

4.  The Light Show Music Player

The Light Show Music Player

Who needs fancy stereo sound systems, or expensive firework extravaganzas, when all your party is waiting for is this state of the art music player.

Your guests will be high on party atmosphere as they experience the “dazzling light show”, and measuring in at “no larger than a box of tissues” you know you’re going to get the sound quality your Christmas event deserves.

No one gets left out at this party – The Light Show Music Player comes fully equipped with a remote control so you can DJ from the dance floor. Or just switch to the built in AM/FM function and let someone else do the work while you dance the night away.

 

5. The Hands Free Wine Aerator

The Hands Free Wine Aerator

The Holidays can be such a stressful time – people visiting day and night, and a huge pressure to be the perfect host.

The Hands Free Wine Aerator takes the hassle out of entertaining for the host that wants to get hammered with their guests while still enjoying the subtle bouquet of aerated wine.

No longer will you have to worry about being sober enough to hold your favorite bottle of wine vertically upright, this hands free decanter does all the work, leaving you more time for what’s really important at Christmas – drinking yourself horizontal.

 

6. The iPhone Controlled Ball Dropping Bomber

The iPhone Controlled Ball Dropping Bomber

Ever feel weighed down by excess bills in your wallet or get that bloated feeling in your bank account?

Get instant relief and feel $129.95 lighter when you purchase the iPhone Controlled Ball Dropping Bomber. This christmas you can drop ball bombs on your nearest and dearest.

(this does actually look like fun!)

 

7. The Direct To iPhone/iPod Scanner

The Direct To iPhone/iPod Scanner

In this digital age everyone agrees that those magical moments are best viewed on a 3 x 2 inch screen. But don’t stop at photos taken with your iPhone only – this Direct To iPhone/iPod Scanner allows you to take any picture and scan it into your phone, cleverly reducing the size and quality of the photo.

And how about all those recipes you’ve been collecting that are piling up, or the unmanageable number of business cards we all have to organize? Now those too can easily take care of all your iPhone’s spare storage. In fact, you can scan anything so long as it’s no bigger than 4×6.

This handy extra-bag-required-sized accessory is the perfect gift for the person in your life who loves those “impromptu scanning sessions” and let’s face it, it’s not a party till you scan something!

 

8. The Backpack Vacuum

The Backpack Vacuum

Surprise someone you love this Christmas with the gadget all home-makers have been waiting for.

No longer will you have to drag around the heavy and bulky plastic container of filth collected from your home, you can strap all the dirt, grime, toe nail clippings etc onto your back!

Why rely on the wheels of a regular vacuum cleaner when your own back can take the strain?

(might be quite good for playing Ghostbusters!)

 

9. The Talking 30 Language Translator

The Talking 30 Language Translator

Learning a new language can be overly time consuming. The modern global jet-setter simply doesn’t have time to be rifling through phrase books every time they’re in a new country.

Now you don’t have to with The Talking 30 Language Translator.

Unlike its $3.99 iPhone app competitors, which unhelpfully also translate photographed words, this sleek 1985-styled device can be the envy of your fellow travelers for only $249.95.

When you pull this out in some exotic location, the first question you receive may translate as ‘don’t they have the internet where you’re from?’

 

10. The Two Story Inflatable Reindeer

The Two Story Inflatable Reindeer 

No home is complete without some Christmas decoration, and what could be more impressive than this tasteful Two Story Inflatable Reindeer?

For under $400 you can make your home the talk of the street. Or surprise the recipient of this gift, and let their holiday guests enjoy literally seconds of amusement.

(I really want one of these! Or at least a house with a garden big enough to host him!)

And remember not to forget your furry friend this holiday season…

The Only Outdoor Heated Cat Shelter

The Only Outdoor Heated Cat Shelter

Make your cat feel loved this year by buying its own outdoor heated shelter. Even better than allowing ‘Fluffy’ indoors on a cold wintry day, the Outdoor Heated Cat Shelter gives your cat a feeling of independence whilst protecting it in all weather conditions.

If you enjoyed reading about these Top 10 Christmas Gift Items and would like to know where you can buy any of them from, it might be time to have a long hard think about things!

I hope you and yours have a happy, fun and wonderful Christmas!

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Being a Brit in the USA – my first 4th of July

Living in a different country to the one you grew up in often means coming across the new and unfamiliar and I seem to write a lot in this blog about the experience of being a Brit living in America.

So I thought I’d share another “first” that I experienced recently…

My first 4th of July

Although I’ve lived in the US for 2 years, last year I was on the road touring and didn’t get to truly have the authentic 4th of July celebration. So, wanting to do things right, I went onto my Facebook Page and asked people how this holiday was best celebrated. The consensus was that it should contain lots of grilling, drinking, and blowing things up. I think I followed that advice pretty closely and spent the evening with some friends eating burgers, drinking good beer and watching a very impressive firework display.

One thing I’ve noticed since living here is that this country has some great holidays, and 4th of July is definitely one of them. Like Thanksgiving, it’s a chance to get together with friends and family, eat good food and have a good time without any of the pressures or commercial aspects that other holidays can bring.

Of course, I know there is also historic tradition and story behind these festivities, and I’m learning more about American history which I find really interesting (particularly since I’ve been tracking the story of my great-great-great Uncle who moved to the States in the 1800s). Being a Brit there were a few gags from people about red coats and historic butt kickin’s, but it was all in good spirits, and some people were surprised to learn that the revolutionaries had attracted many supporters in Britain.

In the Facebook discussion I had many people also said the 4th is an opportunity to pause and be thankful for the place in which you live. So, Happy Birthday to the USA, and thanks for giving me such a lovely home.

I’ll just finish by quoting one Facebook fan, a Brit who has lived here for a while, who made me smile:

“If someone asks you whether you have the 4th of July in the UK, just reply and say “Yes we do, it comes after the 3rd and before the 5th”

I celebrated my 4th in Tennessee this year…I wonder if the celebrations are the same across the USA? Let me know what you think and I can start preparing for next year!

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