I love Christmas books and I love diary books. I have whole shelves dedicated to both. I noticed that I had never read a Christmas diary book. All diaries contain some Christmas, that is how years work, they all have a December 25th, but a really Christmassy diary book? I couldn’t think of one. So, as Toni Morrison said “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I created a placeholder on my shelf, between diaries and Christmas books for this as yet unwritten book.
I wrote Pam Dickens Keeps Christmas All The Year between May 2020 and October 2021. Despite this being the coronavirus pandemic times the book has no mention of it, because it is set in 2018. It’s very much an escape, a virus free oasis, with baubles. I read 111 Christmas books while writing it! I set it very locally, because that was the only place I was going! It’s a gentle book, stress free and easy to read in short bursts.
So, here’s what it’s all about; Pam Dickens will be released from paid employment this year and she is jolly pleased about it. Join her as she gets used to retirement and occupies her time very pleasantly by focusing on her favourite festival. Meet her husband Malc and see what marriage looks like after more than four decades. Meet her family and friends and enjoy the bits of Oxford that locals inhabit.
Snaggletooth has chomped an orange flavour Twirl, nibbled some Percy Pig piglets, masticated some pudding flavour chews (lovely lemon meringue was his favourite) and had a limited edition Hazelnut Wispa Gold recently.
Snaggletooth has enjoyed the summery seaside snack of some candy floss flavour rock. He’s also sophisticatedly nibbled some strawberry and mint After Eights. He thought Mary Berry had every right to look pleased with herself on the packet for her raspberry ripple cake, it was delicious. The cherry flavour Turkish delight was wonderful and he hopes it hangs around for longer than the lemon one did.
Snaggletooth is a big fan of the Cadbury Mini Roll and enjoyed the new Neapolitan option, likewise the orange Wagon Wheel. He’s also nibbled some Colin the Caterpillar jelly sweets and chomped on some cheese made from the milk of cows who graze in Glastonbury!
Snaggletooth has nibbled some lemon flavour Turkish Delight which he really enjoyed but judging by the massive pile of it in B&M at 69p a packet it wasn’t a commercial success. It looks a bit like fluorescent snot but don’t let that put you off (it’s put you off hasn’t it?). The hot dog flavour Pringles he ate also came from B&M. They tasted a bit mustardy and were very pleasant. In case you don’t have one nearby, B&M is an emporium of useful household things and foodstuffs. They specialise in high fat and high sugar delicacies at low prices.
Aniseed balls are not a commonly found sweet nowadays but I got some in Notcutts Oxford garden centre. My Mum likes these so Snag shared them with her. I love the colour of aniseed balls. The cherry Jaffa Cake is a new Jaffa Cake flavour but there has been a similar Polish biscuit/cake (sometimes available in Lidl) for ages. Let’s not get into the debate about whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit, McVities state clearly that they are a cake. If I hang about in the biscuit aisle, that does not make me a biscuit, so nor does it make the Jaffa Cake a biscuit.
I’m going to feed another 154 things to Snaggletooth, so keep watching this space!
I’ve been making cakes a bit more often due to the pandemic and Snaggletooth has sampled my chocolate hazelnut sponge. It’s reminiscent of a Ferrero Rocher, but thankfully (unlike M&S getting cross with Aldi over caterpillar cake similarities), the makers of the gold nobbly posh chocs haven’t objected. There has been a leap forward in Fruit Pastille technology recently and Snaggletooth has chomped the new flavours enthusiastically. Then Snag went back to the 70s for a classic Black Forest gateau. Finally Snag has enjoyed some delicate mini meringue pies with pastry so thin and buttery it’s a triumph. M&S should concentrate on their little pies rather than starting beef about lookalike insect cakes.
It’s been Easter recently, that lovely long weekend of chocolate indulgence. Snaggletooth has nibbled some Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs which were delightful, next year he plans to eat a Reester bunny, which is the same treat but in big rabbit form. Snaggletooth has also eaten a Milky Bar egg. A friend mentioned that when they were a small boy the Milky Bar egg box was in the form of a fun wagon. The hot cross bun is now available in loads of flavours, the Sainsbury’s strawberries and cream one finding favour with Snag’s taste buds. And finally, Snag has eaten a fancy Christmas pudding due to a cupboard overstock during the festive period.
It’s been a very cakey time lately (I had my 47th birthday in February) so Snaggletooth chomped some panda face cake and some chocolate cake. There has been a new development in the world of Jaffa Cakes, the passion fruit variety, and Easter is approaching which means Mini Eggs in any form at all are being eagerly devoured.
Snaggletooth’s been eating sweet things again. It’s the time of year when Santas and bunnies overlap in the shops and Snag has chomped both the bringer of festive gifts and the furry representatives of approaching spring. Snag has also eaten some Reese’s mini peanut butter cups, an exotic taste of North America and some delightfully sticky cinnamon bread.
I’m writing this on Christmas Eve, or as I think of it, Lemmy’s birthday. It’s been a weird old year has 2020, and having weird hobbies, like feeding things to Snaggletooth, has helped by being a distraction from the awful coronavirus pandemic. I hope you’ve all found some good distractions.
Snaggletooth has embraced the festive foodstuffs this season. He’s found the maple and pecan mince pies to be rather toothsome, as was the chocolate Yule log. The best bit of the chocolate Yule log is the end slice with it’s high cake to icing ratio. I have discovered that by buying a pot of chocolate icing and applying to the cut ends you can make every slice an end slice! The pigs in duvets sausage rolls are good dipped in salad cream and the M&S Billionaire’s YumNut was super sweet.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas 2020 and a happy, healthy 2021!