Desperate retailers keen to get the punters in ahead of Christmas are sending out a glut of coupons via e-mail. The "40 per cent off" one at Threshers has received massive publicity because it's gone to more people than the retailer intended, but we've also received some offers from Gap, Selfridges and Urban Outfitters. They might work in encouraging consumers through the doors, but we're just enjoying some one-off bargains.
E-MAIL CHRISTMAS CARDS
Continuing the e-mail theme, we really like the Christmas cards we've been receiving by e-mail. We're keen on the environment, so we like the paper waste this saves and some of the companies we've had electronic cards from so far (notably JCDecaux) are donating their Christmas card budget to charity. So, everyone is a winner. Except, perhaps, the Royal Mail.
SKY MOVIES MAGAZINE
We're not quite sure what effect Sky's decision to move its main magazine contract to News Magazine will have, but we like its spin-off title Sky Movies, which is produced by Future Publishing's Total Film team. Its dinky format is a bit unimpressive at first, but its clean design and excellent content, including chunks of big-name interviews from Total Film, is well ahead of many customer titles. It is also carrying some impressive advertising from the likes of Sony and T-Mobile in the first issue.
Getting all soppy for a minute, but we are suckers for the Christmas spirit after all, we are really enjoying ourselves at London's outdoor ice-skating rinks at Somerset House and Kew Gardens. A straw poll reveals Kew to be the marginally better rink, but we also love the elegant evening setting at Somerset House. A great night out for couples - just watch out for the super-fast kids who try to knock you over. A badly broken leg at Christmas is no fun at all.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
LATE ASHES NIGHTS
We were all excited about the start of the Ashes series Down Under, if a little put off by the midnight starts and the need to stay awake all night. We've tried everything - coffee, alcohol, Red Bull - but nothing can keep us going until 7.00am when England are getting so soundly thrashed. Obviously our inability to stay awake is down to dismal events on the field so, for Sky and its sponsors' sake (not to forgot our sanity), let's hope England's fortunes improve.