Palatinate Web Whirl: Chocolate Frost

by Hannah Watson

This week I received a letter which changed everything. My Mum had sent me an advent calendar – a grown-up, paper cut-out calendar.  No gimmicky pictures or cardboard tasting chocolates in sight. This is a topic of much debate. Every year, my Mum protests I’m too old for Easter Eggs, for chocolate calendars, and every year I resist.  Finally, at 20, I’ve come of age! Admittedly, I’m exaggerating, and my lovely Mum couldn’t resist slipping some festive chocolates in the parcel too.

But the point remains that December looms large. Brr, anyone else chilly? All of a sudden, Durham’s feeling festive and there’s a frostiness to the brisk Northern air. The onset of weather which chills to the bone, broken heating in Elvet Riverside and torrential rains in Durham all signal one thing: winter is well and truly here. Thanks to Joe McElderry, the Christmas lights are sparkling; the tree stands tall in the town square…and the holidays are fast approaching… Anyone guessed the theme for this week’s Web Whirl yet?!

Online Shopping

Suddenly it’s time to start planning the Christmas shopping, with the annual panic to find a perfect gift for the awkward cousin who has it all, or the member of your corridor whose name you wished you’d never picked out of the hat for Secret Santa. Check out (I Want One Of Those) for original, quirky, and downright crazy gifts. Self-stirring mug or moustache straws, anyone?

Website of the Week

For those without the luck of receiving an advent calendar in the post, create your own or one for a friend at Customise each window with your own picture for a cute, personalised gift!

App Happiness

“Throw away your antiquated chocolate advent calendars, and download Advent 2012: 25 Christmas Apps now to get yourself into Christmas spirit,” say the guys at  They have created a virtual advent calendar app. With 25 real treats to download onto your phones, this app is currently number 7 on iTunes Top Free Apps. Whilst I don’t advocate getting rid of real calendars, who says you can’t have both?

Photograph: Michelle Wray

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