The managing director of Wrightstyle, a glass solutions company that worked on Orbital at London's...
Wrightstyle, a leading supplier of integrated steel and glass systems, wishes all of its customers, suppliers and friends a Merry Christmas. This year, instead of sending Christmas cards, it has donated to the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) Foundation. Jane Embury, a Wrightsyle director, offers a few festive tips.
Wrightstyle designs, fabricates, supplies and installs steel and glass systems, often in challenging configurations. It’s a complex business requiring effective management throughout the design, manufacturing and supply chain. It is, therefore, rather similar to the fraught business of planning for Christmas.
Buying Christmas gifts
Here are a few of Jane’s tips on two of the most difficult aspects of Christmas buying suitable presents and surviving Christmas Day.
The first problem with Christmas is that you have to buy people nice presents. The other problem with Christmas is the receiving of gifts that you don’t want. However, there are some fabulous gift ideas out there.
One of my favourites is underpants for squirrels. It’s not a joke, by the way. It’s what squirrels have always wanted: www.squirrelunderpants.com.
Or why not a drug dealer magnet set. It contains everything, according to the blurb, to get you started in the drug trade: www.fridgedoor.com/drdemaset.
A rather nice present is a fish training kit, although perhaps only useful for those who keep fish. It teaches goldfish to perform tricks, apparently. www.lfzyboneuk.com.
Still on a pet theme, how often have you looked at your cat and thought how much nicer it would look if it resembled a 1970s Cher? I know I have. The answer is finally here, and it’s a wonder that it’s taken so long: www.kittywigs.com.
Another brilliant idea is a small glove that you use to keep your touch-screen phone or iPad free of grease. So much easier than occasionally giving the screen a wipe with a cloth: www.phonefingers.com.
Another gift born of genius is the ear dryer. This battery-powered device fits into your ear and blows hot air, although the instructions do advise you to first dry your ears with a towel: www.dryear.net.
Genius also extends to the perennial problem of having to keep twisting and licking a melting ice-cream cone. But problem solved, with the fabulous Motorised Ice-Cream Cone. Handily, you can also put it in the dishwasher: available on amazon.co.uk.
Also on the subject of food, how often do you lie awake worrying about that half avocado in the fridge. Will it be brown and inedible by the morning? Will the evil drug magnets have sold it for cocaine? Now we can all sleep soundly again with the specially-designed avocado saver. Clingfilm would just be too silly an alternative.
Some good ideas have inexplicably not made it into the shops this Christmas. For example, the coat parachute. That was the brainchild of Franz Reichelt who in 1912 fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his fantastic new invention.
Or the hot-air balloon that for propulsion, is first attached to an eagle or vulture (patented 1887). Of course, it does also involve capturing a suitable avian predator. Its one minor drawback is that you can only travel where your bird wants to go.
Others have perhaps not made it into the shops on the grounds that they might be illegal – for example, the plough (patented 1862) that handily doubles as an artillery piece.
Other great ideas definitely should be on the market. For example, as an aid for cleaning the kitchen floor, how about duster slippers for cats? Just attach them to your cat’s paws, and that’s the floor done. Especially cute if the cat is wearing a kittywig at the same time – stylish and practical! If nobody else gets them to market, perhaps we’ll branch out at Wrightstyle and do it ourselves.
Getting through Christmas day
You’ve opened the presents, the goldfish has learned to juggle and Aunt Mabel has survived jumping from the roof in her coat parachute and is tucking into the sherry. You now have to survive the rest of Christmas day.
Make no mistake, it’s a dangerous time of year. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) more than 80,000 UK citizens end up in A&E over the festive period with some 6,000 on Christmas day alone.
It’s not just kitchen burns, cutting your finger while peeling the potatoes or children falling off new bikes. A few specific Christmas horrors are that some 1,000 people are injured every year putting up Christmas decorations, 350 are injured by Christmas tree lights – and several dozen UK citizens have died over the past 15 years by watering their Christmas tree while the Christmas lights were plugged in.
British hospitals report about four broken arms each year after cracker pulling accidents and some five Britons are injured every Christmas in accidents involving out-of-control Scalextric cars.
Remember that there may be 1,200 chainsaw accidents a year, but over 16,000 people are injured by their sofas. Socks and tights account for over 10,000 injuries (mainly falling over while putting them on) and vegetables account for more than 13,000 injuries.
If you go out, don’t walk near birdbaths (311 injuries) or wear wellington boots (5,600). Don’t even think about putting on trousers (5,900), don’t be rude to the breadbin (91) and be very wary of that tin of talcum powder (73).
If you can’t eat, relax in the living room, or wear clothes, don’t make the elementary mistake of thinking that the bathroom is a safe place. There are over 700 sponge and loofah accidents per year and toilet roll holders account for another 300 visits to A&E.
Everyone at Wrightstyle would like to wish you a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year.
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