The festive spirit has hit the My Weekly office!
Welcome to My Weekly
Very merry Christmas greetings to you from all the My Weekly team. I hope you have wonderful treats planned for the holiday season with those closest to you – and, of course, that you’ll have time to relax with this bumper issue of My Weekly. We’re thrilled to bring you even more great short stories from best-selling authors, including Val Wood and Milly Johnson, and this is the perfect time to take a long look back on 2012 with our Review of the Year. So much has happened in just 12 short months. We all remember the Jubilee and Olympics but do you recall which towns became cities or which sky-high world record was broken? Have a fabulous Christmas and a magical New Year. See you again on January 2nd 2013.
ON THE COVER
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Win an iPad worth £500 Easiest Ever Puddings! Review Of The Year! Tess Strictly star’s beauty secrets 55 Festive fireworks in Corrie! 16 Looking Good Tops for trousers 68 12 Superfoods for Xmas
Sally Hampton, Editor
10 Secrets and Memories By Val Wood 30 Let It Snow! 46 The Christmas List 60 A Proper Family Christmas! 76 Happy Holidays Concluding our serial 95 Who Needs Mistletoe? By Milly Johnson
MAIN PICTURES: DAVID VEN NI/CHILLI ME DIA IN SET : ITV PICTURES, TH INKST OCK
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All About You! Your Weekly Watch Soraya Predicts Ask Helen Save It, Spend It! What’s In Store? Bright Ideas! Brain Boosters Fancy That!
6 Corrie at Christmas Will Leanne Walk Down The Aisle? 8 Getting To Know… Hugh Bonneville 34 Wild At Heart Get The Tissues Ready
20 Little Ollie’s Final Wish
OFFERS & COMPETITIONS
22 Win A Family Friendly iPad 33 Win Everything On The Page! 44 Our Seasonal Crossword! 58 Winter Home Must Haves 67 Ladies’ Footwear 72 Travel Offers 86 Joint Ease Lotion
23 My Weekly Review Of The Year
36 Simply Perfect Christmas Table
HELPING HAND APPEAL 2012 38 1800 Children Say Thank You
40 Treat Yourself This Christmas
50 Show-Stopping Puddings 64 Your Ultimate Party Food Guide!
56 All I Want For Christmas…
68 12 Superfoods Of Christmas! 82 Dr Sarah Jarvis Have A Healthy Christmas! 83 Good To Know
71 Winter Wonderland
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Belinda Jones No 1
Let It Snow!
Despite being dumped at the airport on Christmas Eve, it seems that all Angie’s wishes can still come true…
hen my boyfriend asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said, “Snow! And lots of it!” I was quite emphatic about the volume. I didn’t want the light sprinkling you glimpse from your window and then run outside to find it turning to slush as it touches the ground. I wanted a deep, thick wonderland you could disappear into. I’m looking out on that now – not so much a blanket of snow but a vast puffedup duvet as far as the eye can see. It’s magical and other-worldly and exactly what I had hoped for. Except for the fact that I am alone. Not because Adrian got lost in a blizzard, I hasten to add. Chance would be a fine thing – he never even boarded the plane. We got as far as the airport check-in desk and then he blurted, “Angie, I’m sorry, I can’t do this!” “We’ll be fine!” I assured him. “We have thermals and bobble hats and I’ve even packed some of those hand warmers – you know, those little sachets you jiggle to activate –” “It’s not about the cold.” He cut me off. “It’s us!”
went chasing after him, just in time to see him step into a car with Denise from Human Resources. I couldn’t believe it – she’d actually been bragging about her “hot new romance” a few days earlier but had refused to reveal his identity. No prizes for guessing who’s in her stocking now. So there I was in a daze again, losing count of the number of suitcase wheels that rolled over my feet. There was no car waiting to whisk me away. No trains running that could take me to my parents’ where I could suck the brandy out of the Christmas pud. It was either take the flight or spend Christmas at Heathrow airport. The wretchedness of that scenario suited my mood, but then I thought of all that glistening snow – its shimmering purity, the freshness of the pine-sprigged landscape… Plus I had been reading that the local dessert speciality was maple syrup pie.
h, Quebec City!” The girl on the Air Canada desk swooned as she scanned my ticket. “There’s no more romantic place at this time of year! Are you meeting someone there?”
faux fire on full blast, desperately trying to enjoy myself but not quite knowing how. I decide to try and revive my senses by wrenching back the balcony door and stepping out into the zinging chill. “Ice, ice baby!” I gasp. That wind is laceratingly cold. And noisy. Less of a whistle and more of a whine. Almost like the howl of a wolf. That is when I look down and see a husky dog. At least I hope it’s a dog. His immaculate monochromatic fur is being ruffled by the swirling snow but his piercing opal-blue eyes are fixed on me with laser-like intensity. “H-hello?” I call down. His jaw jolts upright, then he turns towards the road and looks expectantly back at me. “Are you trying to tell me something?” He repeats the motion. “You want me to follow you?” Oh, gosh! What if someone is trapped in the snow and this is his Lassie-like cry for help? “Ummmm…” The dog yelps again. No time to waste! “Well, I’m really not familiar with the area, I’m not prepared…” I say this to myself but I’m still pulling on my coat, pulling up the hood and donning gloves and boots. I can ask at reception – perhaps he’s a local dog, or they’ll know what to do? Of course there’s a long line of people checking in and I can see my friend
“What do you mean?” I still didn’t get it. So he spelled it out for me. “You can’t break up with me on Christmas Eve!” I protested. “Isn’t there a law against that kind of thing?” “I’m sorry.” When he first began walking away, I was too stunned to move. I was just lost to the hubbub, jostled this way and that by people humping oversized rucksacks. But then I came back to my senses and 30
I could’ve told her the truth – that I’d just been dumped and was severely regretting not packing my hot water bottle – but why ruin her Christmas too? So I gave a secret smile and said, “I am!” “Does he speak French?” she breathed. “Oui!” I nodded. “Oh!” She swooned. “Enjoy! Enjoy every second!” So now I’m in my hotel room with the
outside getting ever more impatient. I’d like to say that it’s my naturally adventurous spirit that leads me outside but actually it’s another kind of spirit, or spirits – namely the brandy, vodka, sherry and port that make up the Caribou cocktail they drink here. It seems so festive, just like mulled wine, but the effects are far more intense. For example, right now, although I feel like I’m on some kind of Polar expedition, I don’t feel cold.
ILL USTRATIO NS: GET TY IMAG ES, MAN DY MURRAY
The wind is laceratingly cold as I wrench open the balcony door. Gazing up at me is a blue-eyed husky
Author of 10 Best-selling Novels There’s no more romantic sight than snowflakes
I also don’t feel afraid. Maybe because some part of me thinks, That’ll show Adrian! Think how bad he’ll feel when my frozen corpse is discovered in the morning, possibly with a half-gnawed leg.
e round a corner and then I come to a stunned halt. There before me is a building unlike anything I’ve ever seen, it’s low and long with three main arches and – get this – it’s entirely made of ice. I scuttle forward and place my hands on the translucent bricks and then peer at
a sign saying Hôtel De Glace. “Ice hotel,” I translate. “This is where you wanted to bring me?” I check with my canine companion. His tail starts wagging. “I like your style.” He whines again. “You want to go inside?” He pants eagerly. “Okay…” Now this really is incredible – there are beautiful etchings in the compacted snow and a neon throb of lights turning the ice from pink to green to violet. I follow the
BIG NAME Fiction
sound of pumping umping club lub music into the bar. This has to be one of the most surreal sights I’ve ever seen – everyone is mummified for warmth, all woolly layers and down-stuffed coats, cheerfully drinking from glasses made from hollowed-out ice. The husky trots over to a squarejawed guy at the bar. He’s got good taste, I’ll give him that. “There you are!” Square Jaw brightens, removing a glove to rumple his head and revealing a wedding ring. Oh well, that was a bit much to hope for. I’m just wondering if I should introduce myself or retreat but the dog gives me no choice, running excitedly between the two of us. “Oh, Dini!” The guy tuts. “Have you been picking up women again?” My eyes narrow at the dog. “I thought I was special!” The man, who introduces himself as Ryan, laughs. “I’m sure you are. It’s just that since Laurent’s girlfriend left, Dini has been bringing round all manner of women for him.” “Like a series of old chew toys?” “Well – a few of them haven’t been supermodels but I wouldn’t go that far.” Now it’s my turn to laugh. “Where did he find you?” “Over at the Hotel Chill.” “So you’re not staying here?” I look around me. “How exactly would one do that? I mean, are the beds made of ice too?” “As a matter of fact they are.” “Whaaat?” As Ryan explains that the mattresses are real and you sleep in Arctic-strength sleeping bags, preferably after a dunking in the hot tub, I realise I am starting to get curious about Laurent – I mean, he has a nice dog and a nice friend and he’s just been dumped, which obviously I can relate to. Although I think I’m going to Continued overleaf…