The Hangover Companion: To help you through the Christmas parties

Only six days to go, which means the festive party season is in full swing. With office parties, parties with friends, Christmas Day itself, and New Year’s eve all crammed in to the next couple of weeks, it’s no wonder that surveys report that people’s alcohol consumption rockets in December.

To safely see you through the Christmas party minefield, we recommend a copy of The Wrath of Grapes, or The Hangover Companion by Andy Toper.

If you’re the organised type, you’ll find plenty of useful wisdom in Chapter Three: The Complete Imbiber (How to Avoid a Hangover Without Becoming Teetotal), which will enable you to prepare your body the day before it encounters the free bar at the office Christmas party…

Or if you’re the less organised type, then Chapter Four: The Morning After will be better suited to you. With your hangover punishing you for the night before, Andy Toper gently leads you through the first steps of recovery, from rehydration to that much-needed fry-up.

And if you’re really suffering, there’s always Chapter Five: Hair of the Dog. With recipes to suit every stage and severity of hangover, from the mild to the skull-crushing, you’ll almost certainly find a cure within its pages. (Warning: may simply delay your hangover until tomorrow!)

Why not try the mild-sounding Hair of the Dog: single measure of whisky with 1tbsp double cream and 1 tbsp honey? Or if you’re in need of something stronger, how about The Evelyn Waugh: champagne, a sugar lump, Angostura Bitters and red pepper? Or, if your hangover is of the skull-crushing variety, you might need Hangman’s Blood: champagne, whisky, gin, rum, port, brandy and stout. Not for the faint-hearted, that one, and almost certain to do something with your hangover, though we’re not sure quite what…

Of course, we recommend that you drink responsibly, but we’re all grown-ups here, and if you do think you might over-indulge this Christmas, it’s best to be prepared. I mean, you’ve got a snow shovel in your car, just in case, some emergency cash in your purse for a cab home… why not an emergency hangover companion?

Merry Christmas!








Drink responsibly, and have fun.


Christmas Party Planning Souvenir Style

Season’s greetings one and all!

Is planning your Christmas party getting you in a flap? Not sure what drinks to serve? Don’t know how to combine party games and eating chocolate? Already dreading your post party hangover?

Well fear not,  here at Souvenir Press we’ve put together a helpful guide to help get you through the festive season in one piece – more or less.

Click the image below to read in full.

And as Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us everyone!”

December Newsletter

Are you planning to unplug this Christmas?

Does this sound familiar at all?

You meet up with a friend – perhaps you’re in a bar, or a coffee shop – and you’ve not seen each other for a while. You’ve been busy at work, or there’s been a lot going on at home. But instead of sitting there chatting and catching up over a drink, you’re taking it in turns to check your phone.

You’ve checked yourself in, and tagged the other person in your status: “Drinks after work with Gemma!” And then you get drawn into that cycle: who’s liked my status? Who’s commented? Have I got any emails? What’s happening on Facebook? What’s trending on Twitter? And then after a couple of hours, when you’ve had a couple of drinks and you’re ready to head home, how much time have you spent on your phone, and how much have you really spent with Gemma?

For many, Christmas is the bright spot in their social calendar, with the office Christmas party, drinks with friends, dinners with families, and once you’ve made it past the big day itself then New Year’s Eve glimmers on the horizon. In December it’s likely that you’ll see more of your friends and family than the rest of the year. But even with so much time set aside to spend with our nearest and dearest, and with time off from work, away from the constant pressure of emails and deadlines, we still can’t seem to set down our smartphones and tablets, or step away from our laptops.

Daniel Sieberg, author of The Digital Diet, offers some simple suggestions to help you unplug this Christmas, to make sure that you spend some quality time with your loved ones away from the screen:

  • Turn on your out-of-office for your work emails, stating when you’ll be back in the office – and stick to it. If you say you’ll be checking your emails occasionally over the Christmas break, it’s OK to do so – but maybe only once or twice a day, not every 15 minutes
  • Don’t bring your phone to the dinner table. It’s OK – you can go back to them when you’ve all finished eating, but by leaving your phone behind when you sit down to eat you remove the temptation to check your emails/texts/Facebook/Twitter and give yourself space to enjoy each other’s company
  • Got a great gift, or having a really fantastic festive moment? Take the time to enjoy it in real life first before posting a photo or update online.

Remember: the internet will still be waiting for you in the new year when you’re back at work, but why not try and spend some time with your friends and family this year where they get to see the real you, not the virtual one? It’s time to unplug, and step away from your smartphone.

Happy Christmas!

Digital Diet

The Digital Diet by Daniel Sieberg is published by Souvenir Press. It is available now in paperback and as an e-book.

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas to all our readers from the whole team here at Souvenir Press!

If your Christmas goes anything like mine, by now you will have given and received all your presents, and you’ll be in that awkward space between meals, waiting for dinner to be ready. Or waiting for the Queen’s speech. Or waiting for something good to appear on TV.

Well, fear not. Some of you lucky readers will have been given book tokens. Some of you even luckier readers might have received e-readers, so now’s the perfect chance for you to work out what to buy, or what exciting books to load onto your brand new e-reader. And we’ve got some fantastic suggestions for you.

Welcome to Biscuit Land by Jessica Thom

Welcome to Biscuit LandWithout a doubt, one of the most inspiring titles you will read this year. Jess has Tourettes Syndrome, which means that she makes sounds and movements over which she has no control. Follow a year in her life and the whole spectrum of her experiences, from the heartwarming to the heartbreaking. Witness the kindness and the cruelty of strangers. And above all, meet Jess: courageous, optimistic and inspiring.

Bum Fodder by Richard Smyth

Bum FodderDo you use toilet paper? Well, of course you do. Everybody does. It is one of the most important (but least talked about) inventions of the 1800s. Well, not inventions. It was invented long before then. But that’s when it broke through into mainstream society. But how much do you actually know about loo roll? Not much? Time to learn! A fascinating history of a product that we all take for granted, and can’t live without.

The Book by Alan Watts

The BookEveryone’s talking about it. John Lloyd on Desert Island Discs called it “the best book I’ve ever read on the nature of what actually is, what the world is about, and how you should behave.” It’s been reprinted twice in the last month. Alan Watts presents a critique of Western culture and a healing alternative. Offering spiritual answers to the problems of a materialistic lifestyle, this book may just change your life.

The Digital Diet by Daniel Sieberg

Digital DietMaybe you’re looking ahead to 2013, trying to plan your new year’s resolutions. How about this one: take a step back from the technology that is increasingly running our lives, and instead reconnect with friends and family in the real world. The Digital Diet will help you to take control back of your life, find time for real friends and most importantly, make technology work for you… not the other way around.

Modesty Blaise: A Taste for Death by Peter O’Donnell

Taste for DeathOr maybe you’re just looking for some entertainment. A Taste for Death was serialised on BBC Radio 4 in the week before Christmas, in an adaptation starring Daphne Alexander as Modesty Blaise, and written by Stef Penney. If you heard the adaptation, now is the perfect opportunity to pick up a copy of the book and see what they had to cut out. Hint: the book has a sword fight in it! And you can find out about the whole series.

Whatever you do over the festive period, we hope it is happy and peaceful, and we will see you in the new year. Happy Christmas, everyone, and best wishes from all of us at Souvenir Press.

Modesty’s back!

The iconic 1960s heroine Modesty Blaise, subject of thirteen novels all published by Souvenir Press (as well as years’ of cartoons), has been resurrected by BBC Radio 4.  A TASTE FOR DEATH is to be serialised as a Christmas special by BBC Radio 4’s ‘Women’s Hour’, in five 15-minute slots from 17th to 21st December.

The script has been adapted by Stef Penney, author of ‘The Tenderness of Wolves’ and a well-known fan of Modesty. Daphne Alexander has been cast in the role of Modesty Blaise, alongside Alun Armstrong as Sir Gerald, and Carl Prekopp as her trusty sidekick Willie Garvin.

For more information about the radio adaptation, take a look at the Radio Times listing, or you can watch some exciting preview clips on the BBC website. You can also buy a copy of A TASTE FOR DEATH to read the full story (because of course this is radio, some things just aren’t possible), and you can find out more about the complete series of Modesty Blaise books.

Modesty Blaise: A Taste for Death starts Monday 17th December at 10:45am on BBC Radio 4.

Taste for Death