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Way back through my CV, in the days of the Blur/Oasis Faceoff in the Brit Pop wars, I worked at The Bell Language School in Cambridge where I was introduced to - and worked alongside - Philip Saich (he was the ‘Mar-Comms’ side of the HQ and I was the 'Data' should you be interested) and we’ve sort of kept in touch on and off ever since.

 

Marilyn Monroe mask

 

He is now the brains behind Mamelok Paper Crafts (http://www.mamelok.com) – I first twigged the connection when I saw the cover of the All American Rejects homepage, with them all decked out in various masks.

 

Squashed Frog cocktails

 

New Years Eve is often a similar formula year in, year out – but I thought these masks might make the evening flow, along with a few cocktails. The Squashed Frog was the first of the evening – and did seem like a good idea at the time - but we then moved on, and happily worked our way through a magnum the excellent Gigondas: Domaine Saint Gayan 2010 and a few bottles of Saint-Chinian: Château Milhau-Lacugue 'Les Truffières' 2010. We marked the bells at midnight with some well chilled bottles of Vouvray Mousseux Brut, making for one of the best and merriest New Years Eves in a long time.

 

Mamelok masks

 

So, if you are planning an event this year, these masks have been road tested & they do add a certain je ne sais quoi to the evening – as does the Gigondas – but I may stay clear of squashed frogs in the future.

Happy New Year!