Published: 24/12/2012 15:50 - Updated: 24/12/2012 16:15

Last-minute Christmas ideas

Written byby Margaret Chrystall

THE last moments are ticking away in the countdown to Christmas with that elusive perfect gift possibly still failing to be found as final gifts are ticked off the list.

Here are a few albums, books and DVDs suggestions that might appeal to someone you love.



Blue Nile's Hats
Blue Nile's Hats


For something a bit special to satisfy a dedicated fan, one option is to check for any collector’s editions of their favourite artist.

The cult 80s Scottish band Blue Nile brought out collector’s editions of their two albums A Walk Across The Rooftops and Hats in a two-CD collection at the end of November.

They have both been remastered by Calum Malcolm, the original Blue Nile engineer with band members Paul Buchanan and Robert Bell and also include bonus CDs of rarities, live recordings, B-sides and previously unreleased tracks (such as I Love This Life, the band’s first single and from Hats, the previously unreleased song Christmas)

A Blue Nile fan might also appreciate Paul Buchanan first solo album Mid Air, out in May.

Frankie Said (The Very Best Of) is another special remastered edition, this time from Liverpool band Frankie Goes To Hollywood which brought controversy to the charts with their massive 80s single Relax and the unforgettable voice of charismatic frontman Holly Johnson .

The Saw Doctors 2525: Twenty Five Years and Twenty Five Tracks sees ultimate Irish party band The Saw Doctors who have created some proper Highland hoolies over the years, celebrate their best tracks and also offer an i-Tunes exclusive album commentary.


A big, colour feast for petrolheads and rock fans comes in the large format picture-packed Rockin’ Garages: Collecting, Racing & Riding with Rock’s Great Gearheads by Tom Cotter, Ken Gross, Michael Alan Ross (Motorbooks International, £20)). Writer Tom Cotter has visited 20 top rockers including Billy Joel, Brian Johnson (AC/DC), J. Geils, Jimmie Vaughn (Fabulous Thunderbirds) , Billy F Gibbons (ZZ Top), Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) – and lanky Mick Fleetwood and his tiny Austin 7.

There are lots of stories, pretty pictures of beautiful cars and quotes like this one from Sammy Hagar: "You don’t know what it’s like to walk out into a sold out arena with people scraming and singing your songs. There’s a rush and an edginess and a loudness. It’s kind of like the weird fulfillment you only get at 175 mph in a Ferrari with the top down.

Katie Morag writer Mairi Hedderwick was inspired by her time spent on the island of Coll – and for fans of the little girl’s adventures, there are some big clues to some of the familiar characters in them in her slim book The Last Laird Of Coll (Birlinn, £6.99). Mairi also celebrates the life of the laird Kenneth Stewart himself, who she first met on going to the island as a student au pair to his young family back in 1959.


Addicted to Sweat
Addicted to Sweat


Blockbusters this year included Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-man, The Dark Knight Rises, Avengers Assemble, family film Ice Age 4: Continental Drift and grown-ups comedy Ted.

But this is also the time of year when the fitness industry gears up to help you lose that mince-pie muffin top!

You only need to wait about two hours after Christmas dinner for most people to start feeling the unmistakeable, overeating bloated feeling.

One way to beat the guilt might be to power up with Madonna’s own Hard Candy fitness routine, translated onto a new set of DVDs and demonstrated by the star’s personal trainer Nicole Winhoffer (Madonna’s Hard Candy Fitness present Addicted To Sweat, £39.99)

Even if you don’t want to end up as super-toned as the fiftysomething star, following the routines Nicole demonstrates is fun and gets you off the sofa. For the truly dedicated, you might even be able to try out some of the moves on your local dancefloor – straight from Madonna’s latest tour.

But if it’s been a stressed-out Christmas, there’s a chance to relax with new yoga four-DVD collection This Is Yoga: Yoga For Everyone from Tara Stiles (£39.96).

The ex-model has become a champion of no-fuss yoga – she calls the blend of strength and radiance she tries to put in there Strala. In the four DVDs you get beginners yoga, daily yoga, AM/PM yoga and the fourth is called complete yoga library showing all the poses Tara reckons you need.

This one is not out till Boxing Day, but it’s one of a few including the workout based on the movie What To Expect When You’re Expecting: The Workout and The Tracey Anderson Dance Cardio Workout.

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