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The moons just fly by, don't they. One minute we're edging towards the end of autumn, the next everyone's gone festive and we're dodging baubles and turkeys for dear life.

In the meantime Matthew and I have been braving the stages of London's cosiest venues, and rather enjoying it. We have won fans from all walks of life - from the old bloke in the corner with his own whisky supply, to his dog, and everyone in between. Thankyou to everyone who has seen us play and said nice things - that was very nice.

More gigs will follow in the new year (new year? another one? I only just got used to this one. Help!) I have been doing my best to avoid not only the reams of tinsel that assault me at every turn (at least until mid-December, at which point I will evict my inner Scrooge and party with appropriate glee), but also the Ever-Threatening Cold. At every sign of a sniffle I am devouring satsumas and slurping and squirting all manner of health-giving potions.

Which brings me neatly to the latest installment of Helen's Handy Hints: Never spray Vick's First Defence up your nose whilst hurrying to the train station. It will hit you squarely in the eye.