Quirky and funny stories in the Dunstable area

Rylan Clark

Rylan Clark

Sounds like lucky Natalie Pearson is all set for the best Saturday night in ever.

One of the hoped-for guests, Rylan Clark, who found fame in The X Factor, won’t be able to make it along.

But Natalie, of Dunstable, will still have plenty to celebrate.

Apart from Rylan, she has all she needs to stage a night to remember, thanks to a party pack prize worth more than £500.

Natalie was one of just five finalists in a quirky contest – the SodaStream Saturday Nights In competition.

The idea was that the finalists would all throw a party on the same night. A Saturday night, of course.

And Rylan would be the surprise star guest at the party held by the winner.

Unfortunately, Natalie had to rethink her plans to hold a special night in on that Saturday.

Luckily, as it turned out, Rylan was to be the star guest at another finalist’s party, the overall winner.

But the party pack prize made Natalie feel like a winner anyway!

To enter the contest, people had to tweet or post a video online describing their ideal Saturday night in, complete with home-made cocktails.

Natalie tweeted an idea for a sushi-themed party.

And Rylan was one of the judges who picked out the five top themes for the final – including Natalie’s.

Rylan said: “There were some amazing videos!”

As it was a SodaStream contest, I’m sure the company at Natalie’s night in will be bubbly and the conversation really will be sparkling!

Are you racking your brains for Secret Santa ideas? Reader, you are not alone.

The British Heart Foundation tells me research by their shops shows that people in the South East (the BHF counts us in that area) will spend an average of £6 on Secret Santa gifts this year.

I’m sure you all know what a Secret Santa gift is.

It’s when everyone in your workplace is randomly assigned a colleague’s name and then has to come up with the perfect pressie, for a set sum.

It’s a real challenge to come up with a great gift that your colleague genuinely likes, without busting the budget.

My generous colleagues never fail to please at Secret Santa time.

They all know that I love books, films, tea and sweeties. Or if they didn’t, they do now! Hint, hint.

The BHF wants us all to choose charity shops for our Secret Santa searches this Christmas.

And why not? There are oodles of goodies at great prices at charity shops.

The BHF research found the region’s most popular Secret Santa gifts were socks (14 per cent), novelty mugs (14 per cent) and deodorant (five per cent). One in 10 of those surveyed had received something “wholly inappropriate”. Oo-er.

Lynda Middleton, BHF area manager, said: “It’s clear that people still relish the enjoyment of Secret Santa, whether it’s to initiate a relationship, further your career or embarrass a colleague.

“It’s a great opportunity to get in the Christmas spirit and bring people together.”

We just like the chance of an extra pressie in our office!

Don’t forget to shop local around the rest of the retail scene in Dunstable over the festive period.

And remember, Dunstable shops are not just for Christmas...




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