Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Window Cleaners Getting In The Christmas Spirit

Window cleaners pledge to donate Christmas tips.
Amersham window cleaners pledge to donate Christmas tips: A father and son window cleaning duo are putting other people’s generosity to good use by donating all of their Christmas tips to charity. Terry Gurr and his son Aaron of Amersham based Highflow Services decided to donate every penny of the money from happy customers to children’s charity Beat Bullying. And the squeegee-toting pair are also giving away all of the wines, chocolates and other goodies received on their rounds at a charity tombola in Old Amersham Memorial Gardens this Saturday as part of the town’s Christmas celebrations.
Terry said: “My son just turned round to me recently and said he was going to give away all his tips this Christmas, so we both decided to do it and give them to charity. “Both my wife and I have experienced bullying in the past and it’s a great cause for it to go to. “We want to encourage people to donate items to the tombola so we can raise as much money as possible.” To donate an item for Terry and Aaron’s tombola at this weekend’s Christmas celebrations in Old Amersham, pop in to Bojangles Cafe on Hill Avenue, which is taking donations.

How about a heartwarming picture on a cold Indianapolis day? Elves were cleaning the windows on Thursday at Riley Hospital for Children.
Elves Drop In on Riley Patients: Little patients at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health got a holiday treat as Santa's Elves rappelled down the windows of the Simon Family Tower Thursday morning stopping to wave at patients on every floor.

American National Skyline, Inc. spread the elf love.

Father and son window cleaning rivals help Boston flood victims: Father and son window cleaning rivals David and Andrew Willis came together to help flood hit properties in Boston. The pair – of Washforce and Clean 143 respectively – were able to clear the standing water from the offices of the Boston Standard as well as many other businesses in the area. In the video above the pair explain their role in the volunteer clear up effort.

The rise of loneliness in 21st century Britain: Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year for older people and those living on their own. But loneliness is a growing problem all year round, not just during the festive season. Huddersfield has a number of initiatives, including luncheon and over-sixties clubs; church groups; the OWLS weekday leisure club; and the University of the Third Age. And the work of the Community Church continues all year, with befriending groups for everyone from mother and toddlers and refugees to older people and vulnerable adults.
The church has to fundraise to run the groups, which are mostly free, and the annual Christmas lunch alone costs over £1,000.  This year it was supported financially by a number of local organisations and individuals, including a firm of window cleaners, a 92-year-old well-wisher who sent a cheque for £500 and a bereaved family who asked for contributions instead of funereal flowers. “I think it’s wonderful that it has been supported by the wider community and we have so many volunteers who come together on the day,” said Charlene.  “It makes it more special somehow.”

The Queen said it first in 2008 when she awarded John Lewis with a Royal Warrant as “suppliers of haberdashery and household goods”. This window display is a feet of engineering genius. This utterly inclusive window unveils nothing less than a hoover reindeer, a chesterfield-slash-picnic-hamper grizzly bear, towelling turkeys, crockery squirrels, cutlery parrots, and a very lovely cleaning utensil bunny rabbit.
Window Wonderland - a look at Christmas window displays from John Lewis, Harrods, Selfridges and more: Georgia Barretta-Whiteley, head of design at shopper marketing agency Saatchi & Saatchi X, casts her eye over the Christmas window displays of London’s biggest retailers. At time of writing, the Christmas season is well (but not truly) upon us. Only in retail land has its glistening, cinnamon-tasting, sprayfrosted, white fur-lined grip really taken hold. The capital’s shopping districts now have their main arteries blocked by rubber-neckers from all over, walking into lamp posts, stepping backwards into traffic and spilling noxious toffeenut latte over oncoming, equally-as-distracted pedestrians. The Christmas store window extravaganza has begun, and what follows is an attempt to quantify the magic of the top seven heavy-hitters in central London. 

Store; Harrods - When a store has a mission statement that declares; ‘…through a combination of product, innovation and eccentricity, we aim to provide every customer with a truly unforgettable experience in our quintessentially British environment…’ my expectations for what lay behind the Harrods Christmas glazing are high. Upon approach and judging by the elbowed jostle, this appeared a high real-estate piece ‘o’ pavement. And it was in fact sensational. To stroll from one end to the other is to leap between the carriages of the ‘Harrods Christmas Express’.
Store; Harvey Nichols - The boisterous hijinks exploding from the excesses of the Harvey Nicks window scene currently unfolding in Knightsbridge makes it seem as though our otherwise conscientious elves are throwing an X-rated delivery day after-party of thumping proportions somewhere inside the store. The hyped-up, brassy still-life set-ups seem to regard anything expected as simply a common affectation. It’s all here, whooping and hollering out at you, challenging you not to be impressed.
Store; Selfridges - Mr Selfridge understood that to make customers spend, you have to capture their imagination. A hundred years ago when he casually mentioned to the team that: “…the whole art of merchandising consists of appealing to the imagination. Once the imagination is moved, the hand goes naturally to the pocket”, I’m not sure if he realised that the ramifications of such a principle would be playing out as wonderfully as they currently are behind his set of panes this Christmas. It’s all a bit ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.
Store; Fortnum and Mason - Fortnum’s at Christmas, and the anticipation of that approach, has a lot to live up to given the standard of those windows at any other time of year. I have to say, in the end, my Christmas spirit was left a little damp. Christmassy ‘stuff’ framed all gold-gilded, cherubs, a melancholy Victorian Santa Claus, chocolate box dusty miniatures of families tucking into Christmas morning excess. One window even boasts a turkey-eating scene. Eww.
USA Christmas 2013 window displays. Above; Macy's in New York. Click to enlarge.
Opening windows: Midtown stores add a touch of glass for holidays - 'Tis the season for window shopping, and spirits aren't the only thing the city's world-famous storefronts are making bright. Above Macy's (Don't miss) An enormous crystal tree in a forest of jewel-encrusted deer, foxes and other woodland creatures, or the LED spider web that transforms into a perfect snowflake. Check out the touch-screen snowflakes in the interactive window, which become fairies or shatter animated icicles at the tap of a finger.
Lord & Taylor - What's new: These windows are a flurry of activity, from spinning puppets to cardboard panels that slide back and forth like the "Monty Python" intro. Click to enlarge.
Store: Henri Bendel - "That looks like a fun table!" says Bendel's visual VP, Gilberto Santana. "It would be a great party." Click to enlarge.
Store: Bloomingdale's  Don't miss: The "Good cheer from China!" display has it all -- a dragon with shimmering scales and fuzzy pandas pedaling on bikes. The Big Apple window proves there’s no place like home for the holidays, with an adorable brown bear balancing packages before shining icons like Lady Liberty and the Chrysler Building. Click to enlarge.
Store: Bergdorf Goodman  - What's new: Imagine Christmas in July. No, really. These windows show a white Valentine’s Day, with a frosted boudoir brimming with bouquets of flowers and cakes, and a chilly April Fool's Day display that turns the holiday -- and one stunning Alexander McQueen gown -- upside down. Click to enlarge.
Lord of Leviathan • Nicole Cantú • $8,000
Gift Guide: 'Hellraiser' Stained Glass Window - A handmade, 3D stained glass window of Pinhead from Hellraiser. Amazing, right? Designed by Nicole Cantu for the Guzu Gallery in Austin, Texas, it's big, it's bold, and it's expensive. I want it. Is it wrong that I want to replace a regular stained glass church window with this one, just to see what happens? I have seen some of those religious windows - Pinhead is way tame compared to a lot of them. Sadly the stained glass window is only available for local pickup. Maybe a road trip is in order? $8,000 from Guzu Gallery.

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