CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today CLICK HERE

Maria Greenwood shares her band of the month ‘The Gravity Drive’ and talks losing sight of what Christmas is actually about

PUBLISHED: 12:32 10 December 2014 | UPDATED: 12:36 10 December 2014

The Gravity Drive - photo by Pete Millson

The Gravity Drive - photo by Pete Millson


Is there such a thing as the perfect Christmas tree? And how should you cook your Brussels sprouts? There is so much to plan for Christmas but don’t lose sight of what this time of year is really all about

Every year I promise myself I’m going to start my Christmas shopping early, and every year I find myself making a final mad dash around the shops on Christmas Eve seeking brandy butter and red cabbage.

What is it about this time of year that makes us put pressure on ourselves to get everything just right? This is especially true when it comes to cooking ‘The Christmas Dinner’. Whole books have been written on this very subject, when essentially Christmas lunch is really just a roast. Yet my search for Michelin star perfection in the past has had me exchanging words with my other half in the middle of a supermarket aisle over just how many Brussels sprouts you should feed your guests, and should they be lightly boiled or sautéed with pancetta and chestnuts?

One of the things I love most about this time of year is having a real Christmas tree. I love the smell of fresh pine, though I don’t love clearing up all the needles, but you can’t have one without the other. Now if you are already judging me on my culinary sprout debate in the supermarket aisle, ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’ when it comes to Christmas tree shopping.

The first big decision is when to buy the tree. Too early and it will be past it’s best by Christmas Day, too late and all the good ones may be gone. Then once you’ve committed on when to go, the next hurdle to overcome is finding the perfect shaped tree. There is a fundamental flaw to this whole selection process. You’re not able to see if your tree is too bushy or too lean until it’s been unwrapped. So that’s exactly what I ask them to do. Under normal circumstances this is perfectly acceptable, but I’m not so sure you would have thought the same if you had seen me last year. After half an hour of looking I had narrowed the options down to a short list of five. Two were being held up by the seller, two more by my other half, while I held on to a possible fifth option. I did manage to make a final decision, after I asked each one to be given a bit of a twirl. Well, it’s important to see your potential Christmas tree from all angles!

During the festive frenzy it’s easy to get caught up in the search for the perfect present, not to mention the hunt for the best Brussels sprouts (I prefer on the stalk). But would it really matter if for one year I chose not to buy red cabbage for Boxing Day? And so what if my gravy is a little lumpy or my Christmas tree is only bushy on one side? Surely what is most important is spending time with family and friends, because that’s what Christmas is really all about. And Christmas definitely wouldn’t be Christmas without them.


Maria’s Band of the Month - The Gravity Drive

They met, they got married and they started making music. Elijah Wolf and his wife Ava are a harmony driven, husband and wife duo, called The Gravity Drive. Where many musicians are lured by the bright lights of the big city, Elijah and Ava have chosen to independently release records on their own label from their home near Bridport, and with some impressive results. As well as being regular guests on Unplugged on Wessex FM, their debut album Testament has attracted the attention of national stations. Infectious melodies, thoughtful lyrics, creatively packaged with a sleek delivery. I predict 2015 will be a big year for them.

To find out more visit their website


Read on

The Skimmity Hitchers - Maria Greenwood’s band of the month

Maria Greenwood’s on her musician of the month and a fear of flying


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Yesterday, 10:39

From festival director to an internationally acclaimed artist, meet some of the remarkable people working behind the scenes to enhance what historic Sherborne has to offer

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hosted by Martin and Philippa Clunes, this year’s event drew people, ponies and dogs from far and wide to raise funds for Dorset County Hospital Charity Cancer Appeal

Read more
Friday, July 27, 2018

Martin Clunes and his family have called West Dorset home for over two decades. Here he shares some of their favourite local places

Read more
Monday, July 9, 2018

Calling all self-professed Clunatics! Test your knowledge on Doc Martin with our quiz.

Read more
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fanny Charles meets some of the residents and businesses owners who are proud to call Dorset’s newest town the place where they work, live and play

Read more
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Donna and Harry Mosley have brought the taste of their world travels to The Paddle in Highcliffe, where brunch and lunch is a deliciously leisurely affair

Read more
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Here we turn the spotlight on some of our county’s most successful and discover what makes them tick

Read more
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith has brought the plight of detainees at Guantanomo Bay into the art rooms of local schools

Read more
Friday, March 2, 2018

Rural communities throughout the UK could be eligible to receive funding via the Calor Rural Community Fund from energy provider Calor

Read more
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

His extraordinary physique made Chang Woo Gow famous, but this well educated family man sought escape from the limelight in Boscombe

Read more
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Retired drama teacher turned film director and producer, Rosita Clarke tells us about the ghostly Dorset love story that has just won her an award at an international film festival

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

We’ve been lucky enough to speak to some of Dorset’s best known over the years. Here’s what they love most about this beautiful county

Read more
Monday, January 29, 2018

A world-renowned explorer, a palaeontologist and futurist, and a butterfly conservator reveal the importance of the past for the future of mankind

Read more
Monday, January 15, 2018

AFC Bournemouth’s Jermain Defoe tells Andy Greeves how having a virtually vegan diet has helped to keep him at the top of his game and why beetroot helps him run faster

Read more

Local People

Yesterday, 10:39

From festival director to an internationally acclaimed artist, meet some of the remarkable people working behind the scenes to enhance what historic Sherborne has to offer

Read full story »