Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Summary and the day after Boxing Day

If sitting on the sofa in your pyjamas at 5 o’clock in the afternoon clutching a bottle of Sudafed in one hand and a tube of Pringles in the other is the sign of a good Christmas, then I must have had one.

Did that really just happen?

I am pooped!

Catering for seven from a kitchen the size of a toilet cubicle with a borrowed double roaster is probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. Potty mouth chef Gordon Ramsey and I have more in common than I thought as I barked out orders and frightened my relatives. I may have covered Christmas Dinner in gravy – but I’m not convinced I covered myself in glory.

I suspect my helpers weren't taking things seriously.

I’m wondering whether a pair of ‘Cosy anklet socks’ with slip resistant grip, a fancy shower cap, a cushion with a tray on the top for TV dinners and a spinning optical illusion which makes body parts look bigger – are just the thin edge of the wedge when it comes to presents now that I’m a married woman? 

The frightening thing is that I'm actually really pleased with them - practical and stylish. It's the Holy Grail of gifts. 

It was really interesting to merge two families for the first time and to see how they interacted:

  • The charade players vs the TV watchers.
  • The rip off the wrapping paper speed present openers vs the carefully peel off the sellotape fold up and keep the wrapping paper for next year, take all afternoon present openers.
  • The brisk after dinner walkers vs the put your feet up and have a snooze-ers.

It took until Boxing Day to wrestle the TV remote control from my Dad who was glued to the News Channel, providing regular updates on the health of the Duke of Edinburgh. As usual we watched that Christmas comedy classic ‘Titanic’. As a tribute to Leonardo DiCaprio and his amazing acting eyebrows, we decided to change our door bell to play ‘My heart will go on.’ As usual I sat there willing the ship to miss the iceberg. Although I’ve seen the film at least 28 times before, I was optimistic. I thought “This time – maybe this time it’ll miss and Jack and Rose will live happily ever after.” Unfortunately it didn’t and it sank - again. I should know better by now really. I don’t think I’ll watch it next year, it’s all too upsetting. 

The undoubted Christmas star this year however was Charley Bucket, our naughty pussy cat who not only got under the silver foil and had a go at the turkey while it was resting, but was caught under the dining room table later in the day looking decidedly guilty with creamy whiskers – a corresponding cat’s face inprint could be clearly seen in the trifle. 

But, it was when Charley, splendid in his new diamante Christmas collar decided to get in on the Christmas gift giving act that things really kicked off. Strolling into the front room during The Queen’s speech with his present clenched between his jaws. Charley was very pleased with himself as the mouse’s tail which was sticking out from the corner of his mouth twitched pathetically. 

Before he could deposit his gift under the tree Charley found himself thrown back out into the yard with the cat flap firmly locked behind him. Having spurned his ‘Happy Christ-mouse’ present Charley sulked with us for the rest of the day.
Standing for The Queen's Speech.

So – as we’ve all had a lot on this last week, here is a summary of all last week’s blogs. If you get bored with Celebrity Mastermind and Christmas Animal’s do the Funniest Things – you can always play catch up.

On Monday we played Nigella Bingo.

And I apparently offended the entire North Korean nation with a Team America homage to deceased former leader Kim Jong Il. 

His Excellency Mr Ja Song Nam, the North Korean Ambassador to the UK left the following comment on my site:

“The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK, party members, servicepersons and people of the DPRK wish to convey their deep upset at this disrespectful misrepresentation of our Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il”


As my Duran Duran gig review  from the previous week made it into my top five most viewed blogs, I received a much less scary comment from an anonymous reader:

"Great blog, Alison! You have just the right amount of spunk and flair to convey the Duran2 concert experience in a nutshell. You ROCK!"

I like to think it’s from Mr Le Bon himself!

Tuesday bought us Santa’s Crack and a Christmas ales quiz .

On Wednesday I went all poetic with words from 20 years ago found under a Womble

On Thursday we went back to New England for another instalment from our New England Road Trip – it was 9/11 and we were spanking the monkey on Cape Cod

There was also a re-worked old favourite with some weird and wonderful Christmas presents from years gone by. 

On Friday a bride’s plea to Santa not to look like a fat Umpa Lumpa on her wedding day with my weekly Brides Up North feature. 

Followed by my take on Christmas classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ after watching the last 10 minutes - first!

Christmas Eve arrived on Saturday with lots of last minute preparation, a proper summary of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, a really great film that’s skipped into my top 10, and competitive mince pie eating from Wookey Hole.

Christmas finally came down the chimney on Sunday and with a whole round of ‘Happy Christmases’ and kisses under the mistletoe, I shared something very precious – my present to my dad. A web site for all my very talented mum’s paintings

And with that we slumped into a haze of turkey sandwiches, Shrek and Last of the Summer Wine Christmas Special.

I hope your Christmas was every bit as good as you hoped – and that your cat didn’t end up wearing the trifle as a hat!


  1. naughty Charlie Bucket - and what a great name!

    Cooking for four is hard enough (my limit), cooking for 7 would give me a nervous breakdown!

    looks like a lovely Christmas x

  2. He's Charley from Chorley and usually when he goes hunting he brings us back pork scratchings from the pub!