Well it came. And it went. How did that happen?!
I am talking Christmas of course. What else? And why is it that no sooner do we hear the cries of "He's been!*
(As the Middle of the Darling Daughters sagely once remarked: "He always comes...) than it's the Day After Boxing Day and I am cooking Turkey Pilaff. Or, what my family cruelly terms: "Leftovers."
think it's only fair that I take my turn at centre stage in the kitchen today. I have been a proper wash-out for most of Christmas, struggling to keep going as I waged war with the Dreaded Lurgy, armed only with Anadin Extra and assorted grandchildren
to keep my spirits up. You may have missed the blog - if so, my apologies. Though I hope you were far too busy enjoying a Lurgy-Free Yule to notice.
Despite it all, I have any number of highlights to share
- and we still have our Second Christmas, hosted by the Eldest of the Darling Daughters and family, to come. I will restrain myself to relating just a few of the funniest so far.
Christmas Eve at Winter
Wonderland in the historic centre of Cardiff. Here come two likely looking elves, all sticky-out, pointy ears and red, jingle-bells caps, plus a large machine labelled "The Goodometer." The Goodometer, in case you are wondering, is a machine which tests
out, for Santa's benefit, how good you have been in the months leading up to the Big Day. To take the test, all you had to do was to place your palm on the hand-symbol and the machine lit up - Green for Good, Yellow for Questionable, and Red for "Oh, dear
me, no, I'm not sure you will be getting a visit from the Big Fat Man this year."
Six year old Sam and I were fearless. We placed our hands carefully on the spot and both were rewarded with a green
light. Not that either of us had been in any doubt, you understand, but it was good to have our saintlinesss recognised. Even if only by an elf with pointy ears. The Son And Only went next. His behaviour, apparently, has been distinctly questionable.
He put on a brave face but we were pretty sure he was worried. Next it was four year old James's turn. Except that James is far too clever to be caught out by an elf and refused point-blank to be tested. We think he had a horrible suspicion what
the Goodometer would say...
Christmas Day and Mr B and I are unwrapping two identical-looking presents from one of the Sons-In-Law. The presents turn out to be mugs - mine is inscribed "Always
Right" while Mr B's has the motto "Always Wrong" written upon it. This leads to a merry debate among the family as to whether the Son-In-Law has mixed up his labels and given us the wrong mugs. I can see that Mr B and I will be fighting over who gets
to make the coffee in future...
On sitting down for Christmas Dinner, we all wore the Christmas crowns I had made. Mr B and the Son-In-Law both complained bitterly that the crowns hurt their
heads, due to the fact that they (the crowns, not their heads) had been cut out with pinking shears. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters said everyone had to wear their crowns, regardless of pain and discomfort, on account of it being Christmas. She
is A Girl After My Own Heart. I have been asked by at least one faithful reader (that'll be you, Sian) to post a photograph of my famous crowns, so here you can see them modelled, with great dignity, by grandchilden Jack and Hazel.
Then suddenly it was Boxing Day and we were in Panto-land to watch Hazel Bagel in "Jack and the Beanstalk." Regular readers will remember that Hazel's starring roles include not only a villager and a goblin but also, unforgettably,
a burger bun. I don't want to spoil any surprises for anyone who may be about to watch this particular panto for themselves so all I will say is that the scene is a dream sequence involving five dancing cows, plus two halves of what was obviously a burger
bun but could have been a pancake. Or a flat cushion. And something green. Which might have been a lettuce leaf. Or a flattened gherkin. It goes without saying that Hazel was nothing short of superb as a burger bun. She played the part with
real style and panache - you just knew people would be leaving the theatre commenting: "That burger bun will go far..."
Today we're playing games. We started with the Game of Life which had us
all pondering why nobody ever gets divorced or dies, or gets sent to prison in the version of the game we are playing. We do our best to spice it up, by allowing same-sex marriages, for example, but really the Game of Life could definitely be updated
to reflect the grim realities of life. We have decided to write to the makers of the game with a few of our best suggestions...
However there is something to be said for a game which
had all six of us playing ending up as millionaires.
Even if we will all still be eating "Leftovers" for dinner tonight...