Jaqui's Daily Blog

Christmas Lunch Planning - What’s Not To Like?

‘Tis the season of Christmas lunch planning. What’s not to like? Especially for one such as I, who is Always Thinking About Her Stomach.


You may well be thinking it’s a tad early, being not quite the middle of November, but Rita from our Singing for Pleasure choir says she already has four Christmas lunches booked into her diary. She’s a popular type, Our Rita.


Myra, who keeps our choir in a semblance of order, tells us that we can book lunch at a local college on either the last Thursday in January or the first Thursday in February for the princely sum of just £14. The cost is low because the front of house, cooking and table service is all carried out by students. She feels honour bound to add that Kevin, who runs the café at the Heene Community Centre where the choir meets each Friday, would love the opportunity to serve us Christmas lunch but this would cost us £22. 


There’s a hum of contradictory conversations going on all round the hall. Some people have misunderstood and think that Kevin will charge us £14 a head and are saying isn’t that so very reasonable?; others are opining that £22 isn’t much at all, not for a Christmas lunch these days; while a few are checking with each other how many courses £14 will buy us and whether we will have more or fewer courses if we pay out an extra £8. Morag, our pianist, says she can only make the last Thursday in January as she will be in Thailand in February. We all reckon that a Choir Christmas Lunch would not be the same without Morag. Even without her piano. 


Rita (yes, the same Rita as above) tells us the sad story of an extremely expensive meal out at a Thai restaurant - she was so hungry afterwards that she had to get up in the night to raid the biscuit tin. This reminds me of a staff Christmas meal, many years ago, where our boss was keen that we should enjoy a slap up meal at a well-known local hotel and restaurant. He hadn’t bargained for the fact that this was haute cuisine, each course beautifully presented but very, well, tiny. We all enjoyed the experience immensely but he was so disappointed - the next year we went back to a more modest establishment which served up what could best be described as “hearty” meals. 


Aside from the Christmas lunch discussions, there is much debate among the choir about the lack of men this morning. Even the usual Stalwart Two are notable for their absence. Way back when Mr B graced the ranks of the men’s section, the number was in the double figures. Since then, some have left, one has passed on to sing with the angels, but this was the first morning when there was not a single fella. Our conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, says she can’t quite put her finger on why it feels so different without the men. I could have told her it’s the absence of the banter; choir is not so cheery without the awful jokes, sly comments and raised eyebrows to the left of me.


You are wondering whether we reached any conclusion on the Choir Christmas lunch. I think it was decided that we will return to the local college, rather than accepting Kevin’s kind offer to host us in the community centre café. I am assuming the date has been set for the last Thursday in January, being the only date Morag can make. Presumably everyone is now saving up their pennies towards our £14 blow out. 


Next week some of the fellas may well be back - and it’s likely they’ll turn everything on its head and cast their vote for a completely different hostelry with a menu costing anything from £14 to £22 or more. It will be Back to the Drawing Board.


Christmas lunch planning. What’s not to like?


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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