Plan B…

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Dec 22nd, 2011
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Or how to survive Christmas without really trying!

When I was a child, there used to be a tv programme called “Why don’t you just switch off your television set and go and do something less boring instead!” No honestly, that was its name. Setting aside the obvious… the message is a simple one. There is more to life than tv.

Which is the exact problem with Christmas. Unless you have a big family get together, you have the telly. Whilst Christmas might not be Christmas without The Towering Inferno, or The Great Escape, the thought of sitting through any of the more nauseatingly cheesy Christmas films, means that I round up all my favourite horror movies at least a week in advance.

Christmas Day has a slightly unfortunate tradition in this house, in that the pets all get a Christmas bow. Usually the ribbon lasts about three minutes. Solly has eaten through collars and harnesses, a bit of ribbon is nothing to a determined cat. Dan usually plays along for about ten minutes, and then he gets bored and wants out.

Aside from making Christmas lunch, which despite rarely eating very much of it, my Mother insists should be Turkey and ALL the trimmings! I have time on my hands. So I write. But every year I also do other things, I started trying to find something new for Christmas about ten years ago, and I can thoroughly recommend it.

My something new this year is to Learn Hindi. Why Hindi? Well, I’ve always wanted to learn Hindi, and I need a little dialogue for something I am writing.

This year, everything is Plan B.

Christmas lunch is going to be turkey steak with all the trimmings as opposed to a whole turkey. Apart from anything else, why would I buy a whole turkey, we would have to spend weeks eating left-overs. So it was going to be simple microwave turkey dinner and job done. Only my supermarket stopped selling it.

So falling back on Plan B will find me fiddling in the kitchen.

There will be complaints. There always are; but I would just like to remind my cherished parent of a little tale that has passed into family legend.

When my parents were first courting in the early 1950s, my mother used to go to cookery classes at the YMCA, meet my father afterwards and they would go home on the underground together. It is my understanding that my father, in deference to his digestive system, paid for these classes. Anyway, one day they were in the train rattling along, and mum decided to open the tin and show dad her latest delight. A ginger cake.

As she was proudly displaying this culinary masterpiece, the train jolted. The cake fell.

There was a split second gasp, as mother’s cake headed towards an ignominous end on the floor of the train (sort of slatted and wooden in those days)… which quickly turned to gales of laughter as it hit and rebounded.

Depending on who is actually telling the tale, the cake bounced anywhere up to five times, before mother managed to gather it up and hide it away… The part that always concerned me the most was that they actually had it for Sunday tea!!

Years later when I presented my first culinary effort to my father when he collected me after school, his “and what gravel path did you drop that on?” was not sarcasm, he was just checking.

So, Mum… I inherited my lousy lack of culinary skill from you!! Do not criticise ye coffee, thou mayest be old and weak thyself one day!

Of course, my culinary lack of skill is also threatened by something else… Mr Innocence Fur-sonified…

Seriously, just look at that face… how could I resist?

1 Comment

  • Mel

    For some reason, I think that rather than waking up in Upstate New York on Christmas morning to the glorious sound of church bells, I will be jolted out of bed from the blare of your smoke alarm from across the Atlantic!

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