The pattern of life over Christmas has changed over the last few years. I try never to impose on the children – one thing I remember from when they actually were small children was that they didn’t like being dragged from one house to the next and preferred to be at home at Christmas, however much they loved to visit their grandparents (I think overnight stays would have been fine, it was the disruption from attending to their new stuff that mattered). I’ve always made it clear that whatever they want to do is fine, they can come here, they can do their own thing, if invited we will come but there’s no obligation. Since we’ve got a big enough house for everyone and a big enough oven for a surprisingly large joint of beef, everyone is invited over when it’s convenient, though once that didn’t happen until the end of January.
This year, we went to spend the day with Weeza and co. And we’ve had such a lovely time. I’m always the designated driver nowadays, so have become a moderate and early drinker (I don’t mean *that* early, but soon enough for most of the alcohol to dissipate before we go home. We took Ben with us – he’s not a good traveller and was sick on the way, but I put a waterproof sheet in the back of the car, it washes down and no harm is done – he spent some of the time in the garden and some back in the car, not being allowed in the house because of the new pet gerbils. He’d launch himself at their cage, it would be unkind.
Weeza cooked chicken stuffed with duck, and very good it was. She cooked it perfectly, by educated guesswork and the two meats went well together, with flavour added to the chicken by the duck. I took along the pudding and two ice creams I had made – I resteamed the pudding before I left and thought it might keep hot, but had to give it a couple of minutes in the microwave. The strawberry ice cream went down well with Zerlina and her father, but the cinnamon was a surprising hit with little Gus.
I has books and am very happy. When I was a child, I quietly thought the only presents worth having were books and sweets – I couldn’t get enough of the former and rarely got any of the latter. Those unsophisticated days when a Selection Box brought me so much joy – except for the Fry’s Chocolate Cream, which was truly horrid and which, I think, has now succumbed to general dislike and vanished from manufacture. As has that box called Weekend, which had few items that appealed to me.
I hope you’ve all had a happy Christmas, darlings. I considered doing a wee video this morning, but an attempt with my present gruff voice showed it not to be a good idea. I struggled to play all the notes in the last hymn this morning, it’s always B and C that vanish first. I read the lesson an octave lower than usual, too. Not that I mind, I’ve always rather regretted the operation that removed my husky voice and gave me an ordinary one.