So, how was it for you - as I never asked the 'Memsahib'? Christmas, I mean! Another one bites the dust and here I slump, like you, I guess, surrounded by the tinsel, staring glumly at the 92% of the turkey we failed to eat, to say nothing of the ham, and with a culinary vision of constant turkey and ham, or ham and turkey, variations stretching endlessly into the future. But still, my eyes lighten up at the sight of my Christmas gift from the 'Memsahib' - a tree trunk! Bet you didn't get one of those. Actually, it is the product of one of those craftsmen/artists who pick up drift wood or bits of timber detritus from damaged trees and shape them and polish them into objects of considerable beauty. In this case, he hollowed out the trunk or branch of a stricken tree making space for a vase of flowers to stand inside. The outside has been polished and shows the variations in colour and patina - and I just want to sit next to it all day - stroking it! Well done, the 'Memsahib', I think I'll keep her on for another year!
There were only the two of us at home this year because 'SoD' was off to Wenceslas Square 'looking out' for the "Good King", or to be precise, he was in the depths of Moravia gazing at the snow whilst trying to pick the bones out of a giant carp which is the Christmas dish of choice for most of eastern Europe - no, me, neither! Anyway, left to our own devices I indulged in a rare (for me) habit - I 'telly-trogged'. Somewhat to my own surprise, I rather enjoyed it. I more or less, and with rare exceptions, gave up on telly years ago and it's only Christmas when the rest of the world shuts down that I indulge. I watched that old film of "The Day of the Jackal" which was really badly made but it did remind me what a cracking yarn it was to read and so I will be on the look-out for a copy in my favourite charity shops - the supply source for many of my books. I then got lucky and watched the film version Of Michael Connolly's "The Lincoln Lawyer". It was a corking book and the film caught it exactly. If you haven't read it and assuming that you like good legal thrillers which twist and turn, then buy it!
It is a tradition, set in re-enforced concrete, that on Christmas Day evening I am tasked with producing bap roles loaded with cold turkey and ham (merely the first of the variations I mentioned above!) plus onion, tomato and lettuce, all of which being liberally smothered in mayonnaise (Helmans, natch!) and accompanied by champagne - equally natch! Normally, this is a monumental task but as 'SoD' and his belly were absent it only took about a quarter of the time. Anyway, it gave me the opportunity to watch the kitchen telly where I saw two cracking good oldies, one from the "Blackadder" series and one classic episode from "Dad's Army". My laughter ensured that much of the filling for my bap rolls ended up on the floor - and also, most of the champagne was drunk before the 'Memsahib' had a sniff - well, chef's privilege, I call it! Finally we both slumped down together and watched the long, special edition of Downton Abbey.
So there you have it, folks, the inside story of Christmas at Chateaux Duff - soooooo exciting!
ADDITIONAL: And, how could I have forgotten - mea culpa, of course, I watched one of the greatest movies ever made - Singing in the Rain. Witty, stylish, tremendously skilful, great artistry - a film for all seasons. And by coincidence, on Christmas Eve, they were showing highlights of the incomparable Morecombe and Wise shows in which they did a skit on the famous 'singing in the rain' sequence with Ernie doing the dancing and Eric playing the cop. Needless to say, the street was as dry as a bone but Eric ends up standing beneath a down pipe which pours water on him. What a class act those two were! Do you know, I might get hooked on this new-fangled Telly-thingie!