For me Christmas began at 4pm on Christmas Day. The earlier part of the day had been spent in Spide City and all was quiet there. The very good people from The Wash Basin were hosting Christmas Dinner for our customers so I had a quiet moment or two that I spent with magazines and its just as well I did as I came across two very important pieces of advice that were to stand me in good stead for the holidays. These were -
1. The secret of enjoying Christmas is to have very low expectations.
2. When dealing with pet urine stains on mattresses go easy on the moisture, heavy on the borax.
Eventually I was free and as I drove towards Cully I could feel the tension mount. Would Bert have remembered the roast potatoes? Would they pass the Zoë test of approval? But I kept saying to myself ‘low expectations, low expectations.’
I got in to find Bert playing a blinder in the kitchen. All was going well and the roast potatoes were sorted. . Then there were big hugs for Katy and Mark. Zoë and Dave had not turned up yet. And where was Hannah? Katy breaks the bad news. The Wean is very ill, has not been up all day and Harry de Cat has pissed on her bed.
Hannah is very ill just because she is and it has nothing at all to do with the big feed of drink she took on Christmas Eve. She has decanted herself into the freshly appointed bed intended for Zoë et al and I go upstairs to pet her and be sympathetic and to put my new tips about dealing with cat piss into action. By 4.20pm I am ready to start Christmas and by this time Zoë, her beloved and their new baby have arrived. We do present opening and I am very pleased with all my presents.
Dinner was good but Hannah was unable to partake. She went back to bed with a couple of flu tablets. After about an hours sleep she got up and requested Yule Log (homemade by Zoë), which soon set her on the road to recovery.
After that Christmas was the usual whirl of chocolate, alcohol, family, turkey, wall-to-wall dogs and chocolate. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Now I have a confession to make. Since moving into this house I have not read a single book. I suppose I’ve been too distracted. So I had decided to get stuck into one over Christmas. But which one? For I have a yard or more of unread books. I took inspiration from Jimmy Porter who said that the two worst books he read in 2005 were The Lovely Bones and The Time Traveller’s Wife. I’d read The Lovely Bones a couple of years ago and liked it a lot so I reasoned that if Jimmy hated it and I loved it then I’d probably appreciate The Time Traveller’s Wife too. Finished it a couple of hours ago and thought it was pretty enjoyable. I can see Johnny Depp playing Henry in the movie. Thanks for the tip Jimmy.