‘Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the house, many creatures were stirring …
Carols from Kings in the kitchen compete with Prince Caspian in the sitting room, distracting me as I write at the dining room table. My computer keys rattle and Black Dog sneaks in, her claws tip-tapping on the stone flags. She settles at my feet. Granny’s soprano voice warbles from the kitchen. “Peace on earth, and mercy mild …” She stops as Mum asks her a question about moussaka. “Well, I always used to do it this way …”
There’s a muffled whistle from the road outside. Someone from the village walks past, dogs galore galumphing at her heels. The rain’s stopped temporarily, but there’s more predicted for this evening. I hear Dad and Jim discussing how best to get to Rob and Leila’s house for Christmas lunch tomorrow. Here’s hoping Rob will have managed to fit the turkey into their oven. At least they’re only 10 minutes down the road: if the turkey has to be cooked here then it can still be in the right place for lunch long before it goes cold.
I sat in the kitchen attempting a Very Difficult Sudoku this morning as Mum and Rob dealt with the turkey. It arrived from the farm like a victim of a BDSM session gone bad, its head covered by a plastic bag and all its feathers pulled out. The indignities weren’t yet finished, though. Mum and Rob sliced through skin and twisted at tendons for an hour and a half until all that was left was a giant, meat-covered ribcage, stuffed with orange and onions, slathered with butter and wrapped in muslin. Mum and Rob stepped back, flushed in the face and beaming at a job well done.
My Sudoku attempt, however, had failed horribly.
However you’re celebrating, I hope you have a good day tomorrow: Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.