Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas day

Up early, with the excitable hellos of Jade and Beth, and Sam looking into our bed room with a penguin hat on. Up and straight down for the stocking presents, eagerly attended by Sam and Jade and Beth.  Lorraine playing the Santa's elf. Much excitement, and a tribute to Lorraine's shopping skills. We added a wrapped parsnip for Beth's stocking.

We made our way to the kitchen, and then two shelves of the food cupboard collapsed as Lorraine was in it. Amazingly no breakages, and Sam handily mended the shelves again. Lorraine said we needed a new kitchen.

Then with Pat and Maureen a big present-opening spree. I got a very nice bag, big enough to got to the gym with, and carry a laptop. Also Lorraine got me tickets to see my favourite comedian Stewart Lee, and a framed photo of Moulin Huet with I love Peter written in the sand.

Two chats with Mum today, who my thoughts were with a lot. In the morning, she had already been round to several neighbours dropping off cards and so on, and having chats with several of them. Later she was at home, about to have a gin and tonic. Felt a bit sad that she was of necessity on her own, and that Mas was at hospital.

Toby and Romy in Taiwan at present. The Tobster arriving on Christmas Day after an epic flight via Honk Kong.

I went to the Preston Park Tavern with Pat, and Sam followed us on a little bit later. When Pat and I got to the pub it was crammed with people, and teeming with children, and the bar was three deep and service slow. We found a table in the back garden with a electric bar heater, which we shared with some Brazilians. Sam came and found us and we had a fast drink there and a nice chat, before coming home to help with preparations. I dug chairs out of the dungeon,  I carved the turkey. As I was doing so Janet and Ken arrived. Quick hellos with them, then Pat told me that the coat hanger rack had broken and there were coats everywhere.

Still somehow we managed to get all the amazing dishes onto the table, and ourselves too with wine and bubbly and so on. And a pretty amazing feast Lorraine and Beth had cooked up. Delicious stuff. Including the PK pleasing mushrooms cooked in sage and butter, as well as turkey, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and parsnips, Brussels sprouts, beetroot in white sauce, carrots, red cabbage, various chestnuty, sausagey and sage and oniony stuffings and probably lots of things I've forgotten. Then, much later, Christmas Pudding, one of which I set aflame with rum, to the mild disconcertment of Lorraine who for all kinds of understandable reasons doesn't much like fire and flames.

On great form today, Ken sang lots of songs for us, and several joined in with him. Lorraine found a Spotify singalong favourites playlist. After much singing and so on Janet and Ken made off in a taxi, and we continued. The evening ended for Lorraine and I long after midnight playing charades with Beth, Sam and Jade using a mobile phone pressed to your forehead. All very cheerful, and all in all a lovely Christmas Day.

First thing in the morning, Sam and Jade and Beth in their various PJs opening stocking presents, our Christmas Gathering, LtoR Lorraine, Ken, Janet, Maureen, Pat, Jade, Sam and Beth. And another one with part of my face in it.

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