And that’s Christmas! For another year. Yay
It’s only just gone midnight. Last year, Tanya arrived unexpectedly with a boombox right about now. I think that won’t happen this year. Barring surprises I’ve got the place to myself already, and the night is young. I’ve been a bit stressed about it in the run up. I’ve been a bit misbehavey too. I haven’t had the lead time I like and it made me worry that Christmas would somehow randomly explode.
After swearing that I’d never drive that car again until it was fixed, I woke up remembering I was going to have to use it to grab a whole load of people to get them here. They lived miles from each other. Off I went, Odin on wounded Sleipnir, banging through the streets of London in my horrible mess of a wagon.
The whole drive round took about two and a half hours because of extreme geographic bad luck. The passengers were lovely despite living at every corner of London. My first pick up was someone I met as I picked them up. They were mostly unaware of the things I was stealthily doing to stop the engine from noticeably cutting out. We’ve ended up getting on well. Nevertheless I drove for two and a half hours with the windows down and the blowers on full, and it still stank of petrol. “It smells like a gas station” I was told at one point. Yes it does. Because it’s throwing petrol like Jackson Pollock throws paint and literally it couldn’t be a worse time of year for this to happen, both financially and in terms of cashflow. While I’ve been away walking in Spain and playing Scrooge, the legal people who only communicate with me by post have been asking me for a huge amount of money for unexpected maintenance on my leasehold property. They finally saw fit to email me when I was past their payment deadline by paper letter as if normal communication only happens in emergencies. Hi bye Christmas Carol money. Humbug. Humbug. Humbug. But… Christmas for the contractors.
We had a Christmas! I forgot my blog until just now so I asked 0 permission to mention people. But it was the usual mix of joyful people and I’m breaking my own etiquette by using this photo of them noshing but fuck it, it’s not like I throw this blog wide.
What did you learn, Al?
I learnt that goose is a fucking weird one to cook and carve, and it generates a staggering amount of fat. I do now have enough fat to cook incredible roast potatoes until the end of time but in the process of discovery we turned the kitchen into an ice rink of grease. I learnt that you can outsource the making of blinis and achieve staggering results. I re-learnt that Christmas can be made into something wonderful by just a few people bringing themselves. We played a terrible trivia game that was wonderful for the awfulness. We played other strange card based games. We watched a Derek and Clive clip, in short form, riffing on the Nativity.
It’s taken me two hours to write this, around tidying, distractions and phone calls. So now it’s closer to bedtime. And I’m going to crash down on my sofa. There’s already someone asleep in my bed and they need a good night’s rest.
If you’ve read this far then merry merry Christmas, and I pray for nothing but joy for you in the coming year. It humbles and astonishes me that anyone still reads these daily rambles to the end. Next time you see me, tap me to for a pint with the code word “Aardwolf”. (Subject to availability)