christmas wishes and an apple kentucky mule

Apple Kentucky Mule is at the bottom, but first, some words from the Queen.

Christmas is over for another year. How was it for you? Are you now officially wider than you are tall? Are you so sick of Christmas that you could cheerfully and without delay punch Santa Claus right in the balls? You monster. Have a week of rest and make 2017 the year to change everything. Just like 2016, 2015, 2000, 1995…

I had a genuinely lovely Christmas – Paul and I woke around 9am, realised it was a god-awful time to be alive and went straight back to sleep, snoring and farting and grunting our way to 11am, at which time the world seemed a lot more welcoming. I dispatched him straight to the kitchen to make bacon sandwiches (cheese topped roll, tomato chutney, bacon with so much fat on it that Sharshina Bramwell would explode in a fit of hair lacquer and half-smoked Carltons that you know she keeps tucked behind her ear) whilst I dozed for a bit longer. We had our sandwiches and exchanged presents in front of a Crystal Maze repeat. We both (unusually) stuck to our agreed present limits but somehow I managed to justify buying a new bottle of Tom Ford Oud Wood “for the house”, the way that others may buy a new candle or a doormat. What-am-I-like. We then wrapped up* the quarter-tonne of presents we’d bought our nephew (honestly, I felt like Challenge Anneka when she used to turn up at the orphanage with a lorry of gifts) and then made our way over to our parents where we opened all of our gifts and immediately set about fattening ourselves up.

* I say we wrapped presents. What actually happened was Paul was on sellotape duty whilst I farted about doing all of the folding and wrapping and cutting. I hate wrapping presents. I do! If it was socially acceptable to hand over gifts in a Netto bag with their name scrawled haphazardly over the top in Sharpie I’d do exactly that. I was furious inside watching my nephew tearing away at my delicate wrapping – I missed most of the industrial zone wrapping that Kinetic Sand, you little stinker.

My parents had built a grotto in the garden for the benefit of my nephew – this being the first Christmas he’ll remember – and actually, despite my cynicism about these things, it was really lovely. Pine trees, twinkling lights, a heated gazebo, music playing – a fantastic effort. Even my cold, icy heart melted. Christmas last year felt slightly off because my nana wasn’t at the table proclaiming that ‘this’ll be my last Christmas’ and ‘I’m not going to make another year’ – you know, the cheery statements of the elderly. She had the last laugh though – two years ago she was bang on the money. Christmas isn’t the same without having to repeat what you say four times over until you’re bellowing like you’re caught in a house fire and she’s holding the phone. Christ, I remember one Christmas a couple of years ago when she slumped dramatically in her chair and we all looked aghast at each other thinking she’d died in the middle of eating her one sprout and chipolata (“that’ll do for me Christine, I’m not a big eater”). It was like Helen Daniels all over again, only Paul was too fat to play Hannah.

Turns out she’d just dozed off and, because she had one of those fabulous NHS hearing aids that was of equal use to her whether she was wearing it or had left it at home, couldn’t hear our plaintive cries to wake her. She was lucky – the way my dad with clearing up she was fortunate not be have been buried in the garden “to save time” before the cheeseboard came around.

One thing I can take away from yesterday is that my mother is turning into my nana, at least on the food front. As usual with Christmas, everyone buys enough food to last us through a nuclear winter, nevermind a British one. I can’t open a cupboard without eight hundred gaily-decorated packets of crackers and biscuits and crisps and oatcakes and pickles and nuts and Pringles and sweets and mints and Bombay mix and tinned olives and breadsticks and chocolates cascading down onto me like I’m in Fun House: Obesity Edition. Christmas dinner was the usual spread of gorgeous food all shovelled down with booze and er, in my case, Vimto. I was driving, and anyway, when do you ever get a chance to have Vimto? Mother’s gone to Farmfoods! I’d no sooner managed to see my plate through my pile of food then my mum started piping up with ‘have a bit more turkey’ or ‘have another tureen of veg, it’ll not get eaten’. I swear, for all her concerned protestations that Paul and I are looking fat, she was determined to have us break at least one wooden chair before we left.

Christmas pudding followed, accompanied by cream and more food-pushing (have a bit of tiramisu, have some profiteroles, have some more cream) and then, just as I was fully expecting to start leaking mashed potatoes from my ears and start coughing up barely digested sprouts, out comes the cheese platter. Now listen, Paul and I love a cheese-board. We do. We may have accidentally worked our way through a six-person cheeseboard from Marks and Spencers only the night before. But we have limits, and frankly, when I’ve eaten so much cheese that my poo is coming out the same colour, consistency and indeed smell as a Cheesestring, we need to rest. But no! Old Mother Cub (?) was cutting off a bit of this for us and a bit of that for us and try this relish and have some crackers. Most people like to finish a good meal with coffee and perhaps a cigar – my mother seems to think a meal isn’t complete without one of her guests being ambulanced to hospital with chest pains. I was as full as a fat man’s sock.

Final thought from the day? I look at my nephew now, all full of chatter and wonder, and think that I’d like a child for the house. Don’t get me wrong, I’d tire of any child after thirty minutes and sadly, it isn’t like you can pack them away in a cupboard anymore, but it would be fun to see Christmas and Easter and all that fun stuff through their eyes. Towards the end of the day he had managed to find and consume an entire family-sized bag of sugary sour worms and it was as all that sugar was kicking in that we bid our goodbyes. My sister, an excellent, patient mum who thankfully has managed to evade the temptation to change her name on FB to Deborah ‘Mammyofspecialone’ Surname, had that joy to deal wth. Mahaha! We get to be the fun uncles who swoop in with gifts, e-numbers and presents and then get to leave just as the Kinetic sand is being trod into the carpet and he’s doing a loud, continuous impression of a police car.

It really was a great day. We came home, watched Doctor Who (pap), Eastenders (rubbish) and then fell asleep during Corrie. We don’t watch the soaps during the year so god-knows why we inflict them upon ourselves at Christmas but see, that’s exactly why – because it’s Christmas. I hope you all had a lovely one!

Eee Christ, I sat down this morning to write the fourth part of our Switzerland trip but we’re already at 1,200 words. Let’s leave it here for now and I’ll crack on with Switzerland over the next few days. In the meantime, here’s another – yeah that’s right, another – recipe for you guys. Not going to lie, this doesn’t exactly need cooking, but by god it’ll make the night go faster…

apple kentucky mule

to make an apple kentucky mule you will need:

  • handful of ice cubes
  • 35ml bourbon (4 syns)
  • juice of half a lime
  • 100ml apple juice (2.5 syns)
  • 100ml diet ginger beer

to make apple kentucky mule you should:

  • mix it all together
  • get hammered
  • nosh off your boss

Oh you filthy mare!

More drinks recipes? Of course!