Thursday, December 27, 2007

So there it was, merry Christmas

At the age of 37, I have of course realised that I'll never drive through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in my hair. But there are consolations. I've also finally, *finally*, realised that the secret to the perfect Christmas Day lies in escaping expectations, and striking the right balance between sociability and misanthropy. You do not have to leave the country. You barely have to leave the house. Thanks are due to Jeremy for some sound and timely advice on this.

It goes a little something like this:

1. Wake up in the bed of a teenage girl.
(She wasn't there, but I like to think some of her cool rubbed off)

2. Put last night's clothes back on, eat Plumbing S's maple syrup crepes while little T freaks everyone, including herself, out with Real Scorpion Toffee.

3. Come home and open presents. Top gifts this year included a radio-cum-iPod-dock for the kitchen, so I can now boil an egg to the Ace of Spades if I want to, and, following weeks of big fat hints, the complete Morse on DVD. I don't understand you, said M, you don't like box sets and you don't believe in owning DVDs, so why on earth would you want this? I can't really explain.

4. Receive guests while still feeling sparkly-yet-manky. Drink posh wine.

5. Decide not to eat dinner till *after* sunset walk in Shotover.

6. Go for sunset walk in Shotover with the kind of friends who think to bring mince pies and sloe gin.

7. Have a big nap.

8. Eat cheese fondue and a big salad.

9. Watch a good film (well, we watched Love Actually, which I don't think counts, but the intention was good).

10. Dance away the clearing up, helped along by little sambucas in new little sambuca glasses. Go to bed.

It was great. We rose on Boxing Day ready to cook up a Claudia Roden storm. Our 'Open House' from 2-6 degenerated into fire, music and mayhem till midnight. All the major world religions were represented, and it seems everything now smells of woodsmoke and fish.

joella

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