As is traditional with my husband's family, I have eaten two Christmas lunches this week. One, we cooked here for everyone on The Day, and the second was provided by my mother in law (who finds it unbearable to go through the Christmas period without cooking at least one turkey) on Boxing Day, at a gathering of the elder statesmen and women of the clan. As a result, you will find a photo of Uncle Charles and Uncle Peter with my father in law above. Uncle Charles is on the far right (with the glasses) and Uncle Peter (aged about 93 but sharp as a pin) is in the middle.
As is traditional, Uncle Peter recited a poem he'd written about the family while we all drank ice cold champers and ate prawn nibbles recycled from the Village Drinks Party at the end of November. Uncle Charles then gave us the full story behind the undertaker-turned-magician he'd met during his recent stay in hospital (which I mentioned a few posts ago). It turned out this was an extraordinary man who'd come through incredible things in his life, notably fleeing Germany as a child during the war and being taught English by a kind woman in her spare time whilst training to be a cabinet maker in the UK, his father having been shot during the war and the family left destitute. Uncle Charles has a knack of getting people to open up, probably because he listens and asks the right questions, but also because having the sparkliest eyes you'll ever see and a huge laugh to go with them rarely proves to be a handicap in life :o)
Anyhoo, there were some splendid anecdotes, as always. Among my favourites were Uncle Peter taking bets with his side of the family on Christmas day about how many bottles of fizz they'd get through (he bet 9, they got through 14 between 6 of them!) and then telling us how he'd been unable to take his false teeth out at night because he couldn't kiss properly without them. Then there was Uncle Charles revealing that he only has two working teeth of his own and Grandad shouting at him to repeat the story because he'd been chewing turkey at the time and couldn't hear a word.
There were lots of conversations that run thusly:
Me: 'how are you, Charles?'
Charles: 'At about half past one.'
M: 'No Charles, we're asking how you are?'
Uncle Peter: 'Five bottles.'
Grandad: 'What is it you're all saying?'
Me (trying unsuccessfully to stifle an attack of the giggles) : 'I have absolutely no idea.'
Today, I am mostly detoxing while finishing the clearing up and looking after T and P's doggy cousins who have come to stay for the day. Dougal (pic above) is spending most of the day hiding under the table while Dylan has gone out for an hour's run with M and Poppy over the hills. Teddy, meanwhile, has taken over Dylan and Dougal's bed and is lying on it with his new Christmas Tree toy (as per pics).
I got a new food mixer from M and am trying to think up a suitable name for her. She's cream and looks very elegant in the kitchen. If you've got any thoughts on that score let me know. L got an Xbox 1 and has already had it removed for a period of time due to unreasonable (in my eyes, but perfectly reasonable in his) behaviour. Roll on the start of term.
We've a rash of sociable goings on to get through this week and various clearing out chores which I am looking forward to because I like the feeling of lightness you get by recycling old/ outdated/ no longer required things, and I prefer to travel light. Other than that it's an easy week ahead before we all gear up for work/ school/ uni/ college again.
How about all of you?