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Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas Day + digging the microwave out of the coal shed.

Christmas Day 2011

At last, a day off, a double bonus as it is a Sunday off and I would normally be working. The month of December has been a very active one for me with my trip to Germany to perform my one man show of A Christmas Carol and on return to perform it again on Sunday 11th at the Lace Market Theatre.

On top of this I have been working hard at Tesco helping to prepare the counters (meat/fish and deli) for the Christmas shopping experience. As regular readers will know I mainly work on the meat counter where we have had special offers of beef rib on the bone and boned and rolled loin of pork (both half price) as well as Turkeys and Gressingham ducks on sale.

I have also been helping out on the fish counter, mainly selling whole salmons and de-scaling, filleting and steaking these large fish for the festive season. Additionally I’ve been helping my colleagues on the deli cut, wrap and price up a mountain of cheeses ranging from Davidstow creamy mature cheddar from Cornwall to the unctuous brie from the French Président company as well as many a fragrant blue cheese or two. And, on top of this, I have become a master of the Tesco tannoy system, verbally promoting the goodies on offer across the counters.

I haven’t had too many late nights working but often had to be at work at 5.30am and 6.30am to set up my meat counter attractively with all the fresh meats ready for the Christmas shoppers. All the counters staff have worked very hard over the run up to Christmas and come 2.30pm yesterday afternoon I was quite ready to go home and relax and celebrate Christmas in my own style. Actually I was knackered.

Not for the first time, I nearly fell asleep on the bus home and, with four carrier bags of produce in my hands, I stumbled through my front door late yesterday afternoon, unpacked, fussed next door’s cats and set to in cleaning my house ready for Santa. The hovering had been neglected as has the clothes washing this month. Also, I’ve been a bit late in writing Christmas cards this year and, on return, first of all things, I finished writing my remaining cards for neighbours and friends and took a card over to my friend Ann and her cat Henry and spent an hour in her warm and welcoming home catching up on news over a coffee and chocolates. I haven’t seen her for a while and it was nice just to stop and relax and chat convivially. Henry the cat remembered me and all was well with the world.
new curtains in bedroom
I mentioned in the last paragraph about the mounds of clothes washing. Well, some time ago my washing machine broke down and I have been washing everything by hand since and only recently have I purchased a new one. Being too busy and too stressed out consider setting it all up (plumbing in and connecting to plug and reading the bloody confusing manual and trial wash etc) I let the new machine sit forlorn in the middle of my kitchen floor for days. I mentioned this situation to my neighbour Jo on a mad dash for my bus on Thursday and low and behold when I came back from work at 11pm on Thursday night the washing machine situation had been all sorted, by Jo's husband Mick, and, ‘thankfully’ was sitting snugly in the hole provided. I still haven’t actually used it but Boxing Day may be the first day it gets to clean my proverbial Everest of dirty washing.

My bedroom now has some new curtains – the correct drop length- after buying some two feet too short in a rushed attempt at Wilkos last Friday night and having had to return them on the following Monday for exchange.

Spiced beef pre oven

So, back to Christmas Day. It’s now about 1.30pm as I type and the beef is in the oven. The house is clean and smells wonderfully spicy as the roast starts to cook. I have been round to my neighbours Jo and Mick and had a glass or two of champagne and admired their festive décor and they have given me some home-made mackerel pâté and some chicken liver pâté, both big faves of mine.

Telly-wise I have watched Rick Stein’s Spanish Christmas and Nigel Slaters’ Christmas show, Eddie Izzard in BBC’s Lost Christmas as well as a few festive DVDs – The Snowman, A Christmas Carol (Jim Carrey), and  It’s A Wonderful Life. Plus I was utterly blown away with a DVD of the 25th Anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera performed and filmed at the Royal Albert Hall.

being summoned for festive nibbles
Mid-afternoon I got called round to my neighbours’ house for some festive nibbles and more drinks. Their house looked beautiful with lots of natural decorations and they were as welcoming as ever. Their friend Terry was also invited and we had a photo together using my camera and Mick’s sturdy tripod.

I popped in and out of their house throughout the afternoon and also in the evening when we got my unused microwave out of the coal shed so that we could cook the Christmas pudding quickly. Their other friends Jon and Sue arrived and more festive drinking and laughter followed.

About 4pm I retired back to my own house to see to my Christmas dinner of roast rib of beef, roast potatoes, roast parsnips and horseradish sauce with onion gravy. I forgot to cook the carrots and use the goose fat that I had purchased especially for my Christmas dinner. Doh! Later on I watched the Christmas episode of Doctor Who. Great fun.

The rest of the evening got a bit blurred and I remember reading a short paragraph from A Christmas Carol about the Cratchit’s Christmas pudding experience as we ignited and consumed the micro waved pud.

blurred Xmas pudding

Today is Boxing Day and some time today I WILL sort out my washing machine and do some festive  clothes washing. Merry Christmas everyone!!

Mr Harris's Christmas pose


Gailsman said...

Dear me, you have had a busy couple of days. We had a very quiet Christmas day. Alas no visitors. Watched Doctor Who too, but wasn't that enthralled with it to be truthful.

Phil Lowe said...

thanks Gailsman for your comment, Hope you and gail hada wonderful Christmas.