4 days till Christmas everybody! Gosh the excitement! The anticipation! Who can resist the lure of a morbidly obese, elderly man nipping down your chimney to top up his alcohol levels with a schnifter of brandy and stuff one more mince pie down the hatch (will this be the one that pushes him into a diabetic coma?) before depositing plastic trinkets of an Asiatic origin under a plastic/balding Christmas tree drowning in tinsel and likely to go up in flames at any second due to badly wired cheap fairy lights. Could there be a more exciting time of year?
I think not.
Here in Church Road, Myvanwy and I are abuzz with festive anticipation. I have developed carpal tunnel syndrome from wrapping the numerous presents procured for her 13 great/grandchildren. The back room looks like Santa’s grotto every surface covered by festive gifts.
Well, I say we’re abuzz with festive anticipation but really Vanny is a bit concerned that we might not get through the week without running out of a) food and b) light bulbs. This is a strange siege mentality as a no other time of the year would one worry that you might be unable to purchase a 60w bayonet bulb should the need arise. To ease any festive worry we have purchased a light bulb multipack, which should see us through the darkness of the Christmas week even if every bulb in the house should inexplicably combust.
As for food I have failed to waylay her festive fears after recounting that when I got to the veg market this morning, as I/we do every Saturday morning, the veg man (who is a genuine London barrow boy ‘O’ight there darlin’ character) had been completely cleaned out of carrots, parsnips and potatoes! Poor Vanny is a tad concerned that we might be unable to lay our hands on a root vegetable until after the festive season despite my protestations that supermarkets will continue to trade during the following week.
I find Vanny’s Christmas anxiety quite strange, as she is usually a pretty chilled character. However she did share with me the tale of how her mother used to come for a little day out with a pack of candles and box of matches in her handbag in case of an emergency. She concedes that, in this her 94th year, her festive fear has finally turned her into her mother!
For our festive treat we are off to her lovely daughter’s for Christmas lunch, where we will be joined by some of her great/grandchildren. Vanny has already warned me that her grandson will inevitably get completely morosely drunk at the end of the table and the great-grandchildren will work themselves into a teary-frenzy over too many presents/too much sugar. Her deaf son-in-law will refuse to wear his hearing aid, which may cause his irritated wife to stab him with the carving knife midway through Christmas lunch. Vanny has declared that she won’t be able to hear a thing with all the background noise during lunch and will invariably find the dining room chairs so arse-breakingly hard that she will want to come home the minute it is politely acceptable to do so.
Any who I am off to represent the household at the neigbour’s Christmas drinks party. Such fun darlings! With champas in hand I will discuss important middle-class issues like the banning of tracksuits as leisurewear and compulsory prison time for anyone with a tattoo.
Merry Middle-Class Christmas Everyone!