No, this is not a Christmas post because we have moved on. There is still a slightly morose tree dominating our small lounge, dropping needles and losing relevance by the hour, and I have been buying 75% reduced decorations from Selfridges and putting them onto the tree much to the confusion of the children, who look up from the Looney Tunes omnibus for a few brief seconds before returning to ignoring everything I say and do once again. But Christmas is over, and it is time to get stuck in to the January sales.
Because, like a car needs petrol, and a dog needs walking, and a fish needs water and a steak needs maldon sea salt, I need to buy stuff. It is sort of like my job.
But first, a very quick rundown of Christmas, just to put it to bed, so to speak.
Christmas Eve we had our second annual party. Fourteen grownups came, 14 children were left to run around from room to room, dropping popcorn as they went, unearthing forgotten toys, bedlinen and petrified apple cores. We ate disappointing ham (Nigella’s festive ham, boiled in apple and cranberry juice, then studded and glazed in cranberry sauce and mustard and honey – quite the effort for slices of boring), slow roasted lamb, crusty baguettes, Israeli couscous salad, baked brie in puff pastry with strawberry jam (so ridiculously awful that it works, kind of) pates, thyme roasted nuts, cheeses, then excellent chocolate cake and trifle from S, who bakes like a Christmas baking fairy elf (that is my highest bakery endorsement, in case of confusion). There was plenty of champagne.
Christmas day itself was a morning of feverish present opening, happy little boys, a baby who got a Scooby Doo Mystery Van and nothing else, a husband who got a Kindle, a Mulberry wallet which turned out to be the wrong kind, and three Steve Irwin “Crocodile Hunter” DVD’s which may cause me to pop my head in the oven if the frequency of playing does not decrease, and a wife who got a white GC watch, which, if you squint your eyes in a very dark room, passes for the Chanel one. Then we had Lovely Friends come around in stages, bearing gifts of microplanes and brownie and wine and beef and tiny gingerbread houses for the boys to assemble, decorate, then bust. (WHY didn’t I take a photo? WHY?)
For the main lunch/dinner hybrid, there was roasted beef and duck and parsnips and brussel sprouts with chalky sweet chestnuts. I overcooked the goose-fatted potatoes and, in another spectacular Nigella fail, unwisely made her gingerbread stuffing which was both pointless and odd. Ugh. N made a lemony roulade for dessert. It was all very merry and lovely and festive and good.
We braved a Boxing Day walk to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, which started out well (see the squirrel-feeding and matching duffel coats):
It all turned quite quickly to tears when the cold started to seep through little boy’s skinny leg jeans and mostly ungloved hands. See the frozen Serpentine:
Ok, to the sales tally thus far:
Selfridges – Christmas decorations reduced to £1 (bargain, but very stressful bunfight into the store);
Westfield – excellent things in COS, but abandoned trip before got to cash register because I accidentally squashed the baby’s foot in the aisle as was ramming double buggy through and bruised it and made him howl and because Custard stood up in his seat and screeched at the top of his lungs at 20 second intervals in order to shame me from the shop)
Online – Mulberry belt, reduced to £50 from £100, and Karen Walker tuxedo jacket for £130. Because a girl NEEDS TWO TUXEDO JACKETS, OK?
Thus far, that is all. But not for long.