Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas on Franks Mountain

Of course we're not really up on a mountain, as in the title. We are up a hill, though, which is rather dramatically, and with a certain amount of wild exaggeration, known as Little Switzerland.

A small child who'd come up that way to visit us once said with fervour "Oh, you live on the Mountain!" so our house has been known as Franks Mountain ever since.

Oswald the Snowman, who was perfectly capable of standing upright when we left him yesterday, had clearly been on the whiskey overnight.

We had rather a lot of Christmas lunch. We had turkey, sausages wrapped in bacon, and sausages without the bacon. We also had bacon without the sausages, cooked on top of the turkey.

Olli made the best roast potatoes in the whole world ever by working out that everyone likes the small ones, which are of course really bad for you as they're full of fat. But hey, it's Christmas so we only had small ones.

To accompany the turkey and sausages and bacon and roast potatoes, we had stuffing, and sprouts, and peas, and sweetcorn, and onion which was cooked round the turkey. Gareth made a huge panful of delicious gravy using the water from parboiling the potatoes and the juices from the turkey.

Then we had a variety of desserts including Christmas pud and brandy sauce, and lots of other things made of chocolate for those who didn't like Christmas pud.

There were Stephen and me, and Olli and Gareth, and my mother, and our old friend Connie ("old" in both senses - I've known her for thirty-five years, and she's ninety next birthday.)

Everything somehow had a red and gold feel to it, and this Victorian and Dickensian look was rather pleasing.

To add to the Dickensian flavour, Gareth's Christmas present to Olli was a delightful pocket watch.

To tell you the truth, I'd been a bit worried about how I'd be on Christmas Day. The Communist, who was of course a Jewish atheist, nevertheless loved Christmas Day for its warmth and jollity and dinner. Olli reminded me today that every year he'd say "I don't like turkey much, it's too dry" and then eat about eleven helpings of it.

Although he'd died before Christmas last year, it was only about three weeks before Christmas, and so I was kind of expecting him to come back, really, and sit there in a paper hat and sing to us.

But this year it's finally come home to me that he's gone, and I don't like that, and I miss him.

Ah, people say, but he'd have wanted you to have a good Christmas without him.

Actually, no he jolly well wouldn't - he'd never have wanted that - he'd want to be with us. But we've done our very best, and we've had a good day - - and so he has been with us, in a way.

Here's Stephen this morning, with our cat, on the sofa, next to the tree:

And here's the Ghost of Christmas Past, on the sofa, next to the tree, on Christmas Day 2006.

It's strange how things stay the same, and how they change.


Blogger David said...

Happy Christmas, have a very cool Yule

8:21 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Daphne - Sometimes the healing process can take years when the person in your thoughts was one you loved wholeheartedly. But it seems you feasted well and no doubt some laughter echoed from Franks Hill. Maybe Xmas 2010 will be easier.
When they said the communists were planning to take over, they probably didn't mean this way.

12:22 am  

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