After present o'clock came sleeping o'clock, because fucking hell it's early so bollocks. Someone was reading out T.S. Eliot's poems about cats and we grabbed another couple of hours kip, before starting the consumptive part of the day (i.e., the rest of the day).
The first food was satisfyingly alliterative, being as it was bacon, Brie, bread, and Buck's Fizz. The TV came on and we watched a documentary about the golden age of kid's TV on the BBC, from inception until the period where they decided the employment policy had to shift towards only those who found pre-pubescent children sexually attractive. Then a documentary about the history of the monarch's Christmas Day broadcast, which actually wasn't all that apart from the excellent snippet of information that Sandringham in the 30s was in its own time zone because the royals liked to shoot and wanted more daylight, so their clocks were half an hour ahead of the rest of the country.
The C part of the day commenced, being "Cheesonal" cheddars, chocolate and cava. At some point I was threatened with expulsion, for pointing out that Christmas is about two things: fizzy wine early in the day, and the birth of our saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. And now Helen is back, bemoaning the fact her chair has been stolen by the non-vomiting cat. The Queen is on in ten minutes. Time for a break.
Well, her maj's message wasn't too offensive really. Also the NHS are number one, the turkey's in the oven and the Gantt chart for the rest of the meal's dishes has been created. I am on pewter Guinness number two, and thinking it might be time to send personal messages to a few people who aren't satisfactorily dealt with by the numerous merry Christmases already wished in certain avenues (cliquey chat rooms, Facebook, etc).
Truth told there's not many personal messages to send because, well, I don't really wish many individuals specific goodwill. Everyone should feel good! So "Have a good Christmas" last time I saw them and broadcasting the same on the day does the job for me. Maybe I just don't care enough? But anyway. A handful of people did require special attention and I attempted to give it.
At some point I spot a hole in my left sock. A brand new sock, one of today's presents, bought for me because most of my socks have holes in and that's not acceptable. Oh dear.
Then more Guinness and suddenly it's time for the food to get complicated. Well, sort of. Some foil has to come off and some other things have to go in and some potatoes don't look like they're doing quickly enough and the dishwasher is a piece of crap that not only isn't washing dishes, they've actually made some of the plates dirtier on the second attempt than after the first. So my electronics came off my wrists and I did some actual washing up. Check me out, all helping and shit.
I also prepared the sprouts, which was hard work. Rip the packaging open, put in a bowl, put some water on, wrap in film, put in the microwave. Also I put some foil over some cheese. Whew! Meanwhile Helen was doing the real work because the potatoes were screwing things up - briefly it looked like we might have a starter consisting of turkey, parsnip, sprouts, pigs in blankets, stuffing balls, Yorkshire puddings and gravy followed by a main of roast potatoes, but in the end everything came out fine.
quelque chose pour manger
The food was, as expected, nothing like as good as last Sunday. This was a low effort affair, everything just goes in the oven, whereas 6 days ago Helen had cooked a huge feast making almost everything from scratch. It were enormous in size, taste and enjoyment. This wasn't ropey by any stretch, but just not as good. A brief philosophical diversion took place as I pointed out that a shit cook like me is rarely, and in fact can only be rarely, disappointed in food, whereas a great cook can eat nice food but stll think "yeah, but, ... I could do better", which lessens the enjoyment a bit. Hurrah for not being able to cook!
The evening meal also meant it was champagne o'clock, of course. Plus we watched a documentary on 4od about crazy English people doing mental things with their Christmas lights on their houses. Entertaining enough, but I couldn't help but be slightly annoyed there was no mention of Lower Morden Lane.
Helen attempted to get a cute cuddle off Buster, but he's not playing ball and in the end the picture is hilarious. I am asked to delete it, but instead post (a cropped version of) it just above this paragraph. Oops.
The champagne is almost finished and Strictly is on the box. I recognise none of the celebrities. The local pub just opened, and we're going for a pint in a bit; I've never been to the pub on a Christmas Day evening, at least not that I can recall. And on the subject of beer, I've spent the last few weeks attempting to conjure up a 2016 new year resolution and I might finally have come up with one: 366 pints (or bottles or whatever; the quantity you buy it in, rather than trying a sip or tasting paddle) in total, of 100 different beers. That'll be less by volume than most years and so counts as a weight loss technique - I'll have to substitute beer for gin on lots of occasions - and will also make each beer that much more special. So, no Foster's for me!
Anyway. My champagne's gettng warm and there's a hint of desire for cheese brewing. Another break.
OK, so now it's gone 10pm and I'm back on the sofa. After finishing the champagne we went to the pub, and it was strange. It was just ... like a very quiet pub. There were decorations, but nothing particularly festive was taking place. There were tables with just blokes at them, and 3 people perched at the bar discussing football. We got drinks and sat by the door; people came and went, in single and mixed sex groups, every so often someone commenting on the peculiarity of being open on Christmas Day in the evening, but that was about the only nod to that fact.
So, back to the cottage. A plate of cheese was prepared earlier so after the vaguest of space-making tidy ups it was placed on the table, and I ate a whole bunch of truffle pecorino and stitchelton and cheddar and crackers. Buster decided he was a huge fan of the cheddar. On the TV we put University Challenge, in which Helen beat me 9-6 which was her 3rd episode victory in 24 hours. For fucks sake.