Not Quite the Christmas – Part 02
For Christmas dinner I noticed that one of my parents had carved the sprouts with crosses so that they resembled cartoon zombie eyeballs. I imagined that this act was to carve the Jesus into them as if from some an old wives’ tale or bizarre Catholic tradition like eating fish on Fridays or unplugging the television during a thunderstorm.
Seeing as we’re not a religious family I just raised an eyebrow and didn’t comment although looking into this later I noticed that The Guardian had done an exposé of this practise, about whether crossing sprouts had any effect on cooking them, to show that this really is just a myth.
On Boxing Day morning my parents abandoned me home alone to shepherd the cats for a couple of days. My Mum had asked me the day before whether I wanted her to cook extra roast potatoes and veg to see me through?
I told her I didn’t.
She asked me again, later.
I told her I didn’t.
She left me with a mountain of mixed carrot and swede to climb and all I want to do was eat Quorn roll barm cakes with coleslaw, cold stuffing, and Marks and Sparks crisps as that’s my traditional idea of the week post-Christmas.
And now I’ve spent the past two days under siege.
My estranged brother’s ex-partner, and mother of my parent’s third grandchild, who they discovered by chance this year in a local pub, ruined the usual Noel serenity we have when she sent word that she was going to appear on Christmas morning like one of Dickens’ ghosts.
My brother did his disappearing act a few Christmases ago and never came by to collect presents I had for him and one of his fiancés, I presume it was the second, and so coping with the effects of my brother is hard enough. Doubly so now she’s started bringing her boyfriend around when she visits too.
Despite all possible dissuasion, and an enforced tidy up, she later announced that she would turn up some time during the afternoon. Like Samuel Beckett’s Godot she never arrived.
So that’s now made a very odd situation a hell of a lot more difficult.
And that’s not something I want to touch with a bargepole so I spent two days staying away from the window and refusing to answer the door. Looking back to Medieval siege strategy a castle can only hold out as long as its sustenance holds.
As I ski down my mountain of mixed carrot and swede I’m thinking that I could stick it out for quite a while yet. Not quite the Christmas I expected.
I think our foxes have been slacking as I put the turkey leg out and instead of it disappearing overnight, like things used to, it just danced around the garden over a few days as the street cats presumably had a go. It must’ve been slightly mocking to the boy, when he went out, as it meant there was a sum-total of four legs knocking about the garden.
Come New Year’s Eve and the remaining orange vegetable mountain still survived.
It’s now been whizzed into soup.
There’s still a pile of wrapped presents just sitting here.
I don’t like to ask.
It eventually befell to me to collect the turkey leg bones.
And I poetically finished the last of the (second) Quorn roll, with the end of the (second batch of) stuffing, and the final spoonfuls of (the second tub of) coleslaw, on the final barm cake.
One hell of a sandwich.
I’m thinking Christmas must be over.