Around December 27, suddenly the day of the week comes back, only to become lost once again in the confusion leading up to New Year's Eve.
Through a haze of post-holiday lethargy I'm going to try and explain the quirks of a British Christmas for any Polish readers still on board. Inexplicably, we are unable to reconcile a twelve course meal with the concept of 'fasting', even if one of the twelve courses involves eating a creature so horrible it has to be fished out of a paddling pool by a specially-armed Babcia. We just go all out and start on the mince pies. Generally, one goes out for a swift half on Christmas Eve (usually to someone's house, now that you have to pay to get into the pub on Wigilia), one drinks three gins and tonic, one totters over to Midnight Mass and one is somehow half an hour later singing 'Once in Royal David's City' all alone in a Very Quiet Church Indeed. Never mind: what's a quarter-tone between friends? (as our choirmaster said consolingly afterwards).
On Christmas day... hands up who remembered to interpret the Queen's Speech? Never mind, you can listen to her on YouTube, she has her own channel. It's not obsession, just a healthy work ethic. Recommended reading for 2009: Bonjour Paresse. In English.
Last year, I tried to capture on film the flambée-ing of the famous Xmas Pud. The technique of dousing in hot alcohol and setting alight is more commonly applied to light, fluffy desserts such as crêpes Suzette. What could be more logical than extending this to a stodgy kilo of currant-studded suet pudding?
But just to make it clear, the following pictures illustrate HOW TO and HOW ABSOLUTELY NOT TO:
Note the prudent match-lighting technique in the top picture.
Do not ON ANY ACCOUNT attempt to emulate the reckless fire-pouring method in the lower picture.
Kitchen cabinets nearly lost their melamine over this.
While we're on the subject of handy tips for Christmas, please exercise foresight in the giving of gifts. Be discerning in your choice of recipients when giving presents which may contain musical components.
They may look innocent. But Beware! These singing reindeer slippers May Seriously Confuse Your Dog.