Bewitching ‘Twixting

The last two days have been all go. After breakfast and stockings on Christmas morning we had a slightly hair-raising drive to Gala to see Dad and deliver his presents (Lachlan drove, taking all the bends with a racing line, because I was deemed too slow. Ishbel admirably kept her breakfast down, but only just). On arrival Dr L went to diagnose Dad’s Alexa’s illness. After much unplugging and fiddling he finally rolled his eyes heavenwards in disgust and declared that her volume had been turned right down. Poor thing was valiantly trying to play Jim Reeves and announce the football results, but no one could hear. The miracle cure of turning Alexa up to “shouty” having been administered, presents were delivered, unwrapped and declared highly satisfactory, the compliments of the season were exchanged and we left Dad grooving away to John Denver and starting on a yard of Jaffa cakes before his lunch.

We broke our earlier speed record on the return leg and the turkey was committed to its fiery grave whilst more serious present opening took place to the accompaniment of coffee, cake, blue Leicester and champagne. Lyra was quite beside herself by this stage, being fed a steady stream of treats from her stocking, cruising the coffee table for stray cheese and making the occasional foray under the tree to check for squirrels. The winner of “most innovatively wrapped gift”, as predicted, fell to granny’s knicker snake (constructed from old thermal tights and felt). By mid afternoon everyone with two legs was wearing at least one new jumper (Monkey, who is in Edinburgh but will be modelling his later in the season), eating something inappropriate and wondering where all the new socks and knickers were going to go, Lyra had completely pegged out and the cats had eaten a woodpecker, dragging it through the cat flap and getting feathers all over the back landing. There was then a brief period of free association after which I hustled the sous chefs to the kitchen to assist with veg whilst I decorated Ishbel’s birthday cake for Boxing Day, sorted out the compulsory meat product dinner accoutrements, made gravy, assembled pudding, decorated the table and so on.

We ate until just short of explosion and judiciously forwent the wafer thin mints.

Boxing Day is Ishbel’s birthday, so it also began with presents and ended with surfeit and booze. The girls did squeeze in a bijou walkette before lunch though and Lachlan sorted out the coos’ straw, so it was not entirely sloth…

This morning for breakfast we started on the citrus cured salmon then packed Lyra in the mini and took a quick spin round the Coo Circular to work it off again. We then drove over to see Dad through a complete pea souper, dodging cyclists with no lights and an old bloke on a mobility scooter who emerged at speed from a concealed entrance on a corner and shot between us and an oncoming lorry with blithe unconcern. Arriving to find Dad and Alexa performing a duet, .mum, Ishbel and I formed a backing trio and we rocked through a range of Everly Brothers numbers before returning through the deepening murk.

On the car radio on the way back I heard the days between Christmas and the New Year called the ‘twixt days. (After an initial confusion on the topic of biscuit consumption, I eventually realised this was because they fell betwixt and between the two celebratory high points of the season.) It seems they are characterised by ongoing confusion about what day it is, grazing rather than eating meals and sofa based sloth. Yep, that’s now us… As if to prove my point Keith has just asked if it is Monday, Lyra is prone on the sofa and I am eyeing up the Twiglets speculatively. But it is really rather lovely to have nothing in particular to do for the rest of the day and my fluffy slippers on.

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