And so it was Christmas…

Christmas stole rather softly over Ruthven House this year. The bellwether of preparedness that is Monkey’s jumper was competed with 48 hours to spare and by Christmas Eve there was a fridge replete with pigs in blankets and stuffing balls, a lemon meringue pie cooling on the cake stand and, in an unprecedented feat of organisation, the turkey was already wearing its bacon and bay party dress (which I am sure proved the inspiration for Lady Gaga’s meat number). Indeed, there were even three game pies in the pantry all ready for jellying on Boxing Day and a beetroot cured salmon smothering nicely under weights and bags of sugar in the washhouse. I had an almost tranquil Christmas Eve afternoon doing the flowers (I couldn’t get any red chrysanthemum in my last minute raid on the florists but my cunning plan of using buttons on florists wire went rather well). Crises proved relatively few. There was a sweaty moment when I realised I had forgotten the lemon meringue pie, left in the oven to dry out, and it has endured 5 minutes heating up to game pie temperature before I remembered to take it out. No harm was done though and the yellow floof emerged unscathed and was even declared “guid” by my dad when we attempted to reduce weight gain on Thursday by taking a haul of surplus cake to dad’s care home.

As always the Day began with stockings and Keith’s ham and pork pie followed by a breakneck drive to see Dad and deliver him his own weight in sweeties, socks and underpants. In a stocking malfunction a pair of Lachlan’s Disco Underpants were found amongst the pontefract cakes, but I managed a swift substitution and the carers were spared the future vision of Dad in Travolta mode.

Back home again, wheels barely touching the road, the turkey went in and the rest of us set to presents with gusto. An excellent year for me – with not only luxury wellies but top of the range, hopefully spadeproof, workboots. Lachlan, in lavish mode, gifted a deep fat fryer and we spent a happy hour on Boxing Day listing every possible foodstuff that might benefit from tempura batter. He received his Christmas jumper bravely and is modelling it below, with Monkey of course. I have yet to nobble Keith. Ishbel, as ever maltreated by the travel gods, had had to take a last minute plane up as her train was strike beset. Somehow, possibly by omitting to pack PJs, socks or knickers on the (safe) assumption that Santa would provide, she managed to fit a welter of thoughtful gifts in her cabin baggage and my stocking was delightfully full. Luckily Ishbel was back on the train on the way down and the natty small suitcase from Granny and overnight bag from me proved helpful in taking her own haul back south (this included, as well as a lifetimes supply of knickers, a quarter of the Christmas cake, half her birthday cake and all of the left over lentil soup vacuum packed).

A rather damp walk by the river on Boxing Day tested the new wellies and cleared the hangover somewhat and by the time we took to the board games I was, dare I say it, rather on form. This year we played Articulate and the prize for the best clue must surely go to Ishbel with “It went down the shitter this year” . Sadly, there were so many options, the sand had run out before Keith could come to a landing…try your luck dear readers if you wish…

We waved Ishbel off on the 27th and then ran upstairs to change the beds for the next visitors (our usual new year guests and their son came early this year) and steeled ourselves for further hedonism. Since then we have mustered a few days of committed sofa grazing and leftovers before the lovely Matthew arrived for Hogmanay. Thankfully, Keith and Lachlan are on catering detail – my solitary donation was the cured salmon and some chicken soup – leaving me time to pen this catch up over a sneaky gin and tonic.

I shall be having a very quiet January.

2 thoughts on “And so it was Christmas…

  1. Your a clever girl! No doubt at all!! Love the jumpers. Lovely flower arrangements and lemon meringue looks scrumptious. Happy New Year to you all. 😘😘


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