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  Home grown
should beat
any shortage
Recent headlines suggest that a shortage of turkeys and constant hiccups along the supermarket supply chain could see us staring into the tinselled trolley of a
somewhat limited Christmas
dinner. An ironic twist on last year when we had all the food but none of
the guests. Cue the resurgence of panic buying; that increasingly familiar national pastime. Of course, for those of us who spent lockdown productively establishing fruit cages and vegetable patches, freezers will be well stocked with the rewards of self-sufficiency and hence feeding the festive hordes will be a relative breeze. At HQ however, my own grand plans to finally unleash some green fingers harvested little more than some bulletproof rhubarb and a host of weeds. Or, as I prefer to term it, a ‘wild garden’. 2020 cemented that, where the ‘Good Life’ is concerned, I am less Barbara, happiest with a muddy fork to hand, and more Margot, far more content to waft around the garden clutching a dirty martini.
So yes, hands up, siege mentality and sharpened elbows to the fore, I will probably be personally responsible for any lack of Aunt Bessie’s roasties in the frozen aisle.
Bonded in a rather
futile battle
against the virus
After months of rescheduling, HQ finally watched both the brilliant musical comedy ‘Waitress’ and the latest daredevil antics of 007. There was something rather comforting about being back in the familiar (pre 2020) comforts of those sticky carpeted foyers; cocooned in an auditorium with fellow popcorn guzzlers. The seating gap between cinema groups, staggered theatre arrival times and requests for proof of adult vaccination were a commendable attempt at tackling Covid’s undeniably stubborn presence. However, I can't help but wonder whether the hordes of school age kids, fresh out of their daily educational petri dish, brought more than just unmasked enthusiasm to their respective venues. Plus, as we all crammed en masse towards the no doubt virally infused exit, did those strict socially distanced entry measures not seem a little futile?
Never
a dull moment
The joys, trials and bemusing encounters of mum Georgina Lawrenson
Gold, frankincense . . . and mirth
Irecently came across some faded snaps of our brood performing in the nativity plays of their youth. How angelic they all look! I still vividly recall watching on
proudly as, by turns, they refused to face the audience, yawned their way through the entire script, dropped baby Jesus and sang so woefully out of tune that Granny’s ears began to bleed!
Fast forward to the often daily dramas of ‘acting up’ teenagers and those primary school debuts seem positively magical! So, nostalgia to the fore and in a bid to make up for the rather deflated festivities of last year, Best Beloved and I are set to embrace the seasonal spirit, reintroduce our young adults to the dressing up box and take a trip down memory lane.
Handing around the nibbles at our annual Christmas Eve drinks party will now be a trio of kings, some shepherds and an acutely embarrassed 6’4” lad in a donkey costume. Eagle-eyed
parishioners may note the parental presence of a frazzled gold star and distinguished looking Angel Gabriel herding this flock into Midnight Mass.
The attire may be questionable but I can safely guarantee that their choral pitch is now thankfully much improved.
  Sloe progress
 With fuel costs escalating and COP26 to the fore,
those lumps of coal for the kids' stockings might well be hard to come by. But at least, following the pricking of a 1000 sloes,
HQ is now fully stocked up on its traditional gin-based winter tipple. Possibly the most affordable future aid to warming one's toes. Plus, a couple of glasses down the hatch on Christmas Day and hopefully no one will notice any glaring omissions to the customary table spread?
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