heyrick1973 -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot uk

The First Noel...

After getting up late (was up late last night, and why not?) it was time for a tea. As ever! Tetley. Sugar. Milk. Big mug.

After some discussion on random topics, I popped a French carols CD into the player (came free on the cover of "Plein Vie" last year - a magazine for older people to show that life doesn't end at 60) and the pre-prepared frozen turkey piece went into the oven.

While the turkey was cooking, we had (English) water biscuits (crackers) with (English) Branston pickle on top, into which was laid (Scottish) "Seriously Strong Cheddar". On top of that was a half piece of (English) pickled onions.
I mark the country of origin for not only were these products all sourced from a local supermarket, but also they are products that the French either don't know, or simply cannot do "correctly" - as an example, their haricots in tomato sauce simply isn't a patch on a can of British "Baked Beans" (any variety, but Heinz by preference). It was nice to have something from days gone by, and it sure beats large numbers of Frenchies who would have come home from Midnight Mass and downed large quantities of seafood. Ugh!

And, talking of Midnight Mass, the Radio 4 version was from Liverpool Cathedral and, boy, didn't they make a mess of "O Come All Ye Faithful"? I didn't watch the BBC version, and I didn't pay much attention to the radio version. I'm still upset at ITV. The year before last they had a little Christmas service live from a church someplace (well, that's not surprising, what I mean it is wasn't somewhere like King's or St. Pauls). They had some guests, some singers, some speakers. Perhaps not A-listers (I'm sure the BBC snarfed those), but it was a rather pleasant homely affair. Sort of like how you wish your local church might have done if only they had the phone number of the All Angels girls (!). There was none of the smug superiority of the BBC's service. None of the "ooh, look at us". It was just like any ordinary service with a few special guests and a TV crew. It was a lovely way to bring in Christmas. Last year, and this year, they have not done a service. Oh, yes, we had Colleen Rooney with some carols from Alder Hey Children's hospital (something of a Liverpool theme this Christmas?) but with 15 minutes to go, ITV went to a film. Steve Martin's "The Jerk", which is how I'd want to describe the controller of ITV for not putting on something in opposition to the BBC's midnight service.

Because we have a microwave and a tiny electric oven, the meal arrived in sections. By this stage mom was already starting to get full (!) so we did carrots and sprouts (in the microwave) and ate them. Well, I had one sprout, which was one too many in my opinion. The carrots were lovely.

By now the turkey was ready. I had put some pieces of boiled potato underneath and poured on a very generous helping of olive oil so the turkey was beyond succulent. It was positively sublime. I left the spuds in for a little bit longer as I think roast spuds are the best part of the meal. They came out half an hour later looking no different. It was then that mom told me if I wanted them browned, I should have removed the oil. Hey, thanks, tell me now why don't you? ☺
I cooked some of the mushroom/cheese things that I got from work. I'm not sure what a translation of that would be, it's almost like a hard quiche filling without the pasty. Bound together by potato instead of egg. Well, think of potato smashed up, mushroom added, made into a fat burger-like thing and baked. It tasted a lot better than my description can do justice.

Of course, more cups of tea were forthcoming. I'll wet myself at this rate. ☺

Then, for me, as mom was stuffed, it was time for the dessert. The yule log was a disaster. It was an ice cream/sorbet concoction that hadn't taken well to being kept overnight in the ice compartment. Sometimes that freezes things for weeks, sometimes it doesn't. The ice cream, which was whipped up, sort of disintegrated into the sorbet. Oh well, at least I 'sampled' a big piece yesterday so I know how it was supposed to be! To console myself, I had something else given from work. Little cake-like assortments. Called "mignardises". Look it up, I have no translation for that either. Didn't like the cake with passion fruit stuff on top (but mom does, so that's okay). Instead I ate all of the cheesecake with raspberry things. Yum-yum-yum-hey!

After a tidy-up and feeding the cats (Felix and a small tin of salmon each), it was time for Dr. Who's Christmas special. Not bad, kinda sad in a way, though I think forever more my favourite episode will be the one in the people transporter where the Doctor and that girl are saying the same things at the same time. Technically impressive, and one of the few I found to be genuinely creepy (I love zombie flicks, so Daleks and Cybermen are a bit 'ho hum'). My second favourite is the one that creeped out many - are you my mummy?.
I watched the behind the scenes programme and converted it all to XviD because, frankly, I don't give a damn what happens in Albert Square. The only time I'd tune in is if zombies attack and everybody dies. Hey, don't laugh, Charlie Booker did it to Big Brother a few months back!
Wallace and Gromit was obviously on the menu. But afterwards? Not a lot of interesting stuff on TV, so time to write this and get the site update ready for tomorrow...

 

See our Christmas tree!
(XviD MPEG4 AVI, 12 seconds, 264×216, 162K)
Don't expect miracles, I recorded this in the dark with my mobile phone. But, well, I hope it'll give you a giggle. You'll know why...
Save this file to disc (Windows: right-click and "Save Target As" or words to that effect; RISC OS: shift-click on most browsers) and then play it on something that understands DivX and the MPEG4 variants - Windows Media Player, a DivX compatible DVD player, some mobile phones, handheld media devices...

 

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