‘Twas The Week Before Christmas…

Monday, December 24, 2007 0:18 | Filed in Life, The Pickards

I thought it’d been a while since I told you lot what I’d been up to, and so it’s about time I gave you the rundown.

Well, as it’s the week before Christmas, we’ve obviously been doing a lot of preparing in ThePickards household for Santa Claus coming. We’ve had our tree up for a couple of weeks, but we’ve been hanging up cards as they arrive, sending out cards (what is particularly useful when you have new neighbours move in and you’ve met them once but can’t remember their names — “it begins with an M and a J I think” — is to wait until they’ve dropped off a Christmas card “to our neighbours” before writing them one back. Welcome to the street Martin and Jo!) and so on.

Christmas Puddings

And attending nativity plays. Well, I say nativity plays, as that’s what nursery had done last year (“the innkeeper’s noisy night”), but this season it was just a selection of festive songs with the kids dressed up as various things — Angels, Mary, Joseph, Donkeys, Shepherds, Robins, Christmas Trees and of course, my lad as one of the Christmas Puddings (the younger one didn’t take part as it’s only the oldest nursery class that does this).

And then obviously there was more stuff to come, like watching Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause”, and the obligatory emergency last minute shopping for whatever it is had entirely slipped your mind until two days before Christmas. Although that’s not too bad in comparison to what I saw occassionally when working in a Chemists as a teenager — the archetypal drunk Geordie turning up at ten to six on Christmas Eve, asking for a “bottle of the mosht exspenshive perfume” before sitting carefully on the floor for a few minutes while you wrap it up for him.

So I had to brave the shops not only two weeks before Christmas, but also the weekend before Christmas too. It turned out not to be that bad (sure, there’s 20-people long queues at every till, but as every till has six assistants, you’re still only stood there for four minutes) and I even bought an album I’ve been wanting to get for ages but have point blank refused to because I’m jolly well not paying full price for an album that’s 20 years old.

Then as we’re playing hosts on New Year’s Eve for my mother (Grandma Jenny of Grandma Jenny cakes fame) and Grandad Bryan, we’ve been out shopping for ingredients. We’re round there on Boxing Day for our dinner, and as they normally provide lovely food, we like to try and give them a run for their money on New Years Eve.

This year, they’re getting Chorizo Chowder (Ainsley Harriott’s Complete Gourmet Express, p196), followed by Slow-cooked lamb with apricots, ginger and cinnamon (Tana Ramsay’s Family Kitchen, p136), served with colcannon; probably with a cheesecake to finish off.

Then of course with so much else on, we decided to dismantle the older child’s single bed, replace it with a set of metal frames bunk beds (the sort with a desk underneath), dismantle the younger child’s toddler bed and put the single bed up in his room.

Firstly, let me assure you that when you’re trying to drag heavy items of furniture about the house, or trying to prop them up for a moment so that they don’t come crashing down on top of you, having a two year old and a four year old trying their best to “help” you isn’t really that helpful.

I didn’t look at the instructions. That’s not because:

I am man. I need not instructions

It was because

Bunkbed is hand-down. Instructions not handed down

…so instead I’m laying out all of the pieces of the frame on the floor, trying to imagine how they all fit together. There were a few tricky moments — like discovering after we’d screwed the base of the bed into place that we’d done it in such a way that four other screws we needed weren’t accessible, so having to redo that — but on the whole we coped admirably well and after only a couple of hours we’d put it together.

BTP on his bunk beds

All the hard work paid off was worth it in the end though: just seeing how happy BTP was with his new bed made it worth all the effort. And then obviously the single bed BTP had had got moved into SWP’s room (which is barely big enough contain a single bed in, certainly isn’t easy to manÅ“uvre a single bed into, particularly when you’ve not taken all the other furniture out first), and the old toddler bed got dismantled and put into the garage…

But now, finally, I think we’re ready.

All that remains is to sit down and chill out. And maybe try to find my Wii Sports disc because we’re having a Wii tennis tournament this morning at work, and I’ve been bigging up my chances (I made it to fourth in the overall rankings) to the extent that I’m now cast as the pantomime villain. I just need some moustaches to twirl, or maybe a cape…

Of course, that’s assuming I’ve not forgotten anything else vital that absolutely must be done…

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3 Comments to ‘Twas The Week Before Christmas…

  1. Gill says:

    December 24th, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    Jack, Happy Christmas to you and your family. Have a wonderful time.

  2. Grandma Jenny says:

    January 1st, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Must congratulate you and your GLW on your New Years Eve hospitality. Chorizo chowder was outstandingly delicious and different- must get your recipe. The lamb with cinnamon,apricots etc went down a treat too , as did the home-made lemon cheesecake AND the home-made truffles and mint creams. Thanks again- and thank you to two little boys who kept us entertained most of the evening-watching a two year old boxing with the Wii was hilarious.

  3. Tallin says:

    November 11th, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Smack-dab what I was lkoiong for-ty!

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