Saturday, 24 December 2011



And stuff.

No traditional British Christmas celebration is complete without traditional festive food.  Here, for your perusal, is a selection of mine.  At least one of them is traditionally British.

Christmas cake.  I actually don't like it.  I like the marzipan and the icing but the cake, in my humble opinion, is pretty disgusting.  When I was small my brothers wouldn't let me have the good bit unless I ate the yukky bit.  One of the pleasures of being grown-up is that I can go to all the trouble of making the cake just so I can surreptitiously slide it into the bin when I've finished picking off the icing.
This year mine shows an idyllic village scene, complete with  giant-sized Christmas tree and twinkly star.

And now for the gingerbread house. This year, I have mostly been concentrating on the technical aspects of gingerbread house construction.  As you can see, this house is lit.  Very pleased with this.  What you don't see is the mass of wires and pins inside the roof, holding the whole thing together.  But we don't mind about that, right?  As long as no-one tries to eat it.

And nothing says Christmas like burgers and hot-dogs.  These particular burgers and hot-dogs are entirely made from marzipan.  I decided to dispense with the usual frosted marzipan fruits and make these instead and, I'm sure you'll agree, they add a cosmopolitan (if not highly sophisticated) touch to the proceedings.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


I know, I know, this is exactly the time of year when a blog of this nature should be brimming with fabulous, festive ideas.  I don't have any.  I don't have a single thought in my head, much less a festive one.

That's entirely not true, of course.  Or, at least, partly true.  I don't have a single festive thought in my head, I have a billion of them.  They are flitting around like a herd of mackerel (flock? swarm? cluster? colony? congregation?), only not so organized.  I'm wading around in sparkles and glue and I'm almost embarrassed about the number of times people have tried to brush bits of glitter off my face, having first considered the possibility that I'm trialling some kind of ultra-cheap radiance serum with very BIG reflective particles.  I say 'almost embarrassed' because, of course, I'm not ACTUALLY embarrassed because I quite like glitter, which is just as well seeing as my house, car, bag, clothes, bed and everything I own will be covered in it until about May.

I do actually have some nice things to write about but, unfortunately, I'm in a rather difficult position.  Having forced everyone I've ever met to read this, I can't now post up pictures and vivid descriptions of all my recent purchases and creations for fear of compromising the surprise and, as we all know, the element of surprise is essential at Christmas.  The need for secrecy can be roughly defined in one of two ways:

  1. When you have found a present which is so absolutely nice (an expression credited to my emphatic and delightful four year old niece) that the pleasure the recipient will undoubtedly derive from opening it will only be matched by your own joy at seeing them do so.
  2. When you have found a present which is so absolutely mediocre that you have absolutely no intention of being anywhere near the beneficiary when they open it because it's immensely dull and you only bought it because you'd been shopping for seven straight hours and your feet hurt and your judgement was severely impaired and you'd just found yourself having thoughts about creative ways to seriously torture the very next person who let you, and two dozen bags, get halfway into the department store entrance before gleefully dropping the door in your face.
Ahhh, Christmas. I love it.  Any minute now I'm going to be icing the cake, making the (rod for my own back) gingerbread house, jotting down lists of essential food items that no self-respecting gathering of  7 or 8 people could simply do without for one day (or which, should the need arise, could probably sustain a small village for several months in the event of a seasonal apocalypse), wrapping the aforementioned grade 1 and 2 surprises... and finding the tree.


Finding the tree is easy.  Decorating the tree is lovely... isn't it?  It should be.  It looks like it will be.  Other people seem to enjoy it.  Several factors would vastly improve the potential for tree-decorating loveliness.  Here are some:
  • Liking tinsel
  • Knowing where I put the decorations on about the 15th day of Christmas last year
  • Not having a colour scheme
  • Not caring about symmetry
  • Being a proper mummy and exhibiting genuine delight at the sight of Thomas the Tank Engine in a Santa hat dangling from the most prominent central branch because, 'I loved him when I was four'
  • Not having to clear up afterwards
The last one is the bit I hate the most.  I can't for the life of me imagine why putting up decorations should generate so much mess but it does.  At least, it does in my house.  Maybe it's just me...?