The Christmas Occupation

So how did Christmas go on the home front?

Well it wasn’t too bad. It was a rather busy day at work in which I made a rather pleasant discovery, little Hannah has legs! A very nice pair of legs at that, the sort which go all the way from her ankles to her hips, blimey she is full of surprises and even told her this which gave her a cheesy smile. After work I had quick pint and gave Ross the Chef a lift up to his parent’s house in Ironbridge as I imagine a taxi on Christmas Day would cost a small fortune, once home I was amazed to discover my ever so organised sister was upstairs wrapping presents… I’m not an expert on being ahead of the game on wrapping Christmas Presents but even I think 6:30 pm on the day is pushing it a little, couldn’t you do it before you left? Especially since they had to drive down from the Wirral. Dinner was slightly delayed due to a minor spillage of the soup but nothing too dramatic, so Nan, Dad, Richard (Helen’s partner)and myself sat down and watched the tail end of a Carry On movie while having a few glasses of fizz (well Nan and I as Dad isn’t a fan of Fizz and Richard was driving) and generally unwound. It was a rather silly Carry On which was a Hammer parody which contains one of my favourite exchanges:
Detective: Please note I am conducting an investigation so anything you say will be taken down.
Attendant: Okay… Trousers!

Yes I know, I’m easily pleased.

We sat down to dinner at around 7:30 which was the usual Christmas affair, Goose, Turkey, Ham, Pigs in Blankets, Sprouts etc. Most of the family had Wine with the meal but since I am not a fan of wine at all I stuck with beer and finished off the last few bottles of Welles’ Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale which a lovely bodied Porter which actually tastes of Sticky Toffee Pudding. Once dinner was done the mantle of lighting the Christmas pudding was passed to me and it went off a beaut. Once we’d had coffee we moved through to the Living Room for the opening of the presents, I have outlined pretty much what I got everyone else where but I’ll add that I got Katherine a Hugo Boss Pour Femme perfume set and two DVDs: the remakes of Poltergeist and the Omen (I didn’t mention them before as Kathy sometimes reads my posts and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise). Dad seemed pretty chuffed with the Remote Control Helicopter I had gotten him.
What did I get?
Well my first principal was a brand spanking new Laptop as my old one is rather showing its age and like an old Chevy, it requires a lot of effort to get it starting. I have to install a few bits and pieces on the new one to get it running properly such as the anti-virus which for some reason has been registered in my father’s email address, so that needs to change, so soon my updates on Tablet will be greatly reduced.
Second up is a new flat screen TV as I have been using an old analogue television with a Freeview box for way too long, this also has an inbuilt DVD player so that is a helpful space saver.
In addition I got a new Camera as my previous one seems to have packed up just after Cuba and I had been borrowing various cameras for Upton and what not last year.
Miles Davis Live at Newport 1955-1975- A four cd set of mostly unreleased live performances from the original Prince of Darkness, it covers a good 20 year period and as such gives a snapshot of the changing styles of Miles’ work with material from the original great Quintet with John Coltrane, the Second Great Quintet with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter and material from the Bitches Brew era which was very experimental. This was a gift from Nan along side the usual socks and smellies.
I have to say a special thank you to my lovely Katherine for her gift. It is a framed Centenary Portrait of Ol’ Blue Eyes with a mock silver CD in the frame, it looks very grand on the mantle piece.
It had been a long day so everyone retired about half twelve, I stayed up and watched a little bit of Dr No, before decided to unfold the Futon and settle up for the night while watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Husbands of River Song. It was pretty much a jewel heist caper only with the valuable jewel not being hidden in a statue but inside someone’s head. It was fun and mercifully not full of Christmas Syrup and there was a little bit which probably would have put many people off their Christmas Dinner, but ultimately like most Christmas specials it all seemed like the joliety was too forced at times.
Boxing day after work I decided I would spend having a few beers at the Cock Hotel while making arrangements to meet up with Pete the next day.

Monday I met up with Pete after we went around the trees a few times trying to decide where to meet up. The first suggestion was the Tom Botfield in the Town Centre but as I passed the Town Centre the utter chaos on the Car Park instigated a rethink, so after suggesting the Crown and the Mytton, I bit my teeth and agreed to go to the Horseshoes. I can’t say I was impressed, the TV in the bar was loudly blaring out the Lego Movie and the new layout means there is no corner to have a quite little drink, there was some kid watching Sesame Street or some such on a tablet at the bar with the volume blaring out, if he had head phones on I wouldn’t mind so much. The bar was hardly attended but what really put me off was a member of staff loudly discussing with a family about the kids having Chicken Pox. So there are three kids in the bar whose Pox scabs are now beginning to crack off… yes that’s a nice hygienic move. We left shortly after because of this but also because “Bar Racist” and the “Abominable Bride” came in, so we ended going to the Mytton after all. We had a much better time at the Mytton and had a good catch up with Tom and Mike. Pete was off with his ex Sonja (and also Mary it transpires, I wonder if there is something going on there) the next day so it really was the only chance of the Holiday to catch up with him.

I have pretty much avoided any Christmas related special over the holiday aside from Doctor Who and Sherlock for reasons I have stated elsewhere so I have mostly been catching up on rewatching some classic TV. I watched the vaguely festive Avengers episode Dressed to Kill which has a very impressive guest cast including John Junkin, Leonard Rossiter and Anneke Wills and revolves around 7 people being invited to a New Year’s Eve party on a train in the club carriage and it transpires each has been invited by a different person and the carriage is left at an abandoned station. It then roles into a whodunit as we discover the connection is they all have options on a plot of land which needs to be confirmed at midday on 1st January, but they soon discover there are six plots of land and seven people. It is a good episode and despite the limitations of the way the episode was made it is very pacey and tightly shot with only one minor goof in which we have a huge close up of Steed’s watch as he counts down to midnight and the second had is clearly 20 seconds passed the hour, whoops. I watched a few other episodes including The Medicine Men which is a rather ordinary plot about imitation goods and a plot to discredit Britain in an unnamed African state so the Soviets can claim the oil. It is rather flatly directed and there a few wobbly performances but it is all right.

Anyway… New Year will be detailed in the next entry.

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