Our dinner started with a spread of cheese and dip as well as M's curry puffs, which I expect will be as sought after as his guacamole. Having toasted the start of the evening, it was time to open presents (yes it wasn't quite Christmas yet):
KJ looking suitable chuffed
Our present to N was a reasonable success. He was more enamoured with the glitzy toy cars at first, and wanted to know what ours was called, but he eventually warmed to its clothe swapping magnetic charm.
Get out of it Mum, its my present!!
His crocodile mask was an instant source of merriment, even amongst some of the, lets say, more experienced amongst us.
"Never smile at a crocodile ..."
The kitchen was soon a hive of activity and it was pretty much all hands on deck.
A very intense M captaining this hive of industry
I hung around "looking pretty" whilst pans stir-fired and pots simmered ...
Give this dickhead a job or get him out of the kitchen!! - that was a christmas shirt from 1985, by the way!
M and M amused N and kept him occupied in the meantime.
N and his Aunty Emm
N and ... whatever you want to call it
And before we knew it, the duck was ready for carving.
And the rest soon followed suit.
Baked snapper with cranberries
Andrew O Connells duck sitting on its base of stewed cherries
Artichoke and Potato Salad (tdf!!) and sides of beans and carrots
We were well and trully stuffed by the end of the night and could barely fit in the stewed pears and ice cream. So on hindsight we should be thankful for that bracing walk in the rain to see the Christmas lights at a house round the corner. I have to admit that it was slightly magical. But as an adult all you can think of are the bills and the fact that at some point it all has to come back down.
Anyways, thank you very very much to the H's for their hospitality and for including us in what was really a family affair. It was the best way to see in Christmas.