My sister and the kids arrived right on time for drinks and nibblies, my spring rolls and deep fried shrimp in batter, the salmon and smoked eel. Romeo was disappointed to find my telly wasn't working (and failed to see it was because I had unplugged it from the socket); I'm afraid I've dropped a few points in his estimation, but not only do I believe he's watching far too much television as it is, I also believe, and I believe this most strongly, that when people come round for a social occasion, the idiot box should be off. However, I will allow exceptions to confim the rule -- and yesterday's exception was the The Voyage of the Damned Doctor Who Christmas special, which my relatives had been informed they would be obliged to watch with me if they wanted to have dinner at my place.
I'm not made of stone though, so I put in The Polar Express-dvd I'd gotten a few weeks back, and kept my littlest nephew amused and out of mischief for a while.
Christmas dinner was a cracking success, thanks in large part to the Raymond sisters' recipe for cheese & cranberry pasties, which turned out exactly as promised: quick, easy, and delicious. I served them with a chicory salad with a capers and anchovies dressing; roasted asparagus with cherry tomatoes and olives (both straight out of one of Jamie Oliver's cookery books); and Brussels sprouts, for that traditional Christmassy touch. For dessert, I treated them to red fruit tartelettes with vanilla-mascarpone cream; then followed that course with one of handmade (not by me) chocolate pralines, coffee and liqueur.
So after dinner we sat around and watched Doctor Who which left my mother, my sister and Romeo unimpressed. I...kinda liked it; or rather, I liked the idea of the Titanic as a spaceship, and Richard Bucket as a befuddled alien with a degree in Earthonomics. It explains a lot about how he could stay married to Violet all those years...or it would have done had The Doctor actually abandoned him on earth sometime in the latter half of the previous century.
Romeo and my sister helped me do the washing up, and after a few more drinks, they all left. I stayed up for a little while longer, during which I watched the To The Manor Born one-off Christmas special (somehow not as funny as I'd hoped), then tumbled into bed exhausted.
It hasn't been a bad Christmas, this.