So how was it for you?

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Well, my dog certainly enjoyed herself. Lupin the Vizsla had company, Betty the black lab, and they crunched their way through jumbones, chews, pigs’ ears, turkey, Brussels sprouts, anything they could find.

And they launched each other around the house, gnarling and chasing and marowling.

I cooked Christmas Lunch. After our oven died on Friday we used the gas barbecue, and the bird was really lusciously juicy and browned. (Also cooked an ace rib of beef on it the night before.)

Do that again next time.

The thing is, staying out of the drinking and laughing worked well. I just whizzed (or was it trudged?) to and fro, chopped veg, checked the turkey, made prawn cocktail (ah how retro), micro’d the ridiculously sweet, gooey pud, and avoided noise and natter.

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And later drank calvados with my future, what, step brother in law? I’m not getting divorced…marriages are on the calendar next summer.

What have I learned this time?

Cooking is a great excuse for keeping out of the way, as long as everyone else keeps away from the kitchen!

I can no longer tolerate sharing cooking.

I can’t stand my children shouting jokes across the table…it just winds me up because I can’t keep up.

I can’t stand other people shouting conversation at each other.

I love my dog.

I love walking my dog alone.

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I think people give far too many presents. (It’s becoming indecent.)

I like dinner parties of no more than six.

Better still, four.

I don’t like it when my children go back home.

My wife is remarkably tolerant of my moods.

Though not of my jokes.

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