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China Girl blog 2nd January 2020

Another Christmas has come and gone in a wealth of carols, candles, and far too much to eat and drink. Thank goodness we have only to cook the poor turkey once a year.

Mother and I bolted and barred the house up and set off for a Cornish Christmas, to stay with Cornish Charlie and James. Mother thinks Cornwall is an over-rated county, bleak and wet except for a handful of summer days when the sun comes out for a few hours!

As usual Charlie had prepared a feast. However, she had to drive Anna to stay with her father, leaving James and Ma on Christmas Eve to finish off a few small tasks. First, they had to cook the large ham, normally a minor undertaking, except that it was too heavy for the kitchen scales. They had the bright idea of weighing it on the bathroom scales but unfortunately this did not work, due to the fact that two feet had to be place in an exact position on the scales; the ham of course, didn’t have two feet! Mother then said to James “Take off your clothes and weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding the ham, and we will do some mathematics.” James didn’t seem keen on this plan so in the end, Ma looked in the bin and found the ham’s wrapping, on which was written the weight!

The next task was to make the brandy butter. All went well until it was discovered that Charlie had used up nearly all the brandy on feeding the Christmas cake. They improvised and made whisky butter instead – no-one seemed to notice the odd taste!

Disaster seems to come in threes. Poor Blossom, the elderly dachshund died; Mother’s granddaughter Anna insisted that Blossom should be buried in the Cothay dogs’ graveyard. Charlie and Anna drove halfway to Cothay then they handed Blossom over to Anna’s father, who took her to her final resting place.

On Boxing Day David and Shirley, who were keeping an eye on Cothay, phoned Ma in Cornwall. “There’s been something strange going on – a hole has been dug in the lawn beside which is a barrow of earth and a spade. Not only that, but there is an awful mess!”

Shortly after arriving home, twelve family arrived to stay. Ever since, Ma has been washing and ironing sheets.

Thank the Lord that Christmas comes but once a year!