|Father Christmas as was before his "People Skills" training course|
Christmas Update No.4 ...
Well, thanks to an urgent "heads up" from Fort Hippo today's looming disaster with a Christmas feast entrée of "Primate on a Hotplate" has been averted - Cook will instead be serving a nice, hot Gazpacho.
Honestly, I thought that Primate on a Hotplate was just the Human equivalent of Klingon Gagh; live food. Was that ever a close call!
Still, last evening's Festive Luau went well, I think. Her Majesty insisted on flipping the burgers while Philip ran the cocktail bar, Cruise style. They're both such good sports once you get the weight of the Crown off their shoulders. It's a bit odd that neither of them will wear anything other than a pinafore while working but who am I to argue? I've certainly never seen a spare spatula stored that way before though. Not sure that it is entirely sanitary either. I see that the fleet of Eddie Stobart vehicles is already waiting in the lane to cart the sand away. I shall have to ask them to strain it carefully to check for the few missing guests and an elderly corgi called Princess Doris. Someone left the wave machine in the main pool switched on all night - the summerhouse looks as though a tsunami has built up and washed down towards the village. I do so dislike chlorinated disasters at Christmas.
There was a slight hiccough in proceedings immediately after Father Christmas parachuted onto the roof and abseiled down the chimney to surprise the guests in the drawing room. For a start, the fire had been lit and even once he'd rolled his own flames out Nanny clubbed his brains to mush with a stiff Macaw. Apparently she has this thing about jolly fat chaps in white and red outfits but I ask you, who doesn't and is that really any excuse for literally killing Christmas during a hitherto very popular waltz? The Macaw didn't think so and neither do I. She'll be up before the beak first thing after the courts re-open in the New Year.
Anyway, violence and flying feathers aside, Owl Towers looked resplendent, especially once we'd plugged the sheep in and asked the National Grid to switch to nuclear backup. I won my bet - the sheep don't all go out like Christmas tree lights when one of them blows.
Five guineas and first go with the velvet whip to me, methinks. Hah!
Better yet, sheep do get brighter when you put them nose to tail and run them in series. Who'd have thought John Noakes was telling the truth all of those years ago on Blue Peter?
[Does the Ooh-yeah dance and a couple of backflips.]
At midnight anyone still capable of independent volition and with half a sober ecclesiastical mind made their way into the chapel for Carols. This was slightly awkward since I didn't realise that there were so many ladies working town who were called 'Carol'. Afterwards everyone sang about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Good King Whiplash and what the Three Kings from Orient may have been wearing in the way of lady's lingerie. This was not quite the heart-warming emotional event that I had hoped for. Next year I will have to be more explicit in my instructions to the Bishop, possibly draw diagrams of a little bit of appropriately festive faux-religion, that sort of thing. At least there was no confusion about "Hail Marys".
At around two we all decanted outdoors to the surface-to-air missile installation in the Folly and called for the fly-past of hot air balloons shaped like Santa sleighs. As each one flew over a nearby village we waited long enough for the local children to notice, let the target-acquisition radar kick in and then we exothermically disavowed the current younger generation of any notions of future jingle bells or kindly and altruistic deliveries of toys by flying reindeer. We hit the propane tanks on most of them so the emotional scarring will run deep. I haven't had so much fun since Mummy, Daddy and I were in the Falklands hunting penguin one season and got stranded when the Argies invaded without so much as a by-your-leave or do excuse me.
The party finished at around four or five I suppose when the Salvation Army came around and distributed blankets and tourniquets or blood plasma according to need. It's all quite peaceful now, almost exactly the same atmosphere you get after the last carriage of a train wreck settles. I had to laugh as I did my "host's rounds" and noticed that even though she was in the chandelier of the downstairs toilet, Her Majesty's spare spatula was still firmly in place! Ah, there's good breeding and training for you. What a gal!
Festive breakfast is the next major hurdle on the schedule, followed by the grand opening of presents, church and the revised lunch before the Queen's speech. After that, to be brutally honest, we may all go to the dogs. There's a full card tonight at Skegness.
I'll update you on progress as soon as I have news and a chance to get to a keyboard.
Brian May is still going strong. He's like the Duracell Bunny. Much better than last year's Paul McCartney.
Before I go, does anyone know if it's safe to make eggnog from powdered WWII egg? It fizzes a bit and I'm not sure that's a good sign. Oh well.
Mwuh mwuh my little Chi-hua-huas. I must grab some brief shut-eye while I can before my guests regain consciousness.