Well, for once my photo looks current! It was actually taken two years ago - before Lily had the audacity to tower over her older brother. We are very careful now with our photo-taking to ensure the disparity isn't obvious - short of popping Sam onto a box (a la Prince Charles). I'm still convinced he will shoot up when he hits puberty - and if he doesn't, well, so be it. He's gorgeous, and will be in hot demand in an 'Aston from JLS' way!
This has been my first Christmas since starting work, and thank goodness I'm not hosting. I'm a christmas food masochist who needs to make everything from scratch - although I am painfully aware each year that no-one gives a monkeys if your stuffing is from Nigella or Netto. The most effort I made was in 2001 (my first ever 'Christmas at Ours') and made everything from Nigella's 'How To Eat Book'. I had always been deeply impressed with Lidgates Butcher in Notting Hill (posh meat, posh prices, even posher customers) and when I came across her recipe for 'Lidgates Cranberry and Orange Stuffing', I was sold. Shame no-one else was. Hideously bright pink (surely that wasn't the intention?) it poked out of the Turkey's backside like a bad case of piles. I insisted on helping myself to a large portion but struggled to find any merit in the taste either. It was the source of much mirth then and ever since. Please leave well alone if ever tempted!
No, this year the mantle falls to my sister-in-law. She has a very keen cook of a husband too, so I'm hugely looking forward to his grub. My heart always used to sink slightly when we had it at my MILs; she means well, but a frozen Bernard Matthews Butter Ball does not cut the mustard does it? The thing used to come out of the oven swimming in water - not a natural juice in sight. No worries - a quick douse of Bisto (beef) Gravy Granules and Bob's Your Uncle!
What a snob I sound. I hope your Christmas lunch is everything you hope it will be (with a few cold spuds for later). Have a great time!