A Journal of the Plague Year 3.0 Day 9

Christmas Day 2020

It’s Christmas. It’s motherflipping Christmas. Jumped out of bed to body pop, like a freak. Tidied the place up, made myself presentable, put on the Christmas Dino jumper.

My presents came in emails this year -how times have changed. No less than six books on my wishlist now for the Kindle (thankyou C), plus vouchers from Mum and other sis, C2 xx. Sat A down for his unwrapping -Korres cologne, the new Information Is Beautiful book, some horror novels sent by a friend in Hungary (You and Hidden Bodies that’s now a Netflix series -totally not his thang, I’ll inherit them instead), and a can of expensive Spanish olive oil, that’s the best he’s ever had apparently (the Brindisa Arbequina).

I got all nervous trying to prep my first Xmas dinner, though in reality A did everything, while I was Ambassador’s wife and master of ceremonies. D came over just after 1, and we began drinking and prepping and drinking some more, though in retrospect I kept it light, only getting through about a third of a bottle of rum, and D getting in his gin n tonics. The sloe gin, beer and mulled wine sachets were left forlorn the rest of the day -with literally no space to intake them. We’d be like giant squashed slugs, steeped in alcohol by then.

A big fireplace burned on screen with the dregs of Christmas past playing, and we each sporadically did video calls to family -D retiring to the bedroom for privacy, then returning immediately to get a Santa hat and a scowl. He slam’s the door again, then a few seconds later it’s a “Ho Ho Ho”, which got us spitting our drinks out. Goodness, the day was stacked. Ginormous fucking lunch:

Black forest mince pies with cream

Amouse bouche: jackfruit and mushroom bao

Starter: artichoke crumble and sourdough.

…at this point we got stuffed and had to take a break. Then ploughed on:

Main: salmon en croute with white sauce, the world’s best roast potatoes, fried sugar kale and mushrooms, gravy.

Another fucking break…

Dessert: salted caramel and gold mince pies with cream

Dessert 2: Chocolate ganache cake

We didn’t do an Xmas Pudding -why would anyone ever do that to themselves?

OMG. Needed a Roman vomitorium to fit it all in, plus the booze. The pigs in blankets, stuffing, smoked salmon, and bresaola never saw the light of day. Then we all went on a walk to burn about a tenth of it off, meeting up with An for a long traipse round Wandsworth and the Common. Some out of towners -complete, utter strangers -wished us a merry Christmas, so we knifed them.

Missed a video call with fam, but made one to sis when I got in. Other sis and Mum didn’t pick up, so will try again later or tomorrow (rang them earlier in the morning already). Genuinely needed a rota today; I get why traditionally the housewives of the world needed a vat of sherry to go with their all day workathon that everyone else enjoyed, putting their feet up in front of the telly and popping in to nick a sausage. And thank sweet St Fuck for the invention of a dishwasher. We worked that fucker.

Post lunch was highlight of my life, the board game Dixit which I’d been building up for days, yet still the others I had to drag kicking and screaming into playing. They weren’t too impressed with a Nineties French game about trying to match art cards, but hey, when pissed everything’s fun and what can you do with a last minute Oxfam sweep before lockdown? Mariah played like a lounge singer throughout, occasionally falling off a piano or becoming gangsta drill suddenly, as my algorithm on Youtube’s fucked. Listen to one song and you’re 2012 Peckham Boyz for the rest of your days, popping up like Smith and Wesson between the Disney.

Xmas film was Cat in the Hat (trippy, fun and fab -it get’s that it’s based on a mindfuck for adult’s), then later Midnight Sky (what a downer), which is Netflix’s new offering, and a retelling of every space-y escapade as of late; Mr Clooney’s in danger of getting himself typecast as a ghostly astronaut, or an astronaut that know’s ghosts. Minor drama when a plug melted (how the fuck does that happen?) and the switch got jammed, but hey, we’re still alive. No one had dinner but me, which was the roast potatoes, veg and gravy then much later snacking on the last wad of crumbly salmon goodness like a chocolate bar. Filthy.

Twas a merry day. We need more of them. Christmas Two should be celebrated some time in July, so we can have Christmas cake on the beach, like they do in Australia.

To a better year. Can’t be hard, but let’s not jinx it. I know it’s been a tough one for many, but for some it’s a choreographed coming of age, one emblazoned with memories. I’ll always remember the teenagers hanging out in their summer of love, populating the parks and street corners with digital ghetto blasters, well into the night. The people, now cosying up with their loved ones in a bubble, the readers settling down for another good book. I’m not exactly gonna say ‘long may it last‘, but ‘long shall we make the most of any given situation’, and trill that on a 2020 card instead.