Is there anything better than a chicken roll?
Nothing - except a cask that I found in the supermarket today labelled 'Good French Wine'.
I really, really hope that somewhere else there is a 'Pretty Good French Wine', 'Very Good French Wine' and a 'Manifique French Wine'. And, of course, waiting hopefully somewhere in a cheap booze shop near you: 'Not So Great French Wine', 'Bad French Wine' and Positively Awful French Wine'. Marvellous marketing ploy, the use of 'good'.
But, yes, Christmas. It started off well, the week leading up to it, with me dodging calls from copy-editors and authors about commas and whatnot, and Skye and I slugging back the bottle of Moet that someone foolishly left at our party the weekend before. Christmas Eve saw us both attempt a run around the block (me looking remarkably attractive in my shorts-and-t-shirt-over-polypro combo), after which we rewarded ourselves with a lunch at the local. Because we deserved it.
Christmas (in a quaint village with 23 houses) went something along the lines of:
More cups of tea that you can poke a stick at (and why would you want to?)
North-Hamptonshire skittle competitions at the local on Christmas Eve
Christmas morning without my mother asking why won't I and my siblings get up and open our presents and drink this here bottle of champagne (very sadly missed, ma)
Mad English relatives that I am not related to and have never met before insisting on kissing me and giving me presents because I am Mike's Katie's orphaned Kiwi friend
The Queen's message (of course)
Learning how to set a table properly English country stylez yet being given contradictory directions from people
Brussel sprouts that didn't make me vomit
Boxing Day races (won 125 pounds because a horsie fell over)
Boxing Night dinner with more relatives, more booze, more mad games and the exciting discovery of a very good bookshelf and suddenly no more was seen of Penelope until it was home time.
And then I got a Kruse. In defiance of the weather Kruse came out of customs wearing a Panama (technically Ecuadorian) hat and jandals. And nothing else.
That last part is a bit of a fib.
But, no time to apologise for that for we were off for a nauseatingly couple-filled New Year's in the Lake District. Three couples in a lonely cottage next to a lake - obviously there ought to be have been some gruesome murders but, sadly, no. However, there was a pub next door (doesn't sound that lonely at all, does it?). Pub was full of what we'd call trampers and the English call ramblers. Many had dogs. One in particular smelled uncannily of blue cheese.
Speaking of cheese - Caro found a really good horseradish cheese. Thoroughly recommended.
And then we came back to London and Kruse already has talked to people about the prospect of him becoming a nerd again, where he will once again earn about a million more pounds than me and I shall have to console myself with the thought that as long as I really enjoy my job, the money doesn't really matter.
But money buys SHOES.
I think what is so very important about a chicken roll is the hotness of the cooked chicken (which I didn't cook but got from the supermarket so it's undoubtedly full of evil additives and preservatives and cocaine and possibly soylent green) and the freshness of the roll.