Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas #42

Let the carnage commence!

 Well, there goes another Christmas, pretty much as expected. I've pretty much got my Christmasses down to a tee these days, have settled into a little family formula that works for us, so let's run through it.

I don't like to spoil Christmas Day by being either hung over or tired since having the kids, the traditional Christmas Eve booze up has been knocked on the head. Back in the Nielsen days, this basically used to involve getting a lift into work on Christmas Eve, leaving work at 12, going on the piss around Oxford, getting the bus back to Bicester early evening (with crossed legs) and then continuing the festivities back in Bicester before ending up at someone's house, or maybe mine. I shudder to think about it now to be honest, waking up underneath a Christmas tree on the 25th amid a sea of Strongbow cans is an image best consigned to the archives forever.

But - no need to miss out! I generally have a bit of a booze up on the 23rd these days which was no exception as we headed to The Star for Duncan's regular Friday night slot. Once getting over the shock of seeing what he was wearing we settled into a pleasant night's singing and boozing, all duets for me, some of which went better than others.

Great to see pretty much the entire crowd there, and for once Claire was able to come out, and met Jo for the first time, they hit it off really well and are both joining me for New Year's Eve. Too many other names to mention, but had a great time on the last karaoke before Christmas. Next year the 23rd will be a Sunday so the honour of last night before Christmas will fall to me, so looking forward to that.

Christmas Eve and a chance to relax a bit before the big day, all the hard work done. Then Christmas morning, a mountain of presents, more than I think I've ever seen and on with cooking the roast. Things were somewhat hurried as Claire had to go to work at 2, however the dinner, a turkey breast crown with all the trimmings was fantastic (even if I do say so myself0 and it all went well - even Ollie behaved himself. Once Claire had gone to work I spent most of the rest of the day playing with the kids and opening and assembling various toys. Now as any parent will know, removing any toy from packaging these days is quite a task, not only is there the sellotape but all those horrible tags too! As I write, 2 days later there is still a fair few left to do!

When Claire got home we watched TV, ignoring the main channels, we watched a programme about Christmas Toys on BBC2 hosted by the quite brilliant Robert Webb, then by far the best Doctor Who Christmas Special yet (tape delayed) and then various nostalgia shows on BBC4 - the 1976 edition of TOTP followed by a quite hilarious programme about Christmas specials of the past, focusing on light entertainment, various sing-alongs with people such as Val Doonican. It was cringe-inducingly bad, and with a fair few Baileys sunk had me in hysterics.

If you were born after about 1980, be thankful you were spared all this!

Boxing Day brought the usual racing fest from Kempton, having been badgered to the point of insanity by a certain someone about the big race in the pub on Friday night, and what would happen (none of which did) I was rather pleased to see that the horse I said would win (the legendary Kauto Star) did indeed take the spoils, though I cannot claim any personal glory as I did not back it. Contrary to popular opinion it is possible to enjoy watching horse racing without being a compulsive gambler, and it was great to see the old champion triumph again.

Greatest chaser of all time?

Boxing day evening and the Kings (Funky) and White Hart (Me) found ourselves head to head for the Boxing Day crowds, plus a 3rd karaoke at G's. I say head to head - however I have no interest in trying to compete, so did not heavily over promote my night other than a simple facebook event invitation. I am pretty much of the opinion that people will go where they want and it's pointless trying to influence them. Those that prefer band karaoke spent all or most of their night with Mike, those that prefer normal karaoke with me. Seems simple enough to me. Can't comment on G's as haven't spoken to anyone who went there.

Now we were very busy, the pub that is, but did not have that many karaoke singers, as they were basically spread between the Kings and us. It wasn't the easiest night I have ever done for sure, sadly bank holidays seem to bring out an undesirable element that likes to drink all day and make a nuisance of themselves. One drunkard chucked my microphone on the floor, others shouted abuse over the microphone, and there was various other misbehaviour going on. Not like the normal pleasant Sunday night atmosphere at all, and stressful for the bar staff, management and myself. Fortunately, the pub is very well managed when it comes to  removing undesirables, and with me toning down the music to a chillout level we were able to get rid of the idiots and get through to the end of the evening in a pleasant and safe environment.

Now with Sunday falling on or around Boxing Day the last couple of years, it has seemed sensible to have the karaoke on that night. In 2012, with the Sundays being 23rd and 30th December I am going to recommend that we don't do it on Boxing Day, or they get Chris King or someone in to do a disco instead.

So on to today, and a little family social at home, for which the mother-in-law brought enough food to feed an army, needless to say we now have a fridge full of leftovers, I don't think I shall be doing any cooking now this side of New Year. Which is possibly just as well, a break from the old routine always is welcomed, I'm even going lax on the housework this week. It's very difficult to get anything done lately anyway, particularly as the kids have started fighting over toys, and need constant supervision. Roll on back to school day, only a week away.

Good to see a few of my regulars are coming to the pub for New Year's Eve, will be great to have Jo there as she and "Mrs Jason" as she calls Claire have hit it off really well. Claire is definitely now a confirmed "runner" as we've finally sorted out our babysitting issues. 2012 here we come.

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Jason xx