THAT'S it then, festivities over. But it was fun while it lasted. Mrs R and I spent a few days with the Fat Kid, the Vin monster and Big Boy up in good old Sarfend and I can't exactly call it relaxing. From 7am in the morning we were up and about as the two boys surveyed their Everest-style mountain of presents, some of which had been put together by the Fat Kid and myself the night before.
Now, this always drives me crazy. We had bought the Vin monster an electric scooter which weighed a ton and putting on the seat, handlebars etc wasn't as easy as it first looked. Then, of course, we had to charge it for 12 hours which meant hiding it wasn't the easiest of tasks.
The Fat Kid is a natural when it comes to fixing these things. She just looks at the parts and automatically knows where they go, whereas I study the German instructions with Lowry-like diagrams and haven't a clue what they are talking about. Still, between us we got it up and running, though the seat was another matter and we had to wait for the monster's father to turn up to fix it on properly.
Then there was the Big Boy's first ever bike, which was even more complicated with handlebars needing to be attached, pedals and stabilizers put on and the brakes fitted properly. We managed to do this, eventually, minus the brakes, which the Fat Kid didn't consider all that important, really.
And the other downside is that you are then dragged outside by the boys and have to stand around in frrezing cold tempratures watching them perform on their new methods of transport.
Of course, Xmas is the Monster's birthday and he is growing up fast. He now seems himself as th world's biggest fan of JLS, one of those boy bands who rose to fame as part of that annoying commercial money-making scam called the X-factor. He had JLS CD, JLS hoodie, JLS signed poster (a snip at £66 but, well, it was his birthday) and even JLS cake, plus 3 identical JLS calendars from assorted aunties and grannies. By the end of the day I was pretty sick of JLS.
The Fat Kid did tell a funny tale of how Vin and his mates were sat in the back of her car when she took them to the flicks as a birthday treat, singing along to the popsters in the manner of Mike Myers and Co singing Bohemian Rhapsody in Wayne's World.
Anyway, I digress. After making breakfast for everyone, opening prezzies, supervising the boys in the freezing cold and making tea for various callers, it was then on to preparing the Xmas feast and, for the first time in years, I decided we should go with traditional turkey. I was prompted to do this by the Turkey Crowns on offer in Morrisons which looked fantastic and would have no trouble fitting into the oven on the basis they were legless, which was more than I achieved over the whole Xmas period.
Anyway, I prepared the pigs in blankets, stuffing, honey-roast parsnips, roast potatoes, turkey, beef, sprouts, mashed swede and yorkshire pudding and was pretty pleased with my efforts. Less impressed, though, when all the hard work was done suddenly the two girls appear in the kitchen, inquiring "anything we can do?"
The answer was: "Yes, don't pick at the bloody food until I've dished it up and... go away!"
Unfortunately, the Fat Kid didn't have a kitchen table so the adults ate on trays and the boys had their own little table and chairs out. No matter, from the way the Vin Monster said: "You're like a chef," I think it went down pretty well.
By the evening, though, there was nothing to do but crash and watch Dr Who's Xmas Special, the Gruffalo and Gavin and Stacey. Then to bed for work in the morning, but a fine day was had by all, I think.
Oh yeah, prezzies... I had some shirts, a pair of work trousers, a Joe Strummer DVD, the Ashes 2009 DVD, In the Light and on this evening by the Editors, a Clash CD, an electric knife for cutting food and lots of other bits and bobs. I think I did pretty well...
Btw the Rippers rap went like this...
Subs don't kill stories, lawyers do,
Ask Neil Ashton he'll tell you it's true,
It's a fact that lawyers make you violent,
Particularly when your exclusive is kept silent,
You don't believe me? Here's my tale,
Ash sent a story over on his e mail,
About a ticket scam, plain and true,
But when the lawyers saw it they went "boo hoo",
You can't print this the head man said,
Or Fergie will sue us and we'll pay out a shed (full),
But Neil insisted "I didn't get it wrong,
If you ask me the whole thing pongs!"
No matter, though, it went to the Ed,
And he decided to kill it stone dead.
Puns don't kill stories, lawyers do
Sound of the police Woo Woo Woo
He's a sub and his name's Geoff Critch,
Over the last year he's been working like a bitch,
He had to step in when Dykesy was away,
And fill in for Jonesy on another golf day,
He lives up north and has to travel down,
Listening to his i-pod to relieve his frown,
And when he's here he has a little flat,
He shares it with a cockroach so it's not all that,
And then on Sunday when everyone relaxes,
He has to join the Mirror just to pay his taxes
His name is Macca and he's my boss,
Supports West Ham and he's at a f***ing loss,
They sell all their players and don't buy none,
If they're not too careful they'll be playing in league one,
The thing about Macca is he likes a rant,
If you do something wrong he'll call you a ...
He's been off the booze since going back to June,
So by 6pm he will be howling at the moon,
Well that's the lot, I've finished my rap,
I thought it was good, but no doubt it was crap...
Loads of Turkey left by the way so it's turkey curry, a la Brigitte Jones, for the next few days