Country Living – A country kind of Christmas

So once again the festive season is upon us and by now most of our bank accounts are in ‘drought recovery mode’. I really do love Christmas, but I don’t know, it seems to be getting bigger than Ben Hur every year. This year I started in November, which is why I am currently questioning myself as to why it was that I kept breeding! Yes folks, gone are the days of the single gift, a few strands of tinsel, a mutton roast, my mother’s unpalatable boiled fruit cake (sorry Mummy) and a cheap bottle of sherry. These days we seem to drown ourselves in all sorts of junk, umpteen silly gifts and all manner of crazy festive paraphernalia that we just don’t need, not to mention the fact that my cooking expectations now seem to be that of a five-star chef. So, without seeming like a ‘party pooper’, I am just going to be honest and say that most people count down the days until Christmas, whereas I count down the days till Boxing Day when I madly take it all down and reclaim my surfaces!

Some time back I talked about my outdoor wood-fired oven that lay lifeless in my paddock. Well, after many months of intense ranting, raving, tantrums and divorce papers looming, just like magic, a couple of weeks ago it was erected. You guys should have seen me, I was so doing the whole ‘zip-a-dee-doo-dah’ dance around the deck (another mountain conquered I thought). So the thing is, I don’t care if Christmas Day is going to be the hottest day on record, my mob will be getting wood-fired everything and if anyone stands in my way I will wood fire them as well, because this little chicken has just gotta make up for lost time. So, move out of my way because I will be slamming in there all sorts of crazy pizzas, perhaps a ham and ‘jazzed-up’ flounder for good measure. After I have wood-fired everybody to death I am going to serve them homemade, full-fat blackberry ice cream made from the fattest and plumpest darlings growing on my vine you have ever laid your eyes on. To finish, I will most probably ‘crack’ myself a bottle of rosé, blob on the outdoor couch and spend the afternoon forgiving myself for eating WAY too much!

Our summer holidays this year will see me and my family in the far flung reaches of the Palawan Islands. It is here that I will dip my toes in some seriously warm waters and reflect on the year that has passed, taking note of my happiness, success and failures. So, before I sign off for the year, I won’t be serving you all up with a heap of those clichéd festive well wishes, but instead I am going to ask you all to use the heart that beats inside your chest to love your family, friends and life. See you in the New Year with jingle bells on.