Thursday, 7 January 2010

Crusty's Christmas Day

Preparations began early for one of the busiest days of the year at Crusty Hall.

It is usual for Wing Commander Bertie of Chipmunk Squadron, at any dining event and after a few glasses of wine, to remove his dentures for comedic and general attention seeking purposes. As poppets will imagine, this is not what one wants to see around a dinner table, especially when - after the removal has been executed - his face implodes like the back end of a happy cat.

This year proactive action was required, so one had Chu Me sneak into the Wing Commander’s bedroom during the early hours of the morning and replace his denture fixative with No More Nails.

Mission accomplished, it was on to the preparations for the festive feast.

Chef was already busying himself with the delicious four course meal he had planned. Chu Me was using his artistic flair to arrange the dining table with one’s Baccarat crystal and Royal Doulton Harlow dinner service as one went into the Music Room to have a tinkle on the ivories in a moment of musical madness.

By mid-day, everything was ready and the Wing Commander and I met in the bar for a celebratory gin and tonic as we waited for the other guests to arrive; Willy and Fanny O’Dour from The Badger’s Snatch, Mr Peppercorn the village butcher and our village GP, Dr. Arthur Pedic.

As usual, Chef’s selection of Christmas cuisine was quite delicious; everyone certainly seemed to tuck in and enjoy it and thankfully, the only things that popped out were the Wing Commanders eyes when he tried to remove his top set without success (much to Chu Me’s amusement as he sniggered at the far end of the dining table).

The mood was made perfect by the accompaniment of some new music one had recently downloaded from the gargantuan archive of iTunes.

First in the Bang & Olufsen was Doris Day and her Christmas Collection; her voice lends itself beautifully to festive melody and with snow falling outside in the grounds and the roaring fire cracking away, one felt we were all sitting in a Hollywood Christmas Special waiting for Andy Williams to shuffle through the door.

As we reached our intercourse break between main course and dessert, Doris sang her last note.

“Chu Me, dear, would you be kind enough to put the other disc on? One thinks we should enjoy a bit if swinging, don’t you?”

To my left one could see the Wing Commander rummaging in his jacket pocket. He pulled out his car keys and tossed them on to the centre of the table. Fanny went beetroot red and Dr. Pedic coughed into his clenched hand.

One handed him his keys back immediately with a gentle pat on his hand, ”One refers to Ella Fitzgerald, Bertie dear!”

As the legendary voice belted out her jazzed up numbers of Christmas cheer, we tucked into our Christmas pudding complete with a decadent drizzle of Bailey’s Irish Cream poured over to enhance the nutty, fruity flavour.

Afterwards, we retired back to the bar where Fanny suggested a game of Hide and Seek. This provided the surprise of the year when Bertie tried to hide in a cupboard in the West Wing. The door was jammed and after a hefty push it finally opened. Out popped Carmen – a member of one’s household staff. One actually thought she had left one’s service last Christmas but apparently the door had closed and jammed behind her when she nipped in for a pillow case. If it wasn’t for a three quarter full packet of hob-nobs and a bottle of Evian, her traumatic experience would have been far worse.

Anyhoo … one gave her the weekend off and suggested she start a little later on the Monday morning.

Hide and Seek finished soon after as were all getting slightly tipsy and couldn’t be bother trailing around such an enormous residence, so guests reunited in the bar once more and we decided on a game of Charades to end our most splendid day.

Mr Peppercorn was the star of the evening, completing all of his given titles effortlessly; poor Fanny fell foul of the drink and accidentally used her mouth to finish off 12 Angry Men, whereas one’s success in brining off An Officer and a Gentleman with only one’s index finger and thumb met with rapturous applause.

All in all, a delightful time was had by all and as one waved the Wing Commander off on Boxing Day morning, one reflected on how wonderful it was to spend such a special time of year with one’s dear friends.

In actual fact, this year was made all the more special by the wonderful Christmas wishes and messages from one’s dear Twitterchums.

Crusty feels truly blessed.

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