The Goose is Cooked
As it happened, all six of the invitees live in Jebel Ali Gardens, and so we arranged to meet at one apartment for some pre-drinkies and then share a people-carrier cab to the venue.
When we got to Bill & Cher’s, gifts and cards were exchanged, cameras were compared* and a bloody fabulous time was had by all. If you ever have a chance to eat some goose, or even cook it yourself, don’t miss it! It was fantastic. B & C also did honey-roast haraminal, sprouts, sprouts with chestnuts, glazed carrots, roast parsnips, roast tatties and bangers wrapped in bacon. Also gravy and a special orange sauce for the meat. Stuffing was served a bit late because someone had forgotten to cook it at the appointed time (but microwaves are marvlious things, aren't they).
This had been preceded by a delicious broccoli and Stilton soup, and was followed by syllabub, Christmas Pudding with custard, assorted cheeses and Port.
Oh, wow. I mean, it was a delicious meal, I actually managed to get to the end of it without falling asleep and without bursting open (although I felt like I might at one point). One of our party totally cracked me up during the cheese course. There was a plate of crackers for the cheese. Not a normal plate with a bit of a rim, this was a flat glass platter. He was looking at me as he swung the platter towards me, holding it at an angle of about 5 degrees towards the floor. I was watching the platter as, one by one, the biscuits fell off. By the time the platter reached me, it was empty. I was giggling hysterically, and John looked at the thing in his hand. ‘Where’s the ****ing biccies?’, he asked. I pointed at the trail of crackers he’d left behind. Jajaja!
A bit later, Billy was attempting to pour himself a glass of Port. The bottle refused to release any of its contents until the cork was removed. I have to confess that half an hour later, I did exactly the same thing – I reckon that Taylor’s Port bottles have a design flaw: they look like they are open even when they are not.
We sang along to a selection of Christmas tunes, playing from Cher’s I-Pod plugged into her Christmas present: a vertical donut full of speakers and a radio: it looked like a shrine to the I-Pod, which in a way it is.
*Cameras. Both Dubaibilly and myself got new cameras today. BetterArf gave me a Sony H2, a replacement for the H1 that I owned for three weeks before some Spanish asshole stole it in Valencia last August. Bliss bliss bliss! Plus a book on how to get the best out of such a machine. Dubaibilly got a top-end Canon digital SLR jobbie from Cher, plus a different book from BetterArf on how to get the best out of such a machine (how she knew this would be useful and appreciated I’ll never know – female intuition I guess). I read most of my book this morning and learnt one very valuable lesson: the thing that buggers up group shots is that somebody will blink. So before you shoot a group, you tell them all to close their eyes, then open them and smile. Then you shoot them, and they all have their eyes open! I tried it and it worked!
We had a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all did too!