The last time we had a "family" Christmas was about 15 years ago when about 18 of us got together and
My mother cooked - eventually anyway. Despite promising that dinner would be around 3pm we didn't sit down until close to 7pm, by which time everyone was too drunk to actually enjoy the food and too hungry for any conversation as we all stuffed as much down our throats as quickly as possible. How is it possible to be 4 hours late on something that only takes about 4 hours? No idea but it involved more fucking around than you could possibly imagine - fucking around being one of my mother's favourite activities. There is no task too simple that she won't spend hours procrastinating about then bugger around to within an inch of everyone's lives - in my house (and I assume everyone's) there's a couple of boxes to control the heating & hot water, I touch them maybe once a week - usually only to turn everything on or off depending on my travel movements that week but if I'm at home I'd never touch them. My mother spends a good 45 minutes a day fine tuning the timings and temperature as if her needs vary by the second. Or when she drives my car - bizarrely she doesn't adjust the mirrors but she will reprogram the radio stations so it matches the settings on the radio in her car. She only listens to 3 stations so why the fuck does she need to delete all my choices every time she gets in the car? It drives me mad.
I think my mother has only cooked me about 2 meals since then. She's really not good in the kitchen - her repertoire only consists of about 3 dishes, all of which involve over boiled vegetables and poorly seasoned mains. She does bake cakes, cookies & biscuits - usually burning them in the process though. Every oven my mother has ever used burns things - she claims the thermostats are broken but doesn't see the correlation between turning the oven down and leaving things in there for less time resulting in non burned food. When we were at hers over the summer I bought a selection of frozen pizzas to feed us all - they all needed slightly different cooking times and temperature but nothing overly complicated - she managed to fuck all 3 of them up, burning 2 and serving one at a temperature just above absolute zero.
But this year she's had a brand new kitchen fitted and decided she wants another family get together - and to show off. If there's one thing she does better than fucking around is showing off. But her showing off is not what you might imagine - it usually entails her telling the most inane stories of doing something not even remotely interesting - a recent one being spending a good hour telling me about everything she saw at the park when she came to visit me, as if I've never taken the kids there and actually don't know where it is, despite it being at the end of my road.
Usually when I take the cost centres up to see her we book a place to stay - I did this over the summer which was Mrs AC's first trip up, in order that we get some peace but we're only going up for 5 days, hiring a car and staying with her. My brother plus wife and their 2 grown up kids plus girlfriends are coming along so there will be 11 of us at Christmas - my brother has actually had the sense to rent somewhere as they will be staying a bit longer plus that many of us in the same house doesn't really work.
I've already mentioned in previous posts that she lives in the middle of nowhere and there's no pub within walking distance so along the way from the airport we'll be picking up enough booze in order to make a family get together tolerable - and I'm definitely not underestimating how much we're going to need. Mrs AC is getting an early Christmas present of a pair of walking boots so that we can go haggis hunting again https://ayecarambapoker.blogspot.com/2019/09/haggis-hunting-and-scottish-long-necked.html?m=1 (and it gives us an excuse to get out of the house before I want to murder everyone) and I've made one more important rider as a condition of us coming - I'm doing the cooking.
As useless as I am at all forms of manual labour (any household task more complicated than changing a lightbulb usually results in a load of swearing and blood pouring from various self inflicted wounds) I'm actually quite decent in the kitchen - it will ensure that everyone gets fed at the prescribed time plus it prevents everything from getting burned or the vegetables from being boiled to within an inch of their lives. As an added bonus the booze will be in the kitchen and I'll be closest to the fridge!
Anyway - merry Christmas to all my readers. I'm in NY for 2 days this week then we fly back to the U.K. until the new year when I'll be in NY for a week then I'll be in LA and Vegas for some of January and potentially some of February as well. I'm still writing up stories from my last elongated Vegas trip so maybe I need something to keep me away from the poker tables. Did someone say drinking challenge? Bueller? Anyone? Ace suggested a sobriety challenge but that's no fun so I've come up with a new challenge for myself - which I'll post shortly.