Saturday, 24 December 2016


We are about to embark on our rather marvellous ‘traditional’ Christmas Eve family visit to the local curry hut.

Unfortunately I’ve been forced to warm up with another tradition, instigated and enforced by my daughter with steely authority. Yes, I’ve had to watch Polar Express again.

I’d like to point out that I am filled with fine festive spirit (and a fair quantity of cointreau). As evidence, I’d like to state that over the holidays so far I’ve enjoyed watching Elf, Home Alone 2 (apart from the jarring and almost ruinous cameo from Donald Effing Trump), and Scrooged. And I’m really looking forward to watching The Muppets Christmas Carol when we roll back home filled with tikka, mango chutney, and Christmas cheer.

However, Polar Express is the one film that can turn me into a Grinch. It’s atrocious. First of all, there’s the ‘uncanny valley’ graphics - which manage to turn Tom Hanks, the man who put the unc in avuncular, into a sinister waxwork. Then there’s the horrific soullessness of the deserted, dystopian Amazon warehouse at the North Pole (when the kids get lost  there, I have a genuine fear that the night shift manager will suddenly appear and they’ll be forced to start zero hour contracts). And finally, there’s the creepy, Joe-Pesci-alike-and-not-in-a-good-way elves.

But hey, it’s over now. I’m OK. Poppadoms are soon to be consumed. I’m calm. 

My girl keeps whispering to me that she doesn’t actually believe in Santa any more, although she did write a long and extremely detailed list to him, and was extremely concerned about whether I’d posted it or not, so I would say that bets are well and truly being hedged. My boy is trying to act cool by rapping along to Twenty One Pilots songs, but is so excited I might ask him to turn the oven on in the morning, because there’s no way he’s going to get any sleep tonight.

The turkey’s defrosting. I’ve borrowed my mum’s hostess trolley, which - thanks to the dear, departed Victoria Wood - I keep pointing to and slapping my arse, whilst winking at my husband and asking him if he’s got his Woman’s Weekly ready.

Happy Crimbo, people.

Video is Victoria Wood - The Ballad Of Freda & Barry

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