Listening to: Alison (Elvis Costello and the Attractions)
Drinking: Hair of the dog
Wearing: Derek Dougan replica Northern Ireland shirt
Nibbling at: a bit of shortbread
Weather: wet and windy
If that wasn't the best Christmas Day ever, it was certainly in the top ten and the competition is tough, believe me.
Childhood Christmases were blissfully happy and secure, then there were the wonderful times when The Boy and The Youngest were little ("wake up Dad, Santa's been!" "Ho bleeding ho!") and most recently preparing the massive annual blow-out with Sal for our gang of suprisingly grateful teens/twenties(we have six between us).
I can recall only one bad Christmas Day. I was in the middle of the break-up with the first Mrs Malc and ended up drinking my way to oblivion in the Halfway House in Wolverhampton while a certain Reg Pither tried to convince me there was a bright side to it all. Happy days.
Back to the present. This year was a Christmas of firsts. The first on Westray of course, the first Sal and I have spent without the kids and the first time dinner has been cooked by anyone other than my mum, first mother-in-law or me.
The weather obliged. It was spectacular. Hardly a cloud in the sky and a stiff southerly breeze to keep things interesting.
Having made the series of phone calls, fed animals, eaten breakfast, we went for a walk on the beach. We picked our way through the seaweed, trying to decide what the little black and white birds were because they weren't oystercatchers, but then coming to the conclusion that maybe they were, but we were never going to get near enough to tell because we had the dogs with us.
I would have taken some pics, but we had the following conversation just before setting out:
"Where are the batteries for the camera?"
"They won't charge up any more."
"Whaddya mean 'won't charge up'? We haven't had them long."
"Where did you get them?"
"The Pound Shop."
"How much did they cost?"
It's an old joke, but always goes down well in our house.
We spent the afternoon/evening being royally entertained by friends. Beer and wine flowed, the goose and turkey were delicious, the potatoes crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, the smoked salmon delicate, the pudding spot-on.
I was very good and didn't get too competitive over the quiz and played a few rounds of charades before the fact that I still haven't caught up on sleep from the other night hit me like a hammer at about 8.30 and the TPFs beat an orderly retreat.