Sunday, 17 November 2019

Not yet in the Christmas spirit.

Facebook sends me messages telling me that various friends are “responding to events happening soon”. Presumably this is in case I might feel inclined to “respond” as well. I do think, however, that there is a bit of overkill going on here. If my friends want me to go along to events with them, then they will get in touch.

These “events” are quite diverse. Yesterday one was looking forward to going out campaigning for the Labour Party, another was going to to a new-to-you sale of baby stuff, and a third was apparently getting excited about going to see a Christmas parade, with reindeer(!!) in the centre of Oldham. That last would explain why buses I wanted to catch were running late!

The friend who was seemingly excited about Oldham’s Christmas parade was no doubt going along with her granddaughter. Fair enough. And that parade was not the only one going on yesterday, judging by photos other people have posted here and there on social media. Now, it’s the 17th of November. That means that there are about six weeks to go before Christmas. Surely that is an awfully long time for children to be encouraged to get over-excited!

And yet, mince pies have been on sale since the start of September, the Manchester Christmas markets are in full swing, encouraging adults rather than children to get over-excited, and the staff at our local co-op have already declared themselves sick and tired of Christmas songs!

At least in the village they aren’t switching on the Christmas lights until November 30th, when there will be a Father Christmas parade, accompanied by Delph Brass Band, and fireworks. Any excuse for a bit of a pyromania! It does have to be said, however, that the Wake Up Delph committee usually do a good job of getting the village looking festive.

Some of the food writers are in on the act, advising on what to eat over Christmas and how to make lists of ingredients you can buy now and store and stuff that needs to be bought fresh just days before the big feast. Jay Rayner, whose recipes I usually appreciate - parsnips roasted with pears has been a recent success - has been off on another tack: food served on or in ridiculous serving “dishes”, all in the name of “a bit of fun”.

He cites “a steak served on a slate so that cutting your dinner sounds like fingernails being dragged down a blackboard”, a sound reference younger readers who have grown up with white boards or smartboards will not understand. Then there is “a full English breakfast served in a dog bowl” and “ a spare rib selection presented in a mini galvanised dustbin”. Like a friend of mine who rants about this whenever we meet, Jay Rayner is not a fan of such nonsense.

 He also tells of a “Kitkat Chocolatery”, currently in branches of John Lewis. It seems that you can choose from a huge range of fillings and toppings to obtain a “bespoke” Kitkat. For £25 you can have a limited edition raspberry and pomegranate flavoured version covered with 23 carat gold leaf! That comes a long way from “Have a break, have a Kitkat”. Surely eating gold is wrong. And does it have any nutritional value?

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