Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gadjo's Christmas Heaven / Christmas Hell

Crimbo was pretty good this year, a chance to catch up with family and friends. However, even with the most meticulous planning it was not possible to ensure that everything ran smoothly....

Heaven: We had loads of snow at Cluj The Cheeky Girls International Airport: and yet planes were taking off without any bother. There was fog too - borderline flying conditions, I thought, very 50/50 - but that wasn't an obstacle either for Captain Attila "Binky" Horsewhipper and his team of sloe-eyed stewardesses.

Hell: Take-off was delayed for 6 hours and then the flight was redirected to Birmingham Ozzie Osbourne International Airport as there were the wrong shaped snowflakes at Luton Mick Abrahams Out Of Jethro Tull Interna.... you get the idea.
Heaven: As usual I hired a car for a few days so we could see many people in a short time, and as usual I was given a Peugeot 207. Now, I'm no Jeremy Clarkson, you can thank me for that, but this has always seemed to me a most agreeable little automobile, and sure enough when other, larger, more expensive cars were skidding around on the ice and crashing into each other like Torvill and Dean on acid, we forged ahead like Sherpa Tensing on Kendall mint cake.

Hell: The ice actually did stop us going out on the Tuesday though. By then the streets of Hemel Hempstead had begun to look like the north face of The Matterhorn.... on a Tuesday.... and we had to stay home.
Heaven: Imagine my delight when I looked inside a box of Terry's All Gold for the first time in many years and discovered that The Odes of John Keats had been enrolled in describing the comestibles contained therein. One was enobled with hazelnuts, another was enshrined in a fantasy of fondant, while a third was mesmerisingly encrusted with golden shards of peanut brittle. Something like that.

Hell: Then imagine my disgust when I discovered that not only were they milk chocolates - is nothing sacred? - but they were also utter rubbish. Not even with the cheaply fragranced, tarts-knickers gaudiness of, say, Cadbury's Roses, but simply rubbish. I then of course looked at the bottom of box and discovered - yes, it had to be - they were no longer lovingly hand-crafted by Terry himself but were now manufactured by some ghastly Teutonic corporation. Urrhg.
Heaven: The Victoria Wood evening on the BBC. I was a slightly disappointed by her new Christmas special, and the talking heads on the celebration of her career-so-far got a bit boring, but the repeat of the 2000 special was a total delight as was the episode of Dinner Ladies which followed it (does liking this sort of stuff mean I'm gay??) : "There's a potato here which looks like Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses". "Which one?" "The one that David Jason plays". "No, which potato?"

Hell: During the hours we spend travelling 2 miles in our Peugeot 207 we had the radio on. Had I but known it I could've listened to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue on Radio 4, but instead the dial stayed on Radio 2 and after witty Mr Ken Bruce we started absorbing - imperceptibly and without our acknowledgement or consent - the brainlessness that is Chris Evans, so instead of arriving reeling with laughter I arrived fervently wanting to punch the nearest Mancunian.
Heaven: Other people's kids - aren't they great?? And my how they grow! Here's Matthew, who, simply because he's 7 years old and therefore simply because he can, has insisted that his father and I accompany him in a recreation of the bottle dance from Fiddler on the Roof. Now, that's Christmas.

Hell: No really hellish aspect here, though we did feel a bit traumatised afterwards:


The Jules said...

Good pics. I may have to go home and practise the bottle dance as well now.

If I wazza drunk man.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.

And so on and so forth.

Scarlet Blue said...

I said the exact same thing about the Victoria Wood special. Hit and Miss. But somehow I forgive her.

Scarlet Blue said...

...and I like Cadbury's Roses...

Kevin Musgrove said...

Chris Evans is from Warrington.

These things are important. (-:

Lulu LaBonne said...

I'm guessing that in the last photo Matthew an his sister are surveying the results of having laced your drinks with rohypnol and will soon start drawing on your faces with biros.

Chris Evans!!!! was there not an Off button on this radio?

Anonymous said...

The Bottle Dance , that ruffles the hair !!!

One Peugeot 207 !!? Me who thought ( bêtement ) what to the east there was only Lada !

Tous mes voeux Monsieur Gadjo

Gadjo Dilo said...

The Jules, thanks. The bottle dance is well worth a go, but you'll see in the clip from the film that the guys actually stick the bottles into their hats - Matthew forgot to tell us this!

Scarley, yes indeed, I could forgive Ms Wood almost anything. And Cadbury's Roses are rather good in their way - I didn't mean to totally denegrate them.

Kev, ah, ok, sorry. One runs so many risks of insulting people on a blog. I've also just alienated every Jeremy Clarkson fan, which is, errr, everybody.

Lulu, maybe that was indeed their master plan. His sister Zoe is very quiet and I expect she was the brains behind the operation. There was an "off" button, but we were concentrating so hard on the icy road that we didn't realise what was happening to us!

Crabbers old chap, welcome back! Hemel Hempstead isn't really that far East, and the precision workmanship of our prolertarian Peugeot comrades is just as lauded as those who built the noble Lada.

Gaw said...

Were you and the other chap in some sort of seasonal uniform: reddish shirt and greyish jeans?

If so can I suggest bright red shirts and black trousers next time? Plus nice droopy green bonnets, white silk stockings and shiny black shoes with large gold buckles? Think of the children.

V. funny btw!

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

One important revelation here: Terry doesn't make All Gold any more! This is bad news. British chocolate is denigrated by Belgians but I think it has its own charm. I'm with you on Dinner Ladies - some grandes dames of comedy (Anne Reid, Thelma Barlow, Celia Imrie and Julie Walters, as well as la Wood herself) plus young Maxine Peak who has recently shown herself to be a fine dramatic actress, even if she is from Manchester. The writing was pitch perfect.

Brit said...

Yes I too have observed the creeping pretentiousness of choccy description. Everything is 'enrobed' in something. I blame Thorntons and Hotel Chocolat for turning choc-scoffing into yet another connoisseur's experience.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I hope you reassured the young lad that male-pattern baldness is inherited from the maternal uncles rather than the father.

Pearl said...

like the north face of The Matterhorn.... on a TUESDAY



Gadjo Dilo said...

Gaw, thanks, and it does look like we are purposefully colour-coordinated, I agree, but it was pure coincidence!

Daph, I'm delighted to meet another Dinner Ladies fan! Great writing, ensemble playing, and, oh yes, Maxine Peak, she is nice.

Brit, it is all a bit cringe inducing isn't it. But Thornton's may be the saviours of Brit choc and I'm willing to overlook these excesses.

Bananas, I've never seen any of his maternal uncles but if he inherits from his (Ghanaian) maternal aunts then he's going to be enormous!

Hi Pearly, nice to have you here again. My mountaineering father had some tales about the Matterhorn and, yeah, I never did like Tuesdays!

Madame DeFarge said...

Loving the matching shirts. And I missed Victoria Wood, being in the frozen north. Impressed by your degree of activity whilst over here.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Madame, it was truly a delight to see Victoria again after so many years. Did you see if Finland has its own equivalent of her on TV over there? I'd like to imagine that they do!

No Good Boyo said...

I have great respect for Chris Evans. He married badger-faced belle Billy Piper, then soem bird who goes shopping at aldi in his Roller with the driver's mum. True Brit.

The news that Terry's, the worst of our chocolates, and now produced in a bunker under Lunenberg Heath shows that the Hun hasn't learnt his lesson. He tried to lick us with Zeppelins, then doodlebugs, now at least he's come up with something that we might actually lick. But it won't work, "Frau" Merkel.

And this time we'll take back Heligoland and Hannover!

Gadjo Dilo said...

Boyo, I got it wrong again and it seems that Kraft Foods is an American outfit, with its European operations in Zurich - which is just as ghastly. Evans' new missus is apparantly called Natasha Shishmanian, which sounds Armenian, which is surely a good thing if only for breeding out the gingerness in their offspring.

Kevin Musgrove said...

There's nothing wrong with gingerness: that Scarlet does quite well by it

Gadjo Dilo said...

Kevin, you're right - she's a trend setter!

Alice Scradcza said...
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