A Christmas Dinner in November.

As Robert’s birthday was on a Friday this year, I decided to spend a long weekend in Birmingham; the best flight available was taking off at 6.50 am, which meant leaving the house at 4 am. Hmpf. The only positive thing I can say about this God-forsaken time is that the autobahn was as deserted as Birmingham Airport, which meant that I stepped out of the building a mere 15 minutes after walking off the plane – and that included the luggage reclaim. New personal best, me thinks.

After Neil had dropped me off at home (he needed to go on to work; not everybody can just take a Friday off whenever they like), I went to bed to catch up on some sleep. Barkly had the same idea, so we cuddled under the blanket and blissfully snored away most of the morning – when Robert came home at about 1 pm, I had just made it into the shower … The relaxed afternoon turned into an equally relaxed evening; Robert had asked for Boeuf Bourguignon (I think; I always mix up bourguignon and stroganoff), which Neil had dutifully put on the day before.

Boeuf Bourguignon.

On Saturday, Helen and Don came by; for reasons I still don’t fully understand, Robert and Neil had decided to cook a full English Christmas Dinner, including Christmas crackers and all. Mind you, I am not complaining – the boys are fantastic cooks, and the meal was as excellent as one could hope for; it was just confusing to have Christmas Pudding in November. Loved the fact that all were up for it, though, including wearing paper crowns for the duration of the dinner (or in my case, for the rest of the evening).

Helen and I drove the others crazy by intoning the theme song of “Strictly” about every two minutes, which led to Helen cheerfully asking Robert, “So, how much do you regret introducing us to each other?” I am pretty sure I heard Robert muttering “I have opened the gates of hell” under his breath at one point.

Christmas Dinner.

Around midnight.

Helen and Don stayed until Sunday lunchtime, leading to a very hearty English breakfast (I take in more calories in one day with Robert and Neil than in a week on my own …). The rest of the weekend was spent on the couch (Robert and me) respectively in the garden (Neil and Barkly), with the soothing tones of David Attenborough, commenting on a nightmarish ‘baby iguana vs snake army’ scenario, finishing off the Sunday.

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