I am all festived out. Three consecutive weekends of Christmas themed events has left me with a mince pie disorder and the ability to sweat essence of cloves.
Last night’s event was excellent. An evening extravaganza of candlelight and costume, music and mayhem. Well, some of my elderly visitors became a little giddy on the mulled wine and had a second sausage roll, and that qualifies for mayhem round here.
I had a couple of musicians in full Tudor dress to play authentic period music on authentic period instruments. I had not heard them in action prior to their performance here, but half of the duo was an ex-colleague of mine who had offered to play for free. This was all the recommendation I needed at the time, though subsequently I did wonder if I should have asked a few more questions. I formulated a plan B in case they turned out to be awful.
“McColleague,” I said, “if it’s rubbish, get out there with the wine and keep everyone’s glass topped up”.
As it turns out, my fears were groundless, and the Tudor musicians were fantastically good. McColleague was happily able to remain at her station by the mulled wine and top her own glass up in comfort.
Once the audience had dispersed and the doors closed behind them, the after-gig party ensued. There was witty and in-depth discourse around the kitchen table long into the small hours. Most of the party-goers had gone by then, admittedly. Zed regarded me mournfully, his super advanced sense of smell detecting the scent of cloves and alcohol and knowing that did not bode well for a timely breakfast.
My conclusion today is that the human body can only cope with a limited amount of cloves, heated up with orange juice and the kind of red wine that comes in a 1.5 litre bottle with a screw top lid. Mulled wine is just one of those substances that was never meant to be imbibed in great quantities, much like marmite or advocaat. Insane amounts of the stuff, gleefully blended in, and dispensed from, the tea urn, is just not a sensible idea. To then polish off a bottle of port before bedtime, just to be sociable, is also verging on the silly side.
That said, when I ambled back through to the Parlour this morning I was delighted to find we still have several gallons of pre-mulled, cheap Spanish red wine left over and a few bags of crisps! That's my Saturday night in sorted then. I was not quite as delighted to discover we also have about 600 mince pies left, with a rapidly approaching use by date. Over the last few weeks I must have consumed my own weight in mince pies. My recuperative powers only extend to the wine, I’m afraid. I have enough faith and optimism to re-try the wine and womanfully finish it off, but I can't stomach another mince pie. I gathered up our artfully arranged mince pie pyramids and pondered their disposal. I lobbed a few out of the window for the ducks, looked in vain for passing ramblers so I could lob a couple at them, lobbed some to the sheep, but what the hell am I going to do with the rest?