If you don't understand the title, I'm quoting Noddy Holder from what must surely be his Pension Fund, seeing as that record has been dragged out every year for the last 30 something Christmases.
And to me, that is what Christmas is all about. Tradition. The same old, safe, things. Nothing too surprising, unless it's something wrapped underneath the tree.If you're lucky, a loving family around you, the usual, excessive amount of food, helped down by the best wines your budget will stretch to.
In our house, it also means watching The Amazing Mr Blunden, this year on DVD, rather than the slightly foggy video copy recorded from the telly about 15 years ago. As usual I shall cry when the pretty, teenage, Lynne Frederick (Peter Sellers widow, herself, no longer with us) is distraught at being sent back to her own time without her brother. As she screams 'I won't go without Jamie' and berates Mr Blunden for always being too late, I will be there, trying to deal with the tears running down my face without anyone noticing but Mike is normally having a similar problem. Diana Dors is wonderfully horrible as the murderous housekeeper.
Although the main part of the film takes place during the summer, it starts of on a snowy winter's night, where an impoverished family are trying to make the most of Christmas after their father had been killed in the First World War but everything comes good at the end. What more could you ask from a Christmas film?
Whether you believe in 'The Christmas Story,' or not, surely the message is still just as important. It's a time to demonstrate our love to one another, something we hope we do all the time but sadly, in the traumas of day to day life, that message isn't always coming through loud and clear.
Unfortunately the pressures put on us by the Media and the High Street stores, turns what should be a happy and joyous time into something more akin to 'going over the top' at The Somme.
Every year I say 'That's It! Next year I shall scale it all down but I can't help myself, I love everyone to have a pile of presents to open on Christmas Day, even though some of them are only silly little things, each one has been bought with all the love I feel for the person receiving it.
This year Mike will be on the radio from 3 till 6 in the afternoon, instead of his usual Breakfast Show, that means we can't eat until the evening, which means a change to our usual routine. A few weeks ago, we thought my son wouldn't be here on Christmas Day, as he will be very busy on his submarine getting ready to go to sea.
As I thought it would just be Mike and myself, plus daughter and boyfriend, I had the temerity to think of making things a little easier for myself and not cook the usual Ostrich sized turkey. I asked the 'Germans' what they thought about Beef Wellington. Wonderful, they said.
Jolly good, this would be a special meal but so much easier.................................... Deep inside my brain little voices were saying 'What are you thinking?' 'Where's the tradition in Beef Wellington?' 'Grandma would never have served Beef Wellington!'
That last thought was very true, it would never have served 12 for lunch and supper for 30. What size bird she used to buy I have no idea but there was always plenty to go round. No wonder it had to go on the night before to be cooked in time!
I was not happy with myself, I felt I was letting myself down but , 'Fear not, said she, for mighty dread had siezed my troubled mind'. My son was about to save the day!
I received a text saying son and girlfriend would now be arriving on the 23rd and staying till Boxing Day. The Royal Navy have decided he can come home for Christmas after all.
If I had nagging doubts before, I was now into panic mode. He wasn't going to like the Beef Wellington idea. Even though he's not keen on roast dinners, my son is a traditionalist. I don't know where he gets it from, he's like my dad in some respects.
My son is the most complex person I know, he was born Conservative and old fashioned and his sense of humour is a delicate thing, he never finds anything about himself amusing, you are not allowed to laugh at his mistakes but he's always the first to point out others. His mission in life is to correct his wayward, embarrassing mother, yet, when he worked with me, thought nothing of wearing a mini skirt, make up and blonde wig and being Britney Spears at the office Christmas Party and topping it off with a Full Monty routine!
I knew he wasn't going to like the Beef Wellington idea.
I phoned him.
Son. "Hello, what do you want?"
(He's sussed me out already!)
Me."You know you said you wouldn't be here for Christmas and I thought it was just going to be four of us, well your sister and I thought Beef Wellington would be a good idea"
Son. Pause for effect " Are you sure about this?" This is said in the tone you would explain something to a backward child.
Me "But you don't like roast dinners"
Son. "That's not the point, turkey is what we have"
Well, I'm glad we cleared that up, we're now having Turkey and Beef Wellington. That should make things a little easier for me! At least this year I have all day to prepare and cook it.
I missed writing last week's journal, partly because I didn't have very much free time but mainly because I was tired and emotionally drained. School at this time of year is enough on it's own, add to that the worries of my daughter over in Germany awaiting her first scan, plus the general logistics of Christmas. My head felt like it had a million thoughts banging around in there and not one managed to come to the forefront for more than a moment, the result was I felt exhausted and mildly depressed.
Things are a littlebetter now but I still don't feel my usual self, hopefully it will improve now I'm getting on top of things, rather than the other way around.
Daughter had her scan on Thursday and I have now met my first grandchild, she sent me a picture of the scan. What a wonderful tool the Internet is. Everything is fine and it has the right number of the usual bits and pieces, we have been given a date in late June.
I 'met' another member of my family for the first time this week. That came as a bit of a shock, as I was in bed at the time.
Just over two years ago I found my mother's Uncle, who died in WW1, on the CWGC website and was able to tell her when he died and where he was buried. He was my mother's mother's oldest brother, his name was Isaac Tromans and he died aged 22 in July 1918 and is buried in Acheux in Northern France. We don't have a photo of him but Mum had been told he looked like a film star.
So there I was, in bed, leafing through The Black Country Bugle, which is a weekly newspaper devoted to the area I come from, and contains, mainly, people's old photos and memories and is a family researcher's bible.
There was a full page article about a woman fulfilling a long cherished ambition of going to vist her great Uncle's grave in Acheux. There were various photos, including one of the young man who was tragically killed. As I started to look at the photo I didn't need to look at the name to know who this was, after all, those eyes look back at me from the mirror every morning. I've often wondered where I got those slightly down turned, almond shaped eyes from. I know now which branch of the family they come from.
Here for the first time, I was looking at my great Uncle Isaac. If you think this photo would have been taken about 90 years ago, you can see why he was thought to have film star looks. In an area where poverty was commonplace and poor diet led to children looking old before their time, you can understand why this young man was considered a bit special. I confess I cried at the loss and the waste.
This of course brings unanswered questions, who is this unknown second cousin, also called Linda. I shall have to try to contact her through The Bugle, as I'm sure we must have plenty to talk about, I wonder if she knows about Joseph (seen in an earlier post), who was Isaac's youngest brother and died from Diptheria in the late 1920's?
My son's Ex girlfriend, who is still very much part of the family, thankfully without any difficulties (not like the Stalker), has just gone on her travels. She was made redundant from her job and is using a little of her payoff to see the World. I hope she has a wonderful time. My only niece is going to do the same thing in February, how life has changed from when I was young. Then, the only people who went travelling were hippies, who mostly went to Morrocco and smoked 'herbal' cigarettses.
Well, I can't stop here chatting. Time to go and get more things done in preparation.
If Catherine, in France, has time to read this, much love to you and if you are over here and have a spare minute, try to pop in.
Merry Christmas Everyone. xxxx