For 20 years Christmas officially begins for us with the Island carol service. Traditionally this in held in the Anglican hall, a high set, old~fashioned wooden building with a set 0f 20 rickety steps, small windows & fans that barely move the languid air. Into this small, cramped space half the island attempts to squeeze wielding insect repellent, mozzie coils & wads of paper to be wielded as fans. The other half stand on the steps & smoke.
Ditz, who has yet to master any of her times tables, studiously applied herself to being able to rattle off the names of all Santa's reindeer for every year Joyce asks the same lot of questions & every year we are the only one's waving our hands excitedly in the air. Well, Ditz & I wave our hands excitedly while Liddy pretends she doesn't know us. I won myself a packet of chips [which Ditz gave away to a 2nd cousin] for knowing whose birthday we were celebrating! Ditz won one for knowing where He was born. Liddy ate a packet of chips & pretended she didn't know us. Meanwhile Ditz waited anxiously for the reindeer question. She waited so anxiously that twice she had her hand up frantically before Joyce had got around to even asking her question & twice she was deferred. By the time the question actually arrived Ditz was practically popping out of her skin. Joyce tried to warn her that she had the list right there & would check but Ditz barely heard her, frantic to get all 8 names out before she forgot one!
I think we rather spoiled Joyce's party. In the twenty years we've done his nobody else, child or adult, has managed all eight names & Joyce has taken great delight in informing us all! I also think she mistook Ditz for Liddy remarking that it had taken 18 years for the child to learn this. Both Ditz & Liddy were mortified, if for different reasons, but Ditz got another packet of crisps which Liddy eyed off hungrily.
Both Liddy & I were starving. Very, very occasionally Dearest gets a hankering for a take~a~way meal, which can be dicey on the island. There are only two places at present where you can get meals unless you want pizza: the RSL or the Bowls club. Of the two the Bowls club usually has the better reputation but Dearest wanted a seafood basket & Ditz just wanted a hamburger so we ordered that from the RSL & went on to get Liddy & I chicken Cesar salads from the bowls club. The chef has changed but a Cesar salad that is mostly iceberg with a few stray pieces of bacon & chicken, the odd crouton & a poached egg is one thing; anchovies hidden amongst it is quite another! I can't stand seafood & at the first taste I was spitting a mouthful of food over the verandah & gagging like mad. If you don't like seafood, & I don't, anchovies are the worst thing out. Liddy doesn't eat seafood either so we packed the meals up & back we went to complain.
Liddy was not a happy Liddy. I was ho~hum until the chef tried to tell me anchovies were standard in a Cesar salad. Then I got steamed. Cesar salad is one of those things I order a lot; it is light & filling & usually fairly harmless though I've never had a poached egg over one before & certainly I've never had anchovies. Who in their right mind adds a seafood cocktail to chicken?! Liddy didn't go there. She pointed out the anchovies were an optional extra & shouldn't have been there at all. We were offered another meal but by then we were out of time so wanted our money back instead. The upshot was we went to carols without having eaten. I'm a light eater & used to erratic meals but Liddy is what's known in the vernacular as a 'good eater'. She can mow down half a cow with no problems & she likes her food at regular intervals. We laugh like maniacs at all the people who suggest the child's anorexic. Liddy loves her food & appreciates it in ways that totally escape me.
Which reminds me, I want breakfast & as it is blowing a gale, overcast & chilly I will appreciate something hot & that 2nd cup of coffee. Tomorrow I must remember to check the t.v program, which I rarely look at, & see if Ditz is actually going to be on t.v this Christmas. It will certainly solve the problem of which channel's carol program we watch.