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Day 268 – Christmas

December 23, 2014

Song of the Day: Fairytale of New York – The Pogues

Today’s the day I would have come home for Christmas, had I still been in Qatar. Weird thought. It’s great to be around with Christmas in the offing. It’s great to be around anyway, but Christmas is special. I love it.

I heard Fairytale of New York in the shops for the first time yesterday, which probably shows how little I’ve been to the shops in the last month. I also witnessed the soundtrack in Sainsburys going round the loop for a second time while I was getting the Christmas food shop done on Saturday evening, and I realised why all the checkout staff have that thousand yard stare. It must drive you insane, having to listen to Shakin’ Stevens over and over and over again.

It’s often said that Fairytale of New York is the best Christmas song ever written, but I think Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade is a better example of the genre. FoNY is a great song, a moving lament and a rousing singalong, but MCE makes me feel more Christmassy. And it’s by Slade, who are one of the greatest bands of all time but are rarely given the credit for being so because of their Black Country accents. Harsh.

Here are the stats:-

  • Most successful English band of the 1970s by sales of singles
  • Six UK number ones
  • First band to have three singles go straight in at number one
  • Over 6.5 million singles sold to date

I challenge anyone to listen to Sladest and not be moved by it.

One of the things I love best about Christmas is the cooking. I’ve made mince pies and a Christmas Cake, which I’ll show you when it’s iced, and today I made a chili for 27, for Boxing Day evening, when both sides of the family will be packed into our house demanding succour. Here it is.

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Chili for 27

It’s going to get darker and more mischievous looking than that over the next couple of days as I add a few secret ingredients, but for now it’s simmering away. I just hope they’re all still hungry by Boxing Day evening, otherwise we’ll be eating chili for breakfast, lunch and tea until Easter.

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