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Ohhhhh dearest blog folk. Today I feel like the apocalypse is upon us. I thought that day when I woke up to find David Cameron was to be Prime Minister was bad enough. But today the horror of all the bad things happening all over the world is really overwhelming me.
I find most mainstream media to be a heinous misrepresentation of reality; a reliable stream of toxic misinformation, and a wholly unreliable source of information where so many awful truths and injustices are concerned. Every day I fire up my Feedly page and I keep up to date with the happy and the crafty and the foody and all the amazing inspirational blogs you see listed to the right and a little further down this page.
But then I navigate to my own customised ‘news’ section where I keep an eye on a few independent sites that are committed to truth, transparency, and digging out all the news that mainstream media has discarded in favour of maintaining its agenda, whatever that may be. Today, I admit, I felt so overwhelmed by the awfulness of it all, that I had to just skip that whole section. My emotional reserves have been running a little dry lately anyway, I must say, because it turns out that chronic flipping exhaustion and other mystery health concerns do not much buoy the soul, or fill one with any amount of cheer.
Sometimes I think it’s okay to accept that our emotions can begin to become fatigued, they can begin to run a little dry. For those of us who once upon a time donned those They Live sunglasses and can rarely bring ourselves to take them off, it’s important on occasion to concentrate on the positive, the inane, or on doing good deeds for ourselves or for others, no matter how small.
And so, this preamble leads in, I suppose, to a very inconsequential little post about Christmas, a time of the year that warms my cockles tremendously……….
I admit this is a little strange, since festivities were sometimes strained across my two parental households as a child. When I became vegan, this didn’t help matters much as you can imagine. Dinners at home (just the one parental home these days, I left the other behind) were pretty good as my Mum made some delicious vegan grub for me, and I would usually contribute something myself. But of course there’s always the feeling of being the odd one out when sharing an experience so saturated with meaning, togetherness, etc. One other memorable Christmas dinner was at the country home of some old friends of my ex-partner’s family. Please think of a Bridget Jones style country house gathering, Boxing Day hunts, 5 bird roasts and rather wealthy, rather sozzled tory voters draped over the dinner table, and then please go ahead and try to imagine ME, my social discomfort, plunged into this festive torment. I recall standing in a field somewhere late at night in sub-zero temperatures, trying desperately to maintain phone signal so I could cry at my bewildered Mother down the phone, wishing for those magical days where I sprinted at olympic speed from my bedroom on Christmas morning to the plate we’d left in our landing the night before.
The glass of brandy DRUNK. The mince pie GONE. The carrot NIBBLED.
And then stampeding into my Mum’s bedroom in nothing less than a FRENZY declaring that SANTA HAD BEEN as if there were any possibility that he might have missed us. Then, dragging my presents into my Mum’s room for the big reveal, me not noticing the whiff of brandy on her breath, or my Step-Dad picking bits of carrot out from between his teeth.
Aaaaaanyway. Back to the present, perhaps. These past couple of years I have enjoyed a 100% vegan Christmas dinner with dear, lovely friends. These days, it seems that the only free ticket adults have for making Christmas really, truly, their ‘own’, is to have a partner and a child or three. I admit that I resented this slightly and I figured that once I was over 30, it was time to make Christmas a day that gave me lots of warmth and joy and happiness and FOOD AND BOOZE, my way.
So this year, I am hosting an entirely vegan Christmas feast for my wonderful man and for two friends of ours. Because I am a fiend for festivities, I planned my menu in November, and here she is:
My fancy festive filo parcels are likely be a leeky, creamy, mushroomy affair. My sushi will undoubtedly feature some Redwoods sage and onion slices and some lovely tarty cranberry sauce. I’ve never tried the Fry’s prawns before, but I figured they would be an excellent final contribution to my trio of sweet-chilli-dunked starters.
I am sorry to say that my Christmas cake is a little delayed this year, but my fruit has been soaking in dark rum for a few days now and my tin’s at the ready.
How about you? Are you a Christmas lover or hater? Do you do it your way? What’s going to be on the table for you?
And remember, while the world is often an awful, horrible place, keep in mind that even Francis Pharcellus Church, a journalist and editor who had been a war correspondent during the American Civil War, and had witnessed first hand the horror, misery and injustice of war, still encouraged us all to remember that Santa Claus lives forever ❤