So at 2am on Saturday night I was still hard at it decorating the Christmas tree. That's what you get for insisting on using 120 fairy lights and 150+ baubles - the latter of which I tied individually to the branches with short lengths of cotton.
What's that? The 21st century has invented fancy bauble-hanging clip thingies? Nah, I'm sticking with my retro method. It's the only way of attaching your glass baubles to the branches safely enough to guarantee that they won't fall to the ground and shatter.
Here's the end result:
Naturally the baubles are cappuccino, chocolate and champagne coloured to coordinate with the general decor.
I always get a real tree - I've never had an artifical tree, and never will. One of my favourite childhood memories is going to the Christmas tree forest with my family to chose a tree. Invariably the one we picked up first was the one we went home with, but it was still very important to look at a good fifty additional trees before settling on the first tree. And when the dogs inevitably start chewing on the low-hanging branches, at least they're chowing down wood rather than plastic. Little monkeys.
My parents came over for dinner on Sunday (asparagus, prosciutto and hollondaise sauce, followed by coq au vin, followed by chocolate mousse). My Mum being the green-fingered witch that she is, she brought a garland for our front door that she had made herself - behold:
Isn't it awesome? Am I lucky, or what? None of that nasty tartan ribbon nonsense for me, thank you very much. I like my Christmas garlands to be fabulously twiggy, with white and green berries, and ivy. Loving it.
Coming up tomorrow - a photo-recipe for making Chinese crispy duck, Chinese pancakes, and plum sauce - all from scratch. You'll never get takeaway again.