Bankers Guide to Avoiding Christmas
Bankers Guide to Surviving Christmas
(with a Spinone or two)
am not a fan of Christmas
was fun once – then commercialism got involved and
that for me was the end of Christmas. Or was it the Spins
tearing all my prezzies to bits that were under the Christmas
a Cool Yule just doesn’t do it for me
I have little choice because the Dearest One says so……….
will again enjoy Christmas this year and you will participate
in the festivities that abound at this time of the year”
– “WON”T YOU”??
if that’s an option
good grief yes” I replied enthusiastically “I
can’t wait, such joy and fun”
I can’t wait for the big day and opening all those
gifts” (takes me about 38 seconds to open both of
I shall begin”
prepared a list of things YOU are to go out and purchase”
MY Christmas card
ALL MY gifts
A Turkey – preferably dead and from a butcher ready
for the oven (Do NOT repeat last year’s embarrassment
of bringing home a live one) – “or you’ll
be in the oven” - “Oh and get one big enough
to feed all the dogs as well”!!
Dearest One we would need a turkey the size of an Ostrich
to feed all that lot”
Then get an Ostrich”!!!!!!!! (Probably tastes like
Vegetables – get a variety of breeds?
Fruit – get another variety of breeds?
Wine – 1 barrel of white and 1 barrel of red
10. Dog treats
list went on for two and half pages, made up of things
like ‘stuffing’, crackers both to eat and
pull (by the way – don’t pull the cracker
packets – they make a hell of a mess and there’s
no hat or prize in them – a real rip off) The crackers
you pull are made of paper and brightly coloured –
a sound bit of advice for you!!
after spending two days away from home and with the Land
Rover and the Trailer full, I eventually get back home.
took 7 hours to unload both into the house and put it
all safely away – in the kitchen cupboards, the
coat room, the loft, the front room and the outbuildings.
We filled 2 freezers and the fridge.
One - “You didn’t get the butter”!!!
- “I think I’m going to get the gun out and
again – “You have until I get the gun out
as your head start”…………………..
yet again – “And I’m bringing JJ with
was somewhere in the south of England when I finally caught
up with her.
was utterly distraught? He had nothing to retrieve………..
back in the house –
noted yet again that despite all the excitement of the
pending festivities the Spins et al were the same. Nothing
changed them – they were still as laid back as ever.
To them it was just another day. No matter what I did
to get them into the spirit of things every one of them
remained in a state of sheer bemusement – I tried
putting antlers on JJ, baubles on the ears of Kallie,
I tried wrapping the strips of brightly coloured bunting
around Freya, I put some holly on Duncan (but that was
a bad idea, as was the mistletoe above Savanna –
the Springer kissed her and she was sick on him)
I got them all together in the vague hope of impressing
the Dearest One with a Carol singing session. We Three
Spins from orient are, one in a bucket and two in a car
(or something like that) The Holly and the Spinone, Away
in a manger asleep in a crib was a bloody Spinone having
evicted the previous occupant!!!! (That’s not really
a Carol is it)?
We were crap to be honest and it was during the chorus
of Slades 70s hit “So here it is, Merry Christmas”
that I realised that the Dearest One had gone out in the
left a note in the kitchen for me “Gone to jump
off the cliffs”
was disgusted at this for two reasons:
She would pollute the beach if the tide was out and
I thought it was very selfish and ungrateful as I was
under strict instructions to enter into the spirit of
things – and that’s all the thanks I get!!
got the sleigh bells out and harnessed two of the Spins
together and hitched them to the wheelbarrow. This worked
for 3.8 seconds until they tried to go off in different
I dressed up as Santa Claus and the other Springer humped
my leg and Mia growled at me. Unica hid under a vet bed!!!
in all it was a disaster.
Now look who’s turned up? The living dead herself……..the
tide was in!!!!
sat down with the Dearest One and a cup of tea and a biscuit
to contemplate my next cunning move to get the Spins to
enjoy Christmas. My motives were simple? If I had no choice
but to enjoy Christmas then so would they.
the Dearest One came up with the ideal plan that would
please us all??
Christmas dinner we will go out for a nice long walk.
I said, and meant it
idiot box and boredom”
another biscuit Dear and I’ll make you another cup
of tea, both clearly inspire you”
And so she was – inspired (rare moment admittedly
– but it is Christmas)
went on to explain……..”We get the best
of both worlds that way? We get the morning events and
lunch over and done with and out in the afternoon to work
up an appetite for Christmas dinner”
Dear, it is truly inspirational”!!
of the joys of an early Spring!! I got up the next morning
and had a gentle breakfast and a cup of tea. I got on
my winter clothes and with the dogs in tow went outside
to gather the logs I had cut earlier in the wood. We had
had a tree come down in high winds some months previous
and I had already limbed it so the wood seasoned ready
for the fire.
skipped merrily up to my workshop and whilst humming a
happy tune I prepared my chain saw and tools ready for
the day’s work ahead. I piled everything into the
back of the Landy and was just ready to drive off across
our fields to the wood when suddenly and without warning……..
just exactly what do you think you’re doing”?
Boomed the furious one
taking the dogs to the wood with me and giving them a
run whilst preparing the logs for the log burner”
I said most sternly, in a wimp like fashion!!
no you’re not, there’s only 12 days to go
and WE”VE still to get the last of the gifts”
“and I want Christmas Eve at home, so you can do
all that then”
days to go and she’s dithering about Christmas Eve…………..
Full of the joys of an early Spring were now reduced to,
Full of the down and out in the bleak mid winter –
cue for a Carol there I think………..!!!
got out of the Landy, unloaded the Landy including 3 of
the Spins and put all my stuff back in the workshop. I
went inside the house, took off my winter clothes and
decided to shoot myself instead of going hunting again
for the wild woman of Wales (WoW for short) I missed last
time and that was depressing enough
don’t think you’re going out looking like
that either, you look like one of Monty Python’s
Lumberjacks” Cue another song – “Oh
I’m a Lumberjack and I’m OK, I sleep all night
and I work all day……” etc etc (yea yea
I know, that’s not a Carol either)
so it passed……..off we went gift hunting –
get this for her, that for him, and do you think they
will like this? And oohh, that would be good for them”
so it went on………….and so did the
is good value at 2 for 1 and buy 2 get the third free”
tried so hard to explain that these alleged deals were
false economy. But I was being un-Christmas like and should
shut up. So I did.
role then consisted of chief bag carrier and agreeing
with everything…….another mistake?
If you can imagine a pack mule lumbering around, then
that was what I looked and felt like
you can’t agree with everything I say”!!
Dearest One it keeps the peace”
it didn’t and towards the end of the day I felt
like I was now the proud owner of two gift shops and a
third of a Superstore!!
home it was ‘wrap the gift’ time.
was fired within 5 minutes for making a complete and utter
hash of the first gift wrapping. My role was reduced to
chief tea maker and getting dinner prepared for the evening
(and cooked as it turned out)
then occurred to me that WE had not bought the dogs any
gifts. This to me was sensible as they are gifted enough
all year round by virtue of the fact they live with us!!!
sure if they see it the other way round though?
Dearest One while not quite agreeing with my sentiment
felt it was a little over the top given we had so many
of them. Instead they would get a Christmas dinner and
a long walk in the afternoon!!!
I said we hadn’t enough chairs to go round the table
for all of them she then suggested I go back outside to
finish what I wanted to start earlier………but
she phrased it differently!!!
the ultimate and inevitable Christmas comment, I was hoping
beyond hope that I would not hear the sentence uttered
by the dynamic pixie herself but here in all its glory
invited my parents round for Christmas dinner”
God no…….please no.
dived over to the laptop and immediately started going
through every airline website I could think of. There
had to be a way out……….
phoned my boss and asked him to phone me to tell me I
had to come back to work due to a critical thing that
had fallen off and without me there everything would fall
had fallen off, all was well and I was to enjoy myself!!!!!
offered to take a pay cut. He offered me a New Year review
threatened him with more violence than he could imagine.
He said it couldn’t be any worse than having Christmas
with his in laws……..
said I would commit suicide. He said that was fine so
long as I didn’t leave a mess……….
cried. He cried as well, and we went on to share stories
of in laws at Christmas.
the end I had to resign myself that ‘they’
were coming round for Christmas dinner and no matter what,
I was to put up and shut up………(unquote)
a shoot on in the afternoon and I think I might mosey
on down and see what isgoing on” I said, whilst
only moseying you’ll be doing is in the kitchen
and making sure they are looked after” replied the
Dearest One” “We have to watch black and white
films, the Queens speech and the 1971 Morecambe and Wise
was then during my most depressed moment that a light
bulb lit up and I had a reasonably brilliant idea!!!
know” I said in a smug like fashion
should all take the dogs for a walk after we’ve
had Christmas dinner” “Your Mother could take
JJ, Your Dad two of the girls and us the rest”
do you think”?
was a moment of silence…………
let me understand you clearly” “Dinner, Dogs,
would drag my mother off over the hills and into the distance,
the two girls would go after him dragging my Dad along
(probably prostrate on the floor) leaving us to do what
it was a brilliant idea at the time I said it, the following
could call the ambulance and claim the dogs were spooked
and it was all a terrible error of judgment”
Police wouldn’t get involved as they would be recovering
from their Christmas party, and it would look like just
another Christmas tale of woe”
woke up with the dogs all around me and nursing a golf
ball sized lump on the side of my head.
was then I noticed the paramedic.
“Your head will be alright sir, but we have to take
you to A & E to have the Christmas tree removed”
“We knew where you were sir because you were flashing
away in reds and blues and yellows” “We’ve
cut the power to the fairy lights so at least it’s
finally sat down 3 days later on a feather pillow…and
you know what. I reckon even the bloody dogs were giggling
so it came to pass. The in laws were invited. I was to
be a good boy and the Dearest One told me that after Christmas
dinner we would leave them to doze off for the afternoon
whilst we went to the beach with the dogs………
you weren’t so keen to ruin our Christmas and had
just kept quiet for 2 minutes I was going to tell that
to you, but oh no, not you. Had to go on and on about
it” “Serves you right”
was of course one little event that I had not allowed
we live out in the wilds and we are by any standards what
you might call – remote. So how the hell these people
find us is beyond my simple logic. But find us they do
and it causes utter chaos. There is no other description
see (sensitive moment – parental guidance advised)
we have in a town not too far from us a sort of, well
they’re – mmm, now how can I put this? Well
they’re from a religious er……..they
have their Deity and tend to go out and about and try
to leave you (us) with a book I can’t quite get
into…I think it’s called Lookout Tower, or
is it, Black Tower (no forget that, that’s a wine)
was it Bay Watch?
every now and again they come to the gate that leads up
to the house. Hear the dogs and stay at the gate!!!
was their Christmas walkabout – but as they don’t
celebrate Christmas I figured it was just bad timing or
pure coincidence!! Who knows………..
of course they have by now attracted our attention and
so we go down (with the dogs) to see who the odd people
are that want to be friends with us, and lets be fair
they are friendly, they offer us one of their books, offer
us a life of sheer bliss (now that interested me, but
did they have a Dearest One lurking somewhere) and if
we came to see them in their jolly nice Deity head office
(can’t remember what they called it, although I
thought he said “a place of warships”)
And I thought, “That’s odd, we’re nowhere
are very very very alert creatures and can sense the minutest
of temperaments and moods and by now our ‘flock’
had this pair well sorted!!! The dogs knew well enough
what they were dealing with?
enough “Oh bless what lovely dogs and so lively
course they were bloody lively, you’ve come onto
their territory and you represent a clear and present
danger to them. Or so they think………but
what is it I wonder, that a dog senses that we don’t??
anyway, these ‘nice’ people had no treats
for them, so after about 23 seconds the dogs just cleared
off to run around the place – with a ‘we’re
still here’ kind of bark.
the next 20 minutes or so the dogs exercised themselves
to a near state of collapse. The barking you could hear
across the other side the valley (The farmer over there
told us that a few days later when he said “Oh,
so I heard the dogs…..you must have had those ‘odd
had just come back from a rough shoot, they soon went
there’s an idea? I could get the gun out…….it
was us or them, we were in fear of our lives from utter
boredom and unlike the dogs who were close to collapse
from over barking and running around, we were close to
collapse from being talked to death (Although the woman
said that would be OK as we would be saved)?
It was definitely the gun after that comment…………
Dearest One in all her glory gave up and sauntered away
back up to the house leaving me there to fashion a statement
that was the equivalent to “go away, you’re
upsetting the dogs” “ and they’re so
sensitive to weirdo’s – er…sorry strangers”
finally found the words I was looking for and off they
went. And and and………I didn’t have
to give them any money…..what a bonus.
off they went. Alive (just)
lost the plot again haven’t I?
what the hell has that to do with the Carol singers I
hear you ask?
a couple of Christmas’s ago we had some………and
that did cost me money!! BUT…
dogs barked………until the singers started
their harmonies and a rendition of a well known Carol.
The dogs were calm, went on sniffabout and generally came
down to look, sniff and then went away in a sort of inquisitive
kind of way???
not for long?
dogs came back again
and Duncan were wearing nice two tone boys choral outfits
in black and white, the 5 girls came back down in rather
fetching long white gowns with splendid floral patterns
stitched into the fabrics. The mix was quite enchanting
and when the girls lined up behind the two boys at the
front I was taken aback at the sight as they prepared
was so lovely, there we were, watching the local church
choir now trying so hard to out sing the Awelymor choir.
It was a sort of Christmas X Factor and with the church
choir really giving it the tunes by now and the dogs harmonising
howls we were in for a real competitive treat!!!
Dearest One Osborne and Simon Banker Cowell were both
smiling and you could see they were visibly moved by the
renditions of both choirs. This was not going to be an
sorry, The Dearest One and I debated for a minute or two,
occasionally disagreeing with the timing of the harmonies,
but whilst the dogs were slightly out of tune now and
again!! We felt overall that the church choir had just
marginally taken first place. It really was that close.
The other reason we decided to award the church choir
the top spot was that the ailing vicar was gasping for
air and needed oxygen, the two old dears at the front
had collapsed of exhaustion and two of the children had
lost their voices. Other than that it was a fair decision
were very moved, not in a bowel movement kind of way you
understand, that was probably the look on our faces that
may have made it look that way, but more of a pay them
and put them out of their misery……..I had
to give them quite a lot of money as well because it was
clear they were never going to make it round the valley
dogs wearing defeat badly sauntered with us back up to
the house, and to lift the mood we gave them well deserved
treats and some chews. We made them feel that to us they
were always the winners. Well what else could we do after
they put themselves out to get all dressed up like that.
the treats the seven of them got out of their outfits
and spent the rest of the night tearing them to shreds………we
came down the following morning to one hell of a mess.
Bad losers I guess!!
enough of that. I’m off now to see my therapist
again as for the second time in these notes I’ve
misplaced the plot again…..
where was I?
Yes, the odd couple and the carol singers and the effect
each had on the dogs
I wondered about that as well? I know what you’re
is a moral to this but I’m loathe to write it………you
just never know who’s watching from the tower?
then, let’s get back to this Christmas thingy
shall begin…………now I don’t
drink, but if you’ve followed the Italy trips in
my notes (by the way, have the Germans bought Italy now?
I’m told it was a bargain buy…… Not
sure how it all turned out with them going bump and the
Euro thingy) oh yea – sorry……….
Dearest one does drink – wine.
– after this I will have probably succumbed as well…..!!!!!
Bankers Christmas recipe for total success on the day!!
Christmas Dinner - 4 adults and 10 dogs!! Some handy tips
for you from The Banker!!
x Mother in law (Do not confuse with the Turkey)
1 x 58 kg Turkey
1 x sack of Potatoes
1 x Carrot
1 x Turnip
1 x Swede (The root crop)!!
1 x Brussell Sprout (Just in case somebody wants it)
7 x boxes of Sage & Onion stuffing
1x 10 kg lump of Beef
1 x 15 kg sack of dried dog biscuits (Saves on preparing
two lots of dinners) – clever eh……
27 x mini sausages wrapped in 27 rashers of bacon
42 litres of Gravy
1 x 5 litre jar of mint sauce (The Dearest One puts mint
sauce on EVERYTHING!! corn flakes, toast, chocolate, bacon
and egg, soup – everything except Lamb)!!! Told
you she was odd!!!
Bottles of wine……
1 Bottle of Whisky?
1 Can of a Beer?
the Mother in law to cook the above noting the following:
Stuff the Turkey – remembering not to get confused
b) Start cooking the Turkey on the 23rd – see above
c) If the Swede screams – you’ve got the wrong
d) Isolate the Brussels sprout – if they want it,
they’ll find it
e) If you have a Dearest One – hide the Mint Sauce.
That’s a great Christmas game
the wine whilst cooking – you’ll soon get
the idea, I did a couple of years ago and missed the dinner
after passing out having consumed 2 bottles……..and
I don’t drink!!!!!! (Isn’t it funny how I’m
reminded of that little incidence every year)!!!
bottle of Whisky – give this to the Father in Law
and he will miss dinner as well
Can of beer – share equally among the dog bowls!!!
the table remembering to put the dog bowls out as well,
and our table now has to seat 14!!
DO NOT give the dogs Christmas crackers – the last
time we did this 4 of them thought they were on a shoot
and they went and retrieved a cushion off the couch, a
toy from their basket, the mother in laws slippers and
Savanna bought back a log from the log basket.
if last year was anything to go by, the Father in law
loved the crunchy bits in the gravy. We have had to be
very careful about what we said was in it………..”Oh
you shimply musht give ush the reshipe for that gravity,
it wash shuperb” – he didn’t mish the
dinner but it was closhe
that’s it really……………easy!!!!
for us we’ll eat, drink and be merry and generally
have a great time and enjoy the season of good will
dogs will be very well fed and exercised – as we
both will be
don’t waste our time watching the TV, preferring
to annoy the locals and share a cake and a little sip
of something to take away the winter chill – or
they come round and annoy us…..either way we have
build up to Christmas nowadays is made up of several carefully
orchestrated moves. We all have our own methodologies.
Our Christmas will be similar to the previous ones –
everything I love the time at home and it’s the
one time of the year when we really have nothing planned
and generally have a lovely relaxing time (Well that’s
what I’m told to have)
- that’s it then for this year, and from The Dearest
One, me and the Spins, The Viz, The Springers, our mad
parrot, The farm cats et al………..
hope you have a Truly Wonderful Christmas and a healthy,
happy and prosperous New Year.
see you around at the shows and other events, and of course,
there’ll be more from me in 2012 and beyond!!!
good care and enjoy…………..