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Diets on hold: time for twinkling lights and brandy butter.

Tue, 19 December, 2017

Lights are starting to twinkle more and more energetically in my street and the thing du jour – or is it du saison? or even d’année? – is a laser projector spitting twirling light snowflakes and little santas onto the house front. I momentarily wanted one of those badly but fifty quid price tag for a half-decent one restored my common sense. I have a real tree, a fake staircase garland, strings of lights back and front garden and lots and lots of window stickers which are tremendous fun.

Our street is not densely populated with kids so one might think it’s the middle class, middle aged couples going slowly childish-senile adorning their overpriced properties with sparkly LEDs. But as I’m getting older (we all do! with every minute! even you, millennial snowflakes are pushing thirty now!) I think more about what I won’t be able, interested or bothered to do in the not so distant future. It’s unbelievably sad when you see older people who can’t climb up into the loft to get the decorations anymore and are too tired and unwell to be excited about Christmas dinner. When they have sandwiches on Christmas Day because turkey is too much bother. When all their children and grandchildren are too scattered around the world to travel home for the holidays – and anyway home had long been swapped for a bungalow in a sad seaside town.

We live far too long these days – and, as someone wisely said, longer by those years that we enjoy the least. My Dad, always the lucky bugger, pegged it at sixty odd never suffering the indignity of nappies, wheelchair and bed sores; still looking forward to seeing the next World Cup games. If you don't win the potluck of a quick fatal car crash, the only way to enjoy old age is getting dementia. My granny spent her last days happy as Larry, conversing animatedly with imaginary childhood friends. It was all right for her – not quite so for us though, her carers.

So you know what? Sod the cholesterol: bring on butter and fatty meats. Have another slice of pudding drowned in cream. And a couple more glasses of prosecco. I know, I know: diabetes, obesity and heart disease ain’t much fun to have but I just suddenly don’t believe in all the wellness, mindfulness and healthy diets malarkey when I see what longevity is really like. So I’ll make a huge Pavlova with mountains of cream for Christmas dessert and we’ll toast and butter panettone and Stollen through the twelve days of Christmas. Just – enjoy it while you can and want to. Put up another string of LEDs in the garden!

Come January, I may well change my mind and turn to bulletproof coffees again. I very well may. For now though – deck the halls, eat, drink and be merriest this Christmas!

 

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