Return to Terry Towers, northern branch. Festivities begin.
Mrs Terry informs me, a vegetarian of 16 years standing, that she’s bought Stella McCartney sausage rolls for Boxing Day tea. I tell her they’ll smell nice; she looks at me as though I’m a mental, then begins to deodorise the dog.
Later, Mrs Terry asks me to go and feed her friend’s cats, which she alleges are called Fluffy and Little Fluffy, and Philly lends us her car. Between us, Mrs Terry and I manage to find the lights (but only on the return journey) but fail to find reverse or first gear. We agree not to Philly of this.
Sam takes an unhealthy interest in Philly’s knitted nativity. I fear ginger Joseph will suffer a similar fate to Whistling Santa.
Come 11pm, Terry Terry is so tiddly he tinkles behind a hedge on the way to Midnight Mass.
I head to bed at 1am, remarking to Philly that it’s the most sober I’ve been on Christmas Eve for years. She agrees, then she and Terry come to bed at 4.30am after first blowing all the fuses in the house. The next morning I’m the first up and Santa does not seem to have been. Connection?
Sam’s best present is a speaking sumo chew toy that repeatedly informs him, “I’m going to put you in a bastard crab”. Sam nearly explodes with excitement and Philly and I bellow “bastard craaaab” at each other all day.
I ask Mrs Terry what she’s got Owen, my 11-year-old nephew, for Christmas – she tells me a wii-wii game. Unsure if Mrs Terry is taking the piss.
Arrive home from the Terrys’ annual festive film trip and Terry Terry proceeds to vacuum Philly’s coat. While she’s wearing it. Neither party acts as if this is unusual.
Back to London. Very sad but cheered by tinkling of bottles of wine stolen from Terry Terry’s cellar (Terry Terry’s garage) in suitcase. Mrs Terry’s parting shot: they want me to look after Sam while they’re away on their first cruise of the year. Sam’s parting shot: a cheery nip to my nether regions. Nervous.