Yes, it came as news to me too…

Click on this link and all will be revealed…

mince piesI was quite flattered when the lovely Becca from the Bucks Herald rang me up and said she’d like to do an article about me. After all, I had been hiding my light under a bushel for many years…

She arrived in time for coffee, and she seemed genuinely interested in what could laughably called my lifestyle. I talked about my past triumphs – which took about three minutes – and then got into what I do now. I talked about speed drawing, and conference cartoons, and all the other stuff I get up to that helps me avoid the main issue – life.

I even talked about my sweet family, and our plans for Christmas. And so to the main thrust of this compelling blog.

I know. I’ll give you details of some of the high (and low) spots of a world famous cartoonist’s Christmas.

Trees assembled. Cards on strings. Mince pies waiting in the wings.

(Thinks… could be the start of a poem)

First to wake up? Jamie Duncan. He objected to the fact that we’d left his stocking downstairs for Santa and it had been brought up to his bedroom. “How dare he?” he said, proving that Santa had got one of his more difficult customers to contend with.

Later, and my attempt to cook the perfect lunch was hampered by the fact that I forgot to put the sprouts on. Sigh of relief from Sam, moment of horror for me. Third glass of wine needed.

After that all went well. Much eaten and drunk, Cathy and her parents, who had vowed to go for a walk, were the first to go to sleep, and I settled in to a dozy round of Turkish Delight, industrial quantities of Bailey’s, and the most riveting episode of EastEnders I had ever seen.

Don’t know what Dickens would have said about our Christmas, but we all loved it.

My darling Cathy made my day by producing two tickets for The Play That Goes Wrong, which we’re seeing next week. Can’t wait. In-depth review to follow…

Several other events stand out – a lovely Christmas morning drink with a certain thriller writer and her family. A happy and silly dinner at the Criterion in Piccadilly with my oldest surviving friend and his Ukrainian lady love. An Indian themed evening to celebrate my sister’s very special birthday, with the older members of the family present and correct. Drinks and too much to eat at my nephew’s house…

And a fantastic evening at Barry and Michele’s home, where Barry introduced a whole new meaning to the expression ‘drink and nibbles’ by providing possibly the best spread of the year – luscious lamb cutlets, lovely lobster, dangerous dips, cheeky chicken, fab fish patties, passionate prawns and occasional octopuses on skewers. Loads of Champagne and the daftest, rudest card game any of us had ever played. That Barry…huh…he thoroughly deserves his superb surname – Duncan. With his film star looks, talents, skill and humour he could well be my long lost son.

And that’s it. Decorations packed away in the loft. Remaining stilton walking by itself out of the door. Thank you letters written. The remains of the last crackers finally sent to cracker heaven, along with their wire puzzles and red curling fish.

School runs and at least two months of foul weather await. Barclaycard statement lurks. Bathroom scales lie through their teeth. Gaviscon has to be replaced.

Oh well – happy new year.