Sunday, 28 December 2008


Queens Park, London. A Blazing fire. Watching Wallace and Gromit with the three grandchildren plus mum and dad and daddad Mikey -- and oh, the new dog: the black kamikaze whirlwind with eyes like saucers and blood-drawing needle teeth. A manic pint-sized pooch name of Tet Suya (hope I've got that right.) Pushed in face; inch-high legs with a wagglethumb of a tail; thinks he's a bull fighter. That's because he hasn't been out of the house yet and has nothing to measure himself by, except soppy humans who minister to his every need -- at the moment, anyway, and when he's not taking leaps at the baubles hanging on lower branches of the Christmas tree or chewing the electric cables. This activity, he's learning, triggers wallops with rolled up magazines.

The tree, an 8 footer fills the bay window space, and is knee-deep in pressies and decked with lights.

Then there was the goose-feast. The bird had been brought up from the Devon/Dorset border by Michael three days earlier, and now, cooked to a turn by Sandhya, it reposed on a dish of fresh bay leaves, its golden-brown breast topped with bouncing and glistening cranberries and succulent slices of quince in a red wine gravy. Squeezed between the crackers and the glasses were its companion dishes; crisp roasted potatoes, a dish of roast pumpkin, onion and chestnut, and another of thin green beans with shitake mushrooms. There was a strong Japanese flavour to the whole day. From the cups of green tea, to a new DVD of Spirited Away from the wonderful creative imagination of the Japanese film director Hayao Miyazaki who made Howles Moving Castle and Laputa, to the minuscule Tet Suya; name meaning Arrow of Philosophy. At least the arrow bit was fairly accurate.

That was Christmas. What more do you want!

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