You're probably wondering what happened about Fiona's flowers. Well, actually, if you've been as busy as I have over the last couple of weeks, you've had too much to think about to wonder about the mendacious Fiona and her envy-inducing flowers. I've been trying to shop for Christmas presents, without much success - nothing looks terribly appealing, or if it does, I'm rather put off by the price tag. Still, I bought some lovely earmuffs and matching scarf and gloves for Celeste, since she was going to be a chalet maid for the time being, at which point she phoned and said that since there hadn't been much snow, it was possible she would be home for Christmas after all. Perhaps it will be cold and snowy again here?
Anyway, I went round to Fiona's as soon as I'd finished doing the washing-up after dinner that night (grilled pork chop with a stir-fry vegetable medley and some steamed cabbage, in case you're interested) to hand over the flowers and challenge her on her lack of honesty. Not that I really care, you understand, just to see what she said. I was very disappointed.
"Oh, thanks for taking those in. I'd taken my little charges up to town to see the new art exhibition. You can't start introducing children to culture too soon, in my opinion." (The children she looks after are all under three. I doubt they know what an art gallery is, other than a place to run around. I bet she was intensely unpopular and didn't care an ounce.) "It never occurred to me that there might be a delivery."
"I was a little surprised you were out," I told her, keeping as straight as face as I could manage before dropping my little bombshell. "Though I was even more surprised that someone could be under the illusion that you've just turned forty."
Fiona turned very slightly pink before retorting with a reasonably-well aimed barb of, "Taken to reading other people's cards, now, have you? I suppose with nothing interesting in your own life, you have to resort to invading others'."
I tried to point out that the card had fallen out of the flowers but not wanting to have a full-blown argument on the doorstep at a time when other people are still out and about, I stopped defending myself and went, without even asking who D was. I'd make a terrible tabloid reporter and an even worse witness at that Leveson enquiry, crumbling at the first refusal.
Meanwhile, I have found an old recipe for Christmas pudding, so I thought this year I would have a go at making my own. The only disadvantage is that even once the quantity has been reduced down as far as I can, it makes about 20 pounds of pudding. Consequently I've been boiling small puddings every night for the last week and plan to give them as Christmas presents to some of the older residents in the village. It's a good recipe and there's something lovely about home-made, so I hope the recipients appreciate my efforts. The house is developing a lingering odour of Guinness and currants; the OH is talking about getting it redecorated next year and I don't think it's a coincidence.