Auntie Doris’s Twelve Days of Christmas. #6: Six Geese a Laying.



So, we get one (very profitable) day off with the gold rings and then it is back to our feathered friends again. Six geese a laying! That’s a ruddy Gaggle! What with all the calling birds and French hens and turtle doves and the Partridge an’ all we have now got sixteen birds in and around the house, and what with these geese being a-laying, it looks ruddy likely that there is going to be a few more in the spring. Yes, you could always try and take the eggs away and eat them, but that isn’t as easy as it sounds. Have you ever tried to take an egg off a mother goose? Vicious ruddy creatures they are, hissing and spitting and slapping their wings whenever you get anywhere near them. And they have teeth too. At least the edges of their beaks are all sharp and jagged, like the teeth on the edge of a saw. One of the nasty little beggars bit my Tuppence once. I was throwing some bits of bread for them near the park pond and a few bits fell, just near my Tuppence. The thing is that she wasn’t even interested in bread. She used to enjoy a bit of meat, but bread never did anything for her. I tried her with a French stick once, but the crusts chafed her poor little lips, so I never pursued it. Anyway, just because this morsel of mother’s pride was near her, this ruddy great goose shot its neck out and bit my Tuppence, right on the tip of her little button. It drew blood. I had to rub some ointment on it when I got home, and it was a few weeks before I felt confident taking my Tuppence out again after the shock of that. Poor little doggie. I have never been keen on geese from that day to this. So if anyone ever decided to give me six of the ruddy things for Christmas, they would feel the sharpness of my tongue, make no mistake. I would rather have the money, thank you very much. Then I could get myself something useful, such as some new knitting patterns. I think our Michael could do with some woolly undies. Perhaps they would keep him warm enough so he wouldn’t keep on having to borrow my tights. Then again, maybe not… Uncle Raymond’s Christmas Cracker Cackle of the Day: “She was only the Carol Singer’s Daughter, but she had my Ding Dong Merrily on High!”

Auntie Doris’s Twelve Days of Christmas. #5: Five Gold Rings

5thNow we’re talking. At last a present that has some ruddy value. Obviously, anyone who gives you five gold rings is worth hanging on to. It’s a proper handful that is. And they always say that if you wear gold, then you are carrying around the price of a decent funeral. Five gold rings would probably get you something pretty decent. Maybe not a Reggie Kray style send off, with a fleet of black cars covered in flowers, a solid oak coffin with real brass fittings and Barbara Windsor sobbing her eyes out in the front pew, but you would probably be able to pay the vicar and still have enough left to get a nice bit of tongue for the wake. Something about a funeral always makes me fancy a nice bit of tongue, and if Arthur Knaggs was involved with the catering, I was pretty certain that I was going to get some. I remember when I buried my Raymond. I went around to Knaggs’s to put my order in. He provided me with some chitterlings, and sweetbreads and of course he got me beef dripping, but then he said – “with it being a funeral Doris, you will be wanting to do it proper, and have a nice bit of tongue as well.” Well – I went weak at the knees at the thought of it. My Raymond wasn’t all that keen on tongue, so I was lucky to get any when he was on the scene. But with him out of the way, what better way to celebrate? And I have never had better tongue than that what Knaggs gave me that day. It was ruddy divine, I tell you. My Raymond had a lovely send off down at the corporation club, and to cap it all, I won the meat tray in the raffle. So I enjoyed a bellyful of Knaggs’s pork the next day as well. In summary, there should be no way on God’s Earth that you should ever turn your nose up at five gold rings as a Christmas present. Even if you only accept them as some sort of insurance to go towards the cost of your send off. A true love who gives you gold beats a true love who tries to palm you off with a few birds, any day of the week. Uncle Raymond’s Christmas Cracker Cackle of the day “She was only Dick Van Dyke’s daughter, but she had a bit of bother with my old bamboo!”