I’ve always dismissed the Christmas round robin letter idea. Even worse, an e-Christmas card. But this evening I found myself replying via email to a group of old friends who are now placed all over the world and realised that summing up all the important news in one’s life is actually a very good exercise. Here’s mine:

Eldest boy (6) = narrator in the school nativity play (well, five lines)
Middle boy (3) = a very funny lunatic, big fat slice of my mother in there
Baby girl (1) = a sweet, if slightly spoilt, doll; can do four animal noises and say hello in four languages. Pushy? Moi?
Husband = still bearded, quite grumpy, immensely lovable, a bit like an old cat
Me = knackered but happy, totally unprepared for Christmas. Which I’m hosting. F*ck.
Miss you all, wish we saw more of each other but quite comforted by the fact that we are all still, really, 22 tops x

This week’s sparkling in the fridge: Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne, £25 for 2 bottles, Tesco
Buy. This. Champagne. It is made by a brilliant co-operative producer in the grand cru village Avize. They supply other big name Champagne Houses so you are paying for a really good wine but without paying extra for the brand. The superior Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend is complex and toasty, with lovely biscuit-like aromas. The Premier Cru name on the label tells you this is made from grapes sourced from vineyards classified as such. A better quality grape, if you like. In fact, the Chardonnay is from Premier and the even smarter Grand Cru classified vineyards, and the Pinot Noir is all Grand Cru. Fabulous stuff, brilliant value.

This week’s red on the side: Château Lillian Ladouys 2007 Saint-Estèphe, £12.34 per bottle, Waitrose
I haven’t actually opened this one yet. It is on the side and will be opened tomorrow night when the bearded husband is back home and we start our run-up to Christmas. I know the wine well, having bought previous vintages in my old job. 2007 was a varied vintage (that just means wine from that particular year, btw) but that didn’t stop Bordeaux prices going crazy in the run up to release. This one isn’t in the crazy-price league so you do get good value for money. It is a classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes from the not-very-trendy St. Estephe region. Soft and supple, a bit like I used to be. 

Happy Christmas x

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  1. I've done a bit of an about turn on Round-Robins… I live 'em, and look forward to 'em – the more boastful the better! The thing is, unlike your excellent summary of the year's news, most RRs tend to be an exercise in one-up-man-ship. Maybe modesty is the first victim of the festive season, but you can fair see the fluffing out of chest feathers in most of the missives we receive. Simon Hoggart used to do a very good round-up of the best (worst) round-robin letters in the Grauniad. Wonder if he still does?

  2. Oh, I know. As soon as posted my mother-in-law happened to show me a lovely RR from an old friend of hers with news of grandchildren etc; they have their place. But agree, could do without the puffed-up versions. Happy Christmas to you and yours, Tim.

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