Margot tries the good life - December 2013

Margot - December

Margot - December - Credit: Archant

It’s time to get busy and festive but Margot can’t shake off the memories of Christmases past

Tis’ the season to be organised! Christmas is very nearly on the doorstep and yet in our little corner of Hampshire, Jerry, Primrose, Poppy and I seem to be evoking the spirit of Christmas yet to come. I know that I should be prepping the cottage to within an inch of its life for the festive period but somehow I can’t seem to drag myself away from the cosiness of our fire. I can’t believe that December has crept up on me so quickly. Perhaps the fairy from the top of the tree could send me a bit of last minute Margot magic to get this old bird into gear?

Our first country Christmas, dear Reader! Evoking my inner Kirstie Allsopp, visions of decking the halls with holly gathered from the hedgerows fill my head as Jerry pops out to chop down a tree for the sitting room. I daydream about stuffing and cooking a goose for twelve and serving up a breath-taking homemade Christmas pudding to amazed faces gathered round the dining room table.

In reality, Jerry with an axe would spell disaster and I shall be lucky not to slip on some goose fat in the kitchen after a few too many glasses of fizz and fall head first into a bowl of Brussel sprouts. Such is my Christmas fortune.

In Christmases past, I have weathered many different kinds of festive faux pas: one year convincing Primrose to eat Gressingham ‘chicken’ à l’orange and then making the huge mistake of telling her after the event that she had, in fact, devoured Mrs Jemima Puddleduck.

Another, when my enthusiasm for an old-fashioned tree décor and natural baubles led to making traditional pomanders studded with cloves. I had no idea that one was supposed to dry the fruit first and so by Boxing Day, our tree was covered in mouldy oranges and was more Nordman furry than Nordman fir. So, dear Reader, you can hardly blame me for being wary of the sound of the old jingle bells.

Perhaps I should take a leaf out of the villagers’ book? Every house down the lane is already alive with merriment and if village hospitality is anything to go by, at this rate if I can fit into any of my clothes by 1st January, it will be a minor miracle. There are mince pies, mulled wine galore and certainly plenty of room at the inn!

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Nothing should surprise us anymore as somehow our tiny hamlet always knows how to throw a good shindig. After the fabulous Harvest lunch where all the village assembled in a neighbour’s barn to celebrate the bringing in of autumn’s bounty with beer, wine and shepherd’s pie, Jerry and I are looking forward to what a village Christmas has in store for us. Left up to our girls, no doubt they would soon have us carolling to the cattle in the fields, adding tinsel to the new chicken coop and ringing in the New Year with the addition of a little porky friend to the garden. I am sure I spied a piglet on Primrose’s Christmas list….

Fingers crossed there won’t be any call for a baby Jesus in the manger at midnight mass this year as Poppy has been preparing Monty for his starring debut for weeks now.

Ooh I am already looking forward to the peace and quiet of that wonderful post-Christmas lunch slump and raising my glass to our glorious countryside home. So here’s to a jolly old Hampshire Christmas, dear Reader and a very happy New Year to you and yours!

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You can read Margot’s blog at: and follow her antics on twitter @Margotgoodlife