I had a lovely surprise from my team but especially the gorgeous other J and the fabulous new H. They had secretly organized the assembly of an intriguingly jingly, lumpy, jolly Father Christmas stocking so “I'd have something to open on Christmas Day”. I had sworn not the peek and I hadn't, not even the tiniest bit. I'd carefully packed the stocking for its Speedcat ride over to the Isle of Wight and hung it up on the door handle in lieu of a suitable fireplace and now it's time for the grand unveiling. But I did say I'd be down for breakfast nice and early (to maximise the recovery time before lunch) with the other festive guests so I'd would just have to wait a little bit longer.
I'd calculated that the lightest of the breakfasts would be soft boiled egg with soldiers. But as I’m down so early the just-out-of-the-oven pain au chocolat aromas assail me as I arrive in the dining room. Perhaps if spend the interval between breakfast and lunch stomping around Ventnor I might justify the Christmas breakfast indulgence.
Boiled egg and soldiers was my special dish as a little girl and it still transports me back in a whirl of nostalgia. So I always want to keep the tradition and have to have my boiled eggs served ’old school’. That means the soldiers have to be a slice of buttered and untoasted white bread, cut into the requisite orderly columns. I must admit when I make soldiers I butter the bread first as it is so much less fiddly but that will be my fault for not pre-warning of my preference for untoasted bread. The eggs are local, clearly borne of happy chickens and have the most golden sunshiny yolks to dunk the buttered soldiers into. A perfect start to the day of festive fare.
Before getting on my hiking boots I'm champing at the bit to unwrap the contents of my intriguing jangly stocking and it's been so much worth the wait. They've surpassed themselves, in Father Christmas nether regions I discovered a delicate snowflake garland to decorate my room, fabulous new H’s cousin’s suitably seasonal novel The Snow Merchant to curl up with later, our team’s favourite-for-any-occasion Lindt truffles, glamorous bath confetti for future soaking and my beloved Coco Chanel perfumed lotion and the new season’s Chanel Black Pearl nail varnish. With these gifts you are thoroughly spoiling me! An incredibly happy Christmas to me!