Hot stuff

So the UK in general and the south east in particular is suffering a major heat wave. As I said before elsewhere, this is definitely unusual and something we tend not to prepare for.

Sure we sometimes get a few hot days in the summer, but the UK is a moderate country weather-wise. So if you expect air conditioning, well, you may find some, but not everywhere, especially not in people’s houses.

The drain and water main system is London is relatively old, but is being modernised, and somewhat wasteful. We don’t actually have a hosepipe ban, but it will surely come. Gardens are suffering. There has been most recently a pea shortage.

In the meantime, QVC the shopping channel is having a full day of Christmas stuff, and at least one channel on tv is showing continuous Christmas films. Nothing like starting early.

A Family Christmas

Members of my close family go out for their Xmas dinner, either to a pub or a hotel. In fact, a lot of people do. I am sure they have good reasons, and it’s always nice to get someone else to cook food for you so you can drink and socialise. As a single person, I stay at home.

I often ask my family, did you have a nice dinner. The answer is always some variation of:

  • food was ok but not up to home standards
  • atmosphere was a bit cold/off/odd
  • they wanted us out as soon as possible

in other words, not great.

I am sure the places they go to produce a decent meal, though the prices can be high. I am sure some actually roast turkey, but I can believe that many others simply buy in ready prepared food. After all, it’s cheaper, easier and more likely to give consistent results.

Unless the place you are visiting is local, someone has to drive, and therefore not drink, or you need to book a taxi at a high price.

And of course they want you out promptly. Yes, they are taking in plenty of money, but if you’re sitting round chatting and not spending, they will want you out, either to let their staff go or for their own family dinner.

After a lot of years, you would think that people who like to eat out at Xmas would know what to expect.