Landlady: A Parrot in A Palm Tree

I am writing this column in the throes of the Christmas party season in a rare moment when I’m not intoxicated, wrapping awkwardly shaped presents or dancing inappropriately in one of Brighton’s myriad nightclubs. Much more of that is yet to come with the embers of embarrassments already past glowing hot on my heels. Each year, I buy bargain champagne when it’s on offer, then find that it no longer retains it’s bargain-like qualities when you drink it all at least two weeks before Christmas Day. This lack of willpower has been further exacerbated by the presence of The Big Daughter, who can hear a cork popping from 50 yards away and unfortunately lives only 5 yards away upstairs, where she had resided for almost the whole of this year. She and The Big Son-In-Law are due to move into their own place next year, when my usual state of relative sobriety will be resumed. Or so I tell myself.

It’ll be like Havana, only with added snow and ice


The Small Daughter has, in the space of several months, honed her taste in alcohol to quality wines, especially Prosecco, which is a lot less economical than the cheap cider and paint-stripping quality vodka with which she whet her adolescent appetite. At this rate, I’ll be bankrupt before the end of the year, especially as I’m hosting Christmas at Landlady Towers this year.

I am currently sitting on a plane on my way to Scandinavia in order to visit The Cuban Boyfriend. He is turning 40 this month and we’re having a pre Christmas party for all his Scandinavian Cuban friends, which means it’ll be like Havana, only with added snow and ice. Rather than pay Scandinavian prices for alcohol and further diminish my December finances, I have a suitcase full of champagne and pork pies in the hold. The fact that it’s safely locked in the hold also explains why I’m not intoxicated. I’ll certainly need a drink on the return flight as The Cuban Boyfriend is kindly saddling me with a 10-man inflatable dinghy, which we’re taking to Cuba with us after Christmas. This is a waste of time as he actively mistrusts most Cubans, let alone considers taking nine of them in a boat with him. He cannot fit the boat into his luggage because he is taking an outdoor lamp big enough to attract the entire mosquito population of the western hemisphere. What an annoying man he is! At least the drink trolley’s on it’s way… Merry Christmas!!

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