so christmas has passed without incident,
though we still have to run the gauntlet and visit my mother .
Where my sisters italian in laws
who speak no english
I hear they had roast rabbit on christmas day
smuggled through customs in a suitcase
(A sweet little elderly Italian woman can get away with anything it seems)
In my mothers kitchen however
It’s a different story.
Not so sweet
Italian Antoinetta raises the rolling pin and brings it down with all her might
On the rabbit
My sister flinches
(my father didn’t build a house to withstand such violence)
‘Devo tenera che’ (I must tenderize it)
Antoinetta smiles up at her audience innocently
and proceeds to lambaste the poor creature to an inch of its life…
My mother holding the kitchen table steady, looks on in horror
I hear it tasted divine…
Very tender My mother said guiltily
though I’m sure my sister who cannot bear to lay a mouse trap
found it hard to swallow.
Christmas at my daughters house
was less gruesome
a pleasant time with family and dogs,
walks by the sea
food and wine
more than the body can bear
and paper hats and presents
oh and crackers to pull.
and children rolling on the floor
and dogs allowed on the sofa
I lit the plum pudding without casualties.
After dinner to give our bellies a chance
we played cluedo *
(Was it you miss plum who committed the murder with the dagger in the conservatory)?
Oh dear and she seemed so pleasant
One can never tell by appearances…….