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Having the next couple days off, I suppose it’s high time that I sit down and get my Christmas cards into the mail.

For the most part, this is something that Mrs. R takes care of on behalf of the Port Swiller Family (and does so with her usual domestic efficiency), but I still have about half a dozen – mostly to some of my imaginary blog friends – that I handle myself.  (If you’ve sent me one, you know who you are.  And now you know why you haven’t received one back yet.  Yes, I denounce myself.)

As to the inflow, there is as usual the healthy admixture of family “newsletters” (which I never read anymore) and cards from people I’ve never heard of before.   Also, there seems to be an increased competitive show-off element in what we’re getting this year, to the point that even Mrs. R is commenting on it.  (And when Mrs. R starts sounding like me, you know you should start looking over your shoulder.)

However, my favorite card for many years running has been one that we get from a church acquaintance of ours who is also a local real-estate maven.  It isn’t the card itself, however, so much as the address label on the envelope which she obviously prints up off her office contacts list and reads, “Mr. and Mrs. Robbo T. Portswiller or Current Resident”.

That makes me laugh every time I get it.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers and happy Boxing Day!

Any friends of the decanter care for a little cold roast beef? ‘Cos I’ve got plenty.  And let me tell you that I absolutely nailed that bad boy this year.  About a six pounder from CostCo that I kept in the oven just under two hours and then wrapped up in tinfoil.  THIS was the roast of Plum Wodehouse’s art-fart send-up, “Caliban At Sunset”:

I stood with a man
Watching the sun go down.
The air was full of murmurous summer scents
And a brave breeze sang like a bugle
From a sky that smouldered in the west,
A sky of crimson, amethyst, gold and sepia
And blue as blue were the eyes of Helen
When she sat
Gazing from some high tower in Ilium
Upon the Grecian tents darkling below.

And he,
This man who stood beside me,
Gaped like some dull, half-witted animal
And said,
“I say,
Doesn’t that sunset remind you
Of a slice
Of underdone roast beef?”

Coupled with the sharp cheddar that my Godparents always send down from Vermont, you can guess what my lunches and dinners are going to consist of for the next several days.









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December 2013