By the time you see this here post, my adventure amiga Faye and I will likely be somewhere on the way to Talampaya national park. There’s rumoured to be a camp spot with a beautiful swimming hole, so we’ve loaded up on 4 days worth of food and are hoping for a mixture of feasting and cycling today.

This here, is my Santa impression. While I sadly do not posess his rotund belly, I do have a belly à la water-bladder. Our bikes are the heaviest they’ve been with 17 litres strapped on board for the next few days. The weight not helped by me slipping in several ‘extra’ treats for Christmas meal times. Serranco ham, cheese, marshmallows, orange juice… we’re
even going to try making popcorn on the fire!!
Although I’m not at home, I can tell you precisely what will be going on in the McNuff household in Teddington, south west London: My newly wed younger brother, Jonty, will have stayed over the night at my parents house (because he’s a homeboy at heart). He’ll wake up to my Mum yelling: ‘Happy Christmas, people!!!!!’ At the top of her lungs. Despite being up since the crack of dawn, she’ll have patiently waited until 8am to wake the household with her Christmas birdsong.
Jonty will make his way down the stairs, wearing an assortment of clothes from
his childhood cupboards, clothes he hasn’t seen since 1997. In the kitchen he’ll find mum in her dressing gown, preparing the morning feast of Buck’s Fizz, baked beans, eggs, mushrooms and bacon (cardboard like ‘veggie bacon’ for mum). Dad will be begin giving a helping hand, usually on bacon duty.
Post breakfast, Jonty will sneak into the living room and begin secretly eating all the strawberry and orange creams from the Quality Streets. Dad will tag team with him throughout the morning, meaning by 11am all that remain are hard centred treats and a trail of lies and deceit as to who ate them.
My older brother, Jamie, will arrive with his wife, kids and sister in law sometime after 11am – possibly around 1pm, but definitely a few hours later than intended. Those who do not look to be ‘busy enough’ will be tricked into brussel sprout peeling duty, and responsible for carving crosses in each so that they cook perfectly.
A present marathon will ensue, followed by the arrival of the parents of my brothers wife, who embrace McNuff family madness whole heartedly. An exhausted Mum will at last emerge from plumes of kitchen steam to present lunch at 4pm, and it will look and taste SPECTACULAR. Dad will name the bird (e.g Gordon) and carve it into pieces for the table. Faces will be stuffed, jokes will be read, and everyone will tuck into Auntie Kate’s Christmas pudding (gifted to the family the previous week) with lashings of brandy cream. Except my older brother who doesn’t eat Christmas pud and so will have extra home made mince pies instead.
Through the evening, all hard centred chocolates will be eaten, board games will be played and many many films will be missed as everyone drifts in and out of sleep on the living room sofas until bedtime.
I’ll be missing all of this and my loved ones terribly today. I sincerely hope wherever you are that you are surrounded by yours.
Happy Christmas one and all!!
If you can move from under the mound of Quality Streets, check out where we are today here: