Mixed Families Make Holidays Better!

The first time I met my future in-laws was Christmas Eve, 13 years ago. They were coming to the house their son Bill and I shared, and I was making dinner. Under normal circumstances this wouldn’t have been a problem, but these were not normal circumstances. I am Jewish. I had never hung stockings, attended midnight Mass, tasted mincemeat, waited for Santa Claus, or in any way celebrated Christmas. My future in-laws, pillars of their church, are devout Christians. Bill, my husband who also makes a living removing trees,  trying to reassure me, pointed out that because his parents were true Christians, they would be especially forgiving of anything I did.

They were, of course, but that’s not what I remember best from that night. After dinner, Bill’s mother asked me when we were going to light the Hanukkah candles. It was the first night of the Jewish Festival of Lights, when Jews light candles to commemorate the …

Living Without TV? Let’s Consider It Doable

SO, how are we doing without a telly, then? Well, not too bad, actually. I’ve even taken up crochet! So far, I haven’t progressed much beyond the odd, irregular-shaped doily, but I’m hoping to work my way up to a nice vest dress with matching hat, handbag, shoes, conservatory, DVD player, power shower and Fiat Punto. Ha! Only teasing. Crochet? I could no more crochet than Boris could, say, stop his hair from flopping all over the shop. (Boris: I recommend Aveda Hair-Smoothing Serum. It’s pricey, but does the job while simultaneously conditioning. I say this for your own good, and because last time you appeared on Question Time you nearly knocked out Ken Loach with each swing of your head. Poor Ken. Didn’t know what was hitting him. Apart from your hair, that is.) We did try to do without telly for an evening but, believe me, it was ugly. We tried `Having a Conversation’ but that was