Jeremy Fucking Clarkson, or How I Nearly Died.

The final day of 2013 brought with it the annual pilgrimage to spend the dying hours of the year with my Urban family and this year that meant a trip up the A34/M40 to stay at Chez Toj. I’d packed comfy pants because Toj (Tom and Odge) are the feeders of the family, whizzes in the kitchen and their house is a veritable smorgasbord of treats. However it wasn’t all plain sailing to get to Tommy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory as yours truly almost killed herself on the way up.

I stopped at Chieveley services for petrol and a pee and getting back out to the motorway, doing about 25 miles an hour, my little rollerskate (Yaris) hit a patch of water and well, it just went fucking nuts skidding all over the place and genuinely feeling like it was going to tip over. They say that your life flashes before your eyes before you die, but what came in to my head? Jeremy Clarkson. JEREMY FUCKING CLARKSON.

It’s not because I’ve spent my entire life harbouring a secret crush on the man with his high waisted stonewash Dad jeans but because my brain was desperately trying to remember what the fuck you’re supposed to do when you aquaplane and totally lose control of the ton of steel underneath your fingertips. Well Jezza, you failed me and so I did what I thought best which was shriek, take both hands off the wheel and both feet off the pedals and hope for the best.

Thankfully I made it through unscathed apart from being so shaken up I thought my heart was going to burst in my chest. I looped back round and parked up until the shaking had subsided and then carried on slowly to Birmingham to find Tom in the midst of a baking frenzy. Tempted as I was to kick back and watch the master at work, I was roped in to help with making peanut butter cups and homemade doughnuts.

Om nom nom...
Peanut butter cups, bagels, lemon drizzle cake, jam doughnuts and Delia’s coconut and lime cake.

As you can see there was quite a feast, including a Delia Smith coconut and lime cake – Delia is henceforth to be known as Fucking Delia because try as we might we couldn’t get the icing to be the right consistency even though we followed the recipe TO THE LETTER. Ours was better anyway so come on Delia, let’s be havin’ YOU!

We were joined by Crag and Lou and their very very adorable new bundle of joy Oliver who we cooed over, cuddled and imparted words of wisdom to such as ‘Toj are huge feeders’, ‘Aunty Jo smells like horses’ and ‘Aunty Ally likes snogging inappropriately younger men’. We were reduced in number with six of the Urbs sadly unable to make it and who were much missed but we hunkered down with bubbles to eat our bodyweight in food and generally have a jolly old time. Gazza Bazza (who ever thought HE’D be the fit one from Take That?!) was on the telly on mute so we wouldn’t get distracted and miss the countdown and at twenty past eleven Oj was dispatched to get a boardgame to keep her awake to the midnight bongs!

We ended up playing Taboo and I managed to round off 2013 by winning the coveted title of ‘Dick of the Day’ by genuinely thinking that it was decreed in the bible that shops less than 280sq feet in size weren’t bound by Sunday trading rules. Yes, I am a total penis at times. Midnight came and went in a haze of bubbles, fireworks and some ropey ‘la la la ing’ when we realised none of us are quite sure of the words to Auld Lang Syne. We made it through to a respectable half past one by bandying around a variety of resolutions before toddling off to bed with promises of same time next year.

I woke up on the first morning of the new year with a marginally baggy head and a big smile on my face which turned into outright giggles when I saw two draft messages in my phone which set off a couple of memories from the night before:

“You’re going back to being Pope you fuckwit”, the closing line of our Urban family impromptu singsong of the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ theme and my personal favourite, “Hakuna Matata Astoria Tenacious D” which is Crag’s inimitable version of the spell from ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’! All in all, urban family weirdness very much included, it was a total smasher of a night, and a pretty damn good year all round.

Happy New Year!

 

 

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