Thursday, November 25, 2010

Why the mo will have to go

You can tell from all the instruction manuals that something’s afoot. Mrs D has dragged out from the dark recesses of the kitchen cupboard the collected works of Delia, Nigella, Jamie, Kirstie and even the sainted Constance Spry, and is starting to Plan For The Big Day.

But before we can really get stuck in to the steaming of puddings, the roasting of hams, the garnishing of Yule logs, the winding of wreaths and the curling of dainty little ribbons, there’s a certain amount of domestic preparation to be accomplished.

The sort that you don’t read about in books like Jamie’s Pukka Xmas Dinners, Delia’s Countdown to Catastrophe or Kirstie’s Home-Made House of Horrors.

For a start, the oven needs cleaning. A horde of distinguished friends and relations is descending on us for the festive season, and they won’t take kindly to a turkey that tastes like last August’s pizza.

Or last April’s, come to that.

Here’s how it works. Mrs D buys some evil-looking, but apparently award-winning gloop and announces that she’s going to clean the oven.

A day or two later, she announces she may need some help, which is gladly offered. And on the scheduled cleaning day (everything’s on a schedule) it appears that she’s going to be sidetracked into the more glamorous projects of making the Christmas pud, and the decrustation of the cooker will devolve in its entirety to You Know Who.

Ah well, we live to serve.

Here’s a question, though: if chaps were really meant to clean ovens, how come oven-cleaning kits don’t come with chap-sized disposable gloves?

Don’t all shout at once.

Next job: get rid of the moustache.

Over the past four weeks the Dixon upper lip has become gradually bushier and bushier, all in aid of Movember, the international project which aims to raise awareness of – and funds for – men’s health issues such as prostate cancer.

There’s been mockery and sympathy. There’s been some sponsorship for my mo, though more would be welcome.

Me and my mo: please sponsor me for Movember

There’s also been amazement from friends and colleagues alike at how a mild-mannered blogger and columnist has swiftly transformed himself into a ferocious Mexican bandit.

But the riot act has been read, and the fun is nearly over. There will be no point in even buying any mistletoe, let alone hanging it up, unless that thing comes off.

On December 1, the mo must go.

Which is a shame, really. You can get attached to a moustache: you nurture it, you fiddle with it in moments of tranquility or tension, you admire its reflection in every shop window.

There’s a real art to shaping its ends so they balance up and don’t make you look all lopsided.

And it’s also very handy at the end of restaurant meals – who needs a doggy bag when you’ve got a ’tache to collect the left-overs?

It’s been a creative project on a par with Kirstie’s hand-blown baubles or Delia’s blackened gammon, and it seems sad to bring it to a close.

Never mind, though: there’s always next Movember. And at least we're ready for Christmas.

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