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Today in the mail we received a wonderful gift, a tradition that started 40 years ago, when our friend J.H. started making his own high quality fruit cake soaking in brandy. Every year since we get a special fruit cake. I do not know of any other better fruit cake than the one he makes, it is a marvel and so delicious and moist. Every year without fail, we get one, even when I was posted half way around the world, it would arrive in H.M. diplomatic pouch.

So we always have one fruit cake that is one year old, kept deliciously moist by the brandy. The other one we just received we will keep till next year.

Also because last Sunday was Stir-up Sunday, it is time to make Christmas Plum Pudding and the recipe you follow is either your family’s or in our case the one favoured by King George V and used today by his grand-daughter Queen Elizabeth II. On Christmas day at lunch we will pour brandy over it and set it alight before serving with hard sauce. I especially like cold plum pudding the next morning for breakfast.

We boiled the plum pudding today and it filled the house with the most rich and delicious smell. To me this is what Christmas smells like.

It is still drizzling rain for the last 3 days and everything is a brilliant green, it is not cold, apparently Sunday will be sunny. That would be nice, we have had rain now for 6 days, with low clouds and fog.

We are also starting to plan for Christmas day lunch at home.

Our home made Xmas Plum Pudding. Delicious. Now it goes into the fridge all wrapped up until Christmas day.