‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds…
Clement Clarke Moore
Although the children may have been ‘nestled all snug in their beds’ waiting for the visit from St Nicholas on Christmas Eve – there was plenty ‘a stirring’ within the basement kitchen of the poet Lord Byron at 13 Piccadilly Terrace in the year 1815.
For having prepared a variety of dishes in which to tempt the palette of the house guests on Christmas Day morning including Plover’s Eggs nestled on freshly gathered moss from my garden, a silver tray of delicious home-made bread rolls, a large bowl of red currant jelly and a display of the traditional mince pie…
And believing that I was the only creature stirring, I became worried when I caught a glimpse of the tablecloth fluttering and thinking that it was probably the resident mouse making his presence felt – I decided to take a peek…
…only to discover that this was no naughty mouse but that Murphy had somehow found his way into the kitchen!
Besides warming himself by the fire, it would appear that he was now tucking into the remains of Lord B’s Christmas Eve supper with a large chunk or three of Roast Beef!
With the promise of this deliciously looking joint as a festive treat for the servants who had worked really hard all year and who would be looking forward to their Christmas Day lunch – I knew that had to send this feline quickly on his way before there was nothing left!
However, after spotting the suspicious looking wisps of white on his whiskers, I noticed the tell-tale floury paw prints all over my clean floor…
It would appear that while enjoying a potter about the kitchen and he must have decided to have a little fun with the flour I had been using to make another batch of mince pies.
Now, although I have nothing against messiness as I have been known to make rather a lot of it during my own creative projects – I believe that we should always try to clear up afterwards!
And after a quick chat about this with the feline – he quickly disappeared in search of the household besom to do a spot of sweeping up.
And as I returned to my pastry making – I said a quick prayer for some Christmas ‘peace and goodwill’ and that Murphy’s search for the besom would not include a chance meeting with Lord B’s dog Boatswain who was also known to be stirring this night!
Not that I really mind doing the occasional bit of sweeping up!