Everyone together and round the table and Nigel's made duck fat potatoes. They are better tasting than regular roast potatoes and crispier because of the fat in which they're fried. Mum kept some of this duck fat in the fridge and I imagine it looks a lot like lard, only not whitish in colour. Maybe brown or a murky grey? The colour of an oily pond with little bits of shit and feathers floating on the surface... In any case, they taste great.
Nigel's from Manchester and he's getting married to my sister Milly in February and it's comforting to know she's going to eat good potatoes for the rest of her life. Technically these two are already married, as they're just back from a couple of years in Qatar, where if you want to set up like man and wife (apartment, washing machine etc) you actually have to be. So technically they stopped into a downtown Auckland registry office with a couple of borrowed rings and witnesses and signed it up before the flew off to the Gulf but now they're back and it's time for the ceremony. The Mancunians are boarding planes and somewhere in the Coromandel a forest clearing is getting ready for 100 people.
"Becks," says my dad. "C'mon Becks." Indicating towards the Christmas cracker party hat he's squeezed onto his head. Too small, I thought, like a tight yellow bandage. "Yeah mum," Little t joins in, genuinely. "Aren't you going to put on your hat?" Now there's the danger of disappointing the kid and teaching her to worry about what other people think all in one teachable moment.
"I like a slouchy crown," I say.