So, it's here at last, the First Sunday of Advent, or Stir-Up Sunday, as it's sometimes known, so called because the traditional opening prayer of the Mass was:
'Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, O Lord, and come'
It is also the day on which, each year I am helped (I use the term loosely) by this lot to make the Christmas cake.
Sadly, I seem to have lost the recipe I have used for the last twenty-odd years, so this year we have tried a new one from here and apart from a slight mishap with the ground almonds, everything seems to be okay. This recipe uses sherry. I can't abide sherry, so I have replaced it with a good dollop of Cointreau. I'd like to say I had it in, but we tend not to keep alcohol of any description in the house, for obvious reasons. Whilst Stella may remain his favourite tipple, the Father of This Lot is not particularly fussy, and regardless of what it is, if it has fermented, he'll drink it!
I'd like to tell you that all the uniforms are washed, dried and ironed, but I'm not a liar. You may have been vaguely aware that the Manchester Derby took place today, so obviously, my laundry session had to wait until it was over.
Instead, I thought I might go to Tesco to pick up the remaining ingredients for the cake which I also wasn't allowed to bake till the full time whistle had gone.
Football Fanatic: NOOOOOO!!!! Not Tesco!
Me: Why not?
Football Fanatic: You went to Tesco the other week before an early kick-off and they got beat by Arsenal.
Plan C, then. I was, much to my delight, allowed to clean the kitchen, since apparently during a match at Everton two seasons ago, in which United were 2-0 down, I cleaned the kitchen and they came back to win 4-2. It worked anyway. United have got another three points and I've got a sparkling cooker and fridge.
So that was Stir-Up Sunday. The cake's in the oven, the candles are in the Advent wreath and the Father of This Lot's in the Mare and Foal.
Just like any other day really!