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Twice now, we have accidentally had a Christmas barbecue, both times because my daughter-who-was-a-contestant-on-Masterchef has arrived at our house with the Christmas meat, over-estimating the size of our oven. Once it was a piece of beef which was so big and boastful, we had to tell it to breathe in before it came through the front door, let alone the oven door. Last year, she brought a goose which had an ambition to be an Olympic shot-putter and had been undergoing intensive training before its hopes and dreams were cut short. Both the beef and the goose found themselves being barbecued in our back garden, there being no room in our tiny oven for roast vegetables and meat with pretensions. We took turns togging up in hats and coats to baste or check the meat, avoiding the twitchy curtains of the neighbours who wondered why, if we wanted a barbecue at Christmas, we didn't just move to Australia.
This year, we went to our daughter's house for Christmas and, by design rather…
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in the land of One-Wrong-Consonant. Her name was Goldisocks.
Goldisocks had bright yellow hair and socks to match. This made it hard for her. When you spend your spare time peeking in at the windows of strangers, trying to be subtle, buttercup-yellow hair is a disadvantage in itself. Having matching socks that would light up a Norwegian Arctic winter or guide a ship into port in a wild storm makes it all more challenging.
Nevertheless, Goldisocks skipped off one morning into the woods and found herself in front of a cottage she had never seen before: the home of the Three Beans. Here they are in the picture below: Daddy Bean, Mummy Bean and Teen Bean. Mummy Bean is the one on the right whose face shows open distress and I'm about to tell you why.
Earlier that morning, before Goldisocks was up and about, the three Beans had been arguing over breakfast. Teen Bean had been grumpy and hard to please (he's the one at the top of th…