SO how was it for you? Christmas I mean. The festivities 2000. Went fairly quickly in my house I must admit. Makes you wonder why you spent three months preparing and organising with military precision really doesn't it?

I was up and about before Santa had finished his round on Christmas morning and why? Not to find an Audi TT lovingly gift wrapped on my doorstep that's for sure. Oh no. More like Merry Christmas Mr IOlb turkey and how exactly do I cook you without administering major food poisoning as dish of the day.

I woke in a blind panic because I'd not had the oven on for more than a month and had visions of it not working on principle. But it cranked up a treat right on cue I'm afraid, despite the fact I had eight fingers, six toes and both my legs and arms crossed. I was rather hoping to feign technical disaster and decamp the whole shebang somewhere else.

But everything going to plan just meant things got more interesting. You see I had pre-arranged a quick pre-Christmas lunch rendezvous in the pub with my neighbours, you know, it being the season of goodwill and all that.

There was the fact I had to peel and prepare eight helpings of what seemed like almost every vegetable known to man, set a rectangle table with a circular cloth and clean the entire house before the family arrived, but what the hell. I haven't seen Mission Impossible 214 times for nothing you know.

This was my mission and I chose to accept it, thank you very much. That and the simple fact I could practically taste that half a lager and lime waiting for me on the bar anyway. So I set to, as my granny would say, and chopped and peeled and washed at a rate of knots, as my grandad would say, while the big old bird sizzled away in the oven. And while I wouldn't say it was the best Christmas morning ever, I did actually catch myself singing away quite happily at one point, I must admit. Two hours later though and there were different noises emerging from my kitchen after I scored three fingers pressing down too hard on the parsnips with what must be a title contender for bluntest chopping knife in the modern world and burned my hand in three places basting the' turkey.

I did at one point also burn my leg but as I'm not quite sure how that happened I think we best leave that there.

They say you have to suffer for your art so I carried on and needless to say I was in the pub before Haslingden and Helmshore brass band with the kind of smug look and appetite for lager that left nobody in any doubt that things were sorted at my house. The smile on my face said it all, that I was a fully paid up member of the Blue Peter Christmas brigade, that had cooked my turkey and prepared the feast in the here's one I made earlier style.

Well, that and the fact I was covered in lightly glowing third degree burns anyway.

I think the dinner was OK in the end though. We ate enough for about 150 people, dossed around in our Christmas Relax at Home gear and played Who Wants To Be A Millionaire like Rossendale's answer to the Royle family. Just New Year to go now and as that is not happening at my house I reckon I'm home free. Hope you have a good one. See you next year.