Mrs. B.: “Would you like a punch, Vicar, ’tis the season?”
Vicar of Aldenham and Radlett: “Well, I don’t mind if I do, Mrs Broadbridge!”
So, quick as a flash, I gave him a playful and fairly gentle punch on the rib-cage. He was quite rattled.
“Only joking, Padre!” I reassured him. “Look what I’ve just been cooking up!”
“Oh, I say, Mrs Broadbridge, the devil’s brew! I’d be most partial to some, just a drop or two, mind. I don’t wish to be had up for failing my breath-test.”
“Don’t let those interfering socialists bother you, especially at Christmas, Vicar! We can toast Margaret and Dennis Thatcher!”
- 2-3 bottles of red Hirondelle wine
- ½ -¾ cup of Leslie’s Drambuie or Glayva
- ½ – ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- 1-2 oranges, sliced, or even 1 orange and 1 lemon
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and bring to the boil. Stir occasionally.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.
- Pass it through a strainer into the Broadbridge punch bowl.
- Garnish with a further slice of orange and, if you are really being fancy, a cinnamon stick. Les quite likes canned tangerines rather than an orange in the mixture but to me this removes all the subtle tanginess from it.
Serve hot, and enjoy with cheese footballs or Marmite ™ twiglets. Serves 4.
Vicar: “In the name of the Father, Son and not forgetting the Holy Spirit, I give you my thanks and blessing – may I call you Lilian?”
Mrs B: “Ooh, vicar, you’ve made this little girl blush!”
Vicar: “I feel a jolly Christmas Carol coming on. ‘When shepherds washed their socks by night… 🎵’”
The Two Cravats: A Broadbridge Christmas Anecdote
I thought I’d give Leslie a pair of silk cravats, one polka dot and the other paisley, for Christmas. They give a man a certain je ne sais choir [sic], a sophistication, and a cravat looks very good worn with a suede-fronted cardigan. Just the ticket, too, at Porters Park clubhouse at the 19th hole.
Once when we were holidaying in Sussex, I even saw an old chap in a cravat picking blackberries! So, I went to Austin Reed in Watford, and enjoyed a pleasant half-hour choosing and discussing the niceties of cravats with my favourite assistant there, Roger, a real lady’s man but with an intelligent eye for other men and their needs too.
So, the great day came and Leslie seemed quite chuffed: ‘A nice variation on the theme of the two ties, Lilian, and very smart they are too’. Every other Boxing Day we book a buffet table, usually with Violet and that smoothie of a husband of hers, Lionel, at the Red Lion (in alternate years they take us to the Griffon in Godalming, a somewhat chi-chi place but they do an excellent Dover sole there).
Well, Leslie was all ready to go and what do I see but him with the paisley cravat round his neck and beaming, perhaps just a little full of himself.
“So,” I said, “You didn’t like the other…”
But then I noticed he had folded the polka dot one into his Burton jacket top pocket.
“Les, you didn’t go to Watford Grammar or manage a branch of Barclay’s for nothing! Our Liam would call you a cool dud, or whatever the slang is.”
And I gave Les a real smacker of a kiss, which I had to immediately wipe off, having carefully applied my Max Factor not ten minutes earlier. But I’m a spontaneous woman and, I hope, a warm-hearted one!
Editor: That’s it, Dr. Stocker, you are now retired as the Postil Magazine’s gag-writer!
Dr. Stocker: Hey! That’s a grave blow, I’m taking this real hard.
Editor: Man up! In 2022 you will be our regular pop music correspondent. And I fully expect our dear lady friend, Mrs. Broadbridge, to make the odd appearance in these columns.
Dr. Stocker: Okay, bro… whatever!
The featured image shows, “The Spirit of Christmas in Regent Street,” by William Heath Robinson; painted in 1928.