Are we in for a Nigella Christmas?

PUBLISHED: 10:15 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:03 05 July 2010

SO Nigella insists she's a woman of, I quote, “very low tastes”, who would settle for chips and curry sauce for Christmas lunch.

She purrs to us, her devoted followers, in her trademark melted chocolaty tone, that we women really shouldn't put ourselves under so much pressure to produce the perfect Christmas.

SO Nigella insists she's a woman of, I quote, “very low tastes”, who would settle for chips and curry sauce for Christmas lunch.

She purrs to us, her devoted followers, in her trademark melted chocolaty tone, that we women really shouldn't put ourselves under so much pressure to produce the perfect Christmas.

Instead, we should get on with the bits of Christmas we do enjoy. Well, I like sitting with my feet up and a glass in one hand and chocolates in the other so should I sling my lot a microwave pizza on Thursday?

Is Nigella, the woman who makes millions out of slinking round her kitchen making cooking sexy, laughing at us and our pathetic desire to be just like her?

All week she's been oozing sex appeal in her fabulous Christmas Kitchen on BBC2 and we've been lapping it up. With no signs of chips and curry sauce.

As she blends her expensive spices beneath the twinkling fairy lights, is she really thinking “Suckers. They'll fall for anything”?

Every one of us, who made her our goddess, bought her books and fell for her food-is-nurture and love on a plate philosophy feels a bit cheated by her food-doesn't-matter proclamation.

Didn't we all work for the perfect Christmas because of her?

“Low tastes” my eye. She's married to squillion-billionaire voracious collector of contemporary art Charles Saatchi.

Ms Lawson has feathered her nest very nicely and bountifully, thank you, by making us believe the secrets of her bootiliciousness lie in results of her shiny expensive KitchenAid.

For every woman who spent last Christmas Eve soaking her turkey outside in a bucket infused with the juniper berries and anise they drove 100 miles to track down for her Christmas spiced turkey - and I know many - the joke is on us.

I know whose glossy head I'd like to shove in that bucket now.

Last night my son summoned me to watch Nigella with him - he's a big fan, astounded that, with her dewy skin and glossy hair, she is older than me - and begged me to whip up her girdle buster pie for Christmas.

So Nigella, what should I do now you've sowed the seed? Make him to settle for a Wagon Wheel while I watch A Wonderful Life or give into the pressure that, by the way, you've created, and burn the midnight oil slaving over my food processor?

If there's any pressure in our kitchens, it was planted there by the nation's domestic Goddess. Without her popping out her pies, we'd be stuffing a supermarket bird with Paxo, mixing up a packet of bread sauce and opening a jar of cranberry sauce and getting on with having real fun.

She's the reason I wasted two present-wrapping days two years ago searching, apparently with every other Nigella devotee this side of Ipswich, for a Jamaican ginger cake to make her gingerbread stuffing.

She's the reason why I cried real tears last Christmas when the black treacle gammon I'd painstakingly studded with cloves and cooked in Coca Cola for an evening with friends was sneakily snaffled and devoured by my six-month-old Golden Retriever when my back was turned. “It wasn't any old ham,” I sobbed. “It was my Nigella.”

She's the reason why, every Christmas for the next decade, I'll be making her Redder than Red Cranberry Sauce just to use up the bottle of cherry brandy I bought to make my inaugural batch.

She's the reason why so many of us will be spending this weekend running around trying to track down even more hard to find ingredients for our Nigella Christmas feast.

My children's birthday teas are Nigella inspired. Her famous cheese stars will be on the table until my boys leave home.

And my younger son's class insist I only home bake for his birthday now rather than buy up bags of sweets to give out after they tasted a batch of her chocolate muffins.

So nice one, Nigella. Perhaps you're feeling guilty for leading us all to believe we could look as serene as you - three camera crews, make up artists and a set designer later - as we whipped up three courses. But don't try to backtrack by blaming us for doing too much.

You led the way, made it look so easy and raised the bar for us to follow.

And don't be ridiculous. Chips and curry sauce? Only if you show us how.

A NEWS item in Saturday's Daily Telegraph placed Lowestoft in Norfolk.

Do they know something we don't?

MADONNA and Guy Ritchie are doing the grown up thing this Christmas and spending it together for the sake of the children.

Hopefully this putting the children first attitude will stick, for them and every other estranged couple at this time of year.

Two of my friends are opening their homes to their ex-partners this Christmas for the first time to spend the day together, to make their children happy. The new wife and baby of one will join in too.

How very modern but very sensible and reasonable.

Children of divorced parents like nothing better to see both parents together and getting on well, even if it is for the sake of the children.

And what more fitting time to make that effort than at Christmas?

KATE Middleton, with her eye on the throne, was photographed wearing a big fur hat and wielding a gun doing what she does best, idly enjoying herself shooting on the Sandringham estate with Prince William.

In stark contrast, Prince Harry's girlfriend Chelsy Davy was in a smart business suit in London getting work experience at a top lawyers' office for her postgraduate degree.

The contrast couldn't be more marked. A waiter and a worker. Say no more.

AS 7,000 callers swamped the East of England Ambulance Service at the weekend, many seeking help for colds, coughs and minor symptoms, the numbskulls, frontbench MP Lynne Featherstone was outed for dialling 999 for her own emergency.

Her boiler was making strange noises so she called her local fire brigade. Anything to dodge a plumber's call-out charge.

Or perhaps she just wanted to meet some of her constituents - or has a thing about firemen.

But London's fire brigade authority chairman, unfortunately for her a Tory, wasted no time in dismissing her as dizzy.

Instead of switching off the boiler and calling a plumber she thought firefighters were the answer.

“Airheads and airlocks are obviously not unrelated,” said Brian Coleman. “She can't tell the difference between an air lock and a major catastrophe.”

You can't help but wonder about the common sense of those who represent us.

ANY Christmas card that bears a photo of the sender, in any form, supposedly hilarious or otherwise, is unspeakably naff.

Just because the Royal Family does it every year doesn't' mean it's big or clever or should be emulated. They're probably thought they're being “ironic” anyway. Or just plain naff.

David Cameron's family shot on his card presumably is designed to show the family how it is. Happy, relaxed with their children at its heart.

But, however “natural” a photo tries to be it always looks staged. The Camerons more than most.

Particularly Samantha's bright white new trainers. As if she'd been told to dress down like a school run mum and not to look too glam. Oh, the effort to look relaxed and natural.

THE BBC appears to enjoy digging itself into an even deeper hole.

Every person who voted in Saturday night's shambles of a semi final for Strictly Come Dancing should have been reimbursed without question.

People vote for who they believe danced best on the night, not their favourite. Next week they might want to vote differently.

Besides, their voting was designed to make a difference this week and it didn't. End of story.

But the BBC is hanging on to the money for a rollover.

What a sorry spectacle. How much better if they had got Brucie to announce they were putting all the contestants through on the strength of their performance and handed back the money.

Now the whole thing leaves a bad taste of hopeless organisation and planning.

Personally I've never felt the urge to vote in a reality TV show but obviously it's a major hobby for some who enjoy chucking good money after bad and the BBC should respect that.

SO, is it a teacher's place to discuss Father Christmas with children and endorse his existence in class?

Do teachers have a right to feel rail roaded into spinning what some see as fairy tales to concur with what is believed at home?

A thorny subject, particularly in the light of the multi-cultural society and need to please every religion.

But my older son was outraged when his RE teacher told his class of 11 and 12-year-olds last week there was no such thing as Santa.

Even though the statement didn't shatter his savvy world, he could see it was inappropriate for a teacher to deny his existence without parental consultation first.

Perhaps not devastating for 12-year-olds but the supply teacher sacked last week for telling a class of seven-year-olds there was no such thing deserved everything she got.

To work with seven year olds means you have to understand seven-year-olds and every seven-year-old has the right to believe in the magic of Christmas.

MY favourite story of the week was the rumour that David Cameron thinks his front bench heavyweights are a tad too heavy weight.

Tories will never connect with the people; Cameron is reported to believe, if his cabinet look too well fed and prosperous in times of hardship.

Poor portly lot. They'll be banned from their fois gras and game pies soon and forced to eat sushi and Special K. A variation on “let them eat cake.”

But Cameron's got it all wrong. Carrying three extra stones and waddling around like butterballs make them exactly like the majority of the voting public. Far from alienating their electorate, their over spilling midriff gives them synergy with them.

A fat cabinet for fat Britain.

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