The festive season can be a trying time for all of us, dear Reader, and I am no exception.
As my seasonal gift to you*, let me lift the curtain a little and give you a glimpse of life chez the Lambs.**
Every year the Lamb clan gathers in our ancestral home, buried far from prying eyes, deep in Burnham Wood.
Here, dear Reader, is our annual family photo.
On the left there you’ll see Billy ‘the Devil’ Lamb (released only that morning after the arson incident at the old explosives factory); Edgar ‘Fop’ Lamb; Pa ‘Safecracker’ Lamb and ‘Babykins’; Great-Uncle Herbert (wanted on 5 continents and master of disguise); Ma ‘Roast Potatoes’ Lamb (seated); Mary ‘Had a Little’ Lamb; Jo ‘Whiskers’ Lamb; The Twins; Shiny the cat, and in the foreground, Ratty, the family pet for many centuries years.
If you look closely, dear Reader, you may just be able to make out my own elegant form in the mirror behind them (using a technique I first suggested to dear Jan many moons ago at that disastrous Arnolfini wedding do).
After the usual merriment involving the Twins doing their traditional flitting-across-the-room trick behind us while Babykins pretends to be dead and Billy plays with the brandy pudding, the family finally settled down to a quiet afternoon of charades.
I decided that this was the moment, dear Reader, to announce to my family that I would soon be casting aside my academic shroud and launching myself into the entrepreneurial void.
The news was not greeted with applause.
No, dear Reader.
It was greeted by the Silence of the Lambs.
*I still await yours to me, dear Reader.
**Put aside that copy of DSM V, my dear: some things are beyond scientific explanation.