The Early Bird: The Finest Christmas Geese

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Yes, it’s only October and yes, Christmas seems to get earlier every year and yes, it does indeed seem to be becoming little more than a tawdry spasm of commercialism and yes, the country is very probably going either to the dogs or to Hell in a handcart or both - but that’s not the point. The point is this: order a goose now and, if one can avoid the shops and winter wonderlands for a month or so, the only festive noise one will hear is the sweet, sweet melody of old Marley’s ghost rattling those chains of his.

Of course, along with losing one’s temper with the tree and wondering what to tip the bin men now that they only come round once a fortnight, huffing and puffing on one’s way back from the butcher under the weight of a colossal goose is a pillar of Christmas tradition: If one wishes to uphold this fine tradition, no doubt HG Walter, Lidgate, The Ginger Pig or Provenance will be more than happy dispatch and dispense the necessary fowl to west Londoners in person.

If, on the other hand, one would rather get the heavy lifting out of the way – or avoid it altogether - take advantage of this World Wide Web they have nowadays. If one does it today, one can sit back, safe in the knowledge that one’s free-range goose is out there somewhere, grazing away and fattening up in the good old English countryside for another month or so. Simply dig out the half moons, fiddle about with a ‘website’, enter one’s card details and one is – as the youth are wont to say – golden. We can heartily recommend either Goodman’s Geese and Carr Farm. Simply click on or respectively.

After that brief foray into t’internet, all that remains to be done before, say, the 23rd of December is scowl at carol singers, shake a festive fist at Father Christmas and sidestep the office party. After all, there’s plenty of time for a blazing Christmas-tree-based row on the 24th.