“Barry savored his helping. But he wondered where he was going to find room for the entire meal. He knew the turkey course was to come, and hadn’t Kinky been getting her Christmas puddings ready a couple of weeks ago when she’d found one had eaten a hole in a stainless steel bowl?

He glanced at the sideboard. The plates of sweet mince pies, the Christmas cake, and the meringues were tucked in between ranks of Christmas cards and two flanking holly wreaths that encircled lit candles. The meringues were soft, white, sugary, whorled cones, each one fixed to the next by a layer of whipped cream.

Get through all that, Barry Laverty, he told himself, and you’ll be taking your new pants to Miss Moloney–to be let out.”

~ Patrick Taylor, An Irish Country Christmas


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