In Ireland and perhaps elsewhere, for all I know, January 6 used to be known as Little Christmas or Women’s Christmas. The idea was that women would get a break at Epiphany from the intense work that Christmas entailed. I was telling the Princess about this today. I explained that the women used to do all the cooking and cleaning and this was their chance for a break. “Amazing” said the Princess. “Did the men just do this?” she asked standing stock still and staring fixedly out the window. I like to think of this as a victory for equal opportunities. I am reminded of the Icelandic woman who told me about her son who was six. For all of his short life, the mayor of Rejkavik and the President of Iceland had been women. When the mayoral election came around there were candidates of both sexes and he asked his mother in amazement “can a man be mayor too?”
Women’s Christmas did not pass off very peacefully for the female members of the household. The Princess and I have been enjoying particularly poor relations recently. She will not do a thing for me, especially when the boys are there and random actions of mine can lead to screaming and hysterical crying from her. For example, this morning when I pulled the blind she began to cry loudly and shout “No, no, I want to eat my breakfast with the blind down.”
Later in the day we had the following conversation:
Her: Give me a biscuit or I’ll kill you.
Me: That’s not a very nice thing to say.
Me: Well, it’s unpleasant to threaten people and in the long term, it’s probably not worth killing your mother for a biscuit. Think of it, then you’d be like Cinderella and Snow White with no Mummy.
Her: I was saying a joke. Sure, I wouldn’t even know how to kill you and I bet it would be really expensive anyway.
Given the way relations have been going, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised, if she’d been phoning round contract killers to see what their rates are.