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Happy new year!

Grafton Street: The lights are still up but it's back to work

Happy new year!

Now I know it’s a bit miserable being back at work and all that, but we’ll hopefully bring some measure of cheer to the dark days of January with the usual mix of recipes, reviews, special offers, and competitions.

It’s January, so everyone is especially broke, including us. Just before Christmas, I was interviewed by the Irish Independent’s Christmas food magazine and dished out lots of money saving tips, including this key piece of advice: DON’T PANIC BUY.

Flash forward to Christmas Eve Eve, where I completely ignored my own advice and panic bought. I’d been having a long boozy lunch in Carluccio’s with Jean. Suddenly I realised that it was almost 5pm and I still had to buy food for my own house. So I grabbed about six bags of presents and hauled them through Marks and Spencer on Grafton Street, sweating and fretting and PANIC BUYING with a demented and terrified fervour, never pausing to assess the price or consider whether I actually needed this item. It was like the hangover and the shame after a particularly embarrassing office Christmas party (I once drunkenly asked a former boss “how old are you, anyway? What, like 63?” He was 47), only this happened in the space of an hour. Then the bags burst all over Grafton Street and everything got covered in slush.

It was a strange moment of madness – defying my own advice, knowledge, brain – which Jean, bless her, was completely unable to prevent. Now I’m still getting through the food.

“That’s what you get for calling it Christmas Eve Eve,” said my friend Jimmy.

Apart from that, it was the best Christmas I’ve had in years; I don’t think I really mind going back to work, although I’m still clinging onto the last two days of Christmas with my bloodied fingernails. Two more days! How was it for you, dear readers?


  1. Fantastic Christmas had here that concluded with a New Years engagement. Ate way too much, didn’t drink nearly enough and when the dust settles, I could do with another week off! Happy New Year to Cheap Eats 🙂

  2. and the same to you Peter!!!alas i was back to the grindstone today 🙁 however due to receiving some new cookbooks as presents, i spent today daydreaming of what i was going to make this evening!as per usual drank too much yet didnt eat as much,prob due to my 1st year as a fully fledged no “L plates”vegetarian! 😀

  3. I did exactly the same thing! I now have a freezer full of mince pies and two tins of sweets under the stairs. All of the kettle crisps are finally gone and we’re still having cheese based dinners. I got on the scales yesterday and gained 4lbs in three weeks. Im both impressed and disgusted with myself.

  4. Claire, I’ll give you my address and you can send me some of those sweets. No need to thank me 🙂 Made it home after 7 hours in panic striken airport, nursed a sick baby and looked after a sick husband and came back 3 pounds lighter. Survived on bread and pasta all week because my mother in law considers use by date an option and everything in her fridge smells too suspicious for me to even taste it. But all in all, it was a good Christmas. The kids were spoiled rotten, they enjoyed the snow, I had extra pairs of arms to hold the baby, and most important we saw our loved ones which is what Christmas is about

  5. Nanazolie, I agree with your mother in law Im afraid. Im pretty sure the sweeties will be out of date by easter, but we’ll eat them anway. 🙂