Drama after the dancing

Because Christmas starts earlier each year, it's getting harder to know when to let the handbrake off and start celebrating properly.

Is it the first time you hear The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale Of New York on the radio? When you get so drunk you can’t remember how you got home from the works do? Or when the final present ordered off the Internet turns up in the post and is thankfully what you thought it was? Each one of these events is a perfectly acceptable starting pistol.

But for us, Christmas starts for real when daughter #2’s dance school holds its annual show at Lancaster University.

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They certainly put in the work. Hundreds of hours of rehearsals and around 20 routines crammed into three hours of magic – once on Saturday night and then twice on Sunday. This year’s was the best we’ve ever seen. It was so good we went twice and it’s become a focal point for our family as aunties, grandparents and cousins drive from all over to make a point of watching what is a very professional show.

Daughter #2 was in loads of dances. From the epic sinking of the Titanic to a wonderful New York routine and a I-don’t-quite-know-where-to-put-my-eyes-aren’t-those-stage-lights-interesting Roxanne number. One of the darker routines called for prosthetic severed hands and feet. And as we paid £8 for daughter #2’s gruesome prop we’ll be taking it up to Williamson Park for our sighthound Walter to run around with it in his mouth and see if we can’t scare some old ladies half to death.

But where there’s dance, there’s drama. After the Sunday afternoon show, we got a call from daughter #2 to say the physio had examined her ankle and it needed strapping and ice, or failing that a bag of frozen peas.

So yours truly did a mercy dash up to the uni with a bag of Aldi’s finest and she got through the show like nothing had happened.

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Turns out she’d strained her Achilles tendon which was nothing a few days off her feet wouldn’t fix, which is handy because at the time of writing she’s got her final three days of GCSE mocks. Happy Christmas!