By Liz Waterhouse

The throaty booming dongs of the ancient grandfather clock pierced the silence of the Christmas Eve morning, as our tiny feet hit the floor, running towards the mouthwatering sounds and smells of breakfast being cooked.

There was a roaring fire in the kitchen. My mother was hunched over the stove, trying to dodge spitting, sizzling sausages, hopping lumps of chunky bacon and large brown eggs that threatened to scar her for life. “Would one of youse wet the tae?” she shouted, trying vainly to compete with the noisy sausages.

The big black kettle was singing loudly, demanding attention and I threw a huge handful of aromatic tea into the teapot, struggling with the heavyweight of the kettle and pouring boiling liquid into the pot.

“Would one of you big ones watch that child, that tae is so strong that you could trot rats through it,’’ she shouted.

We soon had the table set and we ate the hearty breakfast with home-made brown bread, slathered in country butter.

Continue reading this memory piece and more Christmas memories like it in our Christmas Annual 2016