Pardon my lack of activity recently. The festivities have been a fairly busy time, despite being off work since the 19th!!
Since xmas day I’m afraid most of my time has been absorbed by….
However I jump ahead of myself. Let us return to the pre xmas madness of the 23rd of December. Despite having literally twelve months to prepare, we found ourselves needing to buy stuff. So for reasons I cannot now explain we headed into Manchester. This act of insanity wasn’t actually that bad to be honest, apart from the ludicrous parking fees, massive crowds, freezing cold weather and aching feet.
Having lunched at Pizza Hut, wandered endless shops, darkness had fallen by the time we left. We still hadn’t got all we needed!!
One thing I did encounter was the abounding panic that comes over everyone as the hours count down to the big day. No matter how much we had told ourselves that this year would be suitably frugal to reflect the crunchiness of the times, those last 48 hours induce a “Supermarket Sweep” style fever which means you dash around buying all sorts of stuff you hadn’t planned to. This for us, ranged from extra (expensive) presents for the girls, to all sorts of culinary delights that will no doubt still be in the cupboard next July.
It seems it is futile to resist these urges, and I fell under its spell as did everyone else I shopped alongside. The shops are really only closed for 24 hours, however, the stockpile fever still kicks in as if we are hunkering down for the entire winter.
To be fair I think the panic is mainly driven by the fear of being without something vital, like say Olives on the big day, and therefore all your efforts being worth naught due to this heinous oversight. This is silly….everyone knows the local mini mart at the petrol station is open 24 hours a day all through xmas, and what they don’t stock isn’t worth having!!!
Christmas Eve was a quiet affair at my brother’s house, and we were home and in bed by 11pm!! I think I had all of two beers, but I am not a big drinker to be honest.
So after setting the alarm for 3am, so that Louise could “supervise” Santa dropping off the presents, we both returned to bed around 4am. Having kids of a more sleepy age meant that we avoided the old days of being awoken pre 5am, and it was a very civilised 8.30am before Rebecca appeared, rejecting all of her pre teen coolness, and instead being an excited kid all over again.
No dolls and big plastic toys these days. It is clothes and major gadgets all round, which makes the piles of pressies smaller, which in turn makes Louise paranoid that the kids will be dissappointed!! They weren’t. They got what they wanted, and few things they didn’t know they wanted as usual.
Henry was his usual helpful self, and so he wasn’t left out we bought him a little something which I think he liked!!
The thing you need to know about xmas day though is that I discovered a new life skill. I discovered that I make the best Eggs Benedict on the planet. Having had this dish a few times on our Florida jaunts, (Vero Beach had the best!), I thought I’d give it a go. We had my parents over for xmas breakfast so I had six to prepare. My masterful timing and culinary ability shone through, and being immodest for a second, they were superb. So much so that Louise made me make them again on Boxing Day morning!!
The rest of the big day was spent at home, with just Louise’s Mum joining us for “the meal” which Louise made almost single handedly, and it was, again, superb. The evening was spent, as tradition dictates, in front of the telly nursing a full belly. We watched the National Lampoon’s Christmas film with Chevy Chase. I’ve seen it dozens of times, but laugh every time still.
Boxing Day was at our house, but to be fair was only a small family gathering consisting of my Mum & Dad and my brother and his family (Paula, Sarah, Jack and George). I was on food duty today, and it was a festive buffet affair, supplemented by pasties. For those from London or overseas, this might help. We don’t do the Cornish ones, but you’ll get the idea…meat and potatoes in pastry!!
Since Boxing Day, to be honest we’ve pretty much done nothing. I have of course taken part in one of the great xmas traditions, the rubbish tip run. Here, men of all ages gather just after xmas, black bags in boots (trunks for the Yanks), disposing of what looks like seven weeks rubbish, created in just two short festive days.
I have been to the gym a couple of times too, as my body’s frankly quite stunning ablity to absorb fat has been in overdrive, and I appeared to have gained four pounds in two days!! I am back to almost pre xmas weight now, and I am trying not to gorge myself on all that stuff we panic bought that sits in cupboards screaming my name…..roasted peanuts, I’m talking about you!!!
Why am I showing Emily’s xmas morning photo here, much later than Rebecca? Well, this is how it happened. Despite threats of actual violence she could not be roused so we three went downstairs and we started without her!! She arrived half an hour later, demonstrating once again that she doesn’t do mornings.
She opened presents in a zombie like state, and it wasn’t until much later that she found her stride. One of her gifts was Lips for the Xbox…bascially DIY Karaoke. Once they discovered they could upload songs from their iPods we had two full days of angst ridden teen Emo songs, with our two adding their dulcit tones over the top. I love my girls, I really do, but it had to be stopped for my sanity.
Having a little time on my hands I have finally made a DVD from our Florida holiday video from….2001. Yes I know….but better late than never. It was lovely to see it again, and the girls look like totally different beings!! If technology allows I shall upload it so you can take a look. I will be working through the other year’s videos as time allows too!
So now I sit in Chrimbo Limbo, that period of nothingness between xmas and New Year, with another day almost slipped away in a blur of doing not a lot, with no real plans for New Years Eve either. Party people we ain’t it seems.
We shall perhaps go for a meal somewhere, but no doubt be tucked up in bed well before the early hours show up.
Well, writing all this down has worn me out. After so long away from work I am not used to all this brain activity. This picture sort of sums it up I think.
Till the next time….