Jolly Jedis

Only one of the Christmas dos I talked of last week actually happened. The work one, which is a small intimate affair with just my team, had to be postponed due to the illness of one of the team. We’re only a small, yet (of course) highly effective, group and rather than go ahead without one of us we all decided to do it in January when everyone could be there.

My waistline was grateful. I don’t typically go to the office wide do, which also happened last week. Call me a Grinch or Scrooge if you like but, I spend far too much time with these buggers for 52 weeks of the year. Unless compelled to do so, I’d rather take the chance to not be at something work related. This is why we do a smaller meal based event for my immediate team, as it’s a chance to get together away from our desks and we do genuinely get on so there’s no hardship involved. As I organise it, it won’t be a surprise to discover it is entirely food based with a token couple of drinks beforehand.

So that is something to mess with all of our January diets and we all may need to do a couple more Davina McCall DVD workouts to make up for it.

The one that did go ahead was the Mustard one. Being hardcore rock n roll legends, I cannot go into the finer detail of what actually happened. Whether I had four or even five alcoholic drinks I cannot recall. Once you get to that level of excess, things become a little hazy. We had a lovely curry, lots of chat and then ended the night watching a live band in a venue we play at regularly. That’s a bit like going to watch someone write some emails and attend a couple of meetings on your work’s do. It was good to see another band in action as we seldom get the chance as we are mostly gigging at those times and it was even nicer to be able to leave when they finished without having to pack up any gear.

Yesterday was all about the Christmas shopping. Louise told me it was really hard work and I commend her for it. I do not go into actual shops during the month of December and I have made my contribution to the process this morning by making a list and making some online purchases. Like some sort of masochistic shopping machine she has set off again for town armed with an inadequate budget and a disregard for financial responsibility. I am afraid.

Later yesterday we went to see The Last Jedi.

I of course will not reveal anything that could be classed as a spoiler. I enjoyed it. Making a new Star Wars film is the ultimate definition of a hard act to follow. The previous films, especially the original three, mean so much to so many that I applaud any film maker brave enough to take these new ones on. I would say that it will withstand two or three watches to take everything in and jog your own memories of what has happened in forty years of film. Yep, the first came out forty years ago and I can still remember being sat in the ABC in Bolton and being astounded at the sound level as the two space ships came into view over our heads in the opening scene.

You can relive it here and if the hairs on the back of your neck don’t stand up when the music starts we can’t be friends.

As ever, I was astounded by the number of people who had to leave the film for a wee within the first half hour. Firstly, don’t you people plan ahead and have that pre-film wee? Secondly, you’ve just paid a tenner to watch a film, cross your bloody legs, think of dry things and be an adult. It also mildly annoys me that many people were sat in the middle of rows but I appreciate this may be more my problem than theirs.

In more positive news, we still have the same Christmas tree as last week. I’m beginning to think this one might be the one, but it’s too early to say for certain.

I have three days left at work officially. With some largish projects coming to a head I suspect I shall be delving back into that joyous world over the festive period but at least I can do that from the comfort of my sofa/bed/food coma. Mustard have two big Xmas gigs next week too which I’m looking forward to. It’s never too early to book us for your 2018 do (we are the Park Hampers of bands) so get in touch for prices and availability! You know it makes sense.

So I’ll see you back here next week for the last blog before the big day. Having told ourselves it made no sense to spend loads of money on presents for Freddie as he has no clue what Christmas is, we have of course, spent loads of money on presents for Freddie. I suspect Rebecca isn’t quite ready for the harsh reality of her no longer being the child who comes downstairs to a huge pile of presents. Such is the circle of life.

I hope your shopping and preparation is going well and if you could send all your gifts for me nice and early so that my poor postman isn’t having to deliver them all in one go. Thanks!

Till the next time…..

Two loo seats and other festive treats

Fear not, there shall be no political ranting this week.  I finished work last Tuesday, and so I am almost at the stage where I am starting to relax a bit.  It does usually take me those few days to shed the grinding routine from my system, and this was evidenced by me not getting out of bed this morning until 10.40!!  That is testimony not just to my relaxed state but also to the very impressive performance of my prostate.  That’s what I call bladder control!  Take that middle age!

I have spent my days being busy but in a good way…..mainly.  I’ve done a couple of decent walks with Oli, and done some of those long overdue niggling jobs around the house.  I am not one to spare you from detail, so these have involved changing both toilet seats in the house and replacing about twenty-six bulbs that were out.  I had not planned to replace both toilet seats, however having selected a new one for the main loo all by myself, as soon as it was fitted it became quite clear that it was not correct.  Well, so Louise told me anyway.  What is wrong with a bright white toilet seat on a cream toilet I do not know.  Anyway, to save any tears (mine) I allowed Louise to go and choose another one, and I retired the bright white one to the en suite, where it still looks a bit odd, but no-one sees that other than mine and Louise’s under parts.

I have also shampooed our carpets.  Really, how do you live with the level of excitement in these blog posts?  Loo seats and carpet cleaning in one week must have you on the edge of sleep.

Christmas wise, I wisely secured a delivery slot with Asda some weeks ago, and this duly turned up on Saturday.  The delivery driver had the haunted look of someone who had about a dozen similar mammoth deliveries to get through that day.  Having spent an enormous amount I was somewhat aghast and let down to realise when he’d left that we had no actual food.

We have lots of booze, plenty of stuff for Christmas day but very little actual day-to-day stuff.  So this morning I had to walk up to the local Co-op and do a mini shop just so we can eat before the big day.  It sort of took the shine off my smugness at being so organised for once.

We are hosting this year, however, the burden is somewhat reduced as everyone involved is pitching in to cook various elements of the food required.  So the more people we invite the less we have to do.  If we get a few more round I only have to open the peanuts and buy a cheese board and we’re away!

One distinct advantage of living next door to my Mum & Dad is that we can devise a way to seat all twelve of us.  We are going to dismantle their dining room table and  bring it into our house.  With a few emergency chairs and sitting close together we should be OK.

I’m sure you like us are plagued with the fear of having forgotten something key, and therefore disappointing someone who fancies a glace cherry.  Oh bugger, we don’t have any glace cherries.

Thinking about it, should any of our guests require such a thing, I can live with it, as most of them jet off to Florida two days later.  That’s right, my brother, his three kids (plus a couple of their partners)  and my Mum & Dad are spending ten days there, and I don’t mind a bit.  Giving dining recommendations through gritted teeth is perfectly normal isn’t it?

Should you all wish to club together and fund us to join them, call my boss and Louise’s University placement and secure the required time off, kennel the dog and cats and pack, then that would be a real nice xmas treat and no mistake!

Instead, I shall spend the remainder of my xmas hols in the elasticated pants, staying in very close proximity to the TV and Xbox, and determined to clear the cupboards in readiness for the inevitable new year diet.  I am not in any way ready though for the already recorded onslaught of “New Year, New You” nonsense.  You just know there will be the normal parade of leotard clad minor celebs trying to fool you into thinking their DVD will get you thin, when in reality they have an eating disorder and a history of surgical procedures to thank.

Still, soon be Easter!!

Merry Christmas.

Oli in hat
I love this hat!

Till the next time…..