Monday, 27 December 2010

Christmas catch-up

Walking alone the edge there are several small springs which usually create a muddy mess to be negotiated. Not today - about 7 inches of solid blue/white ice...

Not pretty but useful. When out riding you can always follow the pylons home if you get lost...

Lovely frost rimmed holly leaves..

and ivy too...

the dogs love the frost and snow, it makes Minty especially bouncy!

Well I had a very traditional Christmas at my parents. Went over on Christmas Eve, leaving Richard behind.....and about to head into Sheffield for drinks with the lads so not particularly sad to see me leave.... We were joined by some family friends of many years long-standing so it was a pleasant evening.

My dad was fretting though as he had agreed to play the electric organ in the local pub for some carol singing. It had been sketchily arranged so he had no idea how many would turn up or how sucessful the evening would be. Also he hates playing the electric organ as he's a pianist so wittered about that too. I was instructed to sing loudly and keep him informed how it was going. It was a good job I was there as the landlord was very disorganised and pretty drunk. So I had to take over and help my pa out. But he did really well, played away and got loads of people singing away. Of all ages too, from lads and lasses in their 20's through gussied up rich Lincolnshire farmer types with their glamourous blonde wives to the regulars, It was really nice and we all sang heartily.

If there is a next year, we'll try and do more secular Christmas songs as well as the traditional carols. Whenever Dad was waiting to find out what carol was next he played snippets of whatever he could remember and the old favourites like White Christmas, Rudolph and Jingle Bells went down really well.

Christmas Day was beautiful. Bright blue sky with a heavy white frost. I took the dogs out for a walk with my camera (as you can see above) and really enjoyed that early morning peace.

Jose and I went to church which was nice. Very few children which was a shame for a family service but it was really warm and loving. It was the first time I've been in that church (where I got married) since I left D and I had wondered if it would be uncomfortable but I realised that the wedding service is still one of my fondest memories and, not only that, I have many other cherished memories of that church - being christened (embarassingly aged 10); attending with my mother, Godmother Aileen (who I loved and who sadly died when I was 16) and her daughter Elaine and trying to stop her making us crack up with her loud whispers; going to Midnight Mass with my sister and her daughters and singing the alto part with her while the girls showboated the descants. Lots of other memories there too so no reason to feel awkward about one big one.

Then cooking with the help of our guests, Jose and Helen (mother and daughter). It was surprising how well we 3 got on in the cooking stakes. A dutch woman in her 60s, her daughter and me, none of whom knew the kitchen well or how we like to prepare Christmas lunch. But it went very smoothly and was almost relaxing. Surprising considering I had knocked back 2 pints of Snecklifter bitter in the pub with my Dad and the male half of the family friends....!!

I left on Boxing Day to get back to the Valley and Richard. We went up to the pub in the village and braved the crowds for a band which always plays there on Boxing Day. I hardly ever see them as I'm usually either in Ireland or at the football but, as the Tranmere game had been cancelled for the weather, it was good to be able to get up and have a few. Like with the church, I wondered if it might be awkward going back to the pub but with Rich but almost everyone was friendly and welcoming again and even the ones who I thought might blank me were more forthcoming than I'd expected. The spirit of Christmas perhaps....

But the best bit was getting back home and spending the evening cuddling on the sofa watching rubbish telly and then staying up as late as we could manage (nearly 4am) to watch England stuff the Aussies in the Ashes!!!

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