It's been quite a quiet but very pleasant Christmas. My parents came over on Christmas Day morning for the day and stayed over until Boxing Day. I did ask them to stay for longer but Dad wasn't sure how well Mum would cope in an unfamiliar house. As it happens I think he was right. One day and night was fine but she was beginning to fret a bit.
Anyway, the carols on Christmas Eve this year were great fun although marred by our lovely 30 year old landlord being taken to hospital after a funny turn. It turned out to be some sort of anxiety attack rather than a heart attack which was good news, I suppose. Not a healthy profession being a pub landlord!
Christmas Day itself was very relaxed and extremely tasty though I say so myself, I'm a big fan of Tom Kerridge's recipes, especially his piggy ones at Christmas time.
Boxing Day was a trip to the football at home for a change. We haven't had a home Boxing Day match for 6 years so it was brilliant to wave the Aged Ps off and head into town for a few festive pints and some footie! We won too. Not well or entertainingly but a win's a win even against bottom of the league Blackpool.
We had plans to work on the house between Christmas and New Year while we were both off work but these plans were scuppered first by the weather and then by Richard succumbing to a vicious, fluey lurgy.
The snow which piled down on Boxing Day night nearly trapped us in Sheffield. We had planned to have a few drinks after the game and get a taxi home. Something made me stay off the booze and drive and I'm glad I did. As soon as reports of heavy snow started filtering through, I manhandled the boys out of the pub and into Rich's rear wheeled drive BMW (the perfect car for snow - not).
We then crawled home over ungritted, hilly roads. Another 15-20 minutes and I doubt we would have made it. The journey which usually takes 25 minutes took 1 hours and 10 minutes (stopping twice to allow the boys our to pee). I lost the back end at least twice but at slow speed and managed to keep her moving through the worst driving conditions I've seen for years.
When we eventually reached home my hands were shaking from the concentration and Facebook was full of stories of trapped cars, friends stranded away from home and local pubs helping stranded motorists. I was very glad we were not stuck as there were NO pubs anywhere near our route home - disaster!!
The day after all the drama should have been a quiet day catching up on sleep but then Rich's lurgy took hold. He has been really poorly; achy, coughing and tired. Rats!
So, as you can see, I've been on dog walking duty by myself. It has been truly spectacular. These were taken a couple of days ago but it was just as beautiful yesterday and in parts today. I was irritated today as I headed out for a 2 hour tramp early when it was cloudy with hints of blue sky frustratingly just "over there". Within 5 minutes of returning home the sun burst forth and it was gorgeous for the rest of the afternoon. Grrr
In other news, my good friend texted on Boxing Day to say that she was coming back to Sheffield for good. That meant that she had split up from her boyfriend as he lives far down south near Brighton. We texted back and forth (I don't think she trusted herself to talk without crying) and the story emerged dimly. It had been going wrong for a long time but all blew up on Christmas Day night into a huge row which ended with her being chucked out with barely the clothes she was standing up in and her father having to drive her, her cousin and the dog back up to Sheffield overnight. What a charmer.
I had not liked him at all but am sad to see my pal brought so low. When we eventually had a good long chat, it came out that he was a controlling manipulator. Sound familiar? It did to me. The sorry tale brought my toxic marriage back to me for the afternoon but I was pleased to be able to share some of what I learned to Kerry and hopefully she will heal faster than I did as a result. The worst thing is seeing a lovely, confident, able woman beating herself up for letting it happen to her, for not seeing through him.
I did the same but pointed out that no-one goes into a relationship expecting the person they've just fallen in love with to hurt them and we, as women, are taught to work at relationships and make them work which is what manipulators love.
Sadly, I was also able to point to several other strong, confident, attractive and able women I know well who have had these similar bullying relationships. It's not great but it helps to know that you're not alone!! So, hopefully my friend will be able to start next year with a clean slate and put the last couple of years behind her. I know from experience that things can certainly get better!!
Anyway,on that somewhat sombre note, where was I? We have spent the last few days walking, eating nice things (not being bad to be honest), watching the darts and films on the box and cuddling the dogs. It's been truly lovely.
Tonight we're going to brave the pub to see a band which everyone raves about but which we have not been able to see despite 4 years of trying. Every time they are on, we are either away, poorly or have arranged to do something else. They had better be good as Rich is not really well enough to venture out!
And tomorrow night we are heading into Sheffield for a big night out. After 3 years of sitting in the house on New Years Eve we are finally getting off our backsides and going to party like proper 40-somethings. Oh dear....
So - I hope you have all had a marvellous Christmas and enjoy a splendid New Year's Eve with your loved ones. No doubt we will be back exercising and dieting (and blogging regularly) next year!!