Not much of a review, but here are some selected highlights of my month
-Early doors in December, we got organised, and got the tree up- after last year, where we decorated the front room over Christmas, which meant the tree (lights, decorations and all) spent more time in the back garden than in the house, I wanted to make the most of it (and get up my new decorations, in groovy orange colours). Once the tree was up, it all looked a bit lame, so I took the opportunity to panic buy some additional bits- step forward fireplace garland and gold fold up christmas tree triangle thingy (courtesy of Asda and the Range respectively)
-Pie was eaten. One of our groups of friends meets up every christmas for a shindig of some description. This year, rather than going out, everyone came to ours and we hosted a pie and ale evening. Everyone bought a massive pie and we all ate until we exploded. Our recipe of choice was a bodged up ham and mushroom pie, courtesy of Tom Kerridge, who I love, but who makes some seriously complicated food, so we cheated a little bit and bought pastry which was jazzed up with the addition of blitzed dried porcini mushrooms. Ritzy, eh!
-Mark had his last day in his job- He finished up just before Christmas, ready for pastures new in 2015, so I took him out for dinner to celebrate. I’ll be honest, he was a tiny bit hung over from his leaving drinks the night before, but I was insistent. We stopped for tea in a cool cafe in Covent Garden, then went for a wander through the market, feeling all festive, before stopping for some food at a Jamie Oliver place, Union Jacks, which was outdoors, but came with seat and foot heaters to keep things toasty. An all-English menu, using local ingredients, including the sparkling wine (I had tomato soup with a mini cheese and marmite toastie, followed by an admittedly non-English-sounding pizza), both of which was yum, but the service let it down a tiny bit- I think the waiter just sort of forgot about us- we had to do a lot of prompting!
-Christmas, obviously! In spite of trying to keep things less hectic than usual, we found out a couple of days beforehand that our nephew had chickenpox, and after a quick conversation with the GP, I decided to avoid his spotty little face, so the day panned out thus:
-Tea and presents in bed at home (got an awesome fur coat, a bird print purse and a raclette grill, which sounds like a bit of a rubbish present, but really really isnt!), followed by an interesting breakfast- this year we made fake bacon and egg mcmuffins and drank orange juice from champagne flutes
-Quick trip to Mark’s ma and da to exchange presents with them, with one eye on the clock, to keep one step ahead of the chicken pox-coated nephew. A timetable was drawn up!
-Process repeated down the road at Mark’s nan’s
-Arrive at my mum’s, where there were no pox to be avoided. Present exchange and sausage rolls with mum, siblings, other halves and nibblings. Posted Mark back off to his nan’s for lunch
-Nan, uncle, aunt and cousins arrive. More presents, followed by ridiculously over-sized lunch
-Mark reappears for firey christmas pudding (there was copious amounts of brandy involved) and board games
-Everyone pegs out in front of the tv for a few hours, for some random comedy and (at about 10 o clock) some more food
-To bed by midnight. Quite a quiet one this year, by usual standards, but absolutely lovely
-Decorating. Oh we decorated- in spite of really not wanting to decorate over christmas for the third year running, time got the better of us and we ended up with no bathroom for a whole week and a bit while the plumbers and plasterers did their thing (the toilet was replaced each evening so wee’s could be had but washing in the kitchen sink soon lost its’ novelty value). Once everything was looking bathroomy again, we painted and then cracked straight on with what will be the baby’s bedroom. It’s nowhere near finished yet, and time is a-running out!
In a way, it feels like this was a much more organised, peaceful December than in recent years, but still not exactly what I’d call quiet. How on earth do people have quiet lives??