Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas is over


eaten the last of the mince pies

drunk copious amounts of Gl├╝hwein and Aquavit, along with several cans of Carlsberg and a few bottles of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon

eaten more turkey than the rest of the year put together: roast turkey, cold turkey, turkey sandwiches, turkey stew (enough said)

watched Love Actually - along with the Matrix trilogy (well, hubby watched the trilogy, I watched Keanu Reeves)

been to the Christmas market - twice

listened to and sung carols

met up with friends for Christmas drinks

pulled crackers, laughed at silly jokes, wore paper hats and played board games

spent time with the extended family

sent and received Christmas cards

exchanged presents

eaten more satsumas, nuts, chocolates, biscuits, cakes and puddings than it's possible without bursting

Things that we've not done (must make note for next year):

We've not...

put up a Christmas tree or any Christmas decorations at home

seen a Christmas pantomime

watched the Queen's speech (Ooops!)

Looking at this list, I'd say all in all Christmas has been successful. Roll on the new year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The holiday so far...

On Christmas Eve we attended the Midnight Eucharist service at the Cathedral Church of St Andrew in Wells, Somerset, along with 950 other people. It was a beautiful service and the ambience was amazing - despite the low temps both outside and inside the church.

Christmas morning - time for presents! Although we had a £5 upper spend limit, we all enjoyed our presents.

The two elves whose boots you can see on the left hand side of this photo produced an impressive selection of home-made mince pies and truffles.

Christmas lunch about to be served. Christmas crackers were pulled with much gusto - I won both times!

As you can see, we had all the trimmings: roast potatoes, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cranberry jelly, crackling and pigs in blankets. We forgot the stuffing balls, so we had them for tea instead.

Christmas pudding and Christmas cake were served for dessert.

When we run out of Christmasy desserts, we made a maple syrup fondue. Fruit pieces and stale bread were perfect for dipping.

Finally, a walk to see the Paul Toole Holiday Light Show - easily the most elaborately decorated Christmas house we've come across this year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

NATIVITY by Terry Gabbey

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself.

(Written by Norman W. Brooks)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The food diaries: part 8 - Christmas party

Last week we went to our first Christmas party, organised by hubby's employers. Instead of a simple affair at one of the local hotels, this year we were invited to a fancy ball which included a sit-down 3-course dinner followed by live entertainment and a casino.

The food was OK, not exceptional, but certainly an improvement on last year (local hotel = mediocre food). Here's what we had:

Starter was a carpaccio of raw beef. I wished I'd pretended to be vegetarian and had the filo-pastry-with-something-or-other instead (not photographed, as we had no veggies at our table).

Main course was traditional turkey with veg and a generous helping of cranberry sauce. It took us a while to work out that the veg wasn't coming separately, but was hidding under a patty made of stuffing and two slabs of turkey. D'oh!

Dessert was a choice between a mini bread and butter pudding with Baileys (which sounds lovely, only you couldn't really taste the Baileys)...

...or a colourful fruit salad.

I had the pudding, but in retrospect the fruit salad would have been a better choice. Never mind. I'm sure I burned the extra calories on the dance floor.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Getting ready

I've had a manicure - got my nails painted a vampy dark purple.

I've had my hair cut short and dyed black.

I've lost enough weight to go down a dress size.

I'm ready for the Christmas party season!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

His and hers shopping

I walked past this quaint little shop earlier today and couldn't resist taking a few photos to share with you.

One side of the shop is dedicated to kitchen equipment and assorted cook's gadgets...

...whereas the other is assigned to DYI tools.

The shop was closed at the time, so I was only able to look through the windows. I might go back another day - I'd like to take a closer look at the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix jars.

If any of you are in London, the shop is called Bert and Betty and is located in Greenwich, not far from the mainline station.