We all had a great Christmas and New Year. We had a nice break - being guests at someone else's house means you're not constantly thinking "Should I be doing some housework rather than eating this biscuit and drinking this tea and reading this book?". And I chose not to ask for the wi-fi password, and spent a week away from the internet, fully embracing the real world and the fantastic people in it. Something I should do more of.
Grandpa John and Granny Viv live in one of those little villages where everyone says a hearty "Hullo" to you as you pass them, even if you're a complete stranger to them...which is really rather a nice thing to do. Something I should do more of. Christmas Eve morning, we strapped on the carrier backpacks (top tip: wide double buggies in narrow lanes frequented by tractors are not a good idea) and set out to the village playground. A battered van pulled into a lay-by to let us pass: we thanked the ruddy-faced, beefy driver, who cheerfully barked something incomprehensible in his lovely Cornish accent, then bellowed a heartfelt "Merry Christmas!" and sped off down the lane. Made me grin from ear to ear. As did this, a sprout-and-cranberry wreath on a cottage wall:That's gone in my Christmas ideas notebook (yes, I know I said in my last post I was going to live in the moment and not think about next year, but...well...good ideas are good ideas, whenever you come across them!)
Christmas dinner was - as food always is when Granny Viv's the cook - a delicious feast. A very tasty nut roast and a luscious trifle. E&W didn't seem particularly sure of their party hats to begin with, but once they had food on their plates they were more than happy:Boxing Day, we wrapped up warm and headed off to Cotehele, a local National Trust property, for some fresh air and much-needed exercise. E&W love being in their backpacks, although Eliza was in one of her 'I'm not impressed' moods (I will leave you readers to decide what moods you think Grandpa John and Granny Viv were in):
E&W got some lovely presents from Grandpa and Granny - a tea set, a wooden tool box set, some clothes, some little wooden toys. In fact, they've been very lucky and got a lot of presents for Christmas from friends and family - I won't list them all out here, but a huge thank you to everyone who was kind enough to think of them. Kate and I don't have large families, but we're rich in friends (to rip off It's A Wonderful Life. Again) and it's touching to see how much people dote on E&W.
Back home in Oxford, we packed in visits from and to family and friends, including Emma, who made a Gingerbread Family for us (including cat...I mean CAT!!):
I'm a self-confessed anti-social beggar, but I really enjoyed this part of the festivities. It's something I should do more of.
And there you have it - our Christmas in (quite a big) nutshell.
My next post, which I hope to post by the end of next week at the latest, will be me announcing to the world my three Resolutions for 2016. If you're wondering what they might be, then Clue #1: I've covered them all in this post. Clue #2: if you thought I was repeating myself, then you're very warm.
And fear not, I've not forgotten the promised traditional Christmas jumper and socks photos (I know that's all you've read all this way for!):
Thanks for reading!
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