I love everything about Christmas. I love decorating the tree and displaying the cards. I love the carols and the annual Christmas songs that are blasted out in every store. I love the Christmas market that appears in Birmingham every year (even though many Brummies I know think of it in the same way as New Yorkers view Times Square). I love wrapping the presents, drinks with friends, planning the dinner on the day and stocking up on Boxing Day treats. I love Christmas movies and over the years The Bloke and I have developed our own little traditions of when we watch them. In particular, I love the general festive cheer that the community adopts, making more of an effort to be kind to each other. Continue reading →
Turkey and stuffing, garlic and rosemary roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, honey-roasted parsnips, gravy, chocolate, crisps and dips, salted caramel cake…
At the minute, I don’t think that I want to look at food ever again.
It’s been three glorious days of Christmassy fabulousness. The Bloke and I spent our first Christmas at home together – normally we individually travel and stay with our own families – and it was also our first as a married couple. I had spent weeks planning and organising so that by the time it got to Christmas Eve we didn’t have to do anything, and it paid off. Continue reading →
It’s Christmas Eve, and it’s already been a day of firsts…
It’s the first time I’ve not had to travel, the first time woken up in my own home on Christmas Eve, it’s the first Christmas with The Bloke as a married couple, and I realised the other day that this was the first year that I’ve not had to organise, participate in or watch a Christmas concert or assembly since I was about eight years old… Admittedly it’s an odd feeling not to be waking up at my mum’s house with some sort of awful soap opera on the TV and two excited doggies jumping on me while I try to put various Christmas themed hats on them. Continue reading →
The plan for Friday evening last week was to drive up North to visit The Bloke’s Sister (my new sister-in-law!) as it was her birthday the following day. However, the snow heavens opened, The Bloke’s school closed early and so we decided to risk it and drive up at lunchtime instead. There wasn’t even a hint of snow there and so we spent the Friday afternoon and Saturday catching up, playing with Harvey and Charlie (my sis-in-law’s Goldendoodle and my mother-in-laws retriever), going through some social media (sis-in-law is a blogger and photographer) and eating the BEST fish and chips that I’ve ever had at the Garden Room Cafe in Braithwell. It was nice to kick-back and relax in a different surrounding. Continue reading →
I always find this a strange time of year – between the two main celebrations. Christmas is over but the decorations are still up, the turkey has been eaten but the party plans are being made, the sales have hit but everyone is broke…
I’ve taken a few days to try and catch up a bit and yet seem to have made little progress. Christmas was nice – we sat around the table and ate the food that my VERY heavily pregnant sis and my brother-in-law cooked, accompanied by a crying Dougal (my other sister’s pug), who looked very fetching in his Christmas jumper. We had races with the wind-up penguins that were in our crackers, then sat and chilled out for the rest of the afternoon while the dog fell asleep on my mum’s lap.
It’s been a lovely few days. The train journey was uneventful and quick, my mum met me at the station and we have spent most of yesterday and today talking nonsense, sleeping, eating snacky food and competing in a battle of wills over control of the television. Inevitably, Mum is in the lead and as I couldn’t face any more soap opera nonsense (really – the most depressing, soul destroying things ever) I went and had a long bath.
I’ve said it many times before, but I’m incredibly lucky… So many can’t say the same. Continue reading →
It’s 7.30am and I’m on a train up north to spend Christmas with my family. I feel like I’ve written that sentence so many times…
I discovered that tickets to Manchester – my usual destination – were really expensive and there were no connecting trains to Bolton, so I managed to bag one to Wigan instead for £8.50. The only trouble is, it was at 6.15am. It’s worked out well so far – there’s a storm set to hit the north later on this morning, by which time I should be happily relaxing in my jammies at my Mum’s house. The carriage is pretty much empty, so I’ve taken advantage of that and sat at a table with a power socket to charge my phone. There’s the usual whinging toddler (“But whyyyyy? Nooooooo, I don’t want that! Muuuuuum I waaaaant thaaaaat”) so I’ve put my headphones in and am listening to The Backstreet Boys. They’re not normally my travel music of choice, preferring 80’s rock anthems usually, but it feels like a Backstreet Boy kind of day. Continue reading →
We got back on Saturday evening with a sense of ‘did that all really just happen?’ and decided to continue the fun by going to watch the new Star Wars film on Sunday morning, which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately (as is the usual case with the cinema we go to) I had to put my teacher voice on and ask the teenagers to take their feet off the back of The Bloke’s seat and stop kicking him, despite the fact that their parents were sitting right next to them. Thankfully, they did, and we watched the rest of the film without further interruption. I always feel like a whingy toe rag when I say something, but it always gets on my nerves when I have to get into teacher mode. Continue reading →
After enviously seeing some of my neighbours Christmas decorations over the last few days, I took the opportunity this morning to finally decorate the tree and front room.
We’ve had the same tree for years – a cheap and artificial Argos purchase – and it’s been with us through three house moves. The decorations initially started off as one silver bauble set, lights and some tinsel that we bought with the tree, but every year we have added to it with things we have purchased on our travels, resulting in a mishmash of glass stars, little pottery santas, Beatrix potter characters, wooden snowflakes and gingerbread figures. People with design ideals and OCD would have a minor panic attack. Continue reading →
It’s been a busy few weeks. With Christmas prep and the end of term, several nights out, an early Christmas with The Bloke, a bloggy event that I organised at Organique – my favourite beauty store – Christmas with the family, a 200 mile round-trip and, of course, the new Star Wars film (which was awesome, by the way), I now find myself sitting in my front room surrounded by stuff. The house is an utter mess, I can’t button my jeans up, there’s a random assortment of leftovers in the fridge and freezer, and I have no idea where I’m going to put everything. Continue reading →