Well here I am back from Blighty, the Christmas marathon behind me, the New Year gentle stroll to come. I will be celebrating NY with my TWDB only - no flashy parties for us with boozy bonhomie at midnight, we prefer to spend it à deux, at home - no driving, no fear of being stopped, no having to stop over at someone else's.
Christmas was busy. I took the boys to London to the Science Museum where they had a good go on all the hands-on activities in the Launch Pad, watched the 4D film on Apollo, and searched high and low for a cheap goodie in the shop. I had wanted to see the West End lights, but chickened out of the crowds so we went to Romford instead and searched high and low for some nifty clothes for my youngest, to no avail. Next was crap, so was H&M, as was BHS. Primark had nothing except an LA (Dodgers) jacket in men's size XS (which fit - there must be some very small men out there, my son is 10!). We usually stock up on original clothes for the boys, but it was very disappointing. The tee-shirts had stupid ugly transfers, or stripes, and the jeans just looked ragged. Not my son's style at all.
We went to see Dotty Dad, a sorry sight if ever there was one. Alzheimer's has ravaged practically everything leaving a bent, shuffling old man who gazes into the middle distance, closes his eyes if things get too much and has horrific fits of aggression if anyone gets in his way. Occasionally his eyes focus on something, and he may smile, though at what we don't know. We found him the first time sitting with a carer and drinking beer. He used to hate beer, cheese, vegetables; now he eats and drinks everything. We popped in on Christmas morning as he was about to have his lunch. I will say this for the care home - they do a marvellous job. The carers are kind, and the lunch looked very appetising. On our first visit, they were having a Christmas party and a young woman singer was entertaining everyone with some old favourites to a karaoke machine. She came up to my dad and stroked his hand while she sang to him, got some of the more mobile residents to get up and dance, and others to sing along. Kindness in a care home is so important.
We saw all the family including my youngest niece who is nearly 2 and such a sweetie. She was desperate to join in the activities of her 4 older cousins, sit at their table and rush about with them. A very determined young lady, that one. She didn't even flinch at the party poppers and gladly wore her cracker crown taped to her size.
My mother cooked a delicious Christmas lunch, with tasty leftovers on Boxing Day. We had one of Heston's glacé mandarin Christmas puds from Waitrose. It was okay, but I think I prefer the ones from Harrod's. They seem boozier, and I love the heavy traditional pud. Still, it's good to try out other puds. I brought back the leftovers of the M&S one we had on Boxing Day, and I have a Duchy Originals still to tuck into this weekend. I love Christmas pud! We even had a Christmas pud cheesecake from M&S. It was amazing - the right taste but in a cheesecake and lovely and light. Delicious!
I hope you all had the Christmas that you wanted whether en famille, à deux or with friends. Mine was great, what with being back with the family and in the UK, and surrounded by so many decorations there wasn't an inch of space uncovered. A veritable Christmas wonderland!