Saturday, 3 January 2009

The giant catch-up - get a coffe and come back.

It's been a while folks. But I am back. At home. With no additional guests. I'm going to try and give you the high/low lights of the last 3 weeks as fast as possible. Life seems to be either puttering along at a very sedate pace or manic. Maybe that's just us; or maybe that's just the Crimbo time.

13/14 Dec: It's Islander's birthday and MaYa is intent to throw a full-on kids bday party with cake, balloons, pass-the-parcel, she gave birth less than 24h before but the manic state induced by birth gives her the energy to not only prepare gifts, but shop and make cakes too. A fine time was had by all. And we managed to hold off on the kids food so enjoyed a lovely adults supper at dinner time. Excellent roast beef and champagne.

During their stay the delightful nephews also managed to get red play-doh on the cream rug in the nice 'grown-up sitting room'. Also projectile vomited onto said rug. Joy. Got to love the predictability of a cream rug and small children.

The drains did indeed get fixed - thank god - but I showed a severe lack of knowledge about our access points and now I need the nice drain dudes to return and fix the rest of it. And it's new year, so I've had to wait...

17th Dec: All family (including BroinLaw who popped up for a flying visit to see Jr) leave in a flurry of things forgotten.

18th Dec: We do all our xmas shopping at top pace. Even going into E'burgh to have tea with Blarney and meet Expat for a lovely steak. It was good to catch-up and all too brief.

19th Dec: Tigger and Badger arrive that eve. I make manic call to HH as I bought the perfik gift for RF then lost it - no really, just gone. Luckily HH went and bought me another. That was quite a moment. I still don't know how it happened. I just hope whomever has it loves it, and wears it. Buggers

20th Dec: Quickest trip to the Bridge to see my would-be god mother. She makes amazing xmas food as presents every year. I'd very unsubtly told her that there would be lots of us for xmas - she did me proud. Amazing pies, cakes, puddings, and biscuits - everyone was delighted.

We then hightailed it to do the world's largest tesco shop (again). A giant family size trolley and we were still carrying the rest of it to the till. Finally we got everything packed into the car - including presents, dogs, sledges, guitar, food ... it seemed like we'd be set for any eventuality.

Arrived at our holiday house to discover it was a thing of wonder. Huge, warm, welcoming and nice enough to be a real holiday but not so prissy you worried about coasters and if your dogs were going to destroy e/thing.

All set to do too much eating for 7 days straight.

22nd Dec: Took a huge walk up Ben-y-vrackie. Not the final peak but the rest of it. It was stunning and a great dog walk. We all felt truly energised and managed to enjoy all the food at the excellent Moulin Inn.

23rd Dec: Went for a random rambling run with hills. Eek. Manged to get through 5K in 34min. Both RF and I were just happy to get the trainers on and enjoy a really perfect winters day.

24th Dec: Really lovely day making stuff in xmas preparation. Sauces. A terrible angel cake. So bad we remade it. And therefore had another terrible angel cake. Luckily all else was a great success. HH and Balrney did masses and were in fine spirits all day. TheO, Teech, Spartan and RF went skiing and had a marvellous time.

25th Dec: Excellent loot and the best xmas food ever. It was a spectacular day and getting into Black Tie was a stroke of genius. I loved every minute, even if I am shit at sardines. Really, really shit.

26th Dec: A lovely 3-ish mile walk along the Cateran trail with some happy dogs and a chatty RF. Spartan and Blarney did their best to get lost but eventually found us and got a glimpse of the far mountains covered in snow and mist beginning to fill the valley. Excellent boxing day shenanigans.

27th Dec: We made light work of packing up and were efficient as all get-out. However when splitting up the left over food and booze we discovered that we had planned and bought food and drink as if we were 21. Apparently all we drink is a wee gin and tonic of an evening and a few glasses of wine. It was almost embarrassing how much we had neglected to devour.

28th Dec: After a nice relaxing evening at home we made it into town to get TheO's xmas watch adjusted. She looked at the others and eventually chose the one I had picked out. But her eyes did light up at a far dressier watch too. She deserves surprises and great gifts as she's always so thoughtful and fantastic to me (huuuuurl) so I asked the assistant to put that one aside so I could collect it the following day. A very exciting thought.

29th Dec: TheO was horribly ill with 'the cold' that has swept through all of us. She felt miserable and just needed to curl up. I popped into town to get her xmas watch adjusted (luckily a great excuse to head in) and do some shopping. I managed to find a great little black evening bag to pop her new watch into and give as a surprise. She'd hated one of my gifts at friends xmas so I'd taken it back (necklace - wooden, chunky - apparently everything she's not fond of, who knew; we've only been together 10 years - you think I'd have noticed); this also gave an excellent ruse to then get her another gift all wrapped up to cheer her up at home.

One of my best memories is her opening the bag and taking out the watch, then suddenly realising that it was the watch that she'd seen the day before. She did squeel and couldn't believe it. Her reaction was everything I could have wanted. I hope I can manage to pull it off again - hopefully she wont have to wait for another 10 years. Images available at:

31st Dec: We do more shopping and start to cook up a storm. Blarney and Spartan are coming for New Year with her parents. As there were only 6 of us we could try some new stuff for the food which was great. I made nibbles (cheese palmiers), we had smoked salmon and brown bread for a bit of tradition; amazing roast lamb and my first ever dauphinoise (which worked despite being slightly overcooked on top); then ginger syllabub (RFs inspiration) and TheO made Brandy snaps - bloody gorgeous. All washed down with some nice wine and champagne. (I love this time of year, champagne at every turn.xx)

Our nearest neighbour had popped in and invited us round the next evening. So we suggested first footing which they were happy to accommodate. We had an excellent evening of songs and cheer followed by a short walk up the road to see our neighbours (and their neighbours) - everyone was exceptionally welcoming and the drink was flowing copiously.

The next morning we all managed not to be too worse for wear and I think Blarney's parents couldn't quite believe the fully Scottish experience of new year that had just had. To be honest neither could I, it was my first experience of 'first-footing' too!

1st January 2009: The year started with as much oomph as the last finished.
Cousin popping in for tea with wife, dog and daughter.
Round to the neighbours again for drinks and nibbles (omg blackpudding and goats cheese).
Out to dinner with Ceegar and Meeper.

Then rest.

Yesterday was nothing but some take out and Christmas pudding (not a fine combo) after a lovely crisp 3-3.5mile walk around Kinnoul woods with our well behaved dogs.

2009 has a lot to offer. My thoughts on 2008 and aims for 2009 to follow. (Bet that manages to hold your interest......... )

1 comment:

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