Wednesday, 30 January 2013

All I needed was the rain

Oh dear so much to catch up on, but really there doesn't seem much memorable about last week at all. Husband went to the dentist for a filling on  Tuesday, so worked from home. He rang me and said he would meet me in Sainsbo's, so I gingerly walked there and he gave me a lift back,. The pavements are never cleared and as it was so cold the snow turned to ice, and it was increasingly difficult to find bits of snow to walk on that weren't compacted ice.
I babysat for Daughter on Tuesday evening, when Son in Law had his belated birthday treat. It's a long time since I coped with putting 2 little people to bed, but I managed. Nathaniel had a good run around upstairs, and after I tucked him in and put out his light there wasn't a sound. Lydia had some formula, then chuckled gurgled and bounced for a while, then fell asleep in my arms. I put her to bed, then got out my laptop and watched Holby City on iplayer. The wanderers were not late returning, and I drove home along slushy uncleared roads, with a bit of a slide at one point
I still walked every day, but whichever way I go I have to cross a bridge unless I go into town. I scattered cat litter and sand and grit to help me put my car away, but even that wasn't good.  The cat litter was that which I had used to dry and de mustify the books, but it hadn't worked. On Wednesday the car park near the WW class was a sheet of ice again, the council men were sitting in a truck up the corner, having suspended bin collections to allegedly clear away snow. When I came out of the class, where my weight hadn't shifted, I saw that they had cleared a bit of the pavement and just scattered grit around the car park.
I made it to Women's hour where we made text cards for people in Zambia and Africa. Couldn't put my car away as someone had parked up by the fence again. Mind you there was plenty of room out the back, as everyone was too afraid of the little hill, so they all parked on the main road. I was sick of the sight of my walking boots, had tried the Rock face pair, but they still give me blisters. I also had muscle aches from walking differently. After Women's hour I popped round to see Daughter instead of getting on with filling in my hospital admission form.
On Friday evening it gradually got warmer outside, then it rained all night. Still the next morning I couldn't get my car into the garage, the access road was partially blocked with another car, my feet slipped on the ice there, my wheels spun sending up showers of ice, so I gave up. We went into town by car. There was more rain, enough so that there was hardly any snow left when we went to the morning service on Sunday. After lunch I put my car away, intending to go for a walk later, but it rained heavily, so I caught up on my blog ,and attempted the Saturday telegraph Gk Crossword.
I rang my friend C, who came home from hospital lastweek after 7 weeks in there with a broken ankle.
Today I had lost a pound. I went to Sainsbo's and didn't spend as much, but bought a couple of ready meals as I will be a bit handicapped next week. I'm not sure when I will be able to write my blog again, as it will be a bit slow with just my left hand. I'm being admitted tomorrow, DV, at 12 noon for my shoulder op. I may be in a sling for some time. Please pray that all will go well, I will stay calm and that my BP won't shoot up as it usually does.
I met someone today who worked at my children's primary school. She told me that one of the former teachers, who retired to France a good few years ago,(early retirement) had passed away. Scarey as she was the same age as me. I may not have mentioned before that another friend from my Chester days went to be with the Lord recently. P was 60, and after a recurrence of Non Hodgkin's lymphoma, had had a donor stem cell transplant, but then had been quite ill. Please pray for his wife and 4 grown up children, and his parents in their 80s who have lost both of their boys to cancer.
Anyway, on a happier note, I found something small in our garden which brings us hope and a promise of spring. I will write again when I can.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Steal softly through the snow

It was quite nice having Tom around, except for the fact that every time I sat down he tried to sneak on to my lap, or nudged my wrist to get me to scratch behind his ears, my laptop nearly went flying a couple of times. I took him for a walk along the canal bank in the snow, I was a bit scared that he would pull me over, having fallen in the snow twice in recent years that is something I rather want to avoid. Later, I phoned a mobile car mechanic and left a message on his answering machine.
On Wednesday I was up late, so realised that even if I managed to get the bus I probably wouldn't get to WW. Feeling frustrated, I called the mechanic again only to be told that he was busy for more than a week. I quickly phoned someone else, who promised to be with me in a couple of hours. Meanwhile I printed out my shopping list. He duly came, pronounced that I needed a new battery, went to buy one came back, fitted it, locked my garage and came and presented me with the bill. Not too bad I suppose, considering the labour costs and VAT. So I got to Sainsbury's, did the shopping, then later I walked Tom up to Daughter's house across the field. I didn't take the ball thrower because of my shoulder, but we found an abandoned tennis ball, so I did a few underarm throws for him.
Nathaniel was overexcited to see Tom again, and was eager to play. Lydia took notice of Tom, especially when he licked her hands and tried to lick her face .He didn't attempt to eat her, which was good! Eventually for Tom's sake,  I left and walked him home.
On Thursday I had my bi annual check at the optician's. It was a late morning appointment. There was only a very slight change in my vision. When I mentioned my occasional double vision, he did a thorough check, and pronounced that the muscles in my right eye are a tad weak, and said when it gets tired it wanders off on its own. Delightful! One eye on the pot and the other up the chimney, as the old song says. If it worsens I may have to have distance glasses to correct it.
One of my pairs of glasses had a wonky arm, so I really needed a new frame. They found one and fitted it whilst I shopped elsewhere. After collecting the specs, I tried a locksmith to buy a new cylinder. As I had managed to block the cylinder on the front door, all week I had been unable to lock the front door, from the outside, so every time I went out had to walk around the block to go in the back way. The locksmith was busy, and as my parking ticket was nearly up I got into the car and drove to B&Q, where I found what I was looking for, a stronger split proof cylinder, which hopefully will make us even more secure.
By the time I got home and had lunch it was too late to go to women's hour, so I kept Tom company instead, and took him a walk along the canal, then back through the 'village'.
On Friday it snowed again, all day, non stop. I had decided to fit the new cylinder, but it was very cold work, as I had to have the front door open whilst working on it. However I managed to get it done, and was able to lock the door as I took Tom out, then came in the front way too.
When I brought Tom home after his walk, I had to rub him down with a towel. He loves that and rolls onto his back,which isn't too helpful when I'm trying to dry his back. Husband came home early because of the weather, and later we watched the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey. One wonders how many more series they can do, with so many of the young stars with their sights on Hollywood. On Friday I also rang the hospital as I'd had nothing in writing about my admission, I as worried I may have missed a pre op assessment. I was told the letter was in the post and no pre op appointment booked.

Snow dog

Out the back Friday evening

Saturday the pavements were bad as it had snowed so much, so we took the car into town. Not many market stalls at all.  Husband tried to buy new shoes but they didn't have what he wanted in his size. They suggested he looked in their online shop. No wonder the High Street shops do badly. We didn't stay long, it was really cold, came home and had a soup lunch. As an experiment, I put the key into the old blocked cylinder, bashed it with my rolling pin, and the blockage cleared.Oh well!
As I walked Tom along the canal bank later the snow was compressed so hard that it was quite slippery, I walked to the side of the path, not the canal side,where the snow was a bit softer. It was difficult getting up the slope near the bridge,which is quite steep, but I managed it.
 We were expecting to go to the airport. to fetch Son and Daughter in Law, but received a message to say that because of the problems at Heathrow, the plane was late leaving for Cyprus, so the flight was delayed by about 3 hours. Husband tracked the flight online and we left at about 10.30 pm. They were waiting for us more or less where I had dropped them the previous Sunday. We got home at around midnight, sat up chatting and looking at holiday pics. Tom was delighted to see them, prancing around, unsure of who to go to first. After he had greeted both of them, he came to me as if to say ,'thank you, I don't want to leave you out';  They produced a gift of Cyprus delight for me, and wine for husband, and there was also some Cyprus delight from E's parents. That one was stiffer, and less sweet, but still yummy, oh dear guess who fell off the WW wagon?
 We woke to more snow on Sunday, it snowed all day. We had been invited out to lunch, so they were going to daughter's. They have keys, so could get in to collect thier stuff and Tom after church. we had a lovely time with C, and were relieved to get a text from Son to say that they were safely home. We went to the evening service, and a drunk came in presumably to get out of the cold. However, he objected when the Devil was mentioned, and very noisily decide to leave. In true British fashion, most of the congregation,and the preacher carried on as if nothing had happened, although 2 men did go to the door with him. We left before communion as we were so worried about the snow, but got home safely and phoned Mum in Law who has been fairly housebound because of the snow although she hadn't had as much as us.

Monday, 21 January 2013

A door, a dog, a diversion and a dodgy car

So.... the difficult weekend, life just wasn't plain sailing.  Husband went to Bristol on the Friday, he was back early, so I decided  to get out and get my car sorted for husband to use the the following Monday; oil, tyres,  water, etc. As I was filling up the windscreen washer I noticed a white powder on the battery.  I suspected corrosion, but husband said, 'just brush it off, it'll be fine'. I wanted to got to Halford's for a new battery, but he sighed and said he was too tired. So I went off to the petrol station to fill it up with petrol.
On Saturday morning I was up late, and we ran late all day. We set off for town at around 1 pm, except we didn't get anywhere. As I went to lock the front door the key wouldn't turn. Aaargh, the spare key was in the other side of the lock, I had forgotten to take it out when I opened the front door to take in the milk. Yes I am old fashioned and quaint enough still to have a milkman, handy when it snows, or someone has flu, we needn't drag ourselves out to the shops. I digress, husband said 'I'll go round the back and get in and remove the key' . 'No you can't'  I said, the 'bolt is on the inner door.' 'I'll see what I can do' and off he went. Later I heard sounds of banging, so having poked a piece of plastic, which promptly broke, in the lock, to try and dislodge the inner key, now the key would not fit, so I went round to join him. He was having no joy, having made such a good job of fitting the bolt in the first place. I tried, to no avail. Plan B came into force. It was too late to walk into town now.  Husband got out his smart phone and looked on the internet for a locksmith. The locksmith promised to have someone with us within half an hour.
The weather was cold,  so we got out the car, drove a little way up the hill and waited. Then we walked around to the front, and the chap duly arrived, assessed the situation, got out a special tool kit, inserted the tool through the letter box, and within 2 minutes had unlocked the door. I paid him the eye watering call out fee, we came through the house having relocked the door and removed the key, got back in the car and went to town. An aside here, please, if you have a lock which locks from the inside, never leave the key in the lock at night, leave it somewhere handy where you know you can find it in an emergency. It is frighteningly easy for someone with the right tools to get into your home.
By the time we got to town and did the shopping, there was only 1 greengrocery stall there. I know some of them head off for the sun in the winter for week or two. So I shopped in M&S. We left town at 4 pm, came home and unpacked the shopping, then both had a short doze. Later I defrosted some of the frozen turkey, and made turkey curry whilst chatting to my sister on the portable phone. We were so late eating that our overnight guests arrived just as we sat down. Our Son's in laws were in Cyprus for 2 months, so he and his wife were going out to join them for a few days. We would be dog sitting, and they needed a lift to Heathrow early on Sunday morning.
We chatted for a while, the they went off for an early night. I got to bed before midnight and reset my alarm, and settled down but sleep would not come. Meanwhile, husband was snoring away, and I resorted to hissing at him to be quiet. I may have dozed a little but at 6 am. it felt as if I hadn't slept a wink. At 6.45, I loaded the Focus with cases and passengers and set off. Near to the airport, Son was barking instructions at me, and I managed to drop them off in the right place at the right time.
 As I approached a roundabout I was startled to see a plane sitting in the middle of said roundabout. An advertisement, but a little disconcerting to a foggy brain. Then at the next roundabout I saw West M4. Hmm, I thought I don't want Bristol, so turned right which was East. Soon I was on the M4, but heading for central London. The buildings were getting taller, and I was praying and panicking, peering through the dark, when I saw a sign which said Chiswick, North Circular, so I pulled off.  It was a red zone, which means, no stopping, ever, under any circumstances, so I ploughed on till I saw signs for the M1.  I breathed 'Thank you Lord'.  Then found myself approaching Brent Cross which at least is familiar, soon I was on the M1, and as I hadn't eaten and needed a comfort stop I pulled off at what used to be called Scratchwood. I followed a red car which seemed to know where it was going, but found myself passing the main buildings, and heading into the coach/lorry park. Unable to see a way back, I left the area, and drove to near the petrol station. Parking in a layby, I tearfully phoned husband and explained where I was. I looked across to where the red car was, and saw people embracing;  there were coaches there, but also a lorry with its doors open. I briefly wondered how the folk embracing this driver had arrived, but headed off into the petrol station found the ladies, then bought a cereal bar and a coffee. I ate the bar but only had a couple of sips of coffee, the set off for home, arriving at about 8.30.
Shattered after all the adrenaline, I announced I wasn't going to church, and husband said he felt tired too, but had taken the dog for a walk, so all three of us were soon dozing away. Lunch wasn't as early as I'd hoped, but after another doze I took Tom for a walk, then we made it to the evening service.
It snowed overnight, I was due to take husband's car in for service, so was up early. I was in the bathroom when he rang to say my car wouldn't start, so I'd have to go with him to Borehamwood, then take the car in. Great! I quickly showered and grabbed something to eat, then we set off.  Some of his usual route was dodgy due to the snow, but we arrived, and I was allowed to use their facilities before heading off to our local Ford's. They weren't too fazed by my late arrival, but I thought it unwise to ask for a lift home, and crossed the road where the bus arrived within the 15 minutes.  Home, I had a coffee, then headed out for the newspapers leaving Tom behind.
Shortly after lunch I got a call to go and collect the car, but didn't go immediately as I was busy. I had tried to start my car and all I got was tick tick tick. Husband thought it was the starter motor, but as we don't have home cover from RAC, couldn't call them out. After I had collected the car, I took Tom out for walk. The snow had stopped and the sun was shining. Back home I made up a flask of tea, then set off to collect husband. When he came out I was sipping my tea, but again was allowed in to use their ladies' room, then husband drove home with me still sipping tea!
the sun shining above the snowy bushes

Blue skies after the snow

 the 'development' field , once a haunt of sledgers

the ducks had all gathered together

narrowboats in the snow

view from a bridge

setting sun

old lockkeepers cottage, once featured in a film, 'The Bargee'
just a few pics to brighten up the blog. I will write more later.

Monday, 14 January 2013

January- we start the year off fine, (apologies to N Sedaka)

Well we didn't have too much joy at getting back to normal. I skipped weightwatchers as I overslept. I went off to Sainsbury's and did the weekly shopping, then concentrated on getting the washing sorted, not a terribly exciting day.
During the night, I was aware of husband getting up, and of a horrible noise coming from the bathroom. I got up to see if he was ok, and he said I'd mistaken the sound of him being sick for a cry of pain. He had a lurgy of some sort. Apparently he was up a couple more times and in the morning just lay there.  He is usually up just after 5. Eventually he asked for his phone so he could send text to his boss. He had no energy and slept on and off all day just sipping water. I decided not to see Daughter in case I carried anything there. The weather continued to be awful, more rain, I went out for a walk and  didn't achieve much all day. On Friday husband still felt dreadfully tired, and slept a lot, and was feeling a bit more like eating. I still had no sign of illness, apart from nausea after eating scrambled eggs for breakfast. Either he had had a bug which I hadn't caught, or it was caused by the curry, which he had bought at the services on New Year's Day, to eat for his evening meal.
On Saturday we had our usual trip to town, did the fruit and veg shopping,then home on the bus. Sunday we had a visiting speaker at church, he was quite good but didn't have a very inspiring delivery.
Husband made it back to work on Monday, I concentrated on stripping the Christmas tree, taking down the cards, and putting away the candles and other decorations I had scattered around.  I decided I needed a new bauble box, couldn't find one locally, but Amazon obliged. I moved the tree into the garden before going off to my 6 monthly osteopath visit. I had stripped the spare bed and washed the bedclothes, so had 2 lots to iron. I gathered them up, plus some shirts from the backlog, and took them up to the ironers. I had an update on my friend C with the broken ankle, who was going into her 5th week in hospital, she hadn't been allowed out for her sister's funeral, but was allowed out on Christmas Day, with a 7pm curfew. Her Daughter in Law is a nursing sister, so she was in good hands for the day. On Tuesday, after my walk and a soup lunch, I drove into town and went to visit her. She was very low, has got quite institutionalised, and has experienced some of the lack of care which we read about in the newspapers. Why do some young nurses try to strip the elderly of their dignity? I called in on daughter on the way back, hadn't seen her for over a week. It was lovely to see the children again, Lydia continues to be lively when wide awake.
The news was not good at WW, up by more than I had hoped. I stayed to the class, then off to Sainsbury's. I was shocked at the bill again, my trolley was only about a quarter full. Home for a quick soup, then off to parent and toddlers, the first of the new term. After a slow start we had a good turnout.
Part of Thursday was spent making up the spare bed to a double, and putting bed linen on, I was running late again, having walked into town to transfer some money, and take my shoes to the repairers, so missed women's hour. The weather which had been so mild that there were flies in my garden, had turned cold again; still, it is winter so we should expect cold weather.
I had managed to book a hair appointment for a cut for Friday, so again I walked down there I also collected my newly heeled shoes. The hairdresser is right next to the shoe repairers, so that was convenient, then I walked back up. I also undertook some general cleaning and sorting in the bathroom, including taking the net curtain down washing it and cleaning the window. There is a toothbrush sitting in my windowsill, which definitely isn't ours. Mum in law says she has hers, and although it hasn't been there more than a month, I checked with the previous visitors and they deny all knowledge. Hmmm, a mystery if ever there was one.
We had a very eventful weekend, but I'll save the story of that till later. Sorry there's no pictures to brighten up the boring bits. We had a couple of parcels, the bauble box still hadn't arrived, and I put together some new bathroom shelves, only to discover they were too big. Hey ho!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Oh dear, late again updating, well back to Boxing Day. It's always a bit slower than Christmas Day. As I'd missed my walk on Christmas Day, too much going on, too many obstacles to the door and other excuses, husband and I did get out for a walk on Boxing day morning. We found the newspapers in one of our local newsagents, then returned home for more sitting around. Lunch was cold cuts of Turkey and gammon, with pickles and salad. There was left over Christmas pud, Christmas cake, or M&S excellent chocolate log for anyone who wanted it. I always used to make a chocolate log, but it was quite a lot of hassle, then Daughter took over making it, but she hasn't lived at home for a few years. Having previously bought the M&S product when we have had Christmas away, I knew it was good, with plenty of chocolate coating.
At around 3 pm we drove up to Daughter's house, and spent the rest of the day there. Nathaniel had all his track out, he had received more from his parents, so the Duplo railway was in a figure of 8 with the bridge in place. He and his Daddy were having fun pushing engines around, derailing, rearranging track.  Great Grandma was happy to spend more time cuddling Lydia.
Our daughter had chosen a Nigella recipe, Rudolph Pie. It was a posh cottage pie made with venison and pork. Everyone enjoyed it, I can't quite recall what dessert was. Oh yes, I did take a 'trifle' with me, raspberry and chocolate, but the chocolate custard refused to set, so it was more like a splat than a trifle. It tasted good though. I've noticed that there were a lot of  desserts around in Sainsbury and M&S, all looked delicious, but at a price! I do like a dessert, although we don't usually have them at home these days, unless we have visitors.
Track layout

CEO of train company


All set to go

getting some exercise
On the Thursday it was Mum in law's turn to come out with me, she had hardly been out since arriving here. We popped down to Sainsbury's and came the long way back. On Friday our Daughter wanted us to have Nathaniel for a while, they had a wardrobe to assemble and a bath to seal, last time  Son in law attempted to seal the bath Nathaniel climbed in the bath to help. So his Daddy dropped him off here, and it was just like old times. First he looked at my tree, then said 'Pretty, lights on', so I obliged. This year he didn't attempt to touch the tree.
We took him out in the buggy, then gave him a lunch of eggybread and beans. He refused a nap, preferring to play. As I had bought salmon for dinner I was wondering what on earth I could give him, but after a phone consultation, Daughter came round with Lydia sat for a while chatting, then took him home to feed him.
Saturday we went into town shopping. The weather wasn't good so we took the car. We had lunch in M&S. Over the holiday period I'd completed 3 large crosswords including the Radio Times Christmas crossword. I stripped the turkey meat off the bones and froze it, I had also cut the remaining gammon up and frozen it.
Sunday, during lunch, Daughter and the family came round to say goodbye to Grandma, they were off to Daughter's in laws in Kent. They stayed a bit longer than expected, so we were late setting off to take Mum in Law home; the journey wasn't too bad, and we arrived at a warm toasty bungalow, she had left the heating on as she thought it might get cold and freeze.
On the Monday we went into Hastings, she inisted on coming with us, despite me having told her what we did in Hastings. It was a filthy day, heavy rain and very windy. After lunch we set off on our usual route, whcih involved being blown along the prom, then into the back street, which wasn't as sheltered as I had hoped. The wind howled behind us. We started wandering in and out of antiques shops, then up into Old Hastings for more antique shops..
Eventually I needed the little girls' room, and went off in search. I found one on the promenade, then rang husband to tell him I'd had enough. My joggers had wicked up rainwater almost to my knees, my socks and shoes were soaked. So I rang husband and said so, also saying his Mum had probably had enough too. They came to meet me in the side road, Mum in Law taking my arm and complaining that husband walked too fast. He disappeared into one of the first antique shops, then caught us up. On the way back he took Mum in law to her favourite supermarket to stock up, whilst I popped into the large Boots. On arrival back at the bungalow we were cold wet and tired, but Mum in Law put the heating back on and we changed into warm dry clothing, and put the wet stuff to dry. We were late eating that evening, but I refused to go to bed till the fireworks had finished, good thing too as my phone started buzzing with New year texts. The fireworks finished at 12.20 am, just as I was getting into bed.
On New Year's day, husband and I walked around the village, only the small supermarkets were open, and the newsagents.Then later we got changed to look respectable, as we took Mum In Law to the Eastbourne Hydro for lunch, It was very good, we all had the same mains, but I chose a lighter dessert than the other two's, a pear poached in Drambuie, with rum and raisin ice cream. Most of the alcohol burns off during the cooking. It was nice and refreshing. Coffee with chocolate mints, then the scenic route home to the bungalow, where we changed again, packed up and left so that we could begin the most difficult part of the journey in daylight. Again we passed a bad accident, thankful that we were on the other side of the road, as the tailbacks went on for miles.A stop for a cuppa, and some essentials at M&S, and we arrived home before 7.
Now time to try and get back to normal. Here's hoping that everyone has a good New year, with many blessings

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

It's Christmas

Well I got the kitchen tidied, got a call to say cooker man would be with me between 12 and 2, wondered when the gas service man would arrive, then checked calendar at 11.20 am, saw it said gas service 12 noon till 6.00; too late then to go out for newspapers, I wouldn't have got back in time. So I had an early lunch, then waited. The chap from Belling arrived at about 12.30, I explained the problem, and he took the cooker apart, then said he was just going to to the van for a part. Basically I had been sold a cooker with a faulty thermostat sensor, the sensor had somehow been bent, and would not work properly, hence the oven going out if the grill was lit, and the oven going out randomly. He was a very pleasant chap, had been in Bury St Edmunds all week and after he finished my cooker would be heading back to Liverpool.
The oven was working perfectly, and even the top oven was getting hotter than it previously had, marvellous. Whilst I had been waiting I had started icing the Christmas cake. I had decided to adapt an old Mary Ford cake pattern I used years ago. It featured piped snowmen, Christmas trees and icicles. The  gas service man came fairly late, so I was well on with the cake, he soon declared all was in order, managed to get the cover back on so that it didn't vibrate, and went on his way. Free at last I headed off to buy the papers, some black piping icing for snowmans' or snowmen's hats. I also bought some ribbon to put around the middle of the cake to hide uneven icing. Dunelm Mill was the place for that.
Husband came home having finished for Christmas, and the dinner cooked well for once. On the Friday he was off to pick up his Mum, but we had to get her room ready. The problem was going to be moving a bed, having checked the position of the bed in our Son's old room, and the piles of junk boxes of stuff to be sorted, he declared that his Mum would have to sleep on the guest bed. As it is quite hard, I would  buy yet another foam mattress topper to fit that bed. He departed for the South Coast at around 1 pm, I went off into town, had some lunch, and bought a few items in M&S, including a free range turkey.  Later  I drove to Dunelm Mill, bought said mattress topper wrestled said topper which was slightly wide for  2'6 bed, then managed to make up the bed. I duly vacuumed, upstairs, downstairs and in my ladies' chamber, and put out towels for Mum in law
On the Saturday morning I did my weekend shopping In Sainsbury's, and managed to hang up the ever growing pile of Christmas cards, some years I don't get around to most of them till Boxing Day. Husband arrived at around 4 pm with his Mum, she declined a visit to Daughter, and we caught up on her news, then later had a beef casserole.
On the Sunday morning I didn't have much to do, so used some time to make a batch of mince pies. We went off to the church , then nipped home for me to collect my camera, and went to Daughter's for Sunday lunch. Mum in law met Lydia and was duly impressed. When Lydia is awake she is cooing and smiling and trying to stand whilst bouncing up and down, talk about forward! We had a very nice lunch then chatted, and perhaps dozed a bit. Nathaniel still would not cooperate for a photo with his sister though. I didn't feel too grand, had a sore dry throat, husband had backache, so we decided to skip the evening service.

Great Grandma meets Lydia

Grandad helps with track laying

Nathaniel checks with Grandad

Nathaniel tries Mama's laptop

he finds Grandad's gadget very interesting

On Christmas Eve husband and I did some last minute Sainsbury's shopping, fatal, he always sneaks things into the trolley that I wouldn't buy. I spent the last of my Nectar points, having had a week's free shopping the week before. The present wrapping was finished off, I did gammon in the pressure cooker for dinner, then eating cold later, the stockings were filled and off to bed we went.
We were up relatively early on Christmas morning and opened our stockings. No chocs in mine, as requested, but a lacquer ware box, and a bracelet, a packet of Werther's and a meerkat keyring.
Husband had choc coins, choc bars, a set of folding bookends, a 'Patience' DVD, and a pocket antiques guide.  I put the turkey in upside down to ensure a nice moist breast, and we went off to the 10.00am Christmas morning service. Once home I continued with dinner preparations, the turkey was cooking well, eventually I  removed it turned the oven up, and put in the potatoes and parsnips for roasting, and the stuffings.
The family, ie daughter Son in law, and the 2 children arrived, so we had a bit of gift exchanging, and present opening, the latter of which continued throughout the day for Nathaniel. He was overwhelmed, and by lunchtime overtired, so he didn't eat much of his dinner, but went up for a nap. Lydia was not too interested in the proceedings, fast asleep, so we managed a good main course followed by Sainsbury's cognac laced Christmas pudding, except for daughter, who had an individual nut free one. There was brandy butter, clotted cream for me, and 2 people had ice cream!
Afterwards the gift opening continued. I received 2 Marple boxed sets, the Old curiosity shop DVD, cheques, and money and a necklace from Husband. Nathaniel had lots of Duplo train track amongst his gifts, including points and a bridge. Lydia had various clothes and soft toys,  husband received DVDs books and money. Of course the men became boys again with all the Duplo trains around, Lydia when awake was smiling, cooing, gurgling,and pushing her feet into my lap and bouncing around. Another one eager to be on her feet!
Great Grandma was spellbound, loving the framed picture of Lydia that I sneaked into her stocking, with the usual handcream chocs and diary. She was never used to Christmas stockings, but it is a rule that if you spend Christmas Eve night in my house a stocking is compulsory. We had a late tea, I was disappointed to see that all of the Christmas trees on my cake had gone soft and fallen over. It is so hot in my kitchen, and because of constant rain I'd had to use the tumble dryer.
The candle says it's almost here

the cake before the trees fell over

Track maintenance Christmas day

Lydia shows off her posh new dress

Lydia grins at Nanna

Candles reflected in our St Ives picture

The family left to get the little ones to bed, and husband browsed for something to watch on iplayer. he chose Mr Stink, which was of interest to us as it was filmed mostly in our town. Well I'd best pause here as I'm tired