On arrival we were asked if we would like to join the National Trust, and as we have hesitated for a while, decided that we would. So we got our entrance money refunded. Our first concern was lunch, but the manor restaurant is bookings only, so we had to make our way down to the stables cafe, there was a queue, and we had to ask the lady supervisor if she thought we would be able to eat and get back up the hill in time. So we had a jacket potato each, then a peep in the room where you could, write letters to father Christmas, and have a photo with a sleigh and reindeer; then hot footed up the zig zag path, to the manor. It was all very pretty, only in the East wing and the Bachelor's wing.
After the tour, we went outside and had a little look around the grounds. All of the statues have been covered over for the winter, presumably to prevent frost damage, so as the sun began to fade they looked bit eerie. Everyone had said that we must see the light display, but it was better after dark. It was one of the coldest days we have had so far, so we went into one of the under canvas cover areas, and sat on sheepskins, with rugs tucked around us and drank hot chocolate with mince pies.
It was still fairly light, so we didn't know what else to do, so found the light display, very modern arty, and as it was still only dusk, not as bright as it might have been. The best bit was the 'river of light'.
My legs and back were aching, so we decided to get the little hopper bus back down to the car park, and as we passed the 'river of light' at the bottom, the driver helpfully dimmed the bus lights, so we could see it better.
Amongst the occasional babysitting and weekly childminding, there has been another little highlight. Daughter managed to get us tickets for the dress rehearsal for the foundation stage Christmas play, nursery and reception. Nathaniel played a sheep, and as it was grandparents only, they got lots of applause.
I had one trip to Watford, Christmas shopping, came home almost empty handed, and one to Berkhamsted, alone because husband wasn't up to it. I bought a few stocking fillers, and climbed 4 flights of stairs to the Attic cafe for lunch. Husband hates the stairs, so I have to go when he's not with me.
On the plus side I have started losing weight again, why can't I in the summer? Perhaps I'm more active with the childminding. An old friend from our St Albans church days has moved to our town, and has joined me in the class, so that's an incentive to keep going. Our class is on a Wednesday so none for 2 weeks, unless we find another class that is open.
I have done a lot of Christmas shopping online again, got rather bogged down with the cards and annual newsletter that we do, and husband eventually felt well enough to do a photo montage. As I vacuumed yesterday, I came across 2 cards that had slipped off the pile, so if you are expecting a card from me and haven't got one yet, don't give up!
Lydia thought it great fun to sweep all the cards and lists around, so I put the wooden box I keep them in in front of the tree, She has a habit of stripping her Mum's tree of baubles, whilst grinning with delight. Nathaniel, who 2 years ago was guilty of a similar misdemeanour, regarding a small wooden elf, now patiently gathers up the baubles and puts them back on the tree. The positioning of the wooden box and the 'No touch Nanna's tree' has so far worked, but she has yet to discover that if she climbs on the sofa, as she has learned to do, she has an easy route to the coveted baubles.
Another highlight was the visit of our Son and his wife, and baby Ethan and Tom, they were down for a wedding, so decided to combine it with their annual trip to London for the Christmas lights. His sister and husband also went, they took 2 buggies between them, but Nathaniel walked for miles.
It was Ethan's first visit here, so the travel cot was utilised, Lydia uses it for naps.
I will say that Ethan has a good pair of lungs, every time he was passed to me for a cuddle, he seemed to have wind and ended up screaming. However when he is happy he has a gorgeous little smile.
I had some sort of virus whilst they were here felt very cold, very sick, then very hot. It didn't help that whilst feeling cold I stepped in the dog's bowl of water, and my slipper, my sock and my pyjama leg got very wet, so I had to change before I went to bed. I'd also managed during the week to trip over the leg of the high chair and landed on my right side, my disc seems to have popped again, so I'm having trouble getting comfy in bed.
Well I now have most of the Christmas food bought, just perishables like salads and cream to buy. Sainsbo's had sold out of Mum in laws favourite dairy free ice cream, so I may not be able to get it. She has Koko milk which is easier to buy. Husband made the journey down to fetch her on Saturday in record time, and they arrived back just as I was contemplating the tidying up in the sitting room. I still haven't hung the cards, but my latest record for that is Boxing day.
Well I wish all my readers a Joyful Christmas, and would like to ask what are you doing with the Saviour who was born over 2,000 years ago? Have you left him in the manger, a helpless baby? Or is He risen from the dead and powerful to change lives of those who are weary of sin and sorrow? There was no room at the inn for him to be born, but is there any room in your life for Jesus?
|Sheepskinsfor sitting on|
|Some of the many Christmas trees|
|Sun getting low|
|River of light|
|leaving the manor|