Today has been lovely. We have had another family get together, it is so good to be able to have our family around to visit.
For those of you who have your families living nearby this is perhaps not a luxury you are aware of. But having spent a decade living apart from them with a four to five hour journey, (and that is a good journey, sometimes it could take upto seven hours), this is heaven for us. Virtually every weekend has been booked with family and friends visiting.
The packing fairies came for a long weekend with our grandchildren... I can't say anything more than it was heaven, I miss them terribly. Then his Lordships siblings came over for dinner and to stay for the night, the bravehearts from Scotland his sister and her husband, the international chefs his eldest brother and his wife, and the 'chuckle' brother his middle brother, (for those not familiar with the chuckle brothers they are slapstick children's performers who always botch everything they do, I'll say no more). We had a night of good food, wine and an hilarious pool tournament with the 'girls' against the 'boys'. Our team won thanks to her Ladyship being something of a pool demon. We didn't tell them that she had won trophies... oh come on I'm not that saintly!
On Christmas day I actually got to spend time with the beloved Captain something I haven't done for ten years. Being able to take his present over on the day and watch him open it was wonderful. Then the international chefs arrived with Mrs Beeton, (re-christened 'Humbug' especially for the Christmas season, don't ask), and the chuckle brother. Now this was something of a canny move on his Lordship's part. You see he invited them around on the proviso that they do the cooking. No that is not a comment on my abilities, but I have been doing the whole Christmas dinner thing for the last twenty five years and bless him he thought that after the year we've had I deserved some time off. Well almost, I cooked the turkey and the stuffing, damn fine stuffing even if I do say so myself, chestnut and cranberry, even the international chefs were impressed. So we sat down to a lovely dinner together even Humbug couldn't find anything to whinge about.. well almost, she didn't like the smoked salmon starter, the fact that she had never tasted it before wasn't going to put her off saying that she didn't like it. Oh and the stuffing wasn't Paxo, and the cabbage was off, it was red and not green!!!! Ho hum.
Last night we spent at home, I personally don't do the whole New Year thing, for me Christmas is the time that I love. New Year is a time for reflecting on past mistakes and 'if onlys' and plans for the future that never quite turn out as you would have wanted or expected. I have to say that I am a bit of a party pooper with the whole New Year thing, and tend to be in bed before the clock strikes midnight. But I do understand that it is a celebration for many and I am happy to ensure that they enjoy themselves. However this year I did see in the New Year more through endurance than entertainment. Humbug was in full swing, numerous phone calls to tell us how depressed she was, numerous phone calls to everyone in the family to tell them how depressed she was. We spent the night on the phone explaining to all of her grandchildren that she was not about to 'cut her wrists' and that we are looking after her. IT WAS HER CHOICE TO SPEND NEW YEAR ALONE. This did not prevent her from doing the usual and spoiling the fun for everyone, chiefly her grandchildren.
Today however, as I said at the beginning has been lovely. I cooked dinner for my family, initially it was only going to be seven, but at the last minute an extra, very welcome three turned up. So ten it was. I knew there was a reason that we bought a huge dining table. The Captain came, along with the international playboy and Cruella, (his Moscovite playmate, who I have to say is actually a lovely person), JT and her husband the legal eagle, their son my nephew and my neice and her husband. I have to be honest, JT has got me nailed to rights, shortly before they were due to arrive she called to say that she had sorted out the dessert. She knows that whilst I love cooking I never if rarely do dessert. You see I don't have a sweet tooth, I hate chocolate, I don't eat cake or sweet things. Thankfully she knows me well enough to be prepared. I have to be honest and own up to the fact that dinner at my house is also a bit of a DIY affair. Whilst I love to cook, I tend not to do the detail ie; setting the table is often when the guests have the opportunity to chat over the cutlery and napkins. Thankfully my family are the sort who just dive in and enjoy each others company. Something my beautiful mum was very proud of.. and now I fully understand why. They say that you can't choose your family but you can choose your friends. Well I can only say that I have obviously been very lucky and even if I could have chosen differently, I would not. Oh and that includes his Lordships' siblings and their families.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.
4 hours ago