I was quite glad to get the bringing in of the new year over with and I haven't any photos of the fireworks to show you as they were a bit of a damp squib this time. I think the cut backs had reduced the council spending on what is, after all, literally sending money up in smoke.
Of course, only a couple of days left to enjoy the festive decorations which I am not looking forward to taking down. It's such a messy chore and everything looks so bare and drab afterwards, I am going to miss the tree in the corner of the room so I'm thinking about making a display of some tall twigs wrapped with clear lights that I can hang little non Christmassy, arty items from. I think Tara will also miss the tree as she's been fascinated by the twinkling lights and baubles!
I had Christmas Eve at my sister's house - we had a chinese takeaway which was naughty but nice! I went to the Midnight Eucharist at St Chads which was "interesting" as the congregation was swelled by an assortment of revellers who had left the local pubs and clubs! There was quite a bit of disturbance, loud conversation and people wandering in and out, but it was still a lovely service.
I'd decided to spend Christmas day itself on my own and, after opening my gifts, I trotted up to St Chads again for the family communion service. It was a really fun service as the children had all been invited to bring something with them that they'd received from Santa....they all trouped to the front and the vicar asked them about their gifts one by one - you can imagine that there were some very comical conversations! It was a lovely way for anyone without family to share in the children's Christmas excitement.
Once home I got straight into the kitchen to start the roast chicken dinner. One of my favourite elements of which are the roast chestnuts which I scored and put into the oven. Unfortunately they were still rather hard when everything else was ready so I gave them 30 seconds in the microwave....still a touch too hard so I blasted them again....oh dear! A few seconds too long and the chestnuts, or should I say, brown bullets had to go straight in the bin!! However, the stuffing and roasties were good and the M&S bread sauce as delicious as ever.
I had one glass of a Rosé wine, that's been (opened) in the cupboard for who knows how long, out of a tumbler as I couldn't find any wine glasses - I think we must have been going to buy some new ones! I decided to clear the dishes and wash up straight away and had a mini Christmas pudding as a treat while I settled down to watch the TV. Downton left me in bits of course!
I was given some really lovely gifts.....here are some of the very special ones.......
.......the beautiful canvas at the front was a gift from my friend Joanne who's not too well at the moment so hope she's feeling better soon. On the right is a five year diary that asks a question for each day so you can look back and see how your ideas and feelings have changed over time....this is included in the photo because it is the annual identical gift that Heather and I gave each other! We never plan this, but every year we both choose something the same - it's quite uncanny. In the centre is a very special pressie from my nephew, Max. It's Alfi Boe's autobiography but is a signed copy! Looking forward to reading that when I've finished Life of Pi which I saw in Oxfam and Heather bought and wrapped up for me! Really enjoying it - it's an intelligent, fascinating book that has been on my list of "must read"s for a long time now.
At the top of the picture is my new smile inducing cushion which was a gift from my friend Chris who paid me a visit yesterday along with her husband and grandson - check out his artwork on Chris's blog by the way! Isn't the cushion fabulous - I think I was the very large apple lady, in the right hand panel below pineapple woman, and now I'm the one two the right of her and hoping to become the one in the middle of them! We had a really good catch up before they headed into Blackpool to see some Christmas lights.
Thank you again to everyone who sent me cards, messages and gifts - I am still trying to get round to thanking everyone personally. Oh, and my bathroom smells gorgeous now thanks to the big bowl of Bombtastic bath fizzers, creamers and soaps that Heather gave me!
Well, this post was interrupted by Tara who decided to nudge the laptop until I put it down so she could curl up on my knees. She's been getting much happier to be stroked lately which is really good to see. She can still turn and give me a nip or a scratch, but the family who gave her away had young children and I think she had to put up with a lot of teasing and tail pulling, so it's hard for her to completely trust anyone.
She's now pestering for a bit of lunch and I had better eat something too so I'll sign off for now. I made a pasta bake a couple of days ago, so I've had several meals out of it - to be honest, I'll be glad to eat the last bit today so I can have something else! Still, it makes for a few days of inexpensive eating!
PS I inadvertently pressed the text background colour whilst typing - so excuse the odd look to the second part of this post as I can't seem to undo it!