Well, another year is over, actually this time, another decade is over too. Working in IT as I do, I can clearly remember all the pallaver leading up to the new millenium, what a huge con that turned out to be! Nothing more than a major money spinner for “consultants” the world over! And so here we are, 10 years on from there and we’re all still here, the banks didn’t fail, the planes didn’t fall out of the sky and life continued as normal. It’s been an eventful ten years in other respects though, with the rise of terrorism the hunter became the hunted; wars continue to rage, mother nature showed us her incredible force on more than one occasion, and we ended the decade with a huge worldwide recession. But a new year is always a new chance, a clean slate the world over, a chance to make a difference in the world, hopefully in a good way, however, one of my favourite sayings comes to mind at the moment, and that is “The reason history has to repeast itself is because we pay so little attention to it first time around!” So perhaps not then!!

[Stockings hung by the fire on Christmas Eve]

But on to happier thoughts, we had a great Christmas once I had given myself a stern talking to about not being able to go home this year, which in hindsight, was just as well really as snow (quite a lot of it actually) brought much of the UK to a standstill with closed airports, impassible roads and people trapped in their cars. It would have been really difficult for us to travel around and see people. Crazy people trying to blow up planes landing at my local airport would also not have helped had we been travelling, so perhaps it was all for the best that we stayed in America.

[Jammies and Christmas hats on Christmas Day.  Is there anything better?]

We spent ALL of Christmas Day in our jammies, shameful I know, but so wonderfully relaxing too! We had a wonderful Turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and later, homemade Christmas Pud with homemade custard and cream! If you’ve never tried custard and cream together then you’re truly missing out on a little known culinary delicacy! Devilishly sinful, but it is only once a year!

[Yum!!]

After scarfing down those huge bowls of pud we were far too stuffed to attempt any Christmas cake, so it sat until boxing day, when we finally cut in to it to discover  a wonderful moist and flavourful cake lurking beneath the marzipan, which Andrew made and then covered the cake with on Christmas Eve.  We kept our decorations simple, firstly by deciding to do away with the too sweet icing layer, and then decorating with some marzipan offcuts and some sifted icing sugar.

[More yum!!]

Most of my pressents were of the crafting variety, having left a small wishlist carelessly lying around for Andrew to find! I also spent money from my parents and my in-laws on more crafting goodies too, so I spent a very happy few hours in my craft room after the big day having a mega clear up of all the Christmas stamps and papers, and finding spaces for my new stash. I’ll do another post in a day or two showing you all my new crafty stash.  One of my loveliest pressies though was a hand made necklace from Andrew, it’s very simple, with a large Goldstone stone wrapped in copper wire and hanging from a leather thong. I also received a wonderful book by Beverley Nicols, the first in the Merry Hall trilogy about his exploits refurbishing an old Georgian house and garden in the early 1950’s. I’ve previously read an earlier trilogy of his about a house and garden he owned in a little village in Huntingdonshire in the late 1920’s. They really are gems and come highly recommended.

My main present to Andrew was an 8gb Sandisc music player, a lot like an Ipod but without the extortionate price. It was actually brilliant value for money and he absolutely loves it….. however, had I known that he would present me with just about every cd we own to “rip” onto the laptop so he can make playlists and upload to the player, then I might have thought twice about purchasing it!! Still, it gave me a good opportunity to sit on my backside and do some more genealogy which I had been hankering after doing for quite a while.  Christmas is for spending with family right??  Nobody said they have to be alive!!!

Weather wise we had an interesting Christmas Day with sleet, rain, freezing rain and finally snow. It was impossible to walk on in the local woods so we had a couple of really nice treks around our closest town, which has a wonderful Victorian residential area that we’d never really explored before, so it was a bit of a serendipitous discovery actually.

[Very little snow left after Christmas, although it has been snowing a bit today again, maybe another inch or so]

It’s stayed really cold too with a low of -16C on Sunday morning, although it generally hasn’t been as cold as that. We also visited with some friends a couple of times too, and enjoyed some good food and even better company. One of my friends knows me too well, this was my gift from her this year, a beautiful and very stunning Phalaenopsis Orchid, I only hope my green fingers can work their magic on this beauty.

My Amarylis will be flowering soon too, I’ve never managed to time it correctly and get it to re-bloom in time for Christmas. Last year it finally flowered in May, this year at least it will be in January.

So, on that pretty note, I’ll get on eating my lunch….. that alarm going off at 6am this morning was NOT a welcome sound I can assure you!!

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