Saturday, 4 January 2014

Christmas past

Down in our village at lunchtime they were taking down the strings of coloured lights.  There were Valentines cards in Budgens.  And shops with ‘closed until February for annual leave’ signs tacked to the window.   Christmas is done and dusted, apparently, and I haven’t even got around to blogging about it.

You’d think the last two weeks of enforced houseboundedness and children connected to various devices would have had miraculous effects on my productivity, but apparently not.  The list I optimistically made on the last day of term of ways of getting on top of my life & work has festered embarrassingly.  My main achievement of the holiday seems to have been to have honed my sleeping superpowers (moving Katie in with Charlotte turns out to have been a genius move).  So here, we go Christmas 2013 ... here are some (13 in fact) of my favourite moments:

    (1)   Ice skating at Winchester Cathedral.  Admittedly more shuffling than skating as such, when surgically attached to a 3 year old clinging onto a penguin (it’s a thing), but an excellent justification for hot chocolate & cream and good all round build-up-to-Christmas morale.

   (2)   The unexpectedly brilliant Father Christmas who visited our local school, who not only was the twinkliest, most authentically facially-haired Santa I’ve ever seen, but grabbed Charlotte’s little hand, kissed  it & told her never to hide it.  <sobs>

   (3)   Christmas nativities – Harry’s last (Wise Man) & Katie’s 1st (angel), and both performed with such enthusiasm that I barely recognised my children (much-recycled tinselled pillowcase aside).  Something curious has happened in the genetic code there.

   (4)   Helping out at Harry’s Christmas lunch.  So my ebay Christmas jumper suffered from serious bobbling problems & there was no way that Harry was going to risk any kind of dubious move away from packed lunch, but it was a reminder of the sweetest of ages he’s at, where he beamed and blew kisses to me throughout lunch. <heart melts>

   (5)   A rare day out Christmas shopping with a girlfriend, which fabulously included my first taste of dim sum and cocktails.

   (6)   Ok, so not Christmassy as such, but just a few days before Charlotte was in a swimming gala & won the breaststroke race.  I am always so proud   of my daughter when she puts herself up for things that she must be at some physical disadvantage in, but this was really special seeing her gutsiness pay off and the boost it gave her.  A key learning point of the evening was that 3 year olds are not at their best at the poolside fully-clothed, and are a friend to no-body’s blood pressure.

   (7)   Pre-Christmas dinner at a friend’s very old and romantic new house, accompanied by fab (Italian) veggie food, champagne & extremely good company.

     (8)   Christmas Eve – always my favourite day, & this one didn’t fail expectations, going out for last-minute supplies first thing in the pitch dark & floods was rather beautiful, followed by Charlie managing his annual feat of conducting all Christmas shopping in half an hour flat, an obligatory gingerbread house fiasco, time with friends, Christmas jamas, & wrapping mania/catching up with Strictly time.  

  (9)   Opening presents – obviously – which this year will forever be encapsulated in the form of football kit-clad children playing electric guitars.  Classy.

(10)  A rather magical day at Avesbury stone circles, seemingly the only dry day we had.

   (11)  A rare night out together at the ace Chinese in our village where we have in the past seen Chris Packham (I know!), and which does the best veggie hot & sour soup ever.

   (12)  Chilli/pizza night with old university friends who it would be marvellous enough to spend time with on their own anyway, but how well our kids now get on together makes it even better.

   (13) Again with the spurious Christmas link, but I am of the opinion that it's important to soundtrack your life, and this Duke Special cover has been played to death by me this month.  Hey, it even has sparkly lights, so I think should qualify on this basis alone.


  In retrospect, there’s perhaps more emphasis here on the food element of Christmas than is seemly.  I think it’s fair to say that Katie has still quite ‘got’ Christmas – for three days solidly, she continued to insist, ‘It’s my birthday’ (it’s in August).

  Now all that remains is to gird myself for the playground smalltalk on Monday ...






















ohsoamelia

23 comments:

  1. How lovely was that Father Christmas! It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas spending it with family and friends and that's how Christmas should be :)

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  2. Sounds like a great Christmas, and that father christmas moment is lovely!

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  3. Oh my - it looks like I may have finally found a blogger local to me in Hampshire - hurrah! I adore Winchester cathedral, but skating is not an option for me, unless they can stick my chair on a sledge lol. Sounds like you had a fabulous time over Christmas, with very happy kids. All the best for the new year.

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    1. Brilliant , we are in New Forest but I worked in Winchester for a while & still love pottering about there. Happy New Year to you too.

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  4. Sounds like you've been very busy.

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  5. great achievement for two weeks break! we did nothing at all! fab dayout you got!

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  6. Another Hampshire blogger, how exciting! I am in Winchester and loved wandering round the Christmas market. Look forward to taking my little girl ice skating when she is a little older. Happy New Year!

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    1. Hello fellow Hampshire blogger. That must be lethal living in Winchester, I only worked there for a year & used to spend practically everything I earnt down the lanes! Happy Near Year to you too!

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  7. What a lovely christmas :) I haven't even posted about mine yet but we have our third christmas with some family tomorrow so will be posting after that x

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  8. I live not far-ish from Avebury.I haven't visited in ages and I think this year I'll take the kids for one of the druid Gorsedd's.

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    1. That sounds interesting, do you know when they would be? I want to see the burial chamber & avenue next time too.

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  9. Sounds like a lovely Christmas. Happy new year xx

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  10. Wow sounds like you had the best time. Happy New Year :)

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  11. You sound like you have had a fantastic Christmas. Here to 2014 being as great

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  12. It sounds like you've made some brilliant memories this Christmas. Happy New Year x

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  13. Aww sounds like a lovely christmas...I keep meaning to go ice skating....but last time I did I ended up all battered and bruised from falling so much!!

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  14. sounds like you had a lovely Christmas! lovely pics too :) x

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  15. Wow it sounds like you guys had the most magical Christmas making memories! I wish F had got to meet an authentic Father Christmas, unfortunately the one we met had a rather stringy beard x

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  16. Chris Packham *jaw drops*
    What a lovely Father Christmas - I bet he was the real one :)

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    1. I have Chris Packham's autograph, he drew me a cartoon! Oh, you were probably being sarcastic ...

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  17. Sounds like you had a fabulous christmas break and I am with you on the guiding a child around an ice rink when grasping a penguin!!

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  18. Sounds like lots of positive things to remember - I really love the story of the Father Christmas!

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  19. I Love this post! And I'm envious of your seeing Chris Packham. I heard him a few weeks back on Desert Island Discs (at least, I think that's where I heard him), and he sounded really interesting and cool. And you're right - what's not to like about Christmas, if not the food!

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