Tuesday, 26 December 2017
the day after Christmas
I rather like Boxing Day. I always feel the urge to hoover on Boxing day. Sucking up all the pine needles and other post Christmas detritus somehow is very cleansing to the soul I find.
It has been a beautiful Christmas. We needed this, we all felt a bit bah humbug lately. I spend a lot of time looking into mid air, worrying about this and that and not getting anything done. Against the odds, we managed to cobble together a really nice Christmas.
James, Alistair and I decorated the Christmas tree on Thursday. We listened to my friend Laura's Christmas Spotify list and discussed the perfect placement of an oddment of baubles and other ornaments. Our tree is a beautiful shape. I'd happily have it sitting in a corner with just some lights on but it does look lovely fully decorated, too. We had to re-arrange the furniture to make space for it and it feels a bit like having a new living room.
On Friday, my Swiss family arrived. We have a big house but it feels quite full with nine people and three animals! My brother and his wife prefer staying in a hotel, which is good for all because nobody has to sleep on a airbed under the kitchen table. The hotel is just a few minutes walk away. We enjoyed a nice dinner of soup and fresh bread and thus fortified, we did a quick shop at Tesco's to get toothbrushes and t-shirts to compensate for luggage that didn't make it to Glasgow. My mother felt sorry for an argumentative drunk that was denied access to the shop. There are no all night supermarkets in Switzerland with weird and wonderful folk doing their weekly shop under the influence of a Friday night pint or two or five.There was an assortment of interesting people shopping actually.
Christmas Eve was a rainy miserable kind of day but my sister in law and I ventured out for a long walk with Jack. We were in waterproofs top to bottom. Jack might have preferred staying in the warm house. The house is always too warm when my family visits. They like it subtropical but I have adapted to the British ways of only using central heating when it is truly arctic outside, which is almost never. We went to Gandolfi Fish for our evening meal and what a treat it was! We ordered two taxis but forgot to mention that we needed at least one big car and had to take our own car as well. I noticed a little too late that all four kids had left in the first taxi. They only knew the name of the restaurant and I am glad they had a knowledgable taxi driver. The food was good, really good. Alistair was spectacularly sick but managed to get to the bathroom just in time. We had finished our meal by then. He hasn't been well since Thursday, with the fever high at night and ups and downs during the day. The snot is now running freely, which in my books marks always the turning point on the road to recovery.
Christmas started gently and not particularly early. Everybody received lovely gifts. The exception being a set of toilet golf for James and Alistair. I don't know who sent it but clearly the sender has a poor concept of little and not so little boys toilet habits. It wasn't wrapped when it arrived and I kept it hidden away. I haven't decided if I feel guilty or not. Christmas dinner was a joint effort. Richard prepared a potato gratin ahead of time. The men folk cooked T-bone steaks on the barbecue and I made a selection of vegetables, one being sprouts stir fried in garlic and chilli oil and mixed with a generous amount of fried bacon. Annie set the table. James passed the starters around. These were Ritz crackers with soft cheese and little chunks of salmon. For pudding I made an eight egg gigantic pavlova that I topped with cream and freshly made lemon curd, decorated with a few candied lemon slices. My mum cleared the table and put everything away. It was all very easy. Did I mention the Partick Swayze cocktail shots? Yes, it is Partick. If you are local to the West End of Glasgow, you might consider a visit to the Sparkle Horse in Partick, where this cocktail shot is said to have originated from. It is a nice pub. The evening ended with a long game of Monopoly for some and a quiet read for others.
We managed to lure Sam out of his room a few times and he even came for a long dog walk on Christmas day. This was after he got up to check his stocking at 9 am and deserves a special mention. Annie was terribly exited about giving out presents that she had chosen for all of us. She knows us all well. She was delighted about all the beauty products she received. She loves a good pamper, my Annie. James blossomed under the undivided attention he received from my brother and his wife. They spent an entire afternoon constructing a salt water driven car. Alistair doesn't get quite that much attention but I don't think he is that bothered. I am, a little.
My family left today. It was good to have them here. This evening, we had French onion soup made with fresh beef stock (from last night's bones) and then we watched Matilda. It is always heartwarming to see sweet Miss Honey and Matilda get the better of Miss Trunchbull. We have no plans for tomorrow. I might stroke my new fabrics and maybe build the wall mounted thread organiser I received.
It was a good Christmas. How was yours? I visited many of your blogs and admired your festive preparations but I didn't quite have the energy to write a post myself. I also didn't manage to wish everybody a Happy Christmas before the big day and it feels not quite right to do so now. I am wishing you a fabulous week instead. Thank you ever so much for continuing to visit me here and to say hello when you have the time to do so. It is really nice to have so many friends all over the world. My kids think I am bit nuts actually because I have virtual friends and that I talk about them, too. See you soon xx
P.S. I didn't take a single photo and was tempted to show you last year's but then the good girl in me stopped me. I quickly took the above photo with my phone.