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.

17 comments:

  1. It sounds like a wonderful, busy, happy, family Christmas for you all. I liked how all worked together to produce the dinner. Thank you for the good wishes for Dayle. He's poking along trying to get back to normal.. not there yet.

    *:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*
      *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*
    *:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I’m picturing your Christmas very well, hectic but lots of fun. Seven here on the big day. The goose was somewhat cremated but edible nevertheless. Gales and torrential rain outside. Hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday. B x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds idyllic, a wonderful family get together. Best wishes for the New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. sounds like a lovely fun family Christmas Christina x hope your new year is wonderful too x

    ReplyDelete
  5. A good family Christmas, having our daughter here is all I ever ask for as a present.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That sounds like an excellent family Christmas. Our was good and seemed to come and go in a flash and I am now trying to make the most of some down time with a bit of knitting but I don't do sitting still very well and I'm a bit fidgety! Hope the rest of the week is good Christina x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds like an excellent family Christmas with all of the best things. I cannot begin to imagine what toilet golf is but I am absolutely certain I should not like it. Well done you for not handing it over. Civilisation is tricky enough with boys as it is. I hope you have a lovely week as well. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds like just the Christmas you needed. Lovely. Hesitating to ask what toilet golf is? 😆 xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so happy to hear you had a wonderful Christmas dear Christina. I loved reading about all the fun things you did and the yummy food you ate. You are one of my dear blog friends and I wish you all the best for the New Year. Hugs, Pat

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy Christmas dear friend. I hope I am one of the ones you talk about! I tell my girls I know you from university so that I don't encourage them to have unsavoury online friends when the time comes for them to enter the world of the web!! when you sent the little tree fabric they asked who you were and I said Oh! I knew Christina before you were born at University. I thought you might find that amusing. have a relaxing week. I am stroking fabric too. Jo xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love reading about Christmas celebrations and yours sound really really good (we have the panto tonight). Enjoy the rest of the week.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Toilet Golf"????? Lol.I loved reading your post.Sounds like you really did have a lovely Christmas,hope the poorly one is better.Happy New Year.xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sounds like a happy and Merry Christmas. Ours was pretty good, considering the little effort I put into it! I saw toilet golf in several shops - better for teenagers possibly... ! Enjoying the in_between days of doing nothing now! Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a lovely time you have had with you family visiting. It all sounds very festive, wet but festive. I had t chuckle about the children in the taxi, that sounds like something that would happen to us. I hope you can have some fun now that you are done with Christmas, maybe some rest or sewing? I am working the last three days of this week and next week. When the alarm went off at 5 this morning I did wonder what the heck I was doing? Maybe I should have stayed home!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey Christina,
    Toilet golf? I would have hidden it too. I'm happy that you had the best kind of Christmas. Surrounded by family, good food and dog walks. Happy New Year to you and yours.
    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  16. It sounds like you've had a lovely Christmas :) My days have been spent working on the house (I'm so tired!) but my evenings have been spent reading so it hasn't been all bad! Happy New Year to you all.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Christina, lovely to catch up on your Christmas, and revisit your blog in general. Hope you are well, and the New Year is a good one for you xx

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx