Well, our Christmas went pretty well, all things considered. The children didn't get up until 7am to check out their stockings (which I had managed to get in and fill, undetected, just before midnight) and they kindly then went back to bed for a wee while. Their stockings contained, amongst other things, a kazoo and a swany whistle. Extra credit to anyone who can identify, from that information, to which show we have successfully addicted our children. We are very proud.
My father in law was through from Troon staying with us, and it was really nice to have him here. He has been a bit unwell and in fact this time last year was in hospital, so we are grateful he is out and back home. The slight downside has been that his medication makes him a little more drowsy and lethargic than he used to be, and he needs to sleep more. We managed to keep the children under control, told him to go for a nap whenever he needed to and he seemed to really enjoy his stay, despite not much happening. I think they are trying to reduce the amount of drugs he has to take so fingers crossed he may improve even more.
On Christmas morning I had felt a cold coming on so had taken some precautionary cold medication - you know, that stuff that dries up all the fluids in your body, including all fluid in your brain? This led to my normally pretty sound ability to get all of the elements of a meal ready and on the table at the same time completely deserting me. In my slightly befuddled state I decided that it would take more time to cook carrots than to roast potatoes. Not even close. So everyone had to wait a bit while the tatties caught up with everything else. It all came out okay though (at least, all 9 people round the table ate plenty of everything and no-one died!) And I got to pinch the extra chipolatas which are my favourite part of the Christmas lunch, bar none. In fact I think I enjoy picking at the food before and after the meal more than eating the lunch itself!
Christmas puddings were provided by the son of a good friend of mine who happens to be a chef (the son, not the friend) and they were just fabulous: boozy and sweet and not too rich. I texted my friend with my thanks and a request to adopt her son. He's 33, but I will overlook that if he continues to make me Christmas puddings. They were that good.
We rounded off Christmas day by going out for a walk in the biting cold and frost. We played "Spot the most garish Christmas lights" and took my FIL round the corner to a spot where he could try calling for his cat. When he was admitted to hospital at the end of 2006 we initially arranged for one of his neighbours to go in and feed his cat. However as it became clear that FIL would be in hospital for some time, we had to do something about Towser, so my sister-in-law (who lives opposite us) brought the cat through to live with her. Unfortunately, Towser got out and vanished. We tried all the usual searches, contacted all the authorities, put up posters and so on, to no avail. We had a couple of reported sightings nearby - a lady who feeds various stray cats was positive she had seen him - but they didn't come to anything.
We doubted there was any chance whatsoever that Towser was still around but FIL really wanted to go and look, so we took him round the area, with him whistling and calling all the way. It was a bit sad and my SIL was quite upset as she naturally feels particularly bad that Towser escaped "on her watch". It wasn't her fault but she can't help feeling guilty. Whilst it was a bit of a painful experience, at least FIL seems to have accepted now that Towser has found himself another berth and is even talking about getting another cat, so it may have been for the best.
And now it is Boxing Day, FIL has gone home, we have spent the day lazing around and doing not very much. We dragged the children out for a walk mid-afternoon, very much against their will (they wanted to watch more Dr Who) but we are keenly aware that small boys are like dogs: they have to be exercised and let off the leash for a while every day or they start ricocheting off the walls in an alarming and vaguely destructive way. They are now in bed and husband and I are each sitting with our laptops and a glass of water like the hard-living rebels we are.
Oh! And I nearly forgot! Great Christmas present from husband (in addition to the cookbook and the DVDs of "The Lives of Others" and "Animaniacs" - my tastes are nothing if not varied) If you wander over when you have a minute to www.gymisntworking.com, you will discover that I am the proud owner of my own domain name! Just like a proper blogger (once I figure out how to move over from Blogger onto Wordpress or whatever it is I need to do.) Not for nothing is my husband known as "Lord of the Domains". No, really, he is.
PS - Thanks to Coffeedog for commenting - much appreciated!!