This morning was cloudy and warmish but the wind was extremely chilly. That didn’t stop the several hundred mentally unstable people who took part in the annual Boxing Day Dip in aid of the Guernsey Cheshire Homes. I love this event and we always see lots of people we know and enjoy having a short walk out to the beach. The community gathers together and there is something rather lovely about that.
This year my cousin Stefi, The Mister and my brother-in-law decided to brave the cold and go in. Here they are pulling their ‘Muscle Face’ before legging it into the sea whilst screaming like pre-teen girls.
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope that you have all had a wonderful day.
As far at Christmasses go this one has been quite quiet – well in terms of there only being 7 adults for lunch as my sister and her husband and my niece and nephew were here for lunch. The kids have been hilarious all day. It has been a lovely day other than I have been feeling very uncomfortable today.
The highlight of my day was seeing kids open their presents. Barnabas received a Play Mobile garage from us and Eden received this buggy and dolly. It was a massive hit!
Can you tell that I am really tired and not massively keen on going out of the house at the moment? Most of my pictures seem to be of the Christmas decorations that are going up.
Mum has a lot of Christmas angels which tend to sit on the mantlepiece in the lounge. This is all very well except that our stupid cat Billy seems to see them as some sort of challenge and he likes to jump up at one end and run the gauntlet along the mantlepiece without knocking anything over. He never manages it, but things only get more complicated when birthday cards end up on the shelf as well!
The Christmas decorations are starting to be liberated from their storage boxes and this knitted nativity is one of Mum’s favourites. Barnabas and Eden seem to like it too and are especially fond of taking the Baby Jesus out of his crib and then putting him back to bed. Its very sweet.
This afternoon I spent several hours wrapping up Christmas presents. The one thing that I found more difficult than expected is that usually I sit on the floor and wrap the gifts, but my back hurts too much and my bump gets in the way!
I am not usually this organised but with the baby due on 16 December I don’t want to be unprepared so I am worrying about stuff when he makes an appearance. I was slightly undecided as to how to sign the gift cards though as we don’t know what the baby is going to be called yet, or if he is late, whether he will even be here for Christmas. I do hope so, I will be going nuts if I haven’t delivered by Christmas Day!
I am approaching Christmas this year with mixed feelings. It is so lovely to be home and to feel part of the build up to Christmas. Seeing my lovely niece and nephew and how they are growing (and being naughty) and developing is an absolute pleasure. Work is going fine and I think there is a lot that I can do to make a difference in that team and in the lives of my clients. It looks like The Mister has a job which is good news. Church is fine – a bit evangelical at times but I’ll manage with that. The pleasure of having a quieter life with much less traveling is blissful. My stress levels are considerably less than they were when I was living in Leeds.
And yet, I feel sad. Last Christmas I hoped that we would have a baby of our own; that we would be able to experience the pleasure of a little baby and the excitement of a first Christmas together. Fifteen months of trying to get pregnant has left me despondent and bereft. I find it hard to be around people who are pregnant because I constantly feel ‘why them’ and ‘why not me’. Facebook reminds me insistently of my monthly failure, whether that be with adverts for maternity clothes or baby toys, or the constant barrage of status updates with pictures of scan photos, new-born photos and people going on and on about their ‘bumps’… “**** is going out today with her husband and bump”…. Well of course you are going out with your bump, you couldn’t bloody well go out without it could you?
Christmas this year will be mixed emotions. I will find whether this month has been another failure on my birthday. Great. Another year older and another month when I am not pregnant.
So, at Christmas I come to think of that gift, the child who changed the world. The incarnate God who came as a baby, the best gift the world could ever have; that baby who brings good news and hope to all who believe in him, the one who allegedly ‘gives good gifts’. I hope that this God will give us a gift of a baby this year. However, much as I try to experience this God I largely feel his absence, his lack of intervention and a distinct lack of hope. Who knows? All I am sure of is that I am not really looking forward to Christmas.
The Mister and I have had a brilliant day out at the Harewood House Christmas Festival. It was beautiful and snowy and because of the bad weather there it wasn’t massively busy which was nice for us, but not so good for the stallholders.
The penguins seemed to be enjoying the snowy weather and were happily swimming around their pond. They also had some real life reindeers, rather randomly called Neville and max (who thinks Neville is a good name for a reindeer!!) As expected we had a couple of snowball fights, including a particularly enjoyable one with Tom standing at the bottom on a balcony and The Mister, Anne and I pelting him with snowballs. It was going well until I aimed one at Tom and he ducked and Andrew ended up with most of the snowball in his mouth. He cried, we laughed. He will probably need therapy forever! We also made a couple of fabulous snowpeople, Adam and Eve versions.
So, a brilliant day and we ended up at the Kestrel Pub near Harrogate. As always the food was excellent and they don’t seem to mind the kids entertaining everyone.
Here are a few pics as always… to see more click on one of them to go to Flickr…
Well we have had a really nice couple of days. Yesterday was spent with my sister, brother-in-law, my nephew Barnabas and my parents. It was really nice to have a relatively chilled out Christmas days. For many years Christmas days were a triumph of stamina over sanity. We would eat lunch and then head up to Gran’s where we would open many more presents and eat a ridiculous amount of food. Times have changed but things are still good. I have to say that one of the most amusing things was seeing how delighted my Dad was with the present The Mister and I bought for him. He received a garden gnome in Tottenham Hotspur kit… Barnabas also seemed to like it!!!
Boxing Day morning was spent by a quick visit to the beach to watch the insane people (including The Mister) going in for a charity swim. This year’s theme was Dicken’s, so there were many Victorian style swimming costumes. As always the atmosphere was great fun and it was nice to catch up with a lot of people we know. This evening we met up with Dad’s side of the family. We ate food and played rubbish board games with vast amounts of cheating. Somehow we all seem unable to play these games without trying to cheat, and we are all terribly competitive. I always think it must be quite a shock for new members to the family, such as The Mister and my cousin’s girlfriend. Inevitably they cope fine, and sometimes they even come back for the next Christmas!
So, a good Christmas all round. Much happiness, and yet for me there was still moments of sadness when I see my sister with my nephew. It is hard not to wish that for myself, and yet she is a good Mum and I think she is doing a brilliant job. I hope one day I get to have those experiences, but you just never know. So happiness, tempered with a little envy, but all in all a fab couple of days.
Here are pictures for you…. (yeah alright I know there are quite a few of Barnabas but he is so very very cute!!!)