Sunday, December 31, 2006

And A Happy New Year

Yeah, yeah, so I am early. Allow me the novelty of being too early instead of too late for once.

So, 2006, an interesting year but here is hoping that 2007 brings more with it, and good things only please.

When I was younger, and I mean Primary age, my dad and I would walk to the end of our street, wait for the bells in the local church (which was a good mile and a half away at least) to ring and then be 'first footers' for my mum. Instead of the lump of coal we were meant to put on the fire we would give her a box of chocs, well, we had a gas fire, mum would have been livid if we starting throwing great chunks of coal at it.

I loved that experience of being out in the cold night air, holding my dad's hand, more than anything and the memory is saddened knowing I will never get it back. My dad is getting on a bit, I mean he was 50 when I was born and I just turned 35 so you do the math.

The last good Hogmanay I had was the Millenium, which seemed to suck for so many other people. Husband and I drove up to the Kilsyth hills and watched the fireworks from Glasgow, across the central belt of Scotland to Edinburgh. It was a wonderfully clear night and I even saw a shooting star (yes, the wish was fulfilled.)

I can't remember what we did the next year but the year after that we celebrated in hospital with our new born baby boys and a group of other parents, and a grumpy nurse telling us not to wake the others. FFS we all had newborns, who was sleeping?

Hogmanay with little ones is somewhat subdued, apart from the revellers who go to parties to see in the New Year through beer-goggles does anyone actually celebrate it properly?

Friday, December 29, 2006

All Grown Up

Today is a very important day.

The Hobbits are now 5 years old and celebrated, as is becoming tradition, with a visit to Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. A good day had by all even though I can't speak thanks to my voice giving out due to this cold, some would say that was a blessing.
Eldest Hobbit practically burst with excitement, telling everyone he was 5, and for good measure Youngest would add "Me too!"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

How Was It For You?

Fate has a way, sometimes, of dealing you up a hand you deserve. I didn't have the Christmas spirit in the usual bucket load, so for my Christmas I got a stinking awful cold. Which has lasted until Boxing Day and now, at 9pm, is still going strong. Serves me right for being so bah-humbug this year really.

Short and sweet, I am watching telly, feeling sorry for myself and although I got a new camera for Christmas I haven't even taken it out the box to try it out which is so unlike me. I did take photos with old faithful though and will post them here as soon as my head stops aching like it is about to explode.

Still managed to cook an excellent Christmas dinner though. Hope no one at it got an extra present of this cold (evil smile.)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Currently Reading aka The Lovely Surprise

I should have written this on Tuesday when it happened but there you go, I wouldn't have been able to say anything about the book itself. So there.
Let me explain myself. On Tuesday we were sitting in the living room up to our eyes, literally, in wrapping paper and various toys. Outside a delivery van drives up, Husband and I look at each other, I'm not expecting anything, neither is he. As the Amazon package is handed over I begin wondering if I had ordered anything that was out of stock to be delivered later.
Nope, instead it was a lovely present from my American Friend, forever known on here now as Hazelnut.
The book is one she had previously talked about I Like You (Hospitality Under The Influence) by Amy Sedaris. Last year, for Christmas, she sent a whole bunch of books by David Sedaris, whatever Mummy Sedaris fed them as children they have grown up into very funny, very witty writers.
I hadn't heard of David Sedaris before Hazelnut mentioned him and reading those books led to a very merry Christmas indeed. I've only just started this book but already I was up to 1am last night reading it which is a very good sign for someone like me, cantankerous and hard to please where books are concerned. And there are recipes! Take that Delia (or Martha for any Americans.)
Now I must go and make my self-esteem collage using pictures of people I wish I was! Quote of the week "Accentuate The Positives - Medicate The Negatives." Wonder what Christmas is like a chez Sedaris.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Who'd a thunk it?

That Christmas spirit would be found by helping out at the Primary 7 party?

Well, surrounded by a crowd of screaming, excited 10-11 year olds, enough tinsel and decorations to sink a ship, it is hard not to get carried away. And yes, dancing was involved, not only that but traditional Scottish country dancing - oh the English don't know what they are missing if they haven't been hurled round a room by the Dashing White Sergeant (name of a dance, not the dancer.)

I have some food for thought as well this Christmas, something to mull over while getting on with things. Someone I am related to, though you wouldn't think it if you saw us together, announced in her card to my parents that she had returned to live with her parents in a manner that suggested she has split from her husband. Now, this could be an occasion to gloat. Her mother called my wedding a "pauper's wedding" as we chose not to have the big white version but one with only a couple of guests, but in a location special to us. Hell mend us but we chose to spend our money on the honeymoon! (Touring around the Alps in the lovely summertime, highly recommended!)

So that is what the mother (my aunt) said. It was also considered that as this cousin was engaged before I had met Husband and I married first that I had rushed into it to beat her and would divorce. Hmmmm, doesn't work that way does it?

Which is proof that it is not how you marry but why you marry. I always thought cousin treated her other half appallingly, and that is not because she is of an odd nature towards me. He was one of those soft, gentle souls and on more than one occasion she shouted at him in front of the family, more embarrassing for us to witness really. She also said they didn't argue which is complete bull. There is nothing like a good argument to air any grievances and get them sorted out.

So there we have it. The breakdown of a marriage is sad, luckily there are no children involved, there will be no gloating from me but I hope she learns from this as she has lost a good husband.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Its beginning to look a lot like Edinburgh

I know, I know, you wait for one post and three come along at once I hear you say, or rather the one voice singing in the darkness who I know does read this (thank you Pewari!) Like I said, it is a busy month, what with helping the Hobbits write a total of 64 Christmas cards, the whole concept of "choose who you want to send a card to" completely bypassing them. Why not send a card to everyone!

And we are still receiving cards from girls unknown, addressed to either hobbit, and always signed off 'Love'. God help us come the teenage years. Worst is I can't write cards back, the conversations go as follows;

"Hobbit, who is Banana?"

"Um, she is my friend."

"She isn't on your class list, what class is she in?"

"Don't know."

"Wouldn't it be nice to send her a card back?"

"She is in Primary 2, or maybe 3."


The nativity went as well as could be expected really. Niall and Adam behaved perfectly, the show was quite entertaining and the competitive mums lined the front row with their cameras and camcorders. You could smell the money from them (sorry, can't help myself, I find them highly amusing!) Then a very odd thing happened.

Once the nativity was over and the school day at an end I was waiting at the infant entrance with the usual crowd of mums and dads. I hear behind me one dad saying how his daughter had refused to be the donkey as she had previously been a sheep, but Primary 2s don't get to participate in the nativity, they form the choir singing all the songs. Then this woman, standing near me, tells one of eldest Hobbits' friend's dad that her child was the donkey! I saw him look a bit confused, I don't know him that well, it is usually his wife who does the school run. But what a bizarre thing to do, claim your child is the donkey when it obviously wasn't (the donkey costume consisted of a mask held perfectly in front of his face until the singing started, then he waggled it about in time to the tunes!) Husband finds this hilarious, that the competitive mums (for she must be one) not only covet Mary and Joseph but also the lone Donkey! It was a weird turn to the day.

The Christmas spirit, though somewhat subdued, has appeared in the form of a visit to the German market (here is the kick, in Edinburgh!) Also the fact I spent the better part of today up to my eyes, quite literally, in wrapping paper.

Photo, Edinburgh Christmas Market 2006. Big Wheel and Hobbits on the Carousel.

A Turkey's Plea

C'mon you two, just hop over the fence and lift the latch on this door, please. I know what date is coming up, I know what it means for a bird like me, well, if it were up to me I would eat the goose, have you seen the size of her?

- The turkey gets desperate, don't worry, this turkey lives at Almondvalley Heritage Centre, he won't be on anyones plate this year.

Where Has All The Time Gone?

Why, since last I wrote, or rather blogged, I am a whole year older. Tempus fugit as they say, whomever they are.

December is just one of those months that go by too quickly...but at least the bloody rain has stopped. Haven't quite started building an ark but it was getting that way.

Then, the sun shines, the bright low winter sun, and I remember why life can be good.

Photo taken yesterday, Linlithgow loch.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jingle Balls

Nope, it is just not happening this year.

Despite eldest hobbit being the donkey in the school nativity. Despite youngest hobbit being the "green" traveller in same nativity - does this mean he is powered by wind, he sure is. Despite having, as always, bought all the presents, wrapping paper and most of the Christmas dinner (pre-prepared, will I ever live this down?)


Where is it?


Usually I have the cards written on the 1st December, the menu planned and shopping list written soon after. With the boys at the excitable age of counting sleeps until the big day I should be relishing this time but nope, not one bit.

Maybe it will kick in later, oh hope of hopes. Next week, next Monday to be precise, I turn 35, this does not bother me too much, birthdays are birthdays and having one so close to Christmas has always been a bit of a curse ("Oh thank you Auntie for buying my Christmas and birthday present together, saved yourself some money there you cheapskate!") But since it started, every year on my birthday we have gone into Edinburgh to the German Christmas market.

Now these are not a patch on the real German ones, I highly recommend Wiesbaden if anyone is asking. The stalls are missing a certain something you can only get in mainland Europe, but I love going into Edinburgh anyway. If this doesn't inject that sense of joy then I don't know what will.

Oh and my plan to make friends and influence people has backfired. I join the school PSA only to be coersed (is that a word? It is if I say so) into a singalong with the rest of them on the last day of school. Shoot me now.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh Me Oh My Oh Midget

Okay so the month has started and one week has whizzed by nearly. Someone mentioned Christmas cards, oh mercy I haven't even started them. What is up with me this year, I am just not getting into this?
I haven't done my usual of having cards written and parcels, well, parcelled on the 1st December, even the decorations are somewhat muted. Certainly not the proliferation of bad taste that the neighbours have gone in for. At some point you need to step back, look at what you are doing and say enough.

Worse of all is the fact that I have bought a prepared stuffed chicken roast from a supermarket, not even free range! How many people will notice that the dinner this year is not as good as last, or will they even notice? Husband is confused, he has gone all out this year in buying my presents, and he is quite chuffed that for once he has the one-up on me, but doesn't understand why my little Christmas light hasn't gone on.
Eldest hobbit has been given the part of the donkey in the school nativity while youngest is a traveller (don't know if this is his way of saying he is a servant for one of the three kings?) I was expecting to be asked to do a costume but all I have been requested to provide is a dark t and pair of trousers.

All I need for Christmas is to see the look on my hobbits faces when they get their presents off of Santa.

My plan is to redeem myself by making Nigella's ham in coca cola on Boxing Day when it is just the four of us.