Tis the season to be jolly…..

Christmas 2015 has been a strange one. Never eaten out on Christmas Day, but this year we had the opportunity and it meant at least me, Joe and Kevin were in the vicinity of Jay and NIna as they had to work. Waking up seeing posts on Facebook and pictures of families, and friends, were at odds with two getting ready to go off to work. No festive drinks, no opening presents. 

Cheeky Christmas jumper
 
We spoke to Andrew and Lis enjoying the end of their day in Tasmania. Thoughts always wander to if we will ever have a family Christmas together in the future, always something I struggle with, it isn’t good to linger, instead to make the most of precious time with who we are with as many have no choice or hope of being with their loved ones.

   
We arrived in good time for our dinner and had a cocktail to start. The food was delicious, well presented and plentiful. Joe was keen that we had a bottle of chateauneuf de pape, but wasn’t too keen on stumping up the Β£63.50, so a modest Malbec was ordered. 

Porn star martini
  
Tian of prawn, crab and avocado
  
Smoked goose
    
Roast pheasant
  
Orange mousse in a chocolate collar
  
Mulled wine pear
  
Baubles!
 
We returned home and had a drink and Kevin had a nap, obligatory for every occasion! 

 
A text was received to say Jay and Nina were on their way home, so we eagerly awaited that after their almost 10 hour day!

Nina, still in her elf costume, bounded in and after a quick change Christmas could begin: drink, food and presents. Everyone seemed pleased with their array of gifts, with a few surprises too.   

 After doing very little, I went to bed, exhausted as I spent most of the day quite emotional. It was lovely to see so many family moments posted on social media, and FaceTime with the Ramsay, Bentham clan was short but sweet.

I am about to get up to start our Christmas dinner on Boxing Day, so while others are kicking back, relaxing with leftovers, i’ll be in the thick of it-just how I like it! We will raise our glasses to absent family and friends and belatedly have a very Merry Christmas! πŸŽ„πŸΎπŸ’•πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸŽ‰


 

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Homeward Bound

A very busy few days have elapsed in Scotland. I’ve enjoyed good food, alcohol and precious time with my parents. 

 I did manage to buy a few gifts, and also a cardigan, dress and blouse! To be honest a struggle to get it all in my case. 

   
I have caught up with a few relatives, not as many as I had hoped, but in two days, with people having busy lives, that was always going to be a struggle.

  For me Arbroath isn’t the same and it’s such a shame to see some areas falling in to disrepair. The Abbey, on a sunny day, is a sight to behold. The harbour, or marina, as it is now styled, is so quaint.

I always remember my extended Ramsay and Dora families and despite Arbroath changing I am always uplifted by memories. 

The journey home is delayed so an extra couple of hours with mum and dad.  

 I’ll be exhausted, good job only a week till school breaks for Christmas!  

   

Β  Scotland bound

Today I am making the journey north to the place of my birth, Arbroath. I am doing a cheeky pre Xmas visit to my parents, Andrew and Celli. I love this trip by train, evocative of so many childhood memories – the coast line , cities of York, Doncaster and Berwick.  

It’s comforting that even with so much change in my life there are still things that remain the same. 

I am enjoying first class treatment and looking forward to my few days with my parents.  

  I hope to provide a bit of Christmas cheer, buy their presents, drop in on some family and relieve a bit of driving duty off my Dad. No doubt I will go to bingo, a highlight of many a trip!

I am very fortunate that whilst both octogenarians, my parents health is fairly robust and I can still enjoy spending some precious time with them.  

 

Dad in his nelson Mandela phase! 😜