A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Monday, December 26, 2005

A McDonald Christmas

I haven't blogged since I've reached home over a week ago. Time is passing quickly and I'm absolutely loving every minute of it - I've still not had a chance to see everyone and am hoping to do so this week. The only drawback is that I'm missing my husband and our family back home, but I know that I will be with them soon so I must embrace every moment I have with my loved ones here in Nova Scotia.

Christmas here has not been uneventful. Tawny and I turned up on Christmas Eve after a few visits and some shopping to see a car with Ontario plates parked in the drive. It was Sandra and Brad on a very unexpected surprise return home, after 3 and 1/2 years. After a few deep breaths we went inside and so began our Christmas as a complete family for the first time in many years.

I won't go into any detail except to say its been a bit stressful and difficult at moments for reasons I won't really eloborate on, but aside from the shock of my sister coming home unnanounced after so long and so much, it has been a good Christmas and we were satisfied to see Sandra make the effort, especially for the sake of our parents, even though I wish I had known she was going to be coming home, for a number of reasons. Everyone has handled themselves in a brilliant way and for this I am grateful. I know how very difficult this has been for Tawny and I'm just so thankful to have had my family with me at this time of year.

Last night we had relatives visiting until after midnight and we watched Elf, our chosen Christmas movie this year. Both Pam (John's girlfriend) and Taylor have spent Christmas Day feeling quite ill, but I'm hoping they have a better time of it over the next few days of celebration.

I brought a little bit of England to the dinner table and we did have fun playing the games in the Christmas crackers. Why everyone doesn't do this during Christmas dinner is beyond me - what a good way to amuse and keep everyone focused on the festivities.

I will post more photos later in the week, after I have mixed and matched with some of Tawn's shots. I'm sure we will have a few good ones, and I'm hoping to get more tonight before Tawny and Taylor leave early tomorrow morning.

Oh and I have to post this great picture from last Thursday night, taken just after exchanging gifts with Dawn - a fantastically funny and amusing evening. I hope to report more from that evening this week! But I do love this shot:

Thank you to all of you who have done so much to make this Christmas so wonderful for me (especially my husband, for loving me enough to give me up to my family for the holidays.) I love you all. And for those of you I haven't seen yet, we still have 12 or so more days...

PS - notice the much improved quality of these pictures - compliments of the new camera given to me as an early Christmas gift by my generous and loving man.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Christmas Parties x 3

Friday Night
Friday night found me out at the local pub with four fantastic girls I've met through work.

The night began with a few glasses of wine that led quickly to more than a few bottles. We had a great laugh and it was a terrific way to begin the Christmas festivities.

It's a warm feeling to know that this time, while I'm back at home, I'll have these great mates back in England.

It wouldn't be me I suppose if I didn't have a cry at some point while, well let's face it - shit canned. I told the girls a story about sitting in the same pub over a year ago with my husband, enviously watching a group of girls on a night out at the very same table we were sitting at Friday night, and informing him that if back in Canada, that would have been me with my friends. And a year later, although not in Canada, I was at that table with four of the best women I have had the pleasure of knowing. And then I started to bawl. Nothing new there really.

Helen G and Sharon

At some point in the evening, we decided to take the party into town (this would have been downtown in NS speak) and Janice (who wasn't drinking) patiently drove our drunken asses to a pub called O'Neils. We danced, we drank some more, and had a great laugh. Unfortunately Helen E. had her handbag nicked. She luckily found it in the gents, but sadly minus phone and money. :(

Around 12:55 I made a drunken call to my angel of a husband. For a little insight as to how absolutely wrecked I was, this is a snippet of the conversation with him:

ME: Hi Sweetie can you come pick us up?

ANDY: Yeah, where are you?

ME: I don't know - HELEN WHERE AM I????

10 Minutes later I phoned him again:

ME: Where are you?

ANDY: Almost there - you still at O'Neils?

ME: I don't know - HELEN - WHERE ARE WE?

I can say though that my not knowing where we were the first time was due in part to the fact we went out the back door of O'Neils into the car park, which I didn't know even existed. Remember, I have only been out in Cleethorpes on three previous occasions.

Saturday Night
Needles to say, Saturday morning didn't find me feeling so swell, however my slight headache was nothing in comparison to poor Helen G - she had been sick. I don't understand how I can drink SO much and not ever be sick.

Anyway, I'm digressing as usual. Helen and her husband Trev met us at our place for a drink before going to our other local. We had a nice dinner by the fireside then made our way back here to have billinis in my Venetian glasses. We sat and chatted, neither Helen nor I drinking very much, we still had enough flowing in our veins from the previous evening.

Today we got up and drove to Lincoln for a pre-Christmas/birthday luncheon with Andy's siblings, their partners and his mom. (Andy's brother and sister are twins and they'll share their birthday on Friday with Ali's partner Scott.)

The food and conversation was fantastic and I'm glad we all made the effort to get together before I fly home on Wednesday to spend the holidays with my other family.

My English Family

Saturday, December 03, 2005

An 'Old Fashioned' Christmas

Last night the boys came down for their weekend stay and we decided to decorate the house for Christmas. Alex eagerly helped Andy get all the stuff down from the loft and within an hour the tree was up. While Andy was trimming the tree with white lights I was busy making silver bows for it, as I decided to go with a white and sliver theme this year, with a few black baubles to set it off. Usually my ideas don't always fly, especially when there is craft-making involved, but this actually turned out to be a very pretty tree. I took the idea from the lady we were staying with in Belgium, who had a beautiful tree. It didn't take Molly long to try and eat it, but the most amusing segment of the night was when Connor commenced with this discussion:

Connor: Dad - you know back in the olden days?

Andy: Yeah?

Connor: Yeah, back in the olden days when you were a kid....

LORD! I thought the Olden Days were back when our dads were kids! Both of us were expecting him to talk about those olden days! Neither one of us can remember what came after that as we were both a bit taken aback with laughter and the realization that Andy now hails from 'The Olden Days'.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I'll be home for Christmas,
you can count on me...
Please have snow, and mistletoe
and presents on the tree.

(Well out of those three, its the snow I want, at least for Christmas Eve.)

13 more sleeps!!!!