Christmas Day was quieter than usual. We started with church, as always. Steve and Jess had dinner with us; Nome and Ed ate out with Eddie's mum and sister, Hannah, but they came back mid-afternoon, along with Eddie's dad and brother, Rickie, and we opened presents together before playing various games, enjoying a late tea and sliding into bed late. It was a great day.
Lucky me, my presents included lots of CDs from my wish-list, several books likewise, one of which is the last of the Terry Darlington books I still hadn't read, "Narrow Dog to Wigan Pier", and another, "Fruit Flies Like a Banana: England by Canal and Classic Car" by Steve Haywood, who has a column in Canal Boat Magazine. I just had to give that a read. There were, of course, the traditional consumables amongst my presents - favourite "old fashioned"sweets (Milk Bottle Gums and Shrimps for Grace, Crystallised Ginger and Pontefract Cakes for me), superb flavoured coffees, and a wonderful Stollen. And socks! Three different types, all bought by Grace with boat life in mind; one for cold feet in bed (from which I suffer a lot during the winter), one with non-slip soles for walking around in the boat, and one pair made with goats' wool which have some remarkable qualities. Grace also gave me a large map of the entire UK inland waterways system, really useful for seeing the whole picture when planning journeys.
We both got Kindles, which will reduce the need for paper books on the boat, and be altogether more manageable. I gave Grace a light for reading in bed, but it may turn out to be too bright for those occasions when she wants to use it in the middle of the night. We're certain it'll have other uses, though.
Grace had seen this cool light while we were shopping, and I just had to get it for her...
Since Christmas, we've been winding down, playing games, making soups (pumpkin, and turkey & vegetable), watching TV and not being very busy, though we do have a number of things to get done before we go back to boat life. New Year's Eve was quiet - apart from the party than Nome and Ed had! This Thursday, Grace and I are going to see Billy Elliot - the second time for me. We'll squeeze in The Hobbit at the cinema some time before then, too. We'd like to go and see Kantara, just to make sure the dehumidifier's still OK, and will probably do that on our way to the Lake District next Saturday - we're renting a cottage for a week. Maybe it'll snow!
After that, January will be almost over, and we'll be preparing to return to the boat. Let's see what 2015 has in store for us!
A very happy New Year to you all!