Actually it's two weeks, as things have been a little quiet here over Christmas, but first Happy New Year - I hope 2018 is good to all of us. I've certainly got some plans but more on those another time, as this post already has the potential to be a bit of a whopper.
2017 was a good, but busy year and its last few weeks were no different, and truth be told I was ready for a break and a bit of a rest. First though there was the final push towards being ready. Several planned items went by the wayside relatively early on, like making some pine table decorations using cuttings from the garden, and more joined that list as our guests arrived. The smoked salmon and watercress mousse starter was quickly replanned as a smoked fish 'picky board' and then later abandoned altogether when we realised it wasn't necessary at all, as there was plenty of other food to be had.
Instead of crackers, and in the absence of any other table decorations, I repurposed six of our advent calendar boxes as table gifts, each personalised for the recipient. Not wanting to miss the noise from crackers MOH dutifully sourced party poppers, which left the light above the table looking like it had celebrated New Years a week early.
They had corny jokes, a small gift - mine proved to be the perfect excuse for a pretty roll of washi tape - and some badges too. No hats, as well no one really likes wearing them anyway, do they?
I finished work the Friday before Christmas and with the turkey and vegetables collected on the way home I was all set to head off to the hairdressers guilt-free the next morning. I was turning the kitchen over to MOH so he could make his customary Yule Log and I was hoping to miss the creativity in action and booked myself in for some colour too.
I almost skipped into the village in my new trainers sent to me by Vionic - they're so light that MOH could hardly believe the parcel he collected from the Post Office were actually trainers. But they were. And good looking ones too, I'm still trying them out and will share more about them soon.
The Yule Log was a success, but arriving home a few hours later it was still a work in progress and I seriously wondered if I'd get the kitchen back before Christmas Day lunch!
Our Christmas was full of family, and food, and a bit of snow to driving home after a Boxing Day in Peterborough. And cake, there's been a lot of cake which in my book is never a bad thing. As well as the Yule Log, we've had Christmas cake parcels from both mums - and Christmas cake made by mums is the best kind, and I'm particularly partial to the 'proper' Royal Icing and traditional snow scene that is dad's speciality.
Cake - precisely six of them - were also a present, along with a Greggs gift card from my brother- it seems he was right all along and it's the ideal place to do your Christmas shopping. The actual cakes were from Macclesfield and I'm telling you, they're good. So good that I could be heading that way this year, just for the food...
Of course in between Christmas and New Year I had grand plans to do plenty of things, to craft more and to catch up and even get ahead of myself. But as it turned out just taking some time out and not pressuring myself turned out to be just what I needed. I've spent a couple of days pottering and crocheting, and as a result have made more progress than I'd imagined with the first of my projects, a granny square blanket for our spare room.
The colours have extended to blues and greens as I've gone along and I've still to nail down the final layout, but I have a rough plan of how I want it to be.
I've also hit another milestone. Fifteen years after moving in I've finally emptied the last box! Clearly it was full of things I didn't need, but I've found new homes for most of them and for some that's the charity shop. I also found music books from my guitar, trumpet and recorder learning days, so these have been added to my craft stash as I'd been toying with the idea of buying some for cards. No need really when I have my own, is there?
There's also been some sales shopping and Saturday our new television arrived. A new TV is something MOH has been lusting over for a while now and has been most frustrated that our TV was still going strong after eleven or so years. But after seeing a too good to be true deal we were tempted and so Saturday was spent figuring out how to get the new one on the wall. Of course it meant a trip to the local DIY store for the right kind of screws/bolts but we got there. We were both keen to make use of the existing bracket but a change in design meant it was quite tight for all the necessary cables, but with some ingenuity it's on the wall and is a marked improvement on our old TV.
While waiting to be called on in my TV installation assistant role I downloaded the patterns for both of the crochet projects I'm planning and discovered a new one too, and I might just have bought the wool for two of them too. Well, sales shopping can't all be about TVs and things for the house can they?
One of my favourite parts of all the Christmas food (apart from cake) is the leftovers and we've made our turkey work hard. It's been there to accompany bubble and squeak, a turkey and parsnip curry and a turkey and ham pie, as well as a turkey sandwich or two along the way. Tonight we'll see the last of it, apart from the meals in the freezer, and will enjoy turkey fajitas. Yum
New Year here was quiet and just the two of us. We're off to the football this afternoon and then tomorrow it's back to work. I've not done half the things I'd hoped to, but I've a feeling that 2018 is going to be just as busy as last year so taking time to get ready for it seems time well spent. Over the next week or so as I get back into the swing of everyday life and the routine that brings I hope to catch up with myself and to share some of the usual review posts for last year.
I've been giving some thought to which word I'll chose for this year, and my intentions for the year, which you'll not be surprised to learn involves finishing the craft projects I've started and even some of those I'm already planning too, and much more besides.
But for now, that's it - I've a football match to get to, and I'm hoping for some chips on the way and to buy an avocado for tea on the way home - I know how to live!