Saturday, December 29, 2007

Crashing the party

Christmas Tree by Albert Chevallier Tayler
Christmas Tree

The whole holiday period has been a test of endurance in a good sort of way. Not only did we move at the end of November and took over a village shop but at the same time, our usual houseguests arrived, expecting the same comforts they have been getting over the last years. The house did not disappoint; the last of our guests left today and with it some nice memories.

On Christmas Day, my friend Maggie invited us all over for Christmas lunch so this was the first year I managed to open my presents without dashing into the kitchen to check on a turkey. That was an extreme luxury and I am very grateful to my friend for that present. It was a lovely afternoon and the boys behaved really well.

My boys and their Grandad were glued to the computers and had quite a competition going as to who could get in the hotseat; no leaving your place for a minute for a cup of could guarantee that a child or even Grandad would be on the screen watching something. I am extremely proud of my Dad that he communicates with his grandchildren over MSN although he does not always understand their speak.

My DD helped me with the accounts and stem my little panic over a butter and cheese mountain as well as an ever increasing wine lake in the storeroom; we have had a great laugh about that ( just as well) and if at the end of January it has not drastically reduced we will just have to have a fabulous housewarming cheese and wine party.

On Boxing Day, DD and I left the house for a bit of girl quality time and drove for ages to find a place open to have a cup of tea and a piece of cake. After a round tour of the coast and usual haunts we decided on the pub next door as a last resort but came upon a Manor House we had visited in the summer. It looked hopeful; cars and lights. We had been there before for refreshments and music and were greeted by a lovely man, holding a cup of tea and helping himself to a piece of cake. I enquired politely if we could have a cup of tea and was told that yes, I could, we could but we had just entered a private Christmas music weekend. We could have a cup of tea and cake if we could put up with him telling us about the wailing ghost, the priest hole, the facade and the open fire, the hidden doors in the panelling etc. You get the picture. We were enthralled to have partaken in some intelligent conversation with musical people; we basically had a lot of fun while at home, the folks would be waiting for their next meal to be cooked. Having established that a teaplace on Boxing Day in this area could make a fortune, we did find some fun in the most unexpected place and agreed that there is still some hospitality to be found too. Having told the volunteer where the shop is, I guess it is not inconceivable that one day, I will be entertaining thirsty morris men with a cuppa and some cake. It adds to the merriment and diversity in this area.

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