With it being Christmas week, naturally it is a busy time of the year, and it was to be for us as well.
|A slightly smaller tree than usual|
Of course there is the usual shopping that has to be done and we spent an inordinate amount of time needing to shop – there just so many time that it is possible to fill the fridge – I think we managed to fit twice its volume inside.
We have a really dumb dog – on one of our shopping expeditions we decided to walk into Stone via the towpath and whilst it was a bit muddy and wet in places it really wasn’t any real problem at all – until Banjo decided to walk a bit too close to the edge and simply slid into the water. He clung to the edge waiting for a hand to drag him out – interestingly, he had one of his coats on, which was completely saturated, but he was not – maybe, because of his many ventures into the canal, he might be picking up some of the protective oils from the swans.
|Lazy good-for-nothing dog - doing what he does best - SLEEP!!|
As it was the walk into Stone he remained that way until we got back, after which he was bathed – the bath may never be white again.
We decided to hire a car for the holiday weekend as we had a visit down to Watford planned and not wanting to or having to rely on public transport was just a little bit of a luxury.
|The finished pram-hood cover - her indoors refers to it as the conservatory|
So as to not waste having the car we then had to make sure that we got use out of it – a visit to Stoke to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie – again an enjoyable film to see; a bit of Toy’R’Us shopping; into Stone on Xmas eve to catch up with Howard and Janet (nb Compass Rose); there was also a Stafford visit on the day we picked the car up, so that ASDA didn’t miss on any further profits
We had Xmas lunch with Mike and Stella – so nice was the meal that it remains one of the great highlights of this last week – roast duck with an apricot-based stuffing and a blackcurrant-spiced gravy – very very nice indeed.
|wouldn't trust these two where there are drinks around|
|Stella and Mike and some interloper|
|Xmas lunch - very very nice indeed|
The usual post-xmas day of getting over too much sparkling wine (and the crook prawns).
A further trip into Stafford for a better look around the town – fortunately not too many shops open and my stomach felt decidedly better than in the morning.
We found plenty of time to catch up with everyone at Watford.
|a new olympic sport - synchronised something or other - Debbie and Pam|
|never trust a Liverpool supporter - Jonathon with Emma (brother and sister)|
|or a Chelsea supporter - Phil with his smart look on|
And the other great thing to happen was the completion of the pram-hood cover for the back of the boat – it makes getting in and out much better and easier – putting on and taking off coats and shoes when it is raining or just plain cold outside is a breeze, as of course is the extra benefit of minimising the draught in through the back doors. The finish is as we wanted and the amount of light we now get in when the internal back doors are open is really good.
The weather has been a mixture of nearly everything – sunshine, wind, rain, cold and warm – only missing some snow – but that will come soon enough.
It has been so mild that we are planning to go out for a cruise for a few days – it is all nice and good with the marina, but you do start to get itchy for some movement – so we will be off (if it is not too cold or wet or if there isn’t something good on the TV or some other excuse – getting a bit soft we are).