Xmas Roundup

So, the holiday is done. It was both very good and not so good. Work intruded a lot. A few disasters that required intervention and monitoring. We got through them, but only by the skin of our collective teeth.

My mother has been packed up back on an airplane to Canada. She was an easy visitor. No trouble to take care of, gracious and as helpful as she could be. It was a good visit for the kids getting to know her. Usually when we fly out there, it’s a bit of a whirlwind as we do holiday type things as well as visiting. This time, the kids where off school, so they got a lot of time together.

It was a bit of a melancholic visit for me, as the brain damage is pretty clear. Its not horrific in any sense. If you hadn’t know her well before you might not guess there’s anything wrong. She just a lovely old lady who’s a bit dotty. Thankfully, personality wise she’s little changed on the surface. Yet there’s change, her short term memory is awful, I heard a lot of stories three or four times. Her recall of words is pretty bad (this for a woman who got a first in English and has read a library of books over the years), and she sometimes stumbles over complex concepts. Yet she’s still my mum, and it was good to get a lot of time with her.

My nephew stopped in for a couple days as well on his way back from his Grand Tour. He was very happy and relaxed. Nice to see. We expected him on boxing day, but I got a call from my sister the day after saying he’d lost my number, was in central London with no money and could I help. Haven’t laughed so hard in ages. It seems he wanted to visit a woman he’d met travelling (Australian naturament), so he flew in Boxing Day and spent a night with her. Next morning he didn’t know how to get to me. Hilarious, oh to be twenty with no responsibility.

The kids where remarkable. Other than a few minor squabbles, they played well with each other, and more or less did as needed when needed. I spent a lot of time working with Pirate Pete on his saxophone, and I think we made good progress.

It was a lego Christmas, and they got loads! Both boys love making the stuff up, and we’re now at the stage where things are getting remade into new things. That’s the best stage, when its most fun for me. Pirate Pete though loves following the directions. His biggest present was the Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer. Took his three solid days to build that and he was in heaven the whole time.

It was also a Star Wars Christmas. The boys have been really into it for some reason, so Father Christmas gave them the whole set (on sale at Wollies, don’t you know). Over the break we watched all six movies. I enjoyed that too. Brought back lots of memories. My dad and I had travelled three hours to get to a big screen cinema for the first movie back in the seventies.

There was lots of food, and more than a few bottles of wine. We mixed a jar of mince meat with marmalade (laced with a bit of extra whisky) to make a smashing set of tarts. The goose was just fine, and a Beef Wellington went over just fine, and there was loads of other grand meals. We did lots of visiting, did the requisite services at the church, puttered around the house, played with the kids and otherwise had a fine fine tim

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