OK, so I should have been updating this from home over the last week or so, and I did mean to. But somehow other things got in the way as they are wont to do and so here I am trying to remember the good bits to write up.
Anyway, Christmas on the whole was pretty good. If you just assume that any time not directly referred to here was spent listening to loud music and/or playing games you'll be about right.
As was to be expected, having four days off with Joan was brilliant. Even if by the end of Christmas Day she was feeling pretty ill and ended up spending most of Boxing Day in bed. But before that we had some good times.
On the monday we did the final shopping for stuff followed by the final wrapping of presents session. That took ages and left me with a painful right leg after sitting awkwardly on the floor. I had a nasty fall in a basketball match back in school (so getting on for 20 years ago now) and every now and then it flares up again so I'm guessing that was the cause of it. So spent Christmas Eve hobbling and taking tablets from time to time. Which was OK until Jerry popped in for a drink and I changed to alcohol for my anaesthetic! Well, actually I only had 1 glass of mulled wine then and 1 of normal red at ma & pa's later on so I was good really. Again!
That was a great evening. Roast Goose and all the trimmings. I do like a nice bit of goose and think we should have it more often, even if it is horrendously expensive. And then of course there were big heaps of presents to get through and we were all spoiled rotten. As is only right and proper of course. Loads of CDs and DVDs and several interesting books to hopefully find time to read in 2003. OK so I still have many other books waiting to be read, but some of the new ones are going higher up the list.
We then went along to the midnight service at the church round the corner from us. I still don't know what I definitely believe in (like, I feel all this around us is too wonderful to have come along by chance but don't buy in to a lot of the other stuff purported by most religions) but did quite enjoy it. If nothing else I do like carols - for their getting everyone singing and being of the time of year aspects as well as nostalgia value if nothing else. Joan unfortunately coughed most of the way through, but I think she felt good for going after all the crap she's had to put up with this year. And then it was home to bed.
We managed to stay in pretty late for a change this year. Then many more presents for each other. Not going to list them here as that would be boastful or something but will mention that Joan once again indulged me with a power tool - the new Black & Decker screwdriver thing with the rotatable head to get into tight spots. Yummy.
Popped next door later on to see the neighbours (never!) and pass over a pressie or two for the kids and a token something for them. Despite all the parking hassles they've indulged in (plus him not speaking to us for moths becasue of said hassles). Kids and Patti have always been fine but Steve was a bit surprised I think when we turned up. Still, soon thawed out and we had a laugh. Hopefully the hassle factor will diminish now. Then it was off to Helen's for Christmas dinner.
This is actually the first one we haven't cooked since we've been married, which made for a nice change. We contributed the veggies and pudding but they did all the work. And of course there were yet more nice presents there as well. We also played some games and generally had a good time.
Boxing Day, as I said, Joan spent mostly in bed so I caught up on some reading and for the bits where she did feel like coming down we watched some films. Space Cowboys was brilliant, as was the BBC's new version of The Hound Of The Baskervilles.
Friday saw Joan back at work and dealing with loads of bargain-hungry punters as well as the inevitable post-christmas returns and refunds. (And one of those was me - we had bought a new Dolby Digital surround system for the tv/DVD player which should have solved some of our space, wiring, big speaker worries but it turned out to be a dog - hummed when on stand-by and picked up interference from the heating). In the evening it was back round to Ma & Pa for another nice meal and (for Joan) more presents as Saturday was her birthday.
Yup, my good lady has now reached the age of 50. I know there are many out there who can't get their head round me marrying someone older and others who reckoned it wouldn't last but we are still both deliriously happy. As I have said to her many times, if I was bothered by the age gap I woudln't have got as far as marriage. Obviously I bought her loads more stuff, including a locket she had been after to put picks of her Mum & Dad in, but I think she was a bit taken aback by the number of people at work who also bought her nice things. So that made having to work on Saturday bearable for her. And we went to Helen's again for dinner so that rounded the day off nicely.
Yesterday we braved the incessant rain to come into Ipswich and look at the sales. And I'm glad we did. Got a few bargains and generally had an enjoyable time. Also found the town fairly empty of people which was nice. When I went out for a wander today most shops seemed to have queues like we used to see on the TV from Russia back in the bad old days.
So, now back at work. Most of the office not here though so I have been able to spend most of the day catching up on a week's worth of stuff on the Llamasoft Forums. And shortly off home via a bit of shopping so that's it for today.