Thursday 25 December 2015
Sunny and showers 11 degrees
Woke up at 6 am. It's Christmas!!! No one, not even the four year old, was awake. Staggered around in the dark and found my laptop and managed to write two day's worth of blog before the battery crashed. People emerged, gradually, and I took OH a cup of tea in order to avoid early morning reading of the 'Frozen' story. OH had Christmas hangover induced by intensive partner whist and too much red wine and arguing, following by port and heated political discussions. WF and I had watched Casino Royale with Reverend J (BIL father) and JG who was sporting Christmas PJs and talking about all the clients who are looked after by the theatrical agency where she part times. Joanne Froggatt is one of them, apparently (plays Anna in Downton Abbey).
Intense pressure on the bathrooms and we all had to be ready for 9.45. SIL appeared, looking slightly the worse for wear and hoarse voiced; largely from shouting 'stop cheating' the previous evening Both she and OH are unabashed cheats which is why I refuse to play. She crammed the turkey into the oven and we got into the cars. It was a good thing that WF spotted (1) which direction BIL had torn off in and (2) that the GPS was saying Church Lane or we would never have found the carefully hidden church.
The service was already underway and WF and I squeezed onto the end of a pew, its finial guarded by a worm wooded Griffin. The church is Norman high plastered walls, Gothic dark wooden vaulted ceilings and arches. Knapped flint facade. Sunlight speared through the many paned windows, simply decorated in pale blues and yellows. Hand blown glass. One window remade using pieces of a number of other windows. Pieces of a former knight jumbled together in the central panel. We sat and rose and sang and recited the familiar texts and it felt like Christmas. I went up for a blessing but was given wine which was deep and rich and delicious. I wondered what the wine drunk by the disciples tasted like: the original blood of Christ? Wine and bread. Staples for so many millenia. Mulled wine and mince pies and chatting to the organ player then out into the sun dappled lane and home to present opening and champagne.
It took at least an hour. I received a microwave flower press, Tiffany coffee bean silver necklace, 2 tops, two 2016 diaries, hand cream, books and a handbag mini mirror. SIL gave me something which looked like a crocheted rats tail decorated with buttons. I had to ask her what it was and she said a necklace. It was about three feet long and angora, which made me itch but I showed willing and put it on and I could see OH looking at it through the corner of his eye. I pretended that I liked it. SIL didn't return the compliment and, after having briefly examined her glitter ball necklace and earrings, stuffed them back into the packet. I felt annoyed and took off the rats tail. Happily, JG loved her wire wrap earrings and put them on immediately where they looked really good. EV adored the sparkly red dress and also wore it for the rest of the day.
It was then time for some serious kitchen activity. I had said I would do starts and had chosen a Jamie Oliver dish of roasted pear with walnut and ginger stuffing. It had looked delicious on the web page but came out looking like gruel although it tasted OK. Not one of my most successful efforts!! Following by immense lunch and I think most of us then went to sleep in front of the telly and Brave and Stick Man.
Opened my Secret Santa present and found a huge tote back in toile de jouy plus covered diary, notebook and larger notebook. Best ever SS!
Later, played cards and had Christmas pudding (Tesco special and utterly delicious) and watched final Downton Abbey. At last Edith was happy. And so was everyone else.
Merry Christmas everyone!