After a couple of years of not seeing our boys at Christmas and organising Missmas celebrations instead we were lucky enough to be able to see all three of them this year. Although we’re not precious about seeing them on Christmas Day and are always thankful just to get together over the festive period, it is a bit special to spend the day with them.
East Grinstead Housesit
Our housesit down in East Grinstead finished the Saturday before Christmas (Maisie in ‘Wet Sussex’) and we headed to the local Travelodge so that we could get together once more with my Mum who lives locally in a care home. A lovely afternoon with her and her ‘fella’ Norman plus my youngest brother Dave and his wife Ali who were down from Scotland. It felt like the beginning of Christmas as we shared pigs in blankets and sausage rolls and listened to the standard cheesy Christmas songs that we all love.
Christmas in Bromley
Then a bit of a busy one on Monday 23rd as we packed, again, and got the train to Bromley in South London where Jo left me with her backpack and a couple of bags of presents as she continued down to Maidstone in Kent to meet up with our youngest son Ryan before managing a very brief meet-up with her Pink Lady friends. She would love to have had more time but everything was just so rushed.
Christmas Eve was the day we met Ryan and Sam and went back to Sam’s new house in North Bromley. We knew he had moved but hadn’t even seen any photos so were delighted to be able to see his new place. So a couple of hours of some preliminary eating and drinking before an evening walk to his local, The Red Lion, for pre-Christmas drinks.
Lovely pub with a great atmosphere. I’m sure we’ll all be back there very soon. But it was back home to get ready for the arrival of Father Christmas.
Did you know? The story of Coca Cola being behind Father Christmas’s distinctive red suit is a complete myth as he’d been portrayed in red since the early 1800s.
With Shaun and Katie arriving late morning on Christmas Day it was fabulous to have the whole family together. It doesn’t happen often so we all made the most of it and Sam’s deliciously well-cooked Christmas Dinner was a noisy, fun-filled, family occasion that everybody loved.
With the rest of the day spent opening presents, drinking a bit too much, and playing games it was the most fun day for a long time.
Did you know? Jingle Bells was never written about Christmas. It an American song all about Thanksgiving and verse two even mentions ‘Miss Fannie Bright’. Very unchristmassy.
Unfortunately we only had the one day together as they all left us on Boxing Day. Shaun and Katie to head back to Bedfordshire, Sam and Tabitha off to Maidstone so we spent the day with Ryan. So by lunchtime we were all in Sams house with a very quiet rest of the day just catching up on TV and finishing off leftovers. Great to spend some quality time with him. Gavin and Stacey was fantastic though, will definitely have to watch that again soon and have they left it open for another series or what?
Did you know? Good King Wenceslas wasn’t a King, and wasn’t even called Wenceslas! He was actually Duke Vaclav of Bohemia and probably wasn’t even a very nice guy!
More housesitting in Devon
First thing Friday saw us packing again and tramping across Bromley to begin the start of our 7 hour, 5 train journey down to Barnstaple in Devon where we would be housesitting for Jo’s younger brother Jon. A hell of a trip with a few delays en route but worth it eventually. Seven days in four locations in multiple train journeys and several different beds.
Phew. Does it ever stop? Would we want it to? Not a chance ………
Happy Christmas Everyone.
21/12 – 27/12/2019