Monday, 31 December 2012

A Cereal Bar for Christmas Lunch!

     Yep, seriously! While the majority of the wet English isle were crowding around dining tables laden with turkey, potatoes, Brussels, Christmas pudding & crackers, we were eating cereal bars!

     Yes there is a reasonable explanation!  With two of our children 6000 miles south and enjoying Christmas in the sunshine (interspersed with summer showers), and a daughter a relatively short 200 miles due west (and cat-sitting so tied to staying at home for Christmas), we drove under the grey skies and through rain curtains to spend a few Christmas days in the West with her, and the cat!

     After attending a Christmas morning church service in our village, we left The East about 11.30am and arrived in The West around 3pm.  As recommended by Highway & Road Safety Agencies we stopped for a very short break about 2 hours into the journey – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Motorway Services so empty! The restrooms were quiet; the usual constant whirr of the high powered but essentially inefficient air-hand-dryers was missing. It was just a little eerie!  WH Smith was open, fortunately, because we needed milk at the other side. Unfortunately we didn’t check the sell-by date.  So Christmas Lunchtime we were munching on our Cadbury’s Brunch Bar  - ‘The tasty cereal and raisin bar half covered with milk chocolate At last, a "wholesome" bar that tastes great! Suitable for vegetarians Oats, bran flakes, raisins, crispies & honey in a bed of Cadbury's milk chocolate.’ (Of course chocolate is wholesome, it’s made from milk!) …. splashing muddy road water on to the other road users possibly making shorter journeys, and getting splashed with muddy, flood water in return!

     However, while the majority of the wet English Isle were tiring from silly cracker jokes, getting irritated with broken toys or snoring in the most comfortable chair in the house, the three of us were enjoying our hot Christmas Dinner. Eventually. Once Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire’s decided to react to the gas oven. It was a delightful meal, (eaten on our laps as there was no dining table!) And we were so satisfied we saved the Christmas Pudding and Custard for …. Thursday, the day after Boxing Day!! 

      It was a different Christmas to say the least! Maybe next year we’ll be able to have a few more family members to share it with us!  We missed you, our precious children, so far, far away!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

First Snowday Blues of Winter 2012!

Yes it’s always pretty! Pretty cold actually!  

But come 11am and I need to go out in the car, in a hurry. Windscreen, backscreen, side windows, roof all under white cold stuff! I open driver’s door and an avalanche lands on the driver’s seat! Bother! Lean across to check car is in neutral, turn car on to switch on windscreen heater and melt snow. While that is happening, wipe snow off driver’s seat with scarf. Wipe majority of snow off windows with chamois, hope the seat heater will magically remove any wetness, adjust seat down, forward, (who drove this car last?!) ignition on. On? Php! Not even a deathly choke, just a Php! Bother!

“Honey! The car won’t start!”

He tries. Php! I phone my appointment and get venue changed to my house. Hubby says don’t worry he’ll get AA as he’s covered through a deal with the bank, but he doesn’t need to do it straight away, as it’s no longer an emergency.

About an hour later. Hubby goes out and car starts! Yay! Don’t need to phone AA. Another hour later, after a toast-and-peanut-butter-lunch, boots on to go out with hubby to buy new wiperblades (windscreepers – ask my kids!) and anti-freeze!

No snow on passenger seat this time. Seatbelt buckled, turn key, Php! Php!

Climb out – again, boots off, scarf off, jacket hung up. Tidy kitchen a bit, put butter away from toast lunch, put peanut butter away – drop peanut butter jar! Glass on kitchen floor, me in my socks. Shoo dog back out into lounge, get slip-on shoes from next to back door so I don’t cut my feet (even through three pairs of socks!) Slip-on shoes next to back door are wet! They are directly underneath somebody’s rain jacket, which dripped!

Hubby phones AA for help. “We can’t help you sir, because your contract with us does not include ‘Home Start’!” That is, if we were on the road, they’d help, but because we’re at Home, they can’t, or won’t! PHP! “If you pay £96 you can upgrade to a Home Start package!” £96! Not on your life!

Hubby stomps off to friend down the road, a retired mechanic, a very nice man! 

And I think I’ll just stay in front of my screen for the rest of the day. It’s more or less safe here – I think!

Oh, and men replacing roof. Scaffolding all around house, men stomping across roof, two vans in driveway. 

Time for an Aero Bubbles hot chocolate! 

(Just to clarify, none of these pics are from today!! Last two are Google stock photos, car is from a London winter and although the pic is about the same as today, the garden pic is from last year!!)