One of my best friends bought me this lovely book for Christmas, not a diet book but a wheat and dairy free book.
So I had a go at the rye soda bread recipe and it was great!
Between Christmas and new tear we met up with both the Gibson and Anderson sides of the family.
Boxing day saw the traditional Boxing day visit of the Gibson family.
We had the usual walks, games, food and fun.
Telestrations – the new game Iain gave us for Christmas was so funny I could hardly play as all the hilarity was making me cough!
We had a gap in the family celebration while Martin went and played on the Saturday night with his Boy Band at The Hideaway in Shanklin
Then Sunday saw a departure from our usual Christmas traditions with a meet up with the Anderson side of the family at a restaurant in the New Forest. The ferry was packed but we squeezed in around a table and while 3 of us played our usual ferry card game of Yaniv 2 of us were swottily attached to textbooks!
This was my first experience of eating at a Michelin starred restaurant and it was a really interesting and delicious experience for me. It was so yummy I forgot to take photos of the food until we got to the pudding – which was definitely the best bit!
We managed to meet up with some friends and found the teenagers thrashed us at Demons – did you know the Archbishop of Canterbury also plays.
And then we saw out the old year and in the new at my favourite place on the island with some of my favourite people, eating curry and chocolate, drinking some sloe vodka, playing games and generally being silly – a great way to end and begin a year!
Christmas eve sees the start of our Christmas traditions watching The Muppet’s Christmas Carol together.
We start Christmas morning in our big bed to do stockings together with various levels of enthusiasm!
An easy but yummy breakfast follows, croissants and yoghurt and fruit – in this case our rather lovely home-grown raspberries soaked in vodka.
A trip to church – where for the first year since we have been having a Christmas service I wasn’t able to lead the singing which was very disappointing to me – but the rest of the family did a great job. Church-On-The-Roundabout were in full joyful and rather raucous mood which was just what was wanted for Christmas celebrations.
Back home and Ruth and Martin went for a quick driving lesson!
Then our standard bucks fizz and starter of dips and veggie sticks and Pringles.
A bit of present opening – including the gorgeous old Fortnum and Mason hamper from our lovely friends – the girls already have picnic plans for the hamper in the summer.
Main course follows and we opt for easy to cook and wash up as well as tasty, so no traditional roast for us but instead garlic chicken, chips, cauliflower cheese and peas – yummy but easy.
We were too stuffed to want the chocolate cheese cake Ruth had made.
Then we wait to watch Doctor Who on the iplayer and that is pretty much our day done.
This year things have not gone the way I like them to. I like to try and keep Advent quiet of extra things so we can focus on preparing for Christmas. This year I have been ill and had lots of extra training to do for a new job. Many of the things I like to do, including not being rushed, have not happened.
Some of the good things though have been:
Going to a folk festival with great friends, I loved The Young Uns and Edwina Hayes (we heard her on the Introducing Stage and she was great). We were also brave enough to sing at the sing around – first time we’ve done that at anything other than one of the local little folk nights here on the Island at The Hideaway, we opted for our attempt at Beth Rowleys’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine
After the folk festival I had a week of training for a new, and only very p/t, job. This meant lots of trips to the mainland, dashing too and from the Red Jet, being in a not quite as warm as I would like swimming pool and this was not good for my cough, so I went downhill rapidly the week after and had to cancel loads of things I was planning to do – most notable the Learning Zone Christingle. However I was just well enough to manage to do the advent meditation i had planned for church and it was lovely I was really pleased I managed to get this done it was probably the highlight of the advent period for me.
However I was well enough to contribute to the cookie exchange and one of the joys of having older kids is that they can make their own cookies without help too and Jonathan took them to the meet up and distributed them and came back with a mountain of yummies from other home ed families.
I was too ill to sing carols with any gusto which I felt very sad about but did manage to get out for a cocktail with some friends and we managed to:
decorate gingerbread houses
Get the Christmas tree put up – the girls did it the Monday before Christmas when Rebekah came home from uni.
Get my driftwood tree up and the potato advent wreath made
make a very plainly decorated Christmas cake
Jonathan managed a large star for the window
and we played some games
Last Friday in a beautiful break in the weather we went on a fungi walk with the fantastic Sue Bailey not only is she an amazing storyteller but she also leads a great fungi walk.
I have been doing Sue’s fungi walks since we move to the Island (yes when you live on the Isle of Wight you really do just refer to it as “the island” and everything a ferry ride away is just “the mainland” regardless of whether it’s London or Edinburgh) twelve years ago. In that time I have come to learn a lot of the names but still can only identify about 3 fungi on my own – I aim to learn a new one each year but for some reason i just can’t retain the information!
One of the things I love about a fungi walk is it is one of the things my family refers to as a “proper home-ed activity”. What they mean by this is it is something that people of all ages can and do join in with.
Jonathan even managed to find one this year, but already I’ve forgotten what it is – maybe some sort of russula?