Happy Belated New Year

Or should that be Belated Happy New Year?

I’ve read loads of blogs with inspirational New Year messages, and posts looking back over the past year. I’m not very good at that sort of thing – sorry. But I do want to say “Hello” and “Thank You” to those of you who carry on reading this. Your “Happy Christmas” messages were lovely! It’s nice to know that there are one or two readers out there!!

We had a lovely break in the UK. We  had a brilliant evening with Gary and Carlo, an enomous Chinese takeaway, lots of wine and the “Strictly Come Dancing” final; the next day Carlo cut and coloured my hair and then took me out shopping. I bought a dress, a long line cardi, and a tunic, in shades of turquoise/teal. Afterwards I bought some flat “Mary-Jane” style shoes (the only type of “dressy” shoe that I can wear really comfortably) and some turquoise tights. All a bit jazzy for me. He also bought me for a Christmas present, a bagfull of make-up. I’ve never done makeup, except for theatrical productions and nights out, but I’ve promised myself I’ll try to wear a little every day: I can see that it looks quite good. I just need to remember to take it off at night so I don’t wake up with panda eyes and smeared pilow!

We went on up to Liverpool, where my family came to mum’s for lunch on Wednesday – fourteen of us. It was great fun – although I did get a little fraught at one point. I’d spent most of the day before in the kitchen, and had done a fair bit on the day, moving furniture, setting the table etc. My sister turned up, looking lovely in a beautiful purple outfit, and offered to help, but mum said “No” it was all under control, Dormouse was doing a grand job. Then later on, she explained to my brother’s wife how she wouldn’t Sister help “because she looked so lovely!” Implication: but Dormouse was only wearing a bit of tat so she could help. Now, I do know that mum didn’t mean it like that, or rather, didn’t see it as being hurtful, but of course, I was a bit stressed and flustered, and menopausally overheated so I had to rush into the kitchen and weep a bit. But after that it was fine!

Mr D and I went into Liverpool andwent to Wagamamas (num, num) and saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie, which was fun. I had a 45 minute Primark dash (new bag and a pair of leggings) while Mr D browsed the computer/music stores. We caught up with an old school friend over dinner and went to Southport on Christmas Eve, just because we always do. We used to go to The Dutch Chef café, for hot chocolate and cakes, but sadly they’ve closed down; I remember going with Pat and Cynthia, close friends of the family, both now gone, who made it a tradition. But we still go to Southport, and visit the Wayfarer’s Arcade

This year there was an owl display in one of the empty shops: they were fab. Here is a link to  copyrighted photo showing one of the birds.

Christmas Day was really great: very quiet, but I felt quite close to God and to my family. Mr D went out for a bike ride (we’d taken his bike along) while Mum and I went to church, where the message was simple but clear. The minister spoke about his new walking boots – a present from his wife – which would only show how good they were if he used them. He could use them on the easy pathways, but they would come into their own on the paths of the Lake District mountains. The gift of God’s love is like that: we only find out how strong it is when we trust him through the tough times.

But the thing that spoke to me most was a little throw away metaphor: his wife recently rediscovered her slow cooker, put away on a shelf in the house. She started using it again, and they decided it was a good thing, as it cooked wholesome hot casseroles. Is your faith like that, he asked, hidden on a shelf and not being used…? Something to think about.

We had a delicious, long drawn out meal, interspersed with conversation, good wine and present opening. We watched ” Doctor Who” and Strictly, we read new books (including “River Cottage Veg Every Day” ) and I paused to think and ponder. Really lovely.

The next day we went to the cinema again, with mum, to see “Hugo” A great film, which I’d really recommend to families with children over about 10. There were younger children in the cinema, who loudly complained that they wanted to see Alvin & the Chipmunks, and I don’t think they grasped much of the nuances of this beautiful film. Then we drove over to Scunthorpe to see our friends, Steve & Cathy, as well as Andrew’s brother and his family. On the way we stopped off at Comet and bought an extra present for me.

I plan to try to use it for work to show clips to students and so on. But mostly I’ve used it to read blogs and Ship of Fools without having to turn on my computer!

But I’ve just been told our visiting friends are about half an hour away, so I need t go and start mulling the wine and warming up the galette des rois

More tomorrow.

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2 Responses to “Happy Belated New Year”

  1. Miffy Says:

    Ah…the galette des rois! It looks wonderful. I must try and make my own homemade version again this year. Daughter is doing the same for work; she’s managed to find a source of feves – ours have nearly all been given away. Glad you had a good time over the Christmas holidays.

  2. Carolyn Phillips Says:

    Oh I love that arcade in Southport.

    Glad you had such a lovely break over Christmas.